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Sunshine after the rain?

Rainhill's 2nd XI start 2022 with defeat at Spring View

Rainhill 115 (Mike Rotheram 27, Sam Waine 22; Andrew Bowes 3-12)

Spring View 119-4 (Jon Mulvey 41*, Harry Cooper 22; Sam Waine 2-23)

Spring View (25 pts) beat Rainhill (4 pts) by 6 wickets


To say the 2021 one was a disappointing season for Rainhill's 2nd team would be something of an understatement. Struggling to avoid relegation, a final day victory over Northop Hall ensured their survival in the First Division but it was hoped that 2022 would witness a turnaround in the team's fortunes.

There were reasons for optimism going into the opening match at Spring View. Paul Ford, something of a club legend at Rainhill, has returned and taken on the 2nd team captaincy. The acquisition of Sam Waine from neighbours Prescot & Oddyssey, the retention of the key players from the 2021 campaign and the addition of club captain Mike Rotheram to strengthen the top order all boded well for visitors.

On a sunny but cold and very windy afternoon, Rainhill won the toss and elected to bat. Rotheram opened the batting with Luis Duffy, kicking off the innings with a couple of well-timed fours to the vacant third man boundary. Duffy hit some nice shots before he was bowled by a quicker ball from Nathan Barnes. Having made the breakthrough, Barnes struck again when he had Ethan Powell caught off a low full toss by Lewis Pawsey at square leg for 0. Paul Ford came to the crease with the score on 28 for 2 but, after playing himself in, fell lbw to Andrew Bowes for 9.

It hadn't been a great start for Rainhill but Rotheram (pictured) and new batsman Oliver Powell sought to build a recovery against some precise Spring View bowling. They showed purpose and moved the score on to 58 before Rotheram was deceived by a delivery from Andrew Bowes that clattered into his stumps. His contribution of 27 had shown patience and maturity.

Unfortunately the next man in, Phil Morgan, was out without scoring when he was caught by Tom Jukes off the bowling of John Green. Powell was frustrated by a series of wide balls and, when moving across, was deceived by a corker of a delivery that nipped back to trap him lbw for 7. Dan Woodward (13) and Sam Waine (22) then forged a partnership that helped to give the score some respectability but, in spite of their efforts, Rainhill were eventually all out for 115.

Spring View began their innings tentatively and were pegged back by some excellent and consistent bowling from Sam Waine and Phil Morgan. Despite this, Spring View's opening pair of Tom Jukes and Lewis Pawsey put on 29 for the first wicket before Waine made the breakthrough - Sam Addy held a fantastic catch to dismiss Jukes for 17. Addy then came into the attack himself, impressing with his leg spin and capturing the wicket of Pawsey who holed out to Sam WIlliamson when on 22. Williamson bowled economically and bowled Harry Cooper (also for 22), while Waine claimed the second victim of the day when he struck Howard Bamber's pads. However, Rainhill were thwarted by some intelligent and assured batting from Jon Mulvey who top scored with an unbeaten 41 as the home side reached the target from 34.4 overs.

It was not the start to the season that Rainhill hoped for and the 2nd team will hope to bounce back at home to Wavertree on Saturday. There may well be some sunshine after the rain, but we'll have to wait a little while longer for it.

Umpires: Mark Pawsey, Matt Lawler

Scorers: Peter Walker, David Crossley

(Many thanks to Matt Lawler for help with the match report)

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