Kershaw and Clarke inspire fine win
25 run victory at The Lane
15th September 2020
Rainhill: 185 (Sam Kershaw 64, David Atkinson 41, Nathan Hughes 6-43) Newton-le-Willows: 160 (Ben Walkden 87, Cameron Smith 19, James Clarke 4-37)
Rainhill won by 25 runs
Rainhill secured an excellent win away to Newton-le-Willows thanks to several strong individual batting and bowling performances.
Winning the toss and opting to bat, Rainhill made a solid start, reaching 39 before Mark Viggars edged a delivery from Afaq Ali Sartaj to wicketkeeper Matthew Hurst. Sam Kershaw and David Atkinson then shared a partnership with 75 runs, which was only ended when Atkinson was bowled by Nathan Hughes nine runs short of what would have been a deserved half-century.
Hughes' introduction into the bowling attack created difficulties for Rainhill, and he finished with impressive figures of 6 for 43. Wickets began to tumble, but crucially every batsman contributed something and Kershaw was able to reach 64, moving the score along in the process. Rainhill were eventually bowled out for 185.
In the last encounter between the sides, Newton-le-Willows won by the comfortable margin of 54 runs, mainly thanks to the batting of opener Ben Walkden who pitched in with a contribution of 74. Walkden again posed a danger but Newton's cause was not helped by a top order collapse.
From 54-1, Newton crashed to 89-6. Walkden remained unbeaten and defiant, but aside from Cameron Smith, batting at number 9, no other batsman as able to reach double figures. Rainhill bowled exceptionally well at times, especially James Clarke (4 for 37) and Jamie Harrison (2 for 33) and had it not been for Walkden's determined knock the margin of victory would surely have been greater. Walkden was eventually caught by Ben Edmundson off the bowling of Harrison - the final wicket to fall as Newton were dismissed for 160.
The win means Rainhill will travel to Rainford next Saturday for the final winner-takes-all match in group D.