• Andrew Page

Mixed fortunes over Bank Holiday weekend

Several of Rainhill's teams were in action over the weekend, with mixed results.



Many of Rainhill's teams were in action over the bank holiday weekend. Rather than write individual, detailed reports for each is has been more expedient to bring to you a review of all of the matches played between Thursday evening and Bank Holiday Monday. Some of our teams will be happier than others with the outcome, but what cannot be denied is that it was a weekend of entertainment in which cricket was the big winner!


THURSDAY


Haydock v Rainhill LMS, St Helens & Warrington Premiership


Rainhill 146-3 (Neil Robinson 52@, Paul Millar 49; Daniel Smith 1-16)

Haydock 148-5 (Babu Nallisamy 51, Vijayakumar Palanisamy 34; Joe Harvey 2-22)

Haydock won by 3 wickets


(Match report by Neil Robinson)


On a cold dry evening at Haydock, Rainhill won the toss and elected to bat first on a lifeless grass wicket resembling rolled concrete.


Rainhill got off to a flying start opening pair Neil Robinson and Paul Millar setting the tone with a run rate of 8 an over-not bad considering that LMS cricket is played with 5-ball overs. Millar was unlucky to play onto his stumps off some wayward bowling to miss out on a half-centuiry: he ended on 49 from 33 balls. Simon Brown was in at three and, once Robinson Neil had retired on 52, Haydock started to get the upper hand. Pace-off was their strategy and it really reduced the run rat: Rainhill were frustrated to post a total of 147.


Rainhill’s opening bowlers of Joe Harvey and Paul Millar made a fantastic start, creating chances and restricting Haydock’s rate to under 4 an over. Harvey’s first wicket was well caught by Brown keeping wicket and his second was a catch by Robinson at mid wicket.

In worsening light it helps playing with an orange ball in late April! Those wickets brought Babu Nallusamy to the middle and here the game turned. A 16-ball 50 had Rainhill on the ropes and Nallusamy had an answer to all of Rainhill’s bowlers. Bowling contributions from Kiran Nair, Asif Junaid, Matt Lawler and Neil Robinson were not enough, despite their best efforts, and Haydock reached 148 with 19 balls to spare.


SATURDAY


Northern v 1st XI, LDCC Premier League


Northern 253-4 (Chris Laker 91, Jac Lennedy 83; Peter Kelly 2-64)

Rainhill 121 (Tyler McGladdery 31, Sam Kershaw 26; Tomas Sephton 6-30)

Northern (25 pts) beat Rainhill (3 pts) by 132 runs


Scorecard


Rainhill’s 1st XI travelled to Moor Park, the home of reigning champions Northern. The hosts won the toss and opted to bat but Rainhill, looking to put the disappointment of the opening match against Southport behind them, made the early breakthrough when Dan Kelly managed to find the edge of Stephen Cole’s bat and Simon Brown held the catch.


Northern recovered from the setback, with Jac Kennedy (83) and Chris Laker (91) sharing a second wicket stand worth 170. With the pair scoring quickly and regularly finding the boundary, captain Ben Edmundson turned to Imliwati Lemtur, Liam O’Toole and Peter Kelly, but it was the skipper himself who succeeded in ending the partnership. Laker, looking set for his first century in five years, played a delivery from Edmundson into the hands of Sam Kershaw. Peter Kelly struck shortly afterwards to remove Kennedy and then dismissed Liam Grey for 10 to give Rainhill a glimmer of hope. However, with the score on 204-4, Andrew Clarke and Greg Liebenberg came together and quickly plundered runs from Rainhill’s tiring attack to reach 253-4 from 51.4 overs before declaring.


Ben Edmundson had declared against Southport in the previous match upon reaching 250, only for the visitors to chase down the target. Would history repeat itself? Well, yes – but not in the way Rainhill would have hoped. Unfortunately for Rainhill, Tomas Sephton – who has taken a “five for” in each of the last five meetings between the sides – repeated the feat. Finishing with 6-30, Sephton struck twice to remove Rainhill’s key batsmen Tyler McGladery (31) and Sam Kershaw (26), and then came back to finish off the tail after Imliwati lemtur (12) and Dan Kelly (14) had begun to build a potentially frustrating partnership. Sephton clearly enjoys playing against Rainhill but the feeling is not likely to be mutual.


The result leaves Rainhill winless after two matches and will face tricky opponents in the next league match in the shape of Wallasey, already announcing themselves as title challengers following comprehensive victories over Leigh and Ormskirk.


