Local cricket round-up: St Helens Town seal promotion with win over Southport

St Helens Town celebrated gaining promotion at the weekend
St Helens Town celebrated gaining promotion at the weekend

Celebrations went on long into the night as St Helens Town toasted their promotion to the first division of tLiverpool Competition after an absence of several years.

The Ruskin Drive outfit clinched second spot in division two following a hard fought 28 run home victory over Southport Trinity on Saturday - their 13th league win of the campaign.

Town, batting first, posted a below-average total of 126 all out but were indebted to James Davies (25) and David Gaskell (19) who helped rebuild an innings which seemed to be on the point of collapse.

It was then left to the bowling attack to complete the job - and they did so in style.

Davies led the way with 4-19, supported by Gaskell (3-18), Phil Murgatroyd (1-21) and Jaidel Richardson (1-28).

In the same division, Sutton cannot boast the same kind of record as their neighbours and are struggling near the bottom of the table but at least they picked up much-needed points with a four wicket win over Norley Hall at New Street.

The Wigan club batted first and set a target of 130 (Jamie Greener 6-44, Chathura Ramawaka 3-27, Liam Dodd 1-13). but it was well within Sutton's compass as they cruised to 134-6 with opener Joseph Noctor smashing an unbeaten 76.

Despite having 71 points deducted earlier in the season for fielding an ineligible player on three occasions, Rainhill look set to end the premier division season in eighth position.

They notched their seventh win of 2019 with victory over struggling Lytham at Victoria Place and made sure from the start that they weren't going to lose.

Taking first knock, they occupied the crease for a mind-boggling 87.3 overs according to the on-line league match report and having watched my fair share of Competition games over the years, I can't recall a longer innings.

Rainhill eventually reached 250 all out with Mike Rotheram (61) and Sean Vandome (71) sharing a century opening stand and then they quickly dismantled the Seasiders' innings - Lytham being dismissed for a paltry 80.

The wickets were claimed by Quaiser Ashraf (7-32) and Peter Kelly (3-43).

In division one, Newton-le-Willows have blown their chances of promotion to the premier division and Rainford could well find themselves in the same boat.

Both came unstuck at the weekend - Newton toppling to a one wicket home defeat at the hands of Fleetwood Hesketh and Rainford going down by just seven runs at Sefton Park.

Wigan lead the way with 335 points followed by Sefton Park (324), Newton-le-Willows (323), Highfield (319) and Rainford (309) going into the final fixtures.

Newton, however, brought forward their final game to a recent weekend and have no other games left.

The curtain comes down on the 2019 season this weekend but there are still one or two issues to be resolved.

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