Welsh visitors ease to 7-wicket win.
Rainhill: 125 (Luis Duffy 26, Rob McKeown 24; James Jones 4-28)
Colwyn Bay: 126-3 (Chris Barry 59, Tom Roberts 42; Rob McKeown 1-13)
Colwyn Bay (20 pts) beat Rainhill (4 pts) by 7 wickets.
There are some games of cricket that are gripping, thrilling and fascinating encounters, in which the momentum swings one way and then the other, making the outcome difficult to call. The 2nd XI's match against Northop Hall last week was one such match. Sadly, yesterday's home fixture against another Welsh side, Colwyn Bay, most definitely was not.
Following the fine win in Mold last week, Rainhill sought to approach the game positively. Having been put in to bat by the visitors, Rainhill lost opener Owen Groom early on, out lbw to Tom Clarke without scoring. However, Luis Duffy and Rob McKeown looked confident with the latter playing some fine cover drives, much to the chagrin of Colwyn Bay's bowling attack. Not only was the batting pleasant to watch, the pair were scoring at a rate of more than 6 per over.
Having reached 45 for the loss of the one wicket, McKeown's aggressive instincts got the better of him and his pull shot was pouched by Harry Spillane at mid-wicket. Captain Mark Viggars then arrived at the crease and got off the mark with a superb straight drive for four. For a while Rainhill continued to score freely, aided by a strange over that included four wides. However, with the score on 63, Viggars too was out - caught at slip by Oliver Pitman off the bowling of James Smith. Duffy was out shortly afterwards for 26, giving James Jones his first wicket of the afternoon.
At 65 for 4, Rainhill required a new pair who could stay together and forge a strong partnership. Unfortunately, Joe Harvey came and went without troubling the scorers but Liam Yate and Biley Banerjee were determined to put up some resistance. The talented duo played themselves in but, just as it seemed they had weathered the storm, the opportunity to make some progress was tragically squandered. Having previously looked in little danger, Banerjee was run out for 8 in pursuit of a single that was never there. Throwing himself towards the crease in a vain attempt to make up his ground, the young batsman was left to rue the unfortunate error of judgment.
In all honesty, the run-out typified Rainhill's complicity in their own predicament, with too many promising starts ending prematurely and meekly. With the tail esposed, Liam Yate contributed a useful 18, while Shoaib Khan (7) and David Pennington (9) pitched in with some late runs to take the score beyond 100, something of a recovery from 66 for 5. Adam Edwards, coming in at number 10, played an attractive cameo innings for 13. When James Jones dislodged Sam Williamson's leg stump, Rainhill were all out for a moderate 125. Jones finished with figures of 4 for 28, underlining the quality and discipline of his bowling.
Lower order batting had at least given Rainhill's attack something to bowl at, but it didn't seem like much of a target and so it proved. Sam Williamson trapped Harry Spillane lbw for 5, but the visitors' second wicket partnership of Chris Barry and Tom Roberts was worth 100 and two late wickets from Rob McKeown and David Pennington proved academic. Colwyn Bay reached 126 from 34.1 overs to lift themselves to fourth in the league table.
Rainhill's next opponents will be league leaders Leigh.
Umpires: John Veacock, Keith Pickering
Scorers: David Crossley