2nd XI v Wavertree, 2nd XI First Division


Wavertree 197-4 (Robert Dix 108, Adam Carus McDonald 24; Sam Waine 3-47)

Rainhill 198-7 (Ethan Powell 35, Paul Millar 27*; Adam Carus McDonald 4-48)

Rainhill (22 pts) beat Wavertee (8 pts) by 3 wickets


Scorecard


The 2nd XI earned their first win of the new season with a 3-wicket victory at home to Wavertree.


Wavertree won the toss and opted to bat. The visitors began positively but were pegged back when Rod Salisbury (16) played a Sam Waine delivery to Paul Millar. Waine then struck to dismiss captain Marc Powell for 2, but Wavertree’s recovery was guided by opener Robert Dix and Adam Carus McDonald, who shared a century partnership. McDonald was out for 24 when he became Waine’s third victim of the afternoon, caught by Adam Edwards for 24. Dix batted on confidently and recorded a magnificent century, although eventually perished when he holed out to Sam Williamson for 108. Wavertree closed their inning son 197-4 – a decent total and testament to a fantastic knock from Dix. Sam Waine finished with 3-47 and already looks like a fine addition to the squad.


Waine and Daniel Woodward opened for Rainhill, but both were dismissed early by Adam Carus McDonald. When captain Paul Ford and Ethan Powell came together the score was 36-2, but the third-wicket pair negotiated some accurate and probing bowling to add 53. Their partnership was ended when Ford, who had scored 26 from 38 balls, was trapped lbw by Daniel Webster. Webster (2-76) and McDonald (4-48) created problems, but Rainhill’s batsmen scored quickly and ensured they stayed on track for the win. Solid knocks from Matt Lawler (20), Phil Morgan (23), Adam Edwards (26) and Paul Millar (27 not out) helped Rainhill reach their target from 45.2 overs.


It was a great win for the 2nd team, and one they will hope to build on when they meet Southport Trinity on Saturday.


SUNDAY


1st XI v Chorley, ECB National Club Championship, Preliminary Round


Rainhill 171 (Imliwati Lemtur 65, Ben Edmundson 62; James Dunn 4-27)

Chorley 172-2 (Harry Barclay 74*, Andrew Holdsworth 46; Dan Kelly 1-29)

Chorley beat Rainhill by 8 wickets


Scorecard


Rainhill’s 1st XI were back in action on Sunday against Chorley in the ECB National Club Championship. Having won the toss and put Rainhill into bat, Chorley’s opening bowlers Sam Steeple and Edwin Moulton ripped through the home side’s top order with worrying ease: Rob McKeown, Tyler McGladdery, James Clarke, Dan Kelly and Paul Ford were all back in the pavilion with the score on 29-5. It was a brilliant and disciplined spell of bowling that gave Rainhill an enormous mountain to climb.

Undeterred, captain Ben Edmundson (pictured) and club professional Imliwati Lemtur mounted a fightback. Having weathered the storm they were soon playing some great shots to the boundary and dragged Rainhill back into the match. The captian played as fluently as he had in the opening match of the league season (when he scored an unbeaten century against Southport) while Lemtur looked in great shape, playing a masterful innings.


Unfortunately for Rainhill, after the pair had put on 109 for the sixth wicket the captain was out. The introduction of James Dunn into the attack turned the game, and Edmundson was caught by Edwin Moulton for 62. The Rainhill tail didn’t wag and, after Liam O’Toole was bowled by Dunn for 2, a big innings from Lemtur was essential to his sides hopes. He added 16 with Simon Brown before he also succumbed to Dunn; Will Moulton held the all-important catch to dismiss the professional for 65. It was his first half-century in a Rainhill shirt – hopefully there will be many others – but the fall of his wicket signalled the end of Rainhill’s resistance. Chorley bowled out the hosts for 171 – a disappointing total but far more respectable than it may have been, thanks to the efforts of Edmundson and Lemtur.


Rainhill struck early in Chorley’s innings when Dan Kelly dismissed Amman Sargaru for 8, lbw. Peter Kelly bowled captain Andrew Holdsworth for 46 to give Rainhill a glimmer of hope, but Chorley’s Harry Barclay (74 not out) and Roshen Silva (33 not out) saw their side to the target without further loss.


Chorley progress to the First Round of the competition, where they will meet Blackpool.


