Jack Lowrie's five wickets help Rainhill to huge win
Orrell Red Triangle 81 (Luke Prescott 21, Richard Everett 15; Jack Lowrie 5-15) Rainhill 82-0 (Ross Higham 41*, Billy Godleman 38*; Matthew Parkinson 0-2) Rainhill (25 pts) beat Orrell Red Triangle (0 pts) by ten wickets. Scorecard
Rainhill secured their second successive victory thanks to a stunning spell of pace bowling from Jack Lowrie. Lowrie picked up five wickets and finished with match figures of 5 for 15 as Rainhill beat Orrell Red Triangle at the YMCA Ground by ten wickets. Orrell were third in the Premier League before today's match and while Rainhill will have been confident of achieving a result after last week's victory over New Brighton, no-one would have expected a win to be gained so quickly or so comprehensively. Having won the toss and elected to bat on a good-looking pitch, the hosts lost an early wicket when Khalid Usman held a catch off Liam O'Toole and Andrew Baybutt was out for 1. Luke Prescott and Richard Everett looked useful and, once they had established themselves, played some positive shots. They fell in quick succession; Everett was trapped lbw by Usman while Prescott was run out by O'Toole. It was a terrific start for Rainhill against an in-form side, but things were about to get even better. The introduction of Lowrie into the attack transformed the game and his pace was used to devastating effect to demolish Orrell's middle order. The first of Lowrie's victims was Mark Waddington, caught at gully by Ross Higham. The youngster struck again as captain Sam Heeley departed for 8, out lbw. Two more superb catches (one from Higham, another from Paul Ford) accounted for Matthew Wareing (8) and Matthew Hayes (7) and, when Lowrie dismantled the stumps to remove Naveen Gunawardana, he had completed his first "five-for" in Premier League competition. There was still work to do, but Rainhill wrapped up the tail with little difficulty. Usman bowled with control and guile and his efforts paid off when he dismissed Dominic Hayes for 0, courtesy of another catch from Ford, and then finished off the innings with the help of a stumping from Simon Brown.
Set a moderate target, Rainhill cruised to victory with Ross Higham (41 not out) and Billy Godleman (38 not out) putting on something of a show. Higham hit two sixes and Godleman three as the pair raced to the target at a rate of ten per over.
The match was over in less than 40 overs and Rainhill had made it clear that their ambitions this year go beyond mere survival, demonstrating they can not only compete with - but beat - the best teams in the league . Rainhill are in cup competition next week and will face Colwyn Bay, who recorded a fine victory of their own today over 2022 champions Wallasey. It promises to be a fantastic match. Umpires: John Lawton, Dave Wood
Scorers: David Haslam, Andrew Finney Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax Advisers