Promoted Rainford finding life tough in top division

Action from Highfield v Rainford
Action from Highfield v Rainford
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Promoted Rainford are struggling to escape from the lower reaches of the ECB Liverpool Cricket Competition premier division and are still seeking their first win of the campaign.

They are anchored second from bottom of the table with 28 points from their five fixtures - eight more than basement boys, New Brighton.

Their latest setback came on Saturday at nearby Highfield where the Wigan hosts cruised to a 58 run victory.

Highfield, who batted first, blasted 200 for the loss of nine wickets in which openers Michael Gaskell (89) and Owen Shan (34) played a prominent role.

They dominated the bowling for long spells despite an excellent response from Andrew Davies (6-63) and John Dotters (3-62).

It proved too big a target for the visitors who were dismissed for 142 in just 36.2 overs with only late order batsman Reece Kelly (25n.o.) showing any kind of resistance at the crease.

Neighbours Rainhill also came unstuck against table-toppers Formby where the home side, who batted first, posted a formidable total of 238-5 declared in which Haseen Hameed blasted a majestic 121 not out.

The visitors never threatened in their reply and were bowled out for a meagre 78, which included contributions of 24 from Matthew Fletcher and 20 by Ben Edmondson.

Rameez Alam led Newton-le-Willows to a thrilling four wicket win at Liverpool in the first division. The no.4 batsman smashed a swashbuckling 96, including 10 fours and five sixes, as the visitors reached 188-6 in reply to their opponents total of 187/7 declared.

Both local second division clubs, St Helens Town and Sutton, had little to shout about at the weekend.

Town crumbled to an 86 run defeat at Spring View - being dismissed for a paltry 79 when chasing a target of 165 - and Sutton were crushed by Northop Hall at New Street.

The Welsh club, batting first, hammered 225-4 declared and then sent the hosts packing for 141.

A total of 443 runs were scored for a combined total of only seven wickets as Newton-le-Willows 2nd X1 toppled Liverpool by eight wickets at Crow Lane East.

The Liverpudlians set the run feast in motion with a knock of 106 by James Winsley, reaching 221-7 before bringing their innings to a close.

But Newton-le-Willows responded in a similar fashion with Ian Walkden (96n.o.) and Matthew Hurst (95n.o.) sharing a match-winning unbroken partnership of 208.

Other 2nd X1 results: Alder 122 St Helens Town 121-1, Skelmersdale 72 all out Sutton 73-4.

Premier division fixtures for Saturday include: Rainford v Leigh, Rainhill v Bootle. First division: Newton-le-Willows v Birkenhead Park. Second division: Caldy v St Helens Town, Sutton v Alder. Second team fixtures: Birkenhead Park v Newton-le-Willows, Highfield v Rainford, Liverpool v Rainhill