Colne suffer three defeats - and captain steps down

STEPPED DOWN: Gary Hunt
STEPPED DOWN: Gary Hunt
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Colne were beaten three times and lost their captain at the weekend.

They lost twice to Lowerhouse, as the holders lost their grip on the Worsley Cup, and ground in the league, and they also went down to Todmorden in the Twenty20 competition on Friday.

Following the Worsley Cup game against Lowerhouse on Saturday, captain Matthew Wilson resigned.

Horsfield stalwart and longest-serving player, Gary Hunt (pictured), has now taken over the reins with the hope of turning Colne’s fortunes around.

On Sunday, the West Enders recorded their sixth consecutive league win against Colne to replace champions Ramsbottom at the head of the table.

The game was a mainly turgid affair of slow run rates and little action on a cold, blustery day. The main highlight was a second League 50 by 17-year-old Joe Martin, in an innings full of character and no little skill.

Colne displayed little confidence as they had first use of the wicket in a rain-reduced 42-over game.

They struggled throughout their innings against an attack of Francois Haasbroek, Jon Finch and Matty Walker.

Losing wickets at regular intervals, they were never able to produce a decent scoring rate, but at least had the satisfaction of denying Lowerhouse the two bonus points for taking all 10 wickets.

Finch finished with 4-42.

Colne made early inroads as Lowerhouse started their reply, with Finch and Jonny Whitehead both dismissed without a run on the board.

Martin initially defended soundly to withstand Amjad and Wallbank, and Haasbroek began to play attractive shots to change the course of the game.

The pair added 101 unbeaten runs for the third wicket to win the game with six overs to spare.

The previous day at the Horsfield in the Worsley Cup, Lowerhouse trounced the 2010 winners by 146 runs.

The match highlights were a magnificent innings of 75 by Chris Bleazard, and a remarkable bowling performance by 18 year-old Walker, who finished with figures of 5-1 in his permitted age-restricted seven overs.

The one run was a wide bowled in his first over!

Lowerhouse won the toss, and after a slow start, losing Finch in the first over, Bleazard, ably supported by Haasbroek, added 113 for the fourth wicket before Jamal produced an excellent one-handed catch in the covers to dismiss Bleazard for 75.

The Lowerhouse innings fell away a little, but still managed to achieve a competitive total of 221 on a wicket offering a little assistance to the bowlers.

Youngsters Fergus Bailey and Walker opened the bowling for the visitors and had Colne reeling at 18-6.

Wicketkeeper Tillotson, Hunt and Walker gave Colne a little respectability as Lowerhouse gave less-used bowlers Paddy Martin and Matt Marquis an opportunity.

Marquis responded with three wickets.

On Friday, Colne were well-beaten in their Twenty20 fixture.

Fielding a much-changed side, Colne began the game with only eight players due to travelling difficulties.

Todmorden elected to bat, and despite youngster Chris Gill taking the early wicket of opener Simon Newbitt for two, the Todmorden professional Qaiser Abbas, and Ben Sutcliffe made hay as the sun shone.

Abbas made 39 before being caught by Gill off the bowling of Jamil, while Ben Sutcliffe continued to plunder the Colne attack. He went on to make 65 not out and Todmorden finished on 152-4.

With a full complement of players Colne were soon on the back foot following the early dismissals of David Hoyle for seven and Bhavin Patel for four.

Professional Mansoor Amjad, while steadying the ship at one end, was losing partners with regular monotony at the other.

He finished on 41 not out as Colne fell well short on 80-6.

The only other Colne player to get into double figures was Tayyib Jamil with 12 runs.

Colne are at home to Bacup on Sunday.