was ironic that having waited since 1938 to have our own sports fields,
the first use of the cricket field fell to the recently built De
Haviland factory in Farnworth who, unlike Lostock, had a team in the
BDCA. This obviously got things galvanised at Lostock as the cricket
section re-formed and were back in business for the 1955 season.
That first season was a pretty mediocre one, but the following year -
1956 – was to see our first trophy in the BDCA as we emerged as
champions of Division 2B winning the Howarth Cup and with it promotion
to Division 2A. Just 2 games were lost in the league season ensuring a
comfortable margin at the top of the table. 1956 was also significant
for anyone familiar with the 1st XI as it marked the start of former 1st
XI scorer Geoff Vose's long association with the club.
The success obviously stimulated interest as in 1957 we were back to
fielding 2 teams, but once again the 2nd XI played home games at
Leverhulme Park due to De Haviland Farnworth still sharing the ground at
Lostock. The season was a bit of a disappointment after the previous
year and indeed the 2nd XI reached it's lowest ebb claiming the unwanted
record of the club's lowest ever total when they were dismissed for
just 4 (yes FOUR) by Tyldesley Chapel. 1957 also saw the opening of the
new pavilion at the ground that was to serve us so well until the fire
that destroyed it a few years ago. The 2nd XI – no doubt chastened by
the Tyldesley debacle - played only friendlies for the next two seasons
against sides from the Horwich Churches League and local clubs, but the
spin off from that was that their use of the ground for friendlies meant
that the Farnworth section had to withdraw from the league due to lack
of a ground.
In 1958 the 1st XI reached the final of the Leighton Shield for the
first time only to suffer defeat at the hands of All Souls on the now
defunct Walker Institute ground. It was a similar tale of so near yet so
far in 1960 when the 2nd XI, having re-joined the BDCA, reached the
final of the Walkden Cup only to taste defeat at the hands of Tyldesley
Meths. Once again, 1961 was a disappointing year on the field with the
only real bright spot being the first ever century scored for the club.
The honour of making that first “ton” fell to a 17-year-old apprentice
Geoffrey Lane who made 103 for the 2nd XI against Silcoms in April of
that year. His efforts were rewarded by the Sports Club who presented
him with a brand new bat.
By 1962, as the facilities improved, the club was getting more ambitious
and frustrated at languishing in Division 2 of the BDCA and began to
look for a more challenging setting for their blossoming talent. An
application was made to join the West Lancashire League, but this was
rejected, although perhaps in hindsight a blessing in disguise. Perhaps
the disappointment transmitted itself to the playing fields as it turned
into a pretty poor year. The only bright spot in the season was a
second Walkden Cup final appearance for the 2nd team, although once
again it was to end in defeat – this time at the hands of Tillotsons.
The autumn of 1962, however, was to prove a momentous time for us as a
breakaway league was to be formed from the West Lancashire League, and
De Haviland Lostock were invited to become founder members. Thus it was
that The South West Lancashire Cricket Association was formed, and this
was to be our home for the next 12 seasons. The 10 founder member clubs
were :- De Haviland (Lostock), Bickershaw Colliery, Golborne, Highfield,
Orrell Red Triangle, Standish, Heinz 57, Norley Hall, Southport Trinity
and Winstanley Park. Two of these of course later joined us in the BDCA
– Standish and Golborne.