Rainhill in home defeat to Leigh
Rainhill 139 (Sam Williamson 43, Adam Edwards 33; Ben Smith 5-38)
Leigh 141-3 (Martyn Glover 92*, Lewis Bailey 22; Oliver Powell 2-20) Leigh (20 pts) beat Rainhill (4 pts) by 7 wickets
After two successive victories, Rainhill's 2nd XI were brought back down to earth with a 7-wicket defeat at home to leaders Leigh.
Put into bat by Leigh, Rainhill's openers began positively. Although they rode their luck at times, James Clarke and Sam Waine withstood some early pressure and put on 22 for the first wicket. Unfortunately, Clarke became unstuck when he attempted an ambitious shot that only reached Lewis Bailey at point. Waine, eager to score runs, holed out to Nathan Graham shortly afterwards.
Ethan and Oliver Powell came together at the crease with the score on 24-2. They played sensibly against some accurate pace bowling from Ben Smith and Khalil Ahmed, but their partnership was ended when Ahmed found the edge of Ethan's bat to give wicketkeeper Daniel Hatton a straightforward catch. Paul Ford, next in, was out quickly when Smith trapped him lbw. When Hatton took an extraordinary catch off Smith's bowling to dismiss Oliver Powell, Rainhill were in trouble at 36-5.
With a huge mountain to climb, Phil Morgan and Adam Edwards sought to rescue Rainhill from the brink of an embarrassing total. This they did successfully, not least on account of Edwards' fluent 33 from 35 balls. Morgan chipped in with a useful contribution of 23 and the pair were clearly frustrating Leigh's bowlers; unfortunately for Rainhill, having played themselves in, the pair were out as two wickets fell in rapid succession. Edwards was bowled by Nathan Graham, while Morgan's innings was ended in similar fashion by Sam Gregory. Rainhill were now seven wickets down with 91 runs on the board.
An eighth wicket partnership of 38 from Sam Williamson and Liam Yate at least helped Rainhill post a score that gave them something to bowl at. Yate's stubborn innings of 3 from 32 deliveries and Williamson's aggressive 43 from 40 balls helped the hosts to a total of 139 all out. Williamson showed his considerable batting ability, not least in the way he plundered runs (including 8 fours and a six) against a bowling attack that had consistently made life difficult for Rainhill throughout the afternoon. There weren't many singles in Williamson's knock, testament to the batting style he deployed. He was eventually caught by Martyn Glover to give Smith his fifth wicket of the afternoon, but the nature of his innings underlined significant potential.
Leigh's response was dominated by opener Martyn Glover, who hit an incredible, unbeaten, 92 from 86 balls. Oliver Powell picked up two wickets and James Clarke one but, in spite of deploying various bowling options (with some tidy and economical spells from Waine, Morgan and Edwards), Rainhill had no answer to the irrepressible Glover whose contribution contained 16 fours and a six. Leigh reached their target from 26.1 overs, a result that keeps them at the top of the league table. Umpires: I Cleworth
Scorers: David Crossley, Jaimie-Lee Strang Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax Advisers