Rainford’s hopes of holding on to their ECB Liverpool Cricket Competition premier league status are still alive following a couple of bizarre results on Saturday.
Dave Snellgrove’s side turned the form book on its head by crushing neighbours Rainhill at the Jubilee Recreation Ground in one of the lowest scoring games of the season and collecting a much-needed 25 points.
But at the same time fellow strugglers New Brighton and Colwyn Bay, who came face to face at Rake Lane, were involved in a rare tied game,
both being shot out for 188 and picking up a valuable 15 points each in their bids to stave off the dreaded drop.
Wigan Highfield have already fallen through the relegation trap door and will be joined by either Rainford (now on 178 points), New Brighton (206) or Colwyn Bay (208) depending on the outcome of the final two fixtures of the campaign.
Rainford did their survival hopes no harm by the manner they brushed aside Rainhill - dismissing the visitors for a paltry 67 in 29 overs.
John Dotters (4-29) and Daniel Houghton (3-21) set the tone and with excellent support from Andrew Davies (2-12) the innings crumbled alarmingly.
Only Ryan Williams (27) and Tyler McGladdery (12) reached double figures, leaving the hosts the relatively easy task of knocking off the runs needed for the loss of one wicket in just 11.4 overs (Paul Farrar 37, Matthew Bailey 25 n.o,).
In division two, third from bottom Newton-le-Willows are also battling to avoid relegation after losing by 6O runs at Orrell Red Triangle.
The hosts, who batted first, posted a total of 209-7 declared from their 47 overs (James Derbyshire 4-40, Ronan Bhall 1-12, James Smith 1-19, Dominic Chambers 1-42) and in reply Newton tumbled to 149 all out in which Marc de Brabander (54), Nathan Hughes (39) and Alex Lyon (27) led an unsuccessful run chase.
Sutton had only nine points to show from their draw against Southport Trinity at the Rookery and it now seems highly likely they will finish fourth in division two at the end of the season.
The New Street boys batted first and hammered 249-5 declared, thanks to priceless knocks from Joe Smith (72), James Greener (60), Joseph Noctor (59) and Jack York (33 n.o.).
It proved way out of the host’s reach and in the end they had to settle for a share of the spoils, scoring 176-8 when stumps were drawn.
Liam Dodd (3-45), Noctor (2-19), Greener (2-57) and Andrew Dodd (1-27) were the pick of the Sutton bowlers.
St Helens Town returned to winning ways against Hightown St Mary’s at Ruskin Drive.
The visitors, batting first, were dismissed for 149 with Robert Kenny (6-29), James Davies (3-52) and Liam Gaskell (1-10) doing the damage and in response Town totalled 152-7 (Gaskell 41, Matthew Beilby 31, Craig Wood 25,Daniel Roberts 18).
Results involving local second teams: Maghull 114 Rainford 117-6, Newton-le-Willows 247-7 declared Leigh 128-9 (match drawn - Newton nine points), Highfield 204-9 declared Rainhill 208-5, St Helens Town 229-5 declared Hightown St Mary’s 213-9 (match drawn - Town nine points), Sutton 197-9 declared Southport Trinity 157 all out.
Premier divisions fixtures including local clubs on Saturday: Rainhill v Leigh, Lytham v Rainford. Division one: Newton v Fleetwood Hesketh. Division two: Sutton v Spring View.
Second team matches: Leigh v Rainhill, Rainford v Newton, Burscough v Sutton, St Helens Tow v Skelmersdale.