Rainhill maintain lead in relegation battle

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Rainhill Spice Inn inserted the under strength visitors Southport and Birkdale and were all over them.

Apart from opener Edwards (31) none of the other recognised batsmen got into double figures. Qureshi (7 for 28 from 21) and Howells (2 for 40 from 15) bowled excellent lines and were supported by some superb catching. A late flourish took Southport’s score to 84 all out in 41 overs.

The Rainhill reply was quick. Atkinson rode his luck and hit a quickfire 42. Qureshi helped with 24 not out and Rainhill passed the total with ease for the loss of three wickets in 26 overs.

Unfortunately for Rainhill, this didn’t make them safe in as Fleetwood, the team below them in the relegation fight beat Northern. Rainhill are 28 points ahead with two games to go.

Rainhill seconds were inserted visitors Wavertree and got off to a reasonable start of 35 without loss.

Hurst (13) and Ryan (17) laid the foundations but the rest of the team failed to capitalise. Lloyd (5 for 29 off 12) and Sohail (2 for 23 off 18) bowled excellently but when Byes is the top scorer with 22, the batsmen must have struggled.

Rainhill were all out for 90 in 36 overs. Heath (44no) and Gardiner (34no) steered Wavertree to a comfortable victory in 24 overs for the loss of one wicket.

With such a low score to defend, it is criminal that 18 extras were conceded. Rainhill must improve if they want to stay in the division.