ENFIELD’s pursuit of Lowerhouse looks set to be in vain as the leaders need just seven points from the last three games to secure this year’s Lancashire League title.
Although Enfield won both games during last weekend’s Bank Holiday double-header, so too did Lowerhouse to move to the brink of their third title in four years.
Hassan Fazal starred for Enfield as he took 4-41 during Saturday’s three-wicket win over Burnley. He then claimed 5-57 and scored a crucial 23 not out at Ramsbottom to secure another three-wicket win and send professional Werner Coetsee home for the year on a high.
The South African has agreed to return in 2015 and Fazal, who now has 46 wickets this year, believes Enfield will have another strong season.
“The team performance was very good again, as it has been all year,” he said at Ramsbottom. “I would like to get 50 wickets, like last year, and to score more runs as I’m batting more now.
“We have a really good team at Enfield. Hopefully we can keep Werner as he adds a lot to the dressing room and with his performances. We have a strong second team so if players are required I’m sure they will be able to do a good job.”
Saturday saw Enfield beat Worsley Cup winners Burnley at Dill Hall Lane, with the visitors making 122-9.
Coetsee (42) top-scored in his final home match before leaving for the South African season on Monday and Lewis Wright smashed a six off Bharat Tripathi to win it in the 36th over and finish unbeaten on 30.
Enfield then beat fellow title contenders Ramsbottom on Sunday, bowling the hosts out for 127.
Opener Liam Bedford (46) then top-scored for Enfield before Fazal steered them home inside 42 overs.
That left Enfield one point behind second-placed Rammy and 31 off Lowerhouse.
The leaders had romped to a nine-wicket win over Rammy on Saturday but only just beat 2013 champions ACCRINGTON on Sunday.
Pro Ockert Erasmus (3-69) and Simon Hanson (3-44) did the damage as Accy restricted Lowerhouse to 183/6. Erasmus then hit an unbeaten 72 but, needing 21 from the final over, they finished just short on 178/8.
Accy had beaten Haslingden by 44 runs on Saturday, Sam Excell hitting 57 in their total of 215/8. Erasmus then took 5-61 as the hosts were bowled out for 171.
Accy are fifth, one place above CHURCH, who also won one and lost one at the weekend.
Church had Rawtenstall 90 all out, Andrew Bentley taking 6-31, before Usman Tariq’s 60 helped them home with six wickets to spare.
Burnley then made 217/9 on Saturday, with Church all out for 163 in reply.
RISHTON’s miserable year continued as they were bowled out for 138 by Todmorden on Saturday, pro Matt Hulett hitting an unbeaten 45. The visitors reached their target inside 28 overs with eight wickets left.
Nelson then had Rishton 134 all out and clinched a four-wicket win in the 37th over.
Rawtenstall v ENFIELD, East Lancs v CHURCH, ACCRINGTON v Bacup, Burnley v RISHTON.