Local cricket round-up

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As befits two clubs chasing the championship crown, St Helens Town's clash at Skelmersdale in the a second division of the Liverpool Cricket Competition went right down to the wire.

In the end, it was the home side who picked up valuable winning points but the result could have gone either way in a nail-biting and tension-charged finale.

Town, who batted first, were dismissed for 140 from 36 overs with Daniel Roberts (40) and James Davies (38) making vital contributions.

It was far from a convincing total but their opponents, apart from an early knock of 44 from Malcolm Brierley, also struggled until late order batsmen Ryan Maloney (40 no) and Daniel Edwards (33) steered them over the line on 143-9.

Defeat resulted in Town dropping to fourth in the table on 114 points from their seven games - 32 behind table-toppers Skelmersdale, 21 adrift of second-placed Old Xavarians and one behind third-placed Liverpool.

Rain prevented a positive result in Sutton's away fixture at Liverpool where the home side, batting first, posted a total of 192 (Stephen Birkett 3-44, Steve Jordan 1-30, Andy Cowley 1-31, James Greener 4-28) and in reply Sutton had reached 106-7 (Michael Rimmer 52) when stumps were drawn.

Runs were almost as rare as gold dust as Rainhill crashed to a 32-run defeat against premier division title-chasing Northern at Victoria Terrace.

Rainhill must have been on cloud nine after dismissing their Great Crosby rivals for what initially looked a far from challenging 92 with Mohammad Aslam Qureshi grabbing 6-15 from a devastating spell but then the hosts' innings crumbled like a freshly-made loaf of bread and all 10 batsmen were back in the pavilion for a paltry 63 in 24.3 overs.

Only Ben Edmundson (25) offered any real resistance with the bat as Thomas Sephton (7-29) ripped the innings to shreds.

In the same division, Rainford held on to earn a home draw against Wallasey.

The visitors, who batted first, set an imposing total of 255-6 declared, including a 165-run fourth wicket stand involving Alex Eagles (93) and Thomas Russ (79) and then Rainford's survival on 142-9 owed much to some defiant late order batting from Daniel Houghton (27 no) and Andrew Harrison (11 no).

Any realistic hopes Newton-le-Willows had of a positive result at Wigan in the second division virtually ended after the home side, batting first, plundered 278-7 declared from 50 overs.

They made a valiant attempt to chase their target but were eventually dismissed for 191(Furqan Shafiq 52).

First team fixtures for Saturday involving local clubs - premier division:

Bootle v Rainford, Wallasey v Rainhill.

First division: Newton-le-Willows v Prestatyn. Second division: St Helens

Town v Liverpool, Sutton v Southport Trinity.