Sefton Park (PF) v 4th XI, 3rd XI (Sunday) First Division (South)


Rainhill 185 (Mike Mercer 52, Dom Wallis 39; Steve Purcell 6-53)

Sefton Park PF 142-7 (Ali Malik 46, Steve Purcell 22, Sam Addy 4-42)

Rainhill (8 pts) drew with Sefton Park PF (8 pts)


Scorecard


Deepka Gupta’s 4th XI came away with a hard-earned draw in a tough game at Sefton Park.


Put in to bat, Rainhill lost early wickets as Sidney James struck to remove Motsim Khan (6) and Steve Purcell bowled Stephen Woolley for 9. However, Dom Wallis (93) and Mike Mercer (52) played positively and helped take the score beyond the 100 mark before Mercer was stumped by Philip Foster – moments after reaching a fully merited half-century – to give Purcell his second wicket of the day. Wallis shared productive partnerships with Kiran Nair (14) and Matt Lawler (11) as Rainhill continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over on a difficult pitch to bat on. Wallis was eventually out when he was superbly caught by James Milburn, but Sam Addy came in to hit 18 from 24 balls at the end to help Rainhill to 185.


That looked a decent score and so it proved. Sefton Park made a strong start with Phil McLoughlin and Ali Malik putting on 43 for the first wicket. Their partnership was broken when Mike Mercer held a catch of Adam Lawler’s bowling to dismiss McLoughlin. Sam Addy was then introduced into the attack and has an immediate impact, taking Mark Ewing’s wicket. With the score on 56-2, Malik and new batsman Steve Purcell rose to the challenge and forged an effective partnership that took the score past 100. However, when both lost their wickets in quick succession – with Sam Addy taking both – Sefton Park were unable to maintain the momentum.


Dom Wallis, Deepak Gupta and Sam Addy bowled economically and the runs dried up. Addy took a further wicket, courtesy of a catch from Wallis, while Deepak Gupta struck twice – bowling Joshua McShane and James Milburn. However, Rainhill were unable to take the final three wickets for victory as Philip Foster (4 from 24 balls) and James Hague (13 from 47) held out for the draw.


Burton v Rainhill Recreationals


(Match report by Anna Page)

Rainhill Recreations began the new season away to Burton on Sunday. It was supposed to have been a free day but Burton’s original opponents withdrew and so we were asked if we could take their place. It was a struggle to find a full team on the Bank Holiday weekend, but we managed to get together enough players and of course both teams were keen just to get a game. We’d had our scheduled opening match at Prescot called off the previous Sunday so we were all grateful for the opportunity for some action.


There were four debutants in the team: Colin Moran, Vicky Graham, Ian Mosquito and Simon Gibson. We also had Johnny Moffit, Burton’s 12th man, joining us to make up the numbers. Burton batted first and Johnny definitely impressed with the ball dismissing R. Stanyer and A. McCarthy for 8 and 3 respectively. Colin Moran also bowled very effectively and was unlucky not to take a wicket. Rainhill were in a good position and some terrific fielding from Ian Mosquito, Simon Gibson and Andrew Page backed up the bowlers’ efforts. However, the two new batsmen were G. Holton and M. Powell and they played some very adventurous shots (especially Powell) and they both reached half-centuries before retiring. It wasn’t plain sailing though, as Vicky Graham (bowling some excellent off-spin) created some chances, only for Johnny and Andrew put down what were admittedly difficult catches. Simon Gibson took his first wicket for Rainhill when he bowled G. Tilby for 0, and then some tidy bowling from Jude Antonyswary resulted in wicketkeeper Richard Appleton taking a classy catch behind the stumps. Someone said it was reminiscent of Jack Russell.


Wicketkeeping duties were shared between Richard Appleton and Andrew Page, who replaced Richard after a tidy spell of leg-spin. Richard and Jude then had good spells of their own but they couldn’t find another breakthrough. Some excellent fielding, especially from Vicky Graham who one of Burton’s players described as “a tiger in the field”, helped limit the flow of runs but Burton still passed the 200 mark.


On another day Rainhill’s bowling would have got better results but the team felt happy with the way they had approached the game. Rainhill’s top order didn’t really get going against a determined and very capable Burton attack, but everyone contributed something with the bat (there’s nothing worse than being out for a duck on debut, and that was avoided). We didn’t get near the target but it was an enjoyable game and the new players all showed their potential. Of course, we’re happy to welcome more new players...


Many thanks to Burton for the match, and we hope to see them again in the future.


