Owen Groom top scores with 47 in five-wicket defeat
Rainhill 156 (Owen Groom 47, Adam Edwards 31*, Archie Dicken 3-30)
Birkenhead Park 157-5 (Ian Cooper 71, Doug Pyrke 30*, Adam Edwards 2-15)
Birkenhead Park won by 5 wickets
Points: Birkenhead Park 25 pts, Rainhill 5 pts
After an impressive opening win against Old Xaverians, Rainhill's 2nd XI lost at Wigan before the next two scheduled league matches were rained off. Understandably the team were not only eager to be playing cricket again but also keen to return to winning ways
Rainhill won the toss and opted to bat. In spite of an early wicket - Luis Duffy bowled by Archie Dicken for 1 - the decision seemed to be the right one, with wicketkeeper-opener Simon Brown and Owen Groom sharing a partnership worth 48 runs. Rob McKeown, coming in at number 4, showed intention and determination and hit two huge sixes almost immediately after arriving. Unfortunately for him, and Rainhill, the promising innings was cut short when Doug Pyrke took a terrific catch to dismiss him. Zohaib Khan came and went without troubling the scorers after which Groom and Philip Morgan sought to regain the upper hand. The partnership was progressing nicely when, with the score at 100, Groom was caught by David Smith off Louie Evans' bowling just three runs short of what would have been a fully-merited half century.
Morgan was himself out for 27 shortly afterwards when he edged a delivery from Dickin to wicketkeeper Smith. At 117-6 Rainhill were in a spot of trouble, but a valiant unbeaten knock of 31 from Adam Edwards, from a mere 21 balls, helped take the score beyond 150. When Ian Addy was run out by Robert Stirrup, Rainhill were all out for 156.
Rainhill's bowlers also made an early breakthrough when David Pennington bowled Dale Taylor for 6. Opener Ian Cooper and Robert Stirrup put on 56 for the second wicket before Stirrup was stumped by Simon Brown to give Adam Edwards his first wicket of the afternoon. Further wickets followed as captain Dan Jordan was out for 6, edging a delivery from Sam Williamson to Brown, and Adam Edwards bowled Louie Evans for 1. With the score at 95-4 the game was very definitely in the balance.
Crucially for the home side opener Cooper remained at the crease and he was not only able to reach his half-century but keep the scoreboard ticking over quickly. He was ably supported by Doug Pyrke, who hit an unbeaten 30 from 23 deliveries. Cooper eventually succumbed to Owen Groom for 71, but by that point Birkenhead Park had already amassed 141 runs and the finish line was in sight. Pyrke and Chris Foran guided their team home without further loss of wickets.
The 2nd team will host Ainsdale next Saturday, with a 12.00 start.
Umpires: Anthony Foran, John Veacock
Scorers: Lewis Foran, David Crossley