The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Lurch \Lurch\, n. [OF. lourche name of a game; as adj.,
1. An old game played with dice and counters; a variety of
the game of tables.
2. A double score in cribbage for the winner when his
adversary has been left in the lurch.
Lady --- has cried her eyes out on losing a lurch.
To leave one in the lurch.
(a) In the game of cribbage, to leave one's adversary so
far behind that the game is won before he has scored
(b) To leave one behind; hence, to abandon, or fail to
stand by, a person in a difficulty. --Denham.
But though thou'rt of a different church,
I will not leave thee in the lurch. --Hudibras.