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Rainhill move into third place with Southport win

Luke Procter stars in 130-run victory

Rainhill 222-5 (Tyler McGladdery 71, Luke Procter 61*; Chris Firth 2-56)

Southport and Birkdale 93 (Basil Sultan 22, Dinuka Dilshan 19; Luke Procter 4-20)

Rainhill (25 pts) beat Southport and Birkdale (2 pts) by 129 runs


Rainhill extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a comprehensive win over Southport and Birkdale that lifts them to third place in the LDCC Premier League.

Rainhill were put into bat by Southport and Birkdale, who hoped to get back to winning ways after a string of reversals. The hosts welcomed back Tyler McGladdery, who continued his fine form in 2021 with another exceptional knock. Opening with James Clarke, the pair initially scratched around ponderously against some probing bowling from Dinuka Dinshan and Chris Firth before McGladdery got into his stride and began to impose himself. Taking advantage of anything pitched short or full, he helped accelerate the run rate and the scoreboard soon begane to tick over nicely. That is not to say the visitors were particularly charitable in their bowling, but McGladdery is currently in good shape and he was in little mood for showing mercy.

McGladdery and Clarke had put on 52 when the latter was tempted forward by a flighted delivery from Chris Firth and was stumped by Jack Carney for 15. Firth struck again moments later when he bowled Sam Kershaw for 0. Southport and Birkdale were understandably boosted by the double breakthrough but the next pairing, McGladdery and club captain Mike Rotheram, rose to the challenge with some confident and intelligent strokeplay. McGladdery passed the 50 milestone for the fifth time this season as the duo put on 68 for the third wicket.

It was Angus Gailey who took the prized wicket of opener McGladdery. On 71 and looking to press on towards what would have been a second century in successive matches, McGladdery was caught by Jack Stanley, much to the delight of Gailey who had, until this point, worked hard without success. Luke Procter joined Rotheram at the crease and immediately continued where he had left off last week against New Brighton - with positivity, purpose and a little aggression. Rotheram was finally out lbw to Chris Cunningham for 33 and the next batsman in, David Atkinson, made 6 before edging behind to Carney.

The score was 146 for 5 when Ross Higham came to the middle. Higham and Procter sought to score quickly; Higham hit an unrestrained 28 from just 17 balls while Procter made an unbeaten 61 that included 7 fours and 2 sixes. They added 76 runs before Rainhill declared on 222 for 5.

Southport and Birkdale valiantly attempted to chase the total but their innings quickly unravelled as Procter took two early wickets to leave them on 9 for 2. Attempting to recover from this setback, Dinuka Dilshan (19) and David Snellgrove (15) offered some stubborn resistance until the former was caught behind the stumps by Ross Higham off the bowling of Jamie Harrison. Needing to dig in, the visitors instead suffered a middle order collapse as Harry May (4), Jack Carney (0) and Snellgrove were all out in quick succession. The damage had been inflicted by Procter and Harrison and, at 46 for 6, Southport and Birkdale's challenge looked to have been extinguished.

The visitors, however, had no intentions of going down easily. Basil Sultan announced himself with some attractive shots in his colourful innings of 22, and was supported by fellow tailenders Chris Cunningham (12), Charlie Byrne (5) and Angus Gailey (4 not out) in moving the score onto something more respectable. Rainhill realigned the bowling attack, allowing Jack Lowrie to strike three times and Peter Kelly to deal with the obstinate Sultan.

Rainhill's next league game is away to Ormskirk on Saturday 3rd July.

Umpires: John Farrell, Martin James

Scorers: Andrew Finney, Colin Warhurst

Match ball sponsor: Caffe & Co

Photos of the game can be found here.

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