Colne were unable to stop Burnley’s inexorable march towards Lancashire League history at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Burnley can potentially wrap up the title at reigning champions Lowerhouse on Sunday after victory over Colne opened up a 29-point advantage at the summit.
The 2006 champions, in the hunt for an unprecedented haul having already won the Ron Singleton Colne Trophy, Twenty 20 and Worsley Cup – beating Nelson in the final – earned a comprehensive 159-run win over Colne.
Cricket fans were treated to a fine display of batting by Burnley.
Professional Chris Holt led the way with 62, sharing an opening stand of 117 inside 20 overs with Vishal Tripathi (48).
John Lambert dismissed Holt, and Adam Holt dismissed Tripathi, with skipper Matthew Walker taking the first of three catches.
The wicket of Chris Burton, caught by Walker off Lambert, gave Colne hope.
But David Brown scored 60 and took the game well out of reach before becoming another of Lambert’s four victims.
With the help of 30 extras (22 wides), Burnley scored 269-8.
Colne did not threaten the target, with a top score of 20 from substitute-professional Joe Hawke. Walker scored 14, Lambert 12, and Andy Hakin 12, were the only other double figure scores as Colne struggled to 110 all out.
Holt, who played as an amateur for Colne in 2008, took 5-40; Bharat Tripathi and Tom Lawson cleaned up the rest.
Sunday’s game against Lowerhouse opened in sunshine, and had it not been for the strong wind blowing across the Horsfield we might have thought summer had arrived.
Colne chose to field, presumably in hopes that the wicket may have been affected by Saturday night’s storms, and at first it looked like a successful move.
After an opening partnership of 41, sub-pro James Price induced a false shot by Patrick Martin, and further wickets fell to Walker and Price in the next two overs.
Two wickets for Danny Kegg left Lowerhouse at 67-5, but Price suffered a bad back and couild not continue bowling, and professional Pienaar and captain Charlie Cottam took advantage.
They added 106 before Pienaar (67) hit the ball at Joel Duerden at mid-on; Duerden contrived to fumble it at head height, chest height, and waist height, before finally grabbing it at shin height to claim the catch.
Cottam went on to 82, Chris Bleazard made 31, and Lowerhouse finished on 249-7.
By the time the Colne innings started, the clouds were black and threatening, and Lowerhouse’s main ambition was to bowl 20 overs to give themselves a chance of a run rate victory. They managed only 6.3 before the storm arrived and the game was abandoned, with Colne 15-0.
This weekend sees a double header, tomorrow at Todmorden, and Sunday the derby at Nelson.