Rainhill blew a golden chance of strengthening their position in the premier division of the Liverpool Cricket Competition following a well below-par batting performance against struggling Wallasey at Victoria Terrace on Saturday.
The hosts started the afternoon occupying fourth spot in the table but when stumps were drawn and results from elsewhere came to hand, they had plummeted to eighth.
A six wicket defeat was hard to swallow in a low scoring encounter but they simply had no answer to left-arm spin bowler Surmit Rulkar, who baffled and bemused the batsmen and finished with highly impressive figures of 8-51 from 20 overs.
It led to Rainhill, batting first, being dismissed for 98 (Mike Rotheram 38, Anuji Dai 23), and allowed the Wirral outfit to cruise to 99-4 (Quaiser Ashraf 2-36, Peter Kelly 2-34).
To make matters worse the homesters had built a platform for a possible big total after reaching 62-1 before losing the rest of their wickets in quick time.
First division table-toppers Rainford notched their sixth victory in eight outings against Fleetwood Hesketh at Sea Cop and at the same time took their points tally to 146.
The struggling Southport side, who batted first, looked set to post a reasonable total following a promising start but seven wickets tumbled in around 30 minutes and the innings closed on a paltry 59 with John Dotters claiming 7-15.
In reply, the visitors lost their first wicket without a run on the board but the vastly experienced Dave Snellgrove weighed-in with an unbeaten 34 to ensure victory at 60-3.
It was a timely 20 points for the title favourites as two of their main challengers, Newton-le-Willows and Wigan, met at Crow Lane East in a match wrecked by the weather.
The Pie-Eaters had reached 41-0 off 16 overs before rain washed out play, leaving both clubs to pick up only a regulation five points apiece.
Runs, however, flowed in the second division clash involving Parkfield Liscard and Sutton at Central Park and with batsmen in command, not surprisingly, it ended in a draw.
An unbeaten century from Nurwan Chathuvanga and support from Kamran Hussain (95) enabled Liscard, who batted first, to reach a total of 239-4 declared from 47.1 overs.
The pair shared a stand of 189 and at the same time left Sutton a massive task to keep their promotion hopes on course.
But despite a defiant knock of 79 not out by Joseph Noctor, which included nine fours and three sixes, the New Street boys were left hanging on at 168-8 to earn a share of the spoils.
Sixth-placed St Helens Town seem to be befitting from their decision to sign overseas all-rounder Jaidel Richardson.
Not for the first time this season, the 21-year-old West Indian was a central figure in the victory surge over Caldy at Ruskin Drive.
He blasted 64,which included eight fours, during Town's innings of 176-9 from 48.4 overs and then grabbing 2-28 in the visitors' total of 81 all out.
Second team results involving local clubs: Highfield (Wigan) v Rainhill (abandoned due to rain); Maghull 71 all out, Newton 72-1; Rainford 84, Wavertree 85-4; Birkenhead Park 175-7 declared, Sutton 55.
Fixtures for Saturday featuring local clubs premier division: Rainhill v Formby. Division one: Newton-le-Willows v Wavertree, Northop Hall v Rainford. Division two: St Helens Town v Sutton.
Second Xl local games: Old Xaverians v Rainhill, Sutton v Bootle, Wavertree v Newton-le-Willows, Rainford v Spring View (Wigan), Leigh v St Helens Town.