Enfield are top of the Lancashire League table after inflicting a third defeat on the trot on Lowerhouse.
Defending champions Lowerhouse have held onto the lead all season after an 11-match unbeaten start.
But defeat by Accrington six league games ago was their first and now three in a row have let others in. Enfield completed the double over the leaders – but it was close on Sunday.
Due to the rain, the game didn’t start til 4pm and was reduced to 24 overs. Luckily the Hussain brothers, Sagawat and Nasser, got Enfield off to a solid start with Nasser finishing on an unbeaten 80 from 76 balls with five boundaries and four sixes.
Captain Adam Bracewell hit 47 from just 24 balls as Enfield finished on a high 183-4 in their 24 overs.
Lowerhouse set about chasing the target down with determination and opener Ben Heap (54) and uncle Chris Bleazard (43) started with some big hitting of their own.
But David Bracewell then took charge, helped by brother Adam. It came down to the final over with Lowerhouse needing 10 with the last pair in.
A wide and then three off the next three balls certainly got the temperature rising around Dill Hall Lane but then, with two balls to spare, David Bracewell helped to run out Joe Martin – although not without a hint of controversy – to go top of the league.
David tried to kick the ball to the stumps as they ran for a quick single. It missed but the former captain managed to retrieve the ball himself and quickly got the last pair out as they went for a third run and Enfield could start celebrating displacing Lowerhouse.
David finished with 6-38 and Adam 2-53.
The day before Enfield did close the gap on Lowerhouse but ended up losing to a Pieter Malan-inspired Ramsbottom.
The South African got one over on his friend Werner Coetsee as Malan hit an unbeaten 115 to go to 845 runs for the season.
The Rams were in trouble at 33-3 but Malan’s 202-run partnership with Alex Bell, who made an unbeaten 85, helped them finish on 235-3 in their 46 overs.
Enfield’s Hussain brothers put on 79 for the first wicket and there was a late 31 from Hassan Fazal but Jon Fielding’s 6-65 was crucial as four Enfield wickets fell for just 24 runs, leaving them on 198 all out.
Rishton were the ones to give Enfield a route to the top after beating Lowerhouse on Saturday.
Blackburn Road pro Dan Salpietro had said before the game he fancied his side’s chances against the then leaders who were stuttering – and they took advantage.
Ali Sartaj was the bowling hero as he took 5-50 with Lowerhouse bowled out for 181-7.
It was still a big target to chase down but Salpietro hit 72 in 113 balls and Craig Smith made a late unbeaten 21 to secure a six-wicket win for Rishton, who have now got eight wins – more than they did in the whole of last season.
Jimmy Bibby’s men couldn’t keep it up on Sunday though as they lost to Burnley by 21 runs in a 22-over clash.
Burnley were 5-3 at one point but finished on 132-8 with Shaun Hutchinson and Ali Sartaj taking three wickets each.
Salpietro top scored with 33 and, at 101-5, they must have thought they stood a chance of doing a second weekend double. But the bottom order fell quickly and they ended up all out for 111.
Church, just 12 points behind the leaders, are still in with a chance of the title – but will be gutted they didn’t record a double-win weekend.
It was all going to plan on Saturday as their pro Saeed Anwar made 55 and took 7-36 to see off Burnley. Craig Fergusson also chipped in with 47 as Church went from 52-3 to 124-4 and finished on 196-7.
Lloyd Aspin took the first two wickets to have Burnley struggling at 26-2 and they never really recovered as Anwar got going and wickets fell at regular intervals, with Burnley all out for 100 with 16 overs left.
But it wasn’t a good day on Sunday against then bottom club Colne.
Colne made 127 in their 26 overs with Lloyd Aspin (2-26) and Levi Wolfenden (2-13) the top wicket-takers.
Church got off to a good start and would have felt that the target was well within their reach with opener Wolfenden making 26 and Anwar 37.
But 56-5 quickly became 118-9 as the overs ran out.
Accrington similarly suffered a one-loss, one-win weekend and they now lie 20 points behind Enfield but still in with a chance of the league title.
Pro Ashar Zaidi grabbed a century in 95 balls on Saturday as Accrington made 214-9 against Haslingden, who beat them last weekend.
Haslingden – whose pro Harry Boam returned to Wellington this week – were always struggling as 48-2 became 90-6 and Jimmy Hayhurst’s 5-58 and Zaidi’s 4-41 saw Haslingden bowled out for 113, leaving Accrington with a 101-run win.
But on Sunday, fellow title hopefuls Todmorden got the better of them and it was Tod’s pro Qaiser Abbas who did the damage. Stuart Crabtree top-scored with 28 and Marley Ali made an unbeaten 26 while Zaidi only made one as he became one of Abbas’s four victims.
Accrington finished on 106-8 and Abbas made 48 in 34 balls as Hayhurst took 3-62 but Tod won by six wickets.