Rainford struggles continue in heavy defeat by Wallasey

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Five defeats on the spin leaves Rainford tottering on the brink of relegation and it will need a massive upsurge in form in the final four games of the ECB Liverpool Competition premier division if they are to avoid the dreaded drop.

Dave Snellgrove’s side lie 11th in the table on 151 points - 20 ahead of bottom club Highfield, 15 adrift of New Brighton and 33 behind Colwyn Bay.

Their latest setback came against Wallasey at The Oval where they were crushed by 103 runs.

The Wirralians, who batted first, posted a total of 246-6 declared from 54 overs in which opener Kuran Makol (77) and Matthew Wilcox (55) helped fashion a challenging target.

But Rainford’s bowlers toiled hard against some rock solid batting with John Dotters finishing with a creditable 4-61, Andrew Davies (3-79) and Stephen Birkett (1-49).

However, their efforts weren’t quite of the same standard at the crease as they toppled to 143 all out. Several batsmen, including Daniel Houghton (29), Matthew Bailey (24), Matthew White (24) and Ben Hemingway (23), all started in a positive manner but failed to go on and make a big score.

Neighbours Rainhill also suffered defeat but that wasn’t totally unexpected when they entertained runaway leaders Northern.

The visitors, who batted first, showed their title credentials by romping to 220-9 declared from 52.3 overs, largely due to a fine unbeaten 100 from Liam Grey and despite losing their opening two wickets for a single run.

Liam O’Toole (4-36), Phil Veacock (2-32), Tyler McGladdery (2-43) and Asken Perera Daluwattage (1-44) claimed the Northern wickets but the task proved too great when Rainhill picked up the gauntlet and they were dismissed for a paltry 124 (McGladdery 45, Shoaib Khan 19).

In division one, Newton-le-Willows are still struggling in the lower reaches of the table and didn’t ease their relegation worries when losing by two wickets to Ainsdale at Crow Lane East.

The hosts, taking first knock, scored 169 all out (Marc De Brabander 56, Ian Walkden 21, Dominic Chambers 21) but in a tight finish the Seasiders reached their target for the loss of eight wickets (Ben Walkden 4-26, Chambers 2-44, Nathan Hughes 2-34).

Maghull and St Helens Town were involved in an extraordinary and incident-packed second division clash at Old Hall Field.

Town, who batted first, were dismissed for 96 despite at one stage being 59-0 thanks to openers Ryan Donnelly (29) and Liam Gaskell (21).

Maghull suffered a similar fate when chasing their target, slumping from 78-0 to 87-8 before crossing the line much to the frustration of Matthew Beilby who grabbed a hat-trick in a 5-9 spell.

Second division rivals Sutton picked up a 20 point win over Parkfield Liscard in a run feast at New Street.

The visitors, batting first, smashed 224-9 declared in 55 overs which featured an unbeaten 139 from Akmol Ghadoue.

His innings, which included 13 fours and seven sixes, fully tested the resolve of Sutton bowlers Jamie Greener (3-67), Joseph Noctor (2-42), Jonathan Green (1-27), Liam Dodd (1-35) and Rayiv Singh (1-40).

The hosts also took full advantage of a fine track, blasting their way to 225-9 in a tense finish.

Noctor followed up his bowling stint with a well constructed 60 and was given good support by James York (39), Michael Rimmer (37) and Green (21).

Results involving local second elevens: Newton-le-Willows 57 all out Highfield 58-2, Northop Hall 228-6 declared Rainford 178 all out, Fleetwood Hesketh 200-9 declared St Helens Town 175-5 (draw - Town eight points), Spring View 210-5 declared Rainhill 181-9 (draw - Rainhill six points), Parkfield Liscard 22 all out (only eight players) Sutton 24-1.

ECB premier division fixtures for Saturday include: Leigh v Rainford, Bootle v Rainhill. Divison one: Birkenhead Park v Newton-le-Willows. Division two: St Helens Town v Caldy, Alder v Sutton.

Second X1 fixtures include: Newton-le-Willows v Birkenhead Park, Rainford v Highfield, Rainhill v Liverpool, Prestatyn St Helens Town, Sutton v Wavertree,.