Pressure mounts on Rainford in relegation battle

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There is little respite for Rainford as they bid to hold on to their top level status in the ECB Liverpool Competition.

Picking up only six points in a home defeat against premier division title chasers Ormskirk on Saturday just puts more pressure on the local outfit approaching the final five fixtures of the season but three are against Wallasey, Lytham and Colwyn Bay - who are currently in the bottom half of the table - and still gives them a chance of avoiding the dreaded drop.

At this moment in time Highfield prop up the table with 129 points from 17 games, Rainford lie 11th on 145 points (the same as 10th-placed New Brighton) and 19 adrift of ninth-placed Colwyn Bay.

The relegation battle seems set to go down to the wire but Rainford can take solace from their performance against Ormskirk, even in defeat, and can hopefully build on it.

The Church Road side, batting first, posted a total of 184 all out in which Dave Snellgrove top scored with 56, Comrey Edgeworth made a more than useful 35 and a further 30 came from the bat of Mark Potter.

Initially, it didn’t seem as if high-fliers Ormskirk had an insurmountable hurdle to climb but the Rainford bowlers plugged away gamely and in the end unlucky to suffer a three wicket defeats.

John Dotters was the host’s most productive bowler, finishing with 4-84 and backed up by Stephen Birkett (1-18), Reece Kelly (1-23), and Danny Houghton (1-41).

Neighbours Rainhill notched their eighth league win of the campaign - a two wicket victory at New Brighton - and are currently on course for a top four finish.

The Seasiders batted first and struggled to reach 127 all out in the face of some excellent bowling from Akshay Arun Darekar (6-32) and David Atkinson (4-59).

But the visitors were far from convincing when they began their reply and had it not been for a vital knock of 60 by free scoring Tyler McGladdery and support from fellow opener Ross Higham (21) they could have been in trouble.

In division two, Newton-le-Willows had to settle for a draw when they visited Burscough. where they collect just seven points.

Newton, batting first, hammered an imposing total of 211-6 declared in which Rameez Alam blasted and unbeaten 91.

Other players among the runs were Rahan Bhalia (28), Chris Chambers (26), Ben Walkden (21) and Mike Walkden (20).

The home side never looked remotely like reaching their target and ended the day on 107-6 (Ben Walkden 2-19), Dominic Chambers (2-32) and Mike Walkden (2-40).

Sutton lost ground in the second division promotion race when they suffered a six wicket home defeat against high-flying Old Xaverians.

The New Street boys struggled with the bat after winning the toss and electing to take first knock and were dismissed for 106 (Joseph Noctor 33, James Greener 22, Joe Smith 20).

In reply, Old Xaverians made short work of their task, racing to 107-4 from 28.1 overs.

St Helens Town, however, had a far better afternoon - crushing hosts Alder by 105 runs at West Derby. Batting first, the visitors were in a belligerent mood and smashed 223-6 declared, built by some fine early and middle order contributions from James Davies (62 n.o.), Craig Wood (55), Daniel Roberts (47) and David Gaskell (22).

Their bowlers then took centre stage and dismissed Alder for 118 in 32.2 overs (Alex Davies 3-1, Gaskell 2-14, Davies 2-20, Craig Wood 1-6, Robert Kenny 1-13, Phil Murgatroyd 1-30).

Second X1 results involving local teams: Rainford 206-7 declared Leigh 131-9 (draw - Rainford nine points, Leigh five), Birkenhead Park 182 all out Rainhill 184-6, Sutton 178-6 declared Prestatyn 124, Newton-le-Willows 205-9 declared Spring View 176 all out.

ECB premier division games involving local clubs on Saturday: Rainhill v Northern, Wallasey v Rainford. Division one: Newton-le-Willows v Ainsdale. Second division: Maghull v St Helens Town. Sutton v Parkfield Liscard.

Second X1 fixtures featuring local teams include: Rainford v Northop Hall, Spring View v Rainhill, Parkfield Liscard v Sutton, St Helens Town v Fleetwood Hesketh.