Sport

Lancashire League review

Professional Werner Coetsee hopes to return home on Monday with ENFIELD still in title contention heading into the final three games.

Enfield's Werner Coetsee (right) shone with both bat and ball last weekend(Image: kipax.com)

WERNER Coetsee aims to bow out on a high this weekend by keeping ENFIELD in the hunt for the Lancashire League title.

The Enfield professional returns to South Africa on Monday, meaning this weekend’s double-header will be his final games of the season.

Leaders Lowerhouse look in imperious form having chalked up a 15th straight league win at RISHTON last Sunday.

But Coetsee has shone with bat and ball during the last few weeks to help keep the Dill Hall Lane outfit in contention.

After winning at home to Colne, Enfield remain 32 points off the pace. But if Lowerhouse’s run is ever going to come to an end it’s most likely to happen this Saturday as they host second-placed Ramsbottom.

And with just three games remaining after he heads home, Coetsee believes this weekend is do-or-die for Enfield’s title challenge.

“It’s a massive weekend,” he said. “If Lowerhouse lose on Saturday then it opens it up.

“It’s my last weekend so it’ll be great to leave with us still in with a chance.

“But even if Lowerhouse win we’ll still have plenty to play for because we play Ramsbottom on Sunday so we can still go for second place.”

Enfield stayed in touch last week after thrashing Colne by nine wickets in a rain-affected match at Dill Hall Lane.

Colne chose to bat in a 40-over game but Enfield soon removed Joel Duerden (4) and Alex White (6) before taking five wickets for 11 runs to leave the visitors on 90-9, spin pair Coetsee (3-42) and Simon O’Loughlin (4-31) doing most of the damage.

Enfield couldn’t quite pick up the two bowling bonus points as Colne finished on 105-9.

The hosts had to chase down that target in just 18 overs due to further rain but they managed it in just 58 balls.

Greg Jones (9) was the only man out with the score at 23. Liam Bedford (32 not out) and Coetsee, who will be returning next year, then saw Enfield home with an unbroken stand of 86, Coetsee smashing 56 off 23 balls.

“The weather almost failed us,” said the 31-year-old. “The ball was slippery so it was difficult for them to bowl with. I was also trying to get the game over and done with before the rain came again so it was a very good win.”

CHURCH’s game at Todmorden ended in a ‘no result’, early in the hosts’ reply.

Church were put in and scored 165-9 after their innings was reduced to 43 overs. Harvey Aspin top-scored with 36 while opener Levi Wolfenden made 29.

Church had then reduced the hosts to 32-2 when more rain halted their innings after just 5.3 overs.

ACCRINGTON carried on their good finish to the season with a 33-run win in another rain-affected match, reduced to 37 overs.

Last year’s champions were put in by hosts Nelson and posted an impressive 168-4. Every batsman contributed, with pro Ockert Erasmus unbeaten on 40 while opener Sam Excell hit 39.

Erasmus (4-41) and Jimmy Hayhurst (3-42) then shared seven wickets as Nelson were bowled out for 135 in the 36th over, taking Accy back above Church into fifth place.

RISHTON pro Matt Hulett had little support at home to Lowerhouse, hitting an unbeaten 83 as they reached 151-9 from 49 overs.

The leaders’ target was reduced to 108 from 30 overs but they reached it in 12.1. Captain Shaun Hutchinson took all three wickets as Rishton reduced the visitors to 70-3 but they got home without further loss. Hutchinson finished with figures of 3-41 off five overs.

- FORMER Accrington captain Graham Lloyd has announced his retirement from the Lancashire League. The ex-Lancashire and England star, 45, has only been able to play six games this year after going onto the first-class umpires list.

WEEKEND TEAMS/FIXTURES
ACCRINGTON

1st XI v HASLINGDEN (A, Sat): S Crabtree (c), Jimmy Hayhurst, S Hanson, M Wilson, J Clarke, R Hussain, G Sneddon, A Hasham, B Hargreaves, S Excell, O Erasmus (pro).
V LOWERHOUSE (H, Sun): Same team

CHURCH
1st XI v RAWTENSTALL (H, Sat):
C Fergusson, L Wolfenden, L Aspin, H Aspin, B Abbas, JW Gaskill, A Bentley, A Greenwood, S Tucker, K Basharat, U Tariq.
V BURNLEY (A, Sun): Same team

ENFIELD
1st XI v BURNLEY (H, Sat):
A Bracewell (c), L Wright, C Maudsley, S Cook, H Fazal, L Bedford, S O'Loughlin, G Jones, B Dowling, T Hamill, W Coetsee (pro). Meet 11.45.
V RAMSBOTTOM (A, Sun): J Wrigley for S Cook. Meet 11.15.

RISHTON
1st XI v TODMORDEN (H, Sat), v NELSON (A, Sun)