Rainhill u9s win all matches
Rainhill's u9s took part in a tournament at Liverpool CC on Sunday morning - and came away with a 100% record.
Rainhill entered two teams. In the A team were Lucy, Xanthe, Savanna, Sienna, Annabelle, Olivia, Sam and Xander. The B team was made up of Emily, Reuben, Nathan, Joseph, Alice, Heidi and Austin.
The B team started out with a game against Sefton Park, which they won thanks to some great efforts from Reuben, Joseph, Austin and Emily. At the same time, the A team were playing against Liverpool and pulled off a narrow three-run victory. This was achieved through some determined batting by Annabelle and Sam, who also bowled very well. Good fielding made the difference and Liverpool were only able to reach 212 in response to Rainhill's 215.
Next up for the B team were Liverpool. The Rainhill side put in another good team performance, with Heidi taking her first ever wicket and Alice and Nathan showing their potential as all-rounders. Everyone bowled and another great team effort saw them win their second match of the day.
The A team then faced Wavertree. In another close-fought game, Wavertree batted first and reached 209. They batted well: having lost a wicket in the first over (bowled by Xanthe) Wavertree recovered and played some very positive shots. However, Annabelle (main picture) took an incredible three wickets in an over to peg Wavertree back and the game turned in Rainhill's favour. Sam also took a fine wicket and held a brilliant catch.
Rainhill's opening pairing of Sam and Annabelle looked to score quickly but they also lost two wickets in the first two overs. The third over also saw Wavertree take two wickets and Rainhill had a bit of a mountain to climb. However, some good batting from Savanna, Sienna and Lucy pulled Rainhill back into contention - especially when Lucy hit an enormous 6 over mid-wicket.
It came down to the final over. Rainhill were ahead, with Xanthe and Olivia as the final pair. Disaster struck in the first ball when Olivia was bowled, but she followed this up with a fine shot for 4. There was then a run-out when the girls looked to scamper back for 2 but Xanthe was just short of her ground. A wicket with the next ball put Wavertree ahead with two balls to come.
Rainhill needed something huge - and they got it with a magnificent six from Olivia (pictured, left). Everything now hinged on the last ball. If Wavertree took a wicket the game was theirs; if Rainhill scored anything they won. No runs and the match would be a draw. Fortunately for Rainhill, Olivia was able to find a gap in the field and the girls ran for one - Xanthe this time making her ground quite comfortably.
The under 9s are a very talented group and their performances underlined this. Congratulations to everyone who took part - but particularly Annabelle for that fantastic, match-changing, over!