This Weekends Games

This weekend see 5 games for our senior teams over 3 days, being Bank Holiday weekend. The first team have a home advantage with a double header versus Haslingden in the Worsley Cup (in a recreation of the famous 2004 final) on Saturday and Middleton at home on Sunday in the league.  The seconds have the reverse fixtures also facing Haslingden in the Worsley Cup in Saturday. On Monday, the Third team have their third game of the season and looking for their first win against Rochdale.

Team news will be available on Thursday as always – we look forward to seeing you!

Middletons Phil Hamnett (who will be joint guest reporter on Sunday) gave us the following preview and low-down on the newcomers – he’s also a closet ‘House fan, supporting us at Old Trafford last year – Middleton can forgive him for that as they weren’t in the same league then.

Sunday sees the first visit to House from the Middleton first team following their switch from the Pennine League to the Lancashire League. Middleton were one of seven ex Central Lancashire League teams who have made the switch following a two year period in the Pennine Cricket League. The remaining PCL clubs have now entered the Greater Manchester Cricket League.

Middleton has a long history of cricket in the town dating back to 1857 before they officially joined the Central Lancashire League in 1895. This is a league that they have won 11 times whilst also winning the Wood Cup 12 times. They have previously had links with the Lancashire League as their ex Pro Ernie Kemm is now the paid man at Bacup and talented youngster Tom Hardman became Professional at Clitheroe before his tragic early death.

Middleton like others have had some talented Professionals over the years including international players Basil D’Oliveira, Frank Tyson and Hedley Verrity. The famous speed king Roy Gilchrist was also a favourite at Towncroft.

The ground itself is much admired and last year won an internet poll for the best ground in Lancashire and has received much praise in the past from such luminaries as Rishton’s Craig Smith. Indeed the Umpires and players alike so far this year have been full of praise for the condition of the pitch and surrounds as prepared by groundsman John Foden.

Middleton won the Pennine League Division 2 last year and in the close season gained the Rochdale Captain and spinner Dale Highton. Going in the opposite direction were Mike Pritchard and Zain Tahir who joined rival GMCL clubs.

The season has begun with two losses to Norden and Clitheroe although at one point the latter were in a precarious position on 40-6 chasing 113. The Middletons team is young with an average age of 22, including four teenagers, namely, Rutter, LeCarpentier and the Tierney brothers. All of whom like many others live a stones throw from the ground and several have made appearances at Lancashire Youth level.

Captain again is the effervescent George Walker and returning Professional is Chris Williams from Bury who was previously the paid man at Unsworth. A welcome return for the team this weekend will be class batsman Grant Jones, previously unavailable and the scorer of close to a thousand runs last year. It should be an enthralling fixture in what should be an interesting year for the Lancs League with so many new faces.

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