1999: vs Nelson: A Day to Remember for Hope

By Paul Hargreaves

Lowerhouse have done a League double over Nelson this season as well as knocking them out of the 20–20 Competition at the semi-final stage. Such success against Nelson, though, as been uncommon in ‘House’s history. Most of the time we could do little other than tipping our caps to them and calling them daddy. I remember that great Lowerhouse fan , the late Alan Bradley, telling me how excited Lowerhouse fans were when catching their train back to Rosegrove, to bring the news that ‘House had held out for a draw against Ray Lindwall’s Nelson team in 1952. In Worsley Cup games between the sides Nelson hold a 19–1 advantage; Lowerhouse’s only win being in 1950 with pro’ Manny Martindale to the fore. Nelson always seemed to win with some ease on their visits to Liverpool Rd.

Curiously enough an improving Lowerhouse side in the 1990‘s put up some more than respectable performances at Seedhill. ‘House won there in the well-remembered match of 1991 with David Capel a star sub-pro’. They also won in 1997 when Nelson weren’t the only team to succumb to Corrie Jordaan’s bowling. Some clueless rival supporters claimed that Lowerhouse prepared wickets to suit Jordaan but only 37 of his 100 League wickets were taken at home! Lowerhouse almost won at Nelson in 1995 in what might be termed ‘Blez’s game’. He took a career best 5–31 with his under-used medium paced bowling and followed up with a fine 79, only for ‘House to fall 5 runs short of their 200-plus target. The scale of winning games at Nelson in the 90’s can be seen by how dominant the home team could be. In 1994 Nelson topped 300 with Joe Scuderi making 154, adding 192 with star amateur Paul Geraghty. In ’96 the pair put on 197 and another crushing victory ensued. When Lowerhouse visited Seedhill on 25th of July, 1999 they were going to the reigning Champs who were again favourites for the League. Roger Harper had succeeded Scuderi in ’98 and in that year plus 1999 they would only lose a combined 6 matches!

I remember that day for the stifling heat as I took a seat below the motorway. It was difficult to see anything other than a Nelson win but one always travels in hope and that would become appropriate as the match progressed. Lowerhouse batted first and pro’ Martin van Jaarsveld was soon at the crease after Frank Entwistle became a victim of the volatile Trevor Kegg. Martin would become a South African Test player and stalwart of County cricket. That day he dominated the innings but just missed a deserved century when he placed the ball in Marcus Phelan’s very safe hands for a superb 98. The ‘House’s amateurs didn’t back him up well but David Whalley got a priceless 25 as the away side finished on 182–8 off their 50 over allocation. At half-time I favoured Nelson, maybe giving Lowerhouse a 25 per cent chance.

Sometimes, though, even lack of faith is rewarded as Matt Hope put in one of the most heroic bowling performances by a Lowerhouse amateur. In the extreme heat he was able to defy tiredness and cramp to bowl all the way through the Nelson reply taking 6–86 off his 25 overs. I remember thinking he’s due a rest now only for him to keep handing his cap to the ump. Some will remember Matt at the end of his career bowling off a few paces but this day he bowled all 150 balls without shortening a 20 yard run-up. His victims were Duncan Spencer, Craig Walton, Paul Geraghty, Michael Bradley, Marcus Phelan and Trevor Kegg. Those players combined for over 30,000 Lancashire League runs! All that said van Jaarsveld’s dimissal of Harper after he’d just brought his 50 up turned the game. Lowerhouse were able to exert scoreboard pressure unlike say in the semi-final of the Cup this year at Rawtenstall. Jason Warwick(38) threatened for Nelson but was run-out. Lowerhouse were always just about winning and Nelson were all out in the last over 9 runs short of raining on the Matt Hope-Martin van Jaarsveld parade.

