Rainhill start season with impressive victory at Orrell Red Triangle
Rainhill, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, started the new Liverpool Cricket Competition season in style on Saturday, thrashing premier division rivals Orrell Red Triangle by eight wickets at Winstanley Road, Billinge.
It was a ruthlessly efficient performance by the Victoria Terrace club who asked the hosts to take first knock - and then went on to post a comfortable victory.
Orrell struggled from the start, losing an early wicket and although digging-in for a spell, two run outs didn't help their cause and at 48-5 the writing seemed on the wall.
From this point, Rainhill never released their grip and the home side were eventually dismissed for 152 in 53.5 overs (Kelly 4-45, Lowrie 2-36, O'Toole 2-52 ).
On a good track, the visitors took maximum advantage and reached their target in only 37 overs.Openers McGladdery and Clarke impressed as they scored quickly and batted sensibly to deny Orrell an early wicket.
The two left-handers built a formidable partnership with McGladdery taking a more aggressive approach, hitting two sixes and 10 fours in his innings of 83.
It would be wrong to suppose that Rainhill’s innings was characterised by big hitting: the running between the wickets was key to a partnership that would eventually be worth 148 runs.
Just as it looked Rainhill’s opening pair would see the team home, Sharp took McGladdery’s wicket. It had been an outstanding knock, and on this form he looks set for a great season.
Left with needing only two runs for victory, Sharp struck again when Clarke, looking to hit the winning runs, only found the grateful hands of Orrell fielder Hayes.
Clarke’s 44 had come from 108 balls, including six sixes. The late wickets, however, proved academic as Atkinson hit a boundary to steer Rainhill beyond the target of 153.
On paper this looks like a straightforward victory but in truth it was a hard-earned win against a talented Orrell side who refused to throw in the towel.
In the first division, Rainford were given a rude awakening, suffering an embarrassing and unacceptable defeat at Highfield,
The Wigan hosts, batting first, plundered 239-6 declared in which Lakmal (98) and Hargreaves (60no) shared a 146 run stand for the fifth wicket.
In reply, Rainford never remotely looked like reaching their target and were dismissed for a paltry 45.
St Helens Town - returning to the first division - produced a battling performance at Lytham, only to lose by one wicket.
Batting first, Town posted a total of 139 all out from 45.1 overs, in which J.M. Davies contributed 46 hard-earned runs. Davies also claimed 4-24 during the Seasiders' inning but the latter crossed the line with the last pair at the crease.
Sutton also lost a high-scoring second division encounter against Caldy at New Street after setting a target of 203-9 declared, in which York smashed an unbeaten half-century,
But Caldy were equal to the task and replied with a match-winning total of 205-2.
Other results involving local second teams - premier division: New Brighton (157) Newton-le-Willows (161-3).
First division: Wigan (223-6) Rainford (119), Old Xavarians(180-7) Rainhill 184-4).
Second division: St Helens Town (69) Southport Trinity (70-1), Sutton (289-4) Parkfield Liscard (150-2). Match drawn.