ACCRINGTON professional Tama Canning apologised to his team-mates for not performing with the bat at the weekend.
The New Zealander got just five runs in the double header against Haslingden and Lowerhouse as Accrington were knocked off the top of the Musbury Fabrics Lancashire League table and slipped to their first defeats of the season after three straight wins.
It was a 42-run loss to Haslingden on Saturday followed by an eight wicket defeat against new league leaders Lowerhouse on Sunday.
"It has been a disappointing weekend," admitted the pro. "The lads have done really well - they have scored almost 300 runs - but I let them down. I didn't hardly get a run. It was just one of those weekends."
"It was my responsibilty and it didn't happen - I got caught by the leg side on Saturday and the same on Sunday."
He did take 5-54 against Haslingden but admitted he isn't up to full strength with the ball.
"When Accrington rang me to see if I wanted to come here before the season started, I did have to ask the physio first because I had been having treatment on an injured left shoulder."
"He said I would be okay if I took it easy. I am only bowling at 50 per cent although it is hard to do that at times. It feels okay though so hopefully it will improve as the season goes on. There is more to come."
The defeat at Haslingden was hard. Steve Dearden had hit 52 despite Canning's performance with the ball and Accrington needed 167.
But the batsmen fell quickly and at 20-4 were in deep trouble. In their first three games, lower order batsman Stuart Crabtree and Zahir Afzal have managed to rescue Accrington.
They almost did it again with Crabtree (31) and Afzal (21) but it wasn't enough this time.
Then on Sunday, Accrington did well to chalk up a target of 155 as once again they gave away some wickets cheaply. They were 5-90 and 116-7 with Canning behing caught by Charlie Cottam with the first ball he faced.
But opener Mohsin Ahmed almost saw the innings out - he was the last man to fall - with a 70. His 50 was in 116 balls with four fours and his first ever six.
Vishal Tripathi was impressive for Lowerhouse in reply - although he did survive a couple of loud appeals, one where he was caught behind but it was given as a no ball. He made an unbeaten 77 with 11 fours and a six.
Accrington tried everything to get him out, with six bowlers, but he and fellow opener Jonathan Finch (52) made a big dent in the score.
Mohsin Ahmed took the two Lowerhouse wickets as the Liverpool Road side took over at the top.
While Accrington stuttered, it was a good weekend for Church, who celebrated their first win of the season - and swiftly followed it up with their second.
Pro Ruven Peiris (pictured) has so far chalked up three half centuries in his first four games.
"He is the keenest pro I have met," said skipper Phil Sykes. "He is practising every day, he is good with the younger players and he is quality. We knew when we signed him he would score a lot of runs and he has done well so far."
"It was good to get a first win under the belts and it was a good weekend. Rawtenstall was a little bit close and on Sunday, 213 was a good score on the wicket against Burnley. Andy Bentley and Westy (Nick Westwell) are both bowling well although Andy will miss Sunday's Worsley Cup game at Bacup."
Star of the show at the weekend was Peiris who hit a 64 - including 10 fours in a six - as he got into his stride in their four wicket win over Rawtenstall on Saturday. He was ably supported by Sykes (21) and Mark Aspin (32) to overtake the target of 179.
And, on Sunday, there was more of the same from the Sri Lankan against Burnley. He notched up another six fours and two sixes in his 57. Captain Sykes also performed with the bat with 54. Sam Holt chipped in with 30 and Craig Fergusson finished with 27 not out in 213-6.
Bentley then took 4-48 as Burnley offered little resistance. Church's Westwell 3-28 and Peiris 3-45 also played their part in an important win.
Meanwhile, Adam Bracewell hit a career best of 71 from just 66 balls for Enfield against Burnley on Saturday - but they still slipped to a tight one wicket loss.
Mas Ahmed's side haven't won yet this season but set the Turf Moor side a target of 194-8 with Bracewell hitting seven boundaries and three sixes in his knock and sub pro Martin Smith chipping in with 40.
The match was in the balance at 171-8 but, despite Neil Holmes taking 5-67, the points went to Burnley.
And it got worse on Sunday as Enfield slipped to a six wicket loss against Ramsbottom and now occupy the slot at the bottom of the table.
Enfield couldn't do a lot against Rambottom paid man Murali Kartick who recorded the best man bowling figures of the season so far with a staggering 9-30 as the Dill Hall Laners were bowled out for 117.
Mas Ahmed (21) and Andrew Windle (22) did start well but then there was a quick collapse with the last four wickets falling for five runs and Ramsbottom then passed the total with ease.