I think it must have been one of the most satisfying moments of Matt’s career as dripping with sweat he led the team off. Indeed he looked like somebody had thrown a bucket of water on him and I’d bet he wouldn’t have minded if somebody had. If I could have conjured up a pint of lager I’d have presented him with it, and I’m sure he could have made it disappear faster than any magician.

Nelson did indeed go on to retain their Lancashire League crown in 1999 but, if only for a day, Lowerhouse were Kings on that July Sunday.

Competition Time: Burnleys Best Bonfire is back!

​Its time! Our annual bonfire is back. Saturday 5th November – Save the date. Doors will open at 5:15p.m, the fire will be lit at 6.15p.m. Our as ever fantastic fireworks show will start at 7:30 p.m. Hot food, can bars, the full bar and fair ground rides will be available.

Now onto the juicy stuff you can win 4 tickets for free. All you need to do is tell us you are coming on a Facebook event share the event and tag a friend. The is located here

More information on tickets will be available on the website later in the week

The Lowerhouse All Time Hall of Fame

Thanks again to Paul Hargreaves who has put together a Hall of Fame for batsmen with over 3000 runs and bowlers with over 200 wickets.

Also thanks to Nigel Stockley from where Paul got this information with his brilliant website of historical data.

This page will be updated every year and we will let you know if anyone else reaches the hall of fame, currently Paddy Martin is just 8 wickets short.

batting-hall-of-fame bowling-hall-of-fame

Lowerhouse Cricket Club: 1862-1962: A history

By Paul Hargreaves

Lowerhouse Cricket Club was formed in Queen Victoria’s Silver Jubilee Year of 1862. The provision of land for a permanent ground by the Dugdale Family (owners of the large cotton mill in Lowerhouse) seems to have acted as a catalyst which saw several local clubs merge to form the club we have today. These small teams had been based on the three villages of Habergham, Rosegrove and, of course, Lowerhouse itself.

The Dugdale Family would play an important part in the club’s history and would have at least an honorary committee member right up to 1992. Despite the family leaving for Gloucestershire in the 1920’s and the big mills demise in the 1930’s.

Lowerhouse’s first professional was Gibson Price in 1874 and his successor in 1876, Arthur Thornton, was our first pro to play First Class Cricket. Professionals in those days were all home grown and it would be 1923 before Australian J. A. Cuffe became the clubs first overseas professional. Most of those early pros were from the pit villages of the East Midlands. Henry Slater (1883–1884), George Porter (1885) and Silas Hardy (1894–1895) were all men of Derbyshire. Neighbouring county Nottinghamshire provided Ben Gregory (1898–1901), John Pennington (1906) and Henry Anthony (1907–1908).

Before the league system evolved fixtures were more random with clubs forming friendly ties with a variety of local clubs. Lowerhouse played a regular annual match against local rivals Burnley. The latter were generally a stronger team but Lowerhouse sometimes carried the day. One such occasion was in 1886 when Penny’s brilliant 8–17 skilled the Turf Moor side for 42, with Lowerhouse cruising to a commanding 8 wicket win. I wonder if there were any local banners declaring “Penny’s from Heaven!”

The next major step would be the formation of a league system. The Bolton League had pointed the way and in 1891 a meeting took place at the now demolished Commercial Hotel in Accrington. This formed a 14 club league with Lowerhouse amongst the founder members.

On to April 23rd 1892 and the ‘House entertained Bacup in their first ever league fixture. Up until 1899 there were 2 Pro’s allowed and Madden and Priestly did the duty for the ‘House that day. Unfortunately it wasn’t a dream start. Lowerhouse batted first and were 86 all out, succumbing to a 6 wicket loss. It would prove a tough year for the village side and they finished bottom with a total that would remain a record to this day, namely -14 points. The scoring system would soon be amended but in 1892 it was 1 point for a win, 0 points for a draw and -1 point for a loss. Lowerhouse had 3 wins to 17 losses, hence the ignominious -14 point total.

