We returned to the Brooks Foundation Ground once again in 2018 to face a Lowerhouse side bereft of their professional Ocki Erasmus, who only hours earlier had suffered a season-ending injury in their final T20 match of the season. Ocki is a friend of GHCC and we wish him all the best and a speedy recovery. Unable to find a substitute at such short notice, Lowerhouse fielded 11 eligible amateur players and await their almost-certain (and very harsh) fine.
Captain Houldsworth called ‘never fails’ and elected to bat, his disgruntled opposing skipper Cheaty McCheatface disappointed not bat first on what looked to be an unusual wicket that might deteriorate under the blistering Padiham sunshine.
Out strode Matty and Allan who got us off to a slow but steady start. After bringing up another 50 partnership, Allan was unlucky to be given out LBW with the score on 69. Professional Ash joined Matty at the crease and was just settling into his innings when inexplicably given out caught behind for just 6.
Adam Masood joined Matty at the crease, and Matt moved onto 55, his highest Lancashire League score, before the pressure of some tight bowling got the better of him and he was stumped off the bowling of Finch. A second 1st XI 50 of the season for him; we hope his strong development continues.
Swanney joined Masood at the crease, and the innings never really kicked on as Masood, Houldsworth and Aspinall all departed in short time as we lost 21-4 at a crucial stage of the innings.
Some ugly but effective ‘batting’ from Maher (17), supported by a more orthodox innings from Swanney, put on 39 for the 7th wicket before our innings closed shortly afterwards at 168-8, Swanney finishing 23*.
After a decent spread at tea, barely dented owing to the hot weather, we took the field as Maher and Aspinall took the new ball. Like elephants who never forget, and with an unbelievable sense of déjà vu, Lowerhouse captain McCheatface survived a very big shout in the second ball of the innings from Maher. This time however we weren’t quite as upset as last year……………………
The pressure was further on the home captain as McCheatface ran out his opening partner Finch. Zeainy, Armer & Aspinall combining.
The introduction of Ash steadied the flow of runs and he teased out Cheaty, caught sharply by the skipper for 27. Game on!
However, this brought former Lowerhouse and Euxton professional Haasbroek to the crease. His chanceless innings, very very classy indeed, was just too good for us. Despite losing 3 further wickets to Ash (2-34 from 15 overs) and Maher (2-38 from 13 overs), 16,000+ runs Bleazard joined Frankie at the crease to see the home side home in the 46th over.
So a point earned from a lot of effort; still one more than last year’s efforts here.
It was also great to see former GHCC professional Joey Hawke, who bowled beautifully. Winter Hill was calling for Joey, so we are STILL waiting for those beers………