Rainhill battle to draw with Rainford
Jack Ellis 68 and three wickets for Sam Williamson help Rainhill to draw
Rainhill 172-9 (Jack Ellis 68, Simon Brown 20; Andrew Harrison 6-37)
Rainford 129-6 (Mark Brook 68, Andrew Pollitt 18; Sam Williamson 3-26)
Rainhill (7 pts) drew with Rainford (7 pts)
Rainhill's 2nd team followed up last week's victory at Spring View with a draw at home to Rainford.
That the game went ahead at all was testament to the heroic efforts to remove the surface water from areas of the field after an early morning deluge. The ground having been made playable, Rainford won the toss and asked the hosts to bat.
Iain Fenney took an early wicket for Rainford as Luis Duffy was caught by Mark Brook for 0. However, Rainford struggled to make any further breakthrough as Jack Ellis and Simon Brown defiantly held out and moved the score along steadily, although not rapidly. They built a solid partnership worth 72, which was broken when Brook held another catch - this time to dismiss Brown off the bowling of Andrew Harrison for 20. Harrison continued to create difficulties for Rainhill and took the key wickets of Robert McKeown (9) and David Pennington (3) as Rainhill slipped to 107 for 4.
Opener Ellis remained at the crease and in control, playing some textbook shots as he notched up his second half-century of the season. However, he also eventually fell to the inspired Harrison when he was stumped by Luke Evans for 68.
Joe Harvey (18) and Adam Edwards (15) scored quickly in the final stages of Rainhill's innings to help bring the score to a respectable 172 for 9 from 44.5 overs. Harrison took two further wickets as he recorded impressive bowling stats of 6-37.
173 may seem a moderate target but Rainhill never looked likely to achieve it in difficult conditions and against some precision bowling. An inspired spell from Sam Williamson (pictured) took the wickets of Elliot Bailey and Luke Evans for 0 and 5 respectively, after which John Ball dismissed Iain Fenney for 5. While opener Mark Brook and Mark Pollitt were able to offer resistance and a little entertainment, and put on 53 runs for the fourth wicket, crucially they were not able to score at the required rate. Pollitt fell for 18, bowled by Joe Harvey, and the following ball saw Tom Dillon dismissed in identical fashion. The final wicket to fall was that of Brook, caught by Sam Eillis to give Williamson his deserved third wicket. Brook's 68 had come from 103 balls.
Rainhill were unable to take the final wickets needed to give them the win as Simon Webster (7) and Josh Spencer (12) held out to secure the draw.
Rainhill will take several positive from the game into next week's match at high-flying Old Xaverians.
Umpires: John Veacock, David Fenney
Scorers: David Crossley, Olivia Spencer