Rainford make cup final but premier division relegation looms

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Rainford will need to produce an Houdini-style escape act if they are to avoid relegation from the ECB Liverpool Cricket Competition premier division.

Maximum points from their remaining three Saturday league fixtures are almost a necessity and having lost six on the bounce that seems a daunting task.

Dave Snellgrove’s side lie 11th in the 12-strong table - 17 points ahead of basement boys Highfield - but more significantly 38 adrift of New Brighton and 40 behind Colwyn Bay.

Their latest setback came at Leigh where they were crushed by more than 100 runs.

The hosts, who batted first, posted a formidable total of 237-2 declared in which Thomas Foster smashed an unbeaten century and it proved beyond the visitors’ reach as they tumbled to 126 all out from 34.1 overs (Paul Farrar 47, John Dotters 27, Comrey Edgeworth 17).

Rainford may not be enjoying much success in the ECB premier division but they battled their way into the Ray Digman Trophy Final at the expense of Ormskirk on Bank Holiday Monday.

Batting first, hosts Rainford posted a total of 209-9 (Comery Edgeworth 82, Matthew White 32, Matthew Bailey 29, Daniel Houghton 22 n.o.) and then dismissed the visitors for 136 (John Dotters 4-22, Ehren Aganwol 3-24).

The will now face either premier division table-toppers Northern or Bootle in the final which will be staged on Sunday, September 16.

Neighbours Rainhill were also beaten by Bootle but not before they had given the hosts a run for their money in a high-scoring encounter.

On a batsman friendly track, Rainhill took first knock and steered their way to 262-5 declared from 67 overs thanks in the main to an opening stand of 125 involving Tyler McGladdery (76) and Mike Rotheram (59) and support from Ross Higham (47) and Matthew Fletcher (33).

It didn’t leave the Merseysiders too much time at the crease but they rose to the challenge, scoring a match-winning 263-6 from 47 overs in which Mike Farrell hammered 117.

Rainhill’s wicket-takers were David Atkinson (3-54), McGladdery (2-87) and Ryan Williams (1-73).

In division one, Newton-le-Willows earned a much-needed win after being asked to bat first at Birkenhead Park and responded in style.

Alex Lyon (42) and Ben Walkden (35) shared an opening stand of 75 and 50 not out from Marc De Brabander pushed the final total to 249-7 from 50 overs.

It proved way out of Park’s reach - the hosts being dismissed for 154 following tight and accurate bowling by Ben Walkden (4-31), James Smith (2-15), James Derbyshire (2-20) and Mike Walkden (1-34).

Sutton kept alive their top four hopes in the second division with a comprehensive away victory over Alder.

The New Street outfit, batting first, scored 233-7 declared from 47 overs in which Joseph Noctor (59), Gary Clarke (54 n.o.), Mike Rimmer (31 n.o.) and James Greener (20) were the major run makers.

In reply, Alder never looked likely to reach their target and were dismissed for 160 in 42.4 overs. The wickets were shared by Greener (3-59), Joe Smith (3-19), Noctor (1-1), Matthew Corrigan (1-22), Liam Dodd (1-28).

St Helens Town were on the end of their most embarrassing second division defeat of the season against Caldy at Ruskin Drive.

Town were dismissed for only 38 in 24.5 overs (Zargham Abbac 7-27, Chris Edwards 3-9) and in a short reply the visitors reached 39-2.

Results involving local second teams were: Newton-le-Willows 179-9 declared Birkenhead Park 56 all out, Rainford 70 all out Highfield 71-0, Liverpool 200-3 declared Rainhill 104 all out, St Helens Town 110 all out Prestatyn 111-1, Sutton 147 all out Wavertree 110-6 (draw - Sutton five points).

ECB premier division fixture featuring local clubs: Rainford v Rainhill.