MONDAY


3rd XI v Orrell Red Triangle, 3rd XI (Sunday) First Division (North)


Rainhill 129 (Panchu Xavier 42, Paul Millar 22; Joe Whiteley 2-5)

Orrell Red Triangle 101-8 (Joe Whiteley 29, Mark Crumpton 24; Vishwas Maheshwari 3-39)

Rainhill (7 pts) drew with Orrell Red Triangle (7 pts)


Scorecard


Rainhill’s 3rd team played their first match of 2022 on Bank Holiday Monday, with the game having been put back a day due to the 1st team’s match against Chorley on Sunday. The opposition was Orrell Red Triangle who were also playing their first match of the new season@: their opening day game against Ainsdale had been conceded by the opposition.

Put in to bat by the visitors, Rainhill’s opening pair of Matt Lawler and Ethan Powell played themselves in and negotiatied some probing bowling from James Such and David Haslam. They put on 28 runs for the first wicket and seemed set to build on the positive start when Lawler was bowled by Haslam. Vish Maheshwari was next in, but a misunderstanding between the batsmen led to him being run out without scoring. When Such bowled Powell a few deliveries later, Rainhill were in trouble at 29-3.

Paul Millar and Panchu Xavier (pictured) came to Rainhill’s rescue, engineering a recovery characterised by punchy cover drives and a defence through which atoms would struggle to pass. Millar’s tenaciousness complemented Xavier’s more aggressive approach (a rare mistimed shot was dropped at mid off, with Xavier on 24) and the duo put on 55 before Thomas Wilkinson’s persistence paid off when he struck Xavier on the thigh. It looked high but Orrell were confident and umpire Yorke gave him out.


Vinny Varghese hit six runs from as many balls before he was bowled, dancing down the wicket to attack an inviting delivery from Zach Abbott that he missed altogether. Motsim Khan was in next and he played intelligently to help take the score beyond 100. He and Millar then sought to accelerate, but Millar was eventually undone when he edged a ball from Wilkinson to wicketkeeper Verity Haslam. Stevie Pennington and Khan shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 19 before two wickets apiece for Emily James and Joe Whiteley saw off Rainhill’s tail.


A score of 129 was hardly a formidable one but Rainhill were confident in their ability to bowl out their opponents. The reason for this confidence was demonstrated when Stevie Pennington and Adam Lawler both picked up an early wicket, leaving the visitors on 9-2. Captain Mark Crumpton and Ben Connor held out and shared a stand with 40 before three wickets fell in quick succession. Connor was first out, trapped lbw by Vish Maheshwari for 11 hard-earned runs. Crumpton went next, caught by Panchu Xavier off the bowling of Paul Millar for 24.When Millar bowled James Such for 0, the momentum had very clearly swung in Rainhill’s favour.


However, Rainhill had to wait for their sixth wicket as Verity Haslam’s defiance and Joe Whiteley’s admirable determination not to thrown in the towel frustrated the home side. Whitely was eventually out, bowled by Maheshwari, but not before contributing 29 runs. Maheshwari and Vinny Varghese also picked up the wickets of Zach Abbott and Verity Haslam, resulting in a tense last few overs as Rainhill sought the last two wickets they needed for victory. However, Emily Jones and Tom Such stood firm to earn a draw and deny Rainhill a winning start to the season.


Photos from the game can be found here.


Under 18s v Liverpool, U18s South


Rainhill 105-7 (Stevie Pennington 45, Ethan Powell 25; Arch Ryan 2013)

Liverpool 106-4 (Arch Ryan 26, Charlie Willoughby 20; Adam Lawler 3-15)

Liverpool (3 pts) beat Rainhill (0 pts) by 6 wickets


Scorecard


Rainhill’s u18s began their season with a home defeat against Liverpool. Batting first, Rainhill reached 105-7 from their 20 overs, mainly thanks to an excellent 45 from Stevie Pennington. Ethan Powell also made 25 while Gianni Albanese chipped in with a useful 12 not out at the end.


Rainhill made the visitors work hard for their win, with Adam Lawler taking three wickets (finishing with his best-ever bowling figures of 3-15) and Sarah Curlett picking up the valuable wicket of Arch Ryan, who top-scored for Liverpool with 26 from 24 balls. However, David Brooks (16) and Ashton Webb (4) were able to see their team home without further loss of wickets.


Newton-le-Willows v Under 13s


Rainhill’s u13s visited The Lane where they came up against a very strong Newton-le Willows side. Despite Nathan Lawler’s 2-21, the hosts’ Leah Walkden and Harry DeBrabander both hit unbeaten half centuries. Rainhill were unable to chase down the target of 152, but several Rainhill batters held out for long spells against some excellent bowling. Finnlee Millar top-scored for Rainhill, who will face Spring View at home on Monday 9th May.