CRICKET ROUND-UP: Rainhill squander chance for opening win

Rainhill celebrate taking a wicket. Library picture
Rainhill celebrate taking a wicket. Library picture
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Failure to wrap up the tail cost Rainhill a great opportunity to start the new ECB Liverpool Cricket Competition Premier Division season with an away victory over Highfield on Saturday.

They had the Wigan side reeling on 78-8 in reply to their own total of 209-8 declared, but despite claiming a ninth wicket couldn’t dislodge the final pair as the hosts finished on 143-9 in a tense finale.

Ryan Williams (2-34). Ashen Perera Dawluwattage (1-23), David Atkinson (3-51) and Ben Edmondson (3-16) grabbed the Rainhill wickets as they claimed eight points from a drawn game - two more than their rivals.

Earlier, Rainhill’s Tyler McGladdery had been in impressive form with the bat, scoring an excellent 78. He also shared a second wicket stand of 147 with Matthew Fletcher, who hammered 57, to put the visitors in a strong position which, unfortunately, they couldn’t fully capitalise on.

Rainford - back in the top section following their promotion - found the going tough against Bootle at the Jubilee Recreation Ground, suffering defeat by 80 runs.

The highly-rated Liverpudlians, batting first, posted a total of 190-8 declared, in which Neil Williams (67) and Daniel Evans (46) made major contributions while the wickets were shared by Danny Houghton (1-43), Reece Kelly (2-47), John Dotters (4-50), and Andrew Davies (1-50).

In reply, the home side struggled against the tight and accurate bowling of Bharat Tripa (5-35) and only David Snellgrove (32) showed any real resistance as the innings folded on 110.

Newton-le-Willows’ scheduled home fixture against Prestatyn in the first division was one of a number called off due to their grounds having failed to recover from the winter battering of rain in time for the opening sequence of matches, but the players had no such problems at Old Hall Field where visitors Sutton and Maghull were involved in a rare tied second division encounter.

Maghull batted first and set Sutton a target of 137 to clinch victory but at 52-9 it looked an almost impossible target. Gary Greener (90) gave them hope with a one-man show, only for the final wicket to tumble on 136.

St Helens Town started their campaign in the worse possible manner - crashing to a seven wicket defeat against Old Xaverians at Ruskin Drive.

Town were bowled out for a paltry 63 and the Liverpool club knocked off the necessary runs for the loss of only three wickets.

Other results included: Colwyn Bay 72, Rainford 2nd X1 51; Caldy 65, Sutton 2nd X1 67-4.

Fixtures for Saturday involving local clubs - premier division: Lytham v Rainhill, New Brighton v Rainford

First division: Sefton Park v Newton-le-Willows. Second division: Parkfield Liscard v St Helens Town, Sutton v Hightown St Mary’s.

Division one (2nd X1s): Newton-le-Willows v Old Xaverians, Rainford v Liverpool. Rainhill v Northop Hall. Second division: St Helens Town v Southport Trinity,

Fleetwood Hesketh v Sutton.