1st XI draw; 2nds lose by 1 wicket.
1st XI v New Brighton (away) Rainhill 223 (Sam Kershaw 38, Ben Edmundson 38; Mark Hale 3-70) New Brighton 182-9 (Owais Shah 53, David While 48; Sam Kershaw 3-62)
Rainhill (8 pts) drew with New Brighton (8 pts) Scorecard
Rainhill's first team were unable to secure victory at New Brighton as the hosts' last wicket pair held out for a draw. Opting to bat first, Rainhill's Mike Rotheram and Tyler McGladdery put on 29 before the latter exited for 16, caught by Louis Botes off the bowling of Mark Hale. Rotheram and Sam Kershaw then made steady progress, but Rotheram was bowled by Andrew Evans for a well-crafted 27 after which captain Ben Edmundson came to the crease. Edmundson and Kershaw shared a third wicket partnership worth 75, which was ended when the captain was bowled by David While. Edmundson had scored 38 from 54 balls and had looked set for a big score. Kershaw reached his half-century and, supported by James Clarke, continued press on. However, Kershaw finally succumbed to David While on 68 while Clarke was stumped by Alex Neal to give Evans his second wicket of the afternoon. Clarke had made a creditable 34.
The lower order was unable to provide much resistance as Rainhill lost six wickets for 48 runs, but Jack Lowrie and Liam O'Toole came together with the score on 208 for 9 and played some entertaining shots to take Rainhill to a total of 223. Lowrie and O'Toole then opened the bowling and took the wickets of Sebastian Botes (12) and Adam Neal (9) respectively. New Brighton recovered from 28 for 2 as Owais Shah and David While played aggressively in pursuit of the win. Their valiant efforts were ended as Dan Kelly (pictured) struck twice to remove While for 48 and then Shah, moments after the New Brighton batsman had reached his half-century. Wickets tumbled as the hosts slipped to 164 for 9; Kelly took his third wicket when he bowled Sam Jones and Sam Kershaw claimed three victims as Rainhill looked set for a stunning victory. Standing between Rainhill and the win were Mark Hale and Andrew Evans. Rainhill were unable to find a way past the pair, who resisted for eight overs to deny the visitors. It was a frustrating result for Rainhill, who now face Northern and Wallasey in their final two matches. Umpires: Peter Crook, Martin James
Scorers: Edward Shiff, Andrew Finney Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax Advisers
2nd XI v New Brighton (home) Rainhill 167 (Paul Ford 34*, Oliver Powell 25; Samuel Cureton 4-24) New Brighton 171-9 (Daniel Johnstone 50, Paul Geary 30; Paul Millar 3-39)
New Brighton (25 pts) beat Rainhill (7pts) by 1 wicket Scorecard
Rainhill's 2nd XI were edged out in a close contest at Victoria Terrace.
Batting first, Rainhill didn't get off to the best start as New Brighton's Samuel Cureton took three wickets. When Ethan Powell, who had resolutely played his way to 19, was caught behind off the bowling of Thomas Anders Rainhill were in a spot of trouble on 44 for 4.
Phil Morgan (13) and Paul Millar (22) staged a mini-recovery but were undone by Anders and Cureton respectively. Coming toether at 89 for 6, Dan Woodward and captain Paul Ford offered some defiance but found scoring runs difficult: Woodward was eventually out, bowled by Daniel Johnstone, having made 7 from 56 deliveries. Johnstone also dismissed Matt Lawler for 2 and, at 108 for 8, a straightforward New Brighton win looked likely. However, Ford and Oliver Powell had other ideas. Their ninth-wicket partnership was worth 54 and helped Rainhill to post a total of 167. Powell made 25 while Ford was unbeaten at the end on 34. It was not a formidable total but it did at least give Rainhill reason to believe. there was even more reason for optimism when David Pennington dismissed opener Luke Jones without scoring. Tom Horrocks (10) and Oliver Griffiths (22) moved the score on to 40, but they fell to John Ball and Phil Morgan respectively in quick succession. Moment later, Sam Williamson ran out James Corbett and Rainhill were in a strong position with the visitors on 48 for 4.
However, the match was to swing one way and then another on multiple occasions. Daniel Johnstone took centre stage - and control - as he hit a biligerent 50 from 39 balls, aided by Paul Geary who smashed 30 from 35. New Brighton were in the ascendancy and were seemingly cruising towards the target when Paul Millar bowled Johnson and Geary's colourful innings ended shortly afterwards when he presented a catch to Williamson. At 155 for 7 all outcomes were possible and when Simeon Schiff was run out for 2 Rainhill sensed their opportunity. When Millar bowled Anders for 5, the game was poised for a grand finale: Rainhill required one wicket while New Brighton's last pair needed to find six runs. Giles Sinclair hit Pennington to the boundary to give his side the win.
Umpires: John Veacock, Edward Blowers
Scorers: David Crossley
Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax Advisers