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Derby Game Full of Sensations - Nothing Like It For Years (5 of 9)

24 June 1969
Lowerhouse Cricket Club, Liverpool Road, Burnley

Derby Game Full of Sensations - Nothing Like It For Years (5 of 9)

Alan Worsick, back in the Burnley side after illness, took 5 wickets for 24.
The West End derby game will be remembered for a long time in the light of what happened and what might have been. It was a remarkable match of startling sensations. Many hearing about them will be regretting that they did not attend. There had been nothing like it for years. The whole progress of the encounter between these two ancient antagonistic clubs was worthy of a better attendance than £31.
It developed into high drama, and then after the grey curtain of rain swept down, turned into low comedy and ended in farce to a background of thunder and lightning and crowd noises off. At one time, after an interval, Des Sparks and several of his amateur colleagues walked off in protest against the conditions underfoot. Fortunately, skipper John Stott remained in consultation with the umpires and the players returned. The umpires had inspections of the wicket. So did the captains.
Groundsman Sid Giltrow marched on from the wings to say his piece, probably to inform the central characters that there was no more sawdust as an expected delivery had not arrived. Even after the stumps were drawn the situation was not resolved, for the verbal struggle was continued by the spectators and there were reports of fist waving and scuffles. Some of the older supporters with long memories viewed the arguing groups with quiet smiles and flaming eyes and were heard to comment that it was "just like old times". Probably nothing would have been stirred if the umpires had made up their minds about the conditions after the heavy downpour and taken up the stumps immediately. Even Sid Giltrow expressed surprise when it was decided to resume. He had just reported surface water in the outfield and near the wicket and showed his shoes to prove it. Lowerhouse found runs at a premium from the start, Laurie Mayne's first three overs were maidens and Joe Fletcher opened with two.
The Lowerhouse fielding was brilliant, It had to be if they were to have a fighting chance against their own small score of 43. They took some snappy catches - Barry Smith to dismiss Roland Harrison off Sparks and Denis Pollard and Joe Holland to send back Barry Bromley and Barry Foster. Lowerhouse were all out at 3-53 and at one period Worsick (who was given an ovation) had four for nine. The thunder started about 4-30 and rain stopped play at 4-47, with Burnley in dire trouble and the match swinging in favour of the home side. Afterwards it was on, off, on, off, and Sparks pounded his long run on a trail of sawdust and spray and fell on his back after delivering the ball. The farce was ended at 7-20 and the arguments raged with telling remarks addressed by supporters of both sides to anyone prepared to listen - and to some who were not!
The article also includes a report on a Worsley cup competition game in which Burnley went down to a defeat by Colne at the Horsfield ground.
Report by Don Smith.

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