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Alviro hopes to shock ‘House

ENFIELD pro Alviro Petersen is hoping his underdogs can continue to cause shocks and win the Worsley Cup this season.

SLOGGING AWAY - but Ruven Peiris could not help Church into the Worsley Cup semi-finals.
SLOGGING AWAY - but Ruven Peiris could not help Church into the Worsley Cup semi-finals.

ENFIELD pro Alviro Petersen is hoping his underdogs can continue to cause shocks and win the Worsley Cup this season.

The Dill Hall Lane team are struggling after just one league win all season but will travel to Lowerhouse in the semi-finals of the cup after seeing off league champions and hot favourites East Lancs with an emphatic nine wicket win in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

And the South African proved the star of the show, hitting an unbeaten 99 to steer his side into the last four - following up a 149 he scored against Accrington in round one.

Petersen was helped by opener and skipper Mas Ahmed (68) as the duo put on a 157 second wicket stand for the outsiders for the cup.

"Cricket is like that, sometimes partnerships work and that is what happened for us on Saturday," said Petersen, nicknamed "Virus".

"We had one big partnership and we got the win. I would have liked one more for a century but, for me, it is all about the team. I do not look at myself but the team as a whole - although it was wonderful to win and to contribute."

Skipper Ahmed had called last weekend the most important weekend of Enfield's season as they needed the cup win to keep them battling for some silverware from this campaign.

"There is always pressure," continued the pro. "That comes with the game but we knew this weekend was important for us. But we coped with it well on Saturday, it keeps our season going and now we are aiming for the final."

"I don't know much about Lowerhouse but we know we need to get a good partnership going again and then anything can happen."

East Lancs did struggle, lower order batsman Andy Clague top scoring with an unbeaten 50 in their 182-7.

And Ahmed led the charge with his 68 - including six boundaries - while Petersen, at number three, hit 14 fours and one six in his 95 ball knock as East Lancs tried nine different bowlers to dismiss the pro - without any luck.

Enfield will be hoping to repeat the feat on Sunday when they face East Lancs at home in the Musbury Fabrics Lancashire League.

Meanwhile Petersen continued his big-hitting on Sunday as he chalked up his first league century with 104 against Todmorden - although Enfield lost.

"The first league century is always the sweetest and it is something of a milestone - and a relief to get it," admitted the South African, who was, though, gutted to lose.

It had looked dismal for Enfield as they were 6-1 and 7-2 before Andy Bracewell and Petersen put on 48 and then Petersen and Neil Holmes (35) made 105 for the fourth wicket to steer the score along.

However 193 was always going to be possible for Todmorden who made a swift response by posting up 35 in the first five overs.

Enfield tried different bowlers in the early stages but, although they did slow the over-rate down, Todmorden kept plugging away.

It wasn't until openers Richard Baigent and Stuart Priestley had put 88 on the board that Petersen made the breakthrough, given lbw against Baigent (47) in their first real chance to get him out. But Tod pro Gyan Pandey is a class act with the bat and ball and his unbeaten 58 along with Priestley's 74 meant that it was all over comfortably with 15.4 overs remaining.

"We got a good score but it only takes one partnership to change the game and they did that today," continued the pro. "We did not perform to our best but I think if we can win one, a few more wins will come. It is difficult to talk about our aims - the top half or mid-table - we do just have to see what we can do in every game. We will try and play to the best of our ability and see what we can achieve."

While Enfield enjoyed the Worsley Cup, it was a mixed weekend for title-chasing Church.

They slipped to an eight wicket loss against Haslingden in the last eight of the cup on Saturday to end their double hopes.

Church had set a target of 184, thanks to pro Ruven Peiris making 40 and Mark Aspin adding 37 although seventh wicket pairing Sam Holt (19 not out) and Sam Tucker (18) put on 34 to make sure Church gave Haslingden something to aim at.

But the Blackburn Road bowlers could do little to stop the Bentgate attack as sub pro Saeed Anwar, from Crompton, made an unbeaten 99 while Mike Ingham made 56 - with nine fours. Anwar just missed out on his ton as Adam Greenwood bowled two wides to take them past Church's tally.

However, it was better for Church in the league on Sunday when they moved up to second spot with an 81-run win over local rivals Accrington - thanks to seven wickets from Andrew Bentley. The bowler - who was the league's leading wicket taker last season - celebrated a career best 7-79.

This was after Church set a formidable target of 240-5 with big-hitting Peiris making 72 - with nine boundaries - and opener Phil Sykes making 44. Then came former Accrington player Mark Aspin who hit 12 fours and one six in an unbeaten 85 - and took his run tally to 403 runs for the season giving him second spot in the amateur batting stakes.

Accrington pro Tama Canning produced a stunning knock in reply with 88 in just 94 balls - which entertained the crowd with five sixes and took him passed the 500 run mark after just 11 matches.

However Bentley had started his charge, taking the first three wickets although captain Matt Wilson (25) helped to steady the ship but the score was too big for the Thorneyholme Roaders.

Church look to keep the pressure on leaders Bacup against Ramsbottom tomorrow while Accrington make the short trip to Rishton in what is usually an entertaining derby.

Meanwhile Rishton, bottom last season, continued their revival with a win over defending champions East Lancs. Young batsman Sam Hacking hit his highest tally with an unbeaten 56 - and it was an entertaining knock with six sixes and three boundaries.

And his final six was vital as it won the match in the last over for the Blackburn Road side with two wickets to spare.

It had looked good for East Lancs as they posted 220-8 with Richard Rostron the best bowler with 4-46. Rishton were 25-2 before Andrew Bartley (41) and pro James Franklin - called up to the New Zealand Test squad - made 35 in their 55 third wicket partnership before Hacking provided the winning formula.


Stuart Pike
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