There was a modest improvement in 1893 and by 1894 the team had reached the dizzy heights of joint 7th. This wasn’t sustained though, and for 5 out of the next 6 seasons they were rock bottom again. In this era the pattern was for the two professionals to do the bulk of the bowling. Lowerhouse’s best amateur batsmen were John Holland, Richard Holden and George Green. The latter was the most dependable and he scored over 2000 runs for the club. This was a goodly number in an ear of bowler domination. That fact can be seen with Ramsbottom amateur Billy Fenwick taking an incredible 137 wickets in 1900. Lowerhouse’s best amateur bowler in the 1890’s was A. Pate with 220 wickets.

It was just after the Lancashire Leagues formation that one of the clubs greatest ever amateurs emerged in the guise of the local Hero Tommy Shutt. He had a difficult year in 1893 when he broke in as a teenager but by 1894 his potential started to be realised. He was a good enough player to play for Lancashire Seconds and be a league pro, at his home club Lowerhouse in 1899 and Rishton in 1911. Shutts’ long career saw him take 1000 wickets for the ‘House. This and his total of 76 wickets in 1910 remain club records. By the time his is retirement in 1925 he had amassed 4687 runs with the highest score of 173. The latter is still a  club record, but his run aggregate Fell just 24 short of Joseph Cook (1896-1916), Houses most prolific pre-war batsman. Herbert Lawson in the 1940s that put clear daylight between Cooke and Shuttt, when passing the 6000 run mark.

It was fitting that such a Lowerhouse “lifer “was the landlord of “The Cricketers” in Lowerhouse Lane. It is strange and disappointing that nothing at our modern day club commemorates such a great club servant as Thomas Shutt!

An interesting snippet to the era was the seemingly ordinary career of JH Hartley. He flitted between the first and second 11 making 35 appearances for the senior team between 1898 and 1902. He manage just 171 runs. His skipper threw him the ball in a game in 1901 where by he took took two wickets for one run in a solitary over. He was never invited to bowl another, which seems extraordinary and a harsh. It does mean with a bowling average of 0.5 per wicket Hartley has the best average of any Lowerhouse Bowler in history. 

Read more Lowerhouse Cricket Club: 1862-1962: A history

Dieters back in town!

Dieter Klein is back in Burnley for a few days this week. On Wednesday Dieter will be having something to eat locally at 18:30 and then on to a Pub near by from 20:00  onwards to say thank you and goodbye. Dieter moves to Leicestershire on Thursday. 

Contact Ben Heap with numbers for meal or for more details.

Defibrillator appeal fun day

Lowerhouse cricket club will be holding a family fun-day to raise money for a defibrillator on Sunday 16th  October 2016 

There will be plenty for kids and adults to enjoy from fairground rides to bouncy castles plenty of stalls and tombola’s and various other activities to help raise money, every penny raised will go towards a defibrillator and casing to allow it to be available 24/7.

We hope we never have to use it but if we do let’s hope it gives someone the opportunity that might otherwise go amiss

Volunteer help is always a bonus but we also need raffle prizes, donations of chocolate and bottles of wine, any and every bit helps .


Please liaise with our very own lead fund-raiser Shelly Heap 07480562002 with offers of help and donations

We can also exclusively confirm that at 4.00pm that Day the club will be showing Southampton v Burnley live on Sky Sports and the Directors are please to confirm we will replicate our £2 a pint offer for all draught beers 12-7pm to cover this event – Wear your colours with pride

Suggest a photo for the clubhouse! 

​We’re getting a canvas of a photo in the clubroom and want you to decide the picture!

We put many a photo on our Facebook page and that is where our  biggest archive is. It’s linked here.. 

Serious suggestions only please, we want this to be an iconic picture or one that really means something. 

Please send your ideas to us on Twitter, Facebook or via email to adam@lowerhousecc.com (and we’ll make sure we have permission of the person who took the photo). 

The suggestion that gets picked wins a pint and we may even put a vote on social media if we can’t decide!