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Bell sinks Northern

59 from Steve Bell secured win at Northern

Rainhill 146-8 (Steve Bell 59, Matt Lawler 26; Zac Reeves 4-30)

Northern 71 (Callum Shaylam 16, Seb Rice 8; John Paul Joy 4-4)

Rainhill (23 points) beat Northern (4 pts) by 75 runs Scorecard

A stunning person innings from Steve Bell helped Rainhill to a 75-run win over Northern at Moor Park.

His impressive 59 and his fourth-wicket partnership with captain Matt Lawler proved to be the difference between the sides in a match otherwise dominated by bowlers. To provide some context, aside from Bell and Lawler (who hit 26) only three other players from both sides reached double figures.

Northern won the toss and elected to field. This decision looked a sound one after Zac Reeves took two early wickets and Joe Finnegan also struck twice to dismiss Vish Maheshwari and Paul Millar. With Rainhill four down with not many on the board, Lawler and Bell negotiated a barrage of quick bowling and made steady progress. The attack-minded Bell rarely looked in difficulty and regularly found gaps in the field, ruthlessly punishing anything wayward. Lawler also looked confident and assured, batting positively and playing a few aesthetically-pleasing shots of his own.

Lawler was caught by Reeves off the bowling of Shamal Ahrave, while Bell reached his half-century before he was bowled to become Reeves' third victim of the afternoon. Reeves took a fourth wicket when he dismissed John Ball in identical fashion for 10, and while Joe Finnegan's consistent and economical bowling was rewarded with a third wicket (that of Ollie Unsworth) the damage was done. Rainhill closed their innings on 146-8, which may not have seemed a huge score but on a bowler's pitch it was a formidable total.

Rainhill's bowlers exploited the conditions effectively with John Paul Joy (4-4) and John Ball (3-13) doing most of the damage. Sarah Curlett, Paul Millar and Ethan Powell also took a wicket apiece as Northern were skitted out for 71 in 26 overs. Only opener Callum Snaylam offered much resistance, but his defiance was ended when he was bowled by Ball for 16.

The 3rd team remain unbeaten in 2022. The result takes Rainhill into second place in the league, 24 points behind leaders Lytham with a game in hand.

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