Sport

Treble for Accrington

ACCRINGTON maintained their place at the top of the Musbury Fabrics Lancashire League thanks to a double win weekend to make it three wins out of three so far.

WELL DONE... League chairman Bert Hanson hands over the leading wicket-taker award for last season.

ACCRINGTON maintained their place at the top of the Musbury Fabrics Lancashire League thanks to a double win weekend to make it three wins out of three so far.

On Saturday, Zahir Afzal starred with the ball taking 4-52 to restrict Ramsbottom to 172-8.

It wasn't looking good for the Thorneyholme Road side as they, at one stage, were 69-4 with pro Tama Canning out for 25.

But the lower order put on a stunning display with Stuart Crabtree (20 not out with two fours and a six) and James Hayhurst (unbeaten 32 with four fours and a six ) seeing them through to a four wicket win.

And on Sunday, they faced the same target of 173 against Burnley with Afzal and Canning picking up three wickets apiece.

This time it was the New Zealand paid man who starred with the bat with an unbeaten 80 - although he had Crabtree (27) to thank again with some firm resistance and Afzal hit four fours in his 31 to keep Accrington on top.

It's a double header this weekend with Haslingden visiting Thorneyholme Road tomorrow and then Accrington make the trip to Lowerhouse on Sunday.

And Rishton - who picked up just two wins all season last time out and finished bottom - celebrated a win and a draw to put them in fourth place in the league.

Andrew Bartley was the century hero on Saturday, making a battling unbeaten 100 - with three sixes and five fours off 127 balls - in their 183-8 against Rawtenstall.

And the Wyse brothers - Sean and Garth - kept it tight to take three wickets each and seal the 49-run win victory.

On Sunday, against Colne, the game was tied with Scott Greaves the pick of the bowlers. He took 4-67 as Colne - whose pro Mark Cleary has been sacked after playing for Leicestershire - were restricted to 189 all out.

It looked gloomy at 47-4 for Rishton. However, pro James Franklin got into the swing of things making an unbeaten 86. He was supported by skipper Jonathan Dobson (27) for the fifth wicket and they helped their side to 189-8 - taking the two extra points for getting Colne all-out.

Rishton travel to Todmorden tomorrow and are at home to title favourites Nelson on Sunday.

But it isn't looking so good for the other two Hydnburn sides at the moment. Enfield are desperate for Alviro Petersen to join them from South Africa soon as both their sub pros - Martin Smith and Pierre Joubert - failed to put a run on the board.

Enfield travelled to Bacup on Saturday with Chris Leeming top scoring with 34 in their 116 all out. Smith did do the business with the ball taking 4-52 but Bacup snatched the win by three wickets.

On Sunday, Enfield failed to chase Lowerhouse's 194-7. They were skittled out for 119 - 75 runs short - with the batsmen failing to make a big impression and former Burnley pro Joubert out for a duck

They will hope to improve with a trip to Burnley tomorrow followed by a home game against Ramsbottom.

Church, meanwhile couldn't believe it on Saturday after skipper Phil Sykes (100) and pro Ruven Peiris (99) put on 185 for the opening wicket.

Their target of 253-3 looked forbidding but Lowerhouse clinched it in a tense finale after some consistent batting all the way through the order.

And on Sunday, Church didn't pick up a point against Bacup. Nick Westwell took 5-78 in Bacup's 192-8.

Mark Aspin celebrated a half century but got little back-up and they were all out for 108 - 88 runs short.

They will be desperate to chalk up their first win at Rawtenstall tomorrow or at home to Burnley on Sunday.