Erasmus denies Colne a big victory

New flag: Professional Ali Azmat and captain Matthew Walker hoist the new Colne club flag on the pavilion.  The materials for the new flag have been generously donated by Empress Mills of Colne as part of the Save our Club campaign
New flag: Professional Ali Azmat and captain Matthew Walker hoist the new Colne club flag on the pavilion. The materials for the new flag have been generously donated by Empress Mills of Colne as part of the Save our Club campaign

Colne were in a position of strength against Accrington on Sunday, but professional Ockert Erasmus guided the champions to a four-wicket win with an unbeaten 57.

Colne had won the toss and elected to bat at Thorneyholme Road.

There was an encouraging stand of 31 from openers Joel Duerden and Billy Jamil, which was broken when Duerden (4) was stumped off a leg side wide following good work by Matt Wilson, the Accrington wicketkeeper.

Billy Jamil and the Colne professional Ali Azmat had a partnership of 67 runs before Jamil was dismissed LBW, having scored his top Lancashire League total of 46.

He had batted well and looked solid and patient.

The professional’s was the next wicket to fall when he was caught on the edge at deep square leg, trying to up the scoring rate with 14 overs to go. He scored 31.

The remaining wickets tumbled as the lower order tried to score quick runs with the overs reducing.

Only Ammad Akram (14) showed any real resistance.

Accrington had bowled well to restrict Colne’s total to 140 all out off 47.4 overs.

Accrington looked to score early runs, with Graham Sneddon dominating the proceedings.

Colne opening bowler Andy Hakin bowled well in his 14-over spell, causing a great deal of problems for the Accrington batsmen.

He finished with 2-34.

With Azmat taking the wickets of both openers, and the home side on 69-4, there was a chance of victory for Colne if they could remove the Accrington professional Erasmus.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be as Erasmus batted sensibly and guided his side to victory. Azmat finished with 3-55 runs off 17 overs.

Colne took a couple of late wickets, which earned them two bonus points.

On Sunday the first XI are at home to Lowerhouse (wickets pitched 1 p.m).

Lowerhouse fans are coming by train and will walk up through town to the Horsfield, accompanied by a group of Colne Junior cricketers, with collection buckets for the Save Our Ground Appeal. A magnificent gesture.

Colne thirds are at home tomorrow to Accrington.

• Colne Cricket Club are urging the town, and the county, to get behind them in a bid to stop the almost 200-year-old club from folding.

The club, which was formed in 1830 and is the oldest club in the Lancashire League has been in a period of prolonged financial difficulty, and with no improvement to the situation the Committee have launched a “Save our Ground” campaign as a last attempt to save the club.

They need to raise £100,000 by the end of the season to save the club, which is an important facility for the town of Colne, and a great place for young people to learn and play sport.

Without this funding, it is unlikely the club will exist beyond the end of the season.

Visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/pledge-a-pound-to-save-our-ground for details.

The club also have commercial opportunities available, and are always looking for additional volunteers.

If you feel you could help in any way, contact chairperson Jane Williamson (07803 726845).