Rainhill lose in spite of Pennington 51*
David Pennington hits unbeaten half-century in defeat to Newton-le-Willows
15th September 2020 Newton-le-Willows 171 (Rohan Bhalla 67, Patrick Connelly 26, David Pennington 2-18)
Rainhill 140-9 (David Pennington 51*, Jack Ellis 13, Emilia Lamb 2-14)
Newton-le-Willows won by 31 runs
Rainhill lost at home to Newton-le-Willows on Saturday, despite a battling team performance and an unbeaten half-century from David Pennington.
The visitors won the toss and decided to bat first. Rainhill made the early breakthrough and excellent bowling from Phil Morgan (1 for 8 from 9 overs) and Pennington (2 for 18 from 8.4 overs) resulted in both openers being dismissed for 5 and Newton in trouble at 20-2. The loss of these wickets brought Rohan Bhalla and Patrick Connelly together and, if previous encounters were anything to go by, this was a partnership that Rainhill would need to break quickly. Bhalla had already scored 94 and 92 not out against Rainhill this season.
The duo put on 73 runs for the third wicket before Connelly was out - lbw to Sam WIlliamson for 26. Williamson struck again shortly afterwards to have Ben Tandy dismissed for 4 in similar fashion, but danger man Bhalla continued to play freely on his way to another big score. Bhalla finally succumbed to Owen Groom's bowling, holing out to Sam Addy, but not before he had contributed a valuable 67 runs from 80 balls and, for the third time in 2020, provided the platform for his side's innings.
With Newton all out for 171, Rainhill's batsmen would have been hopeful of reaching the target set for them. Unfortunately they too lost their opening batsmen early - Alex Fitzgerald took the valuable wicket of Sam Williamson for 1 and Owen Groom was run out for 7. Rainhill briefly rallied as Jack Ellis (13) and Luis Duffy (7) looked to play positively but their wickets fell in quick succession, and Paul Valentine was run out for 0 shortly afterwards, leaving Rainhill struggling on 33-5.
If Newton felt that victory was simply a formality at this point, they were in for a surprise as David Pennington played a patient and gritty innings on his way to an unbeaten 51. He was ably assisted in the tun chase by various batsmen, none of whom scored more than 13 but who stayed with him and helped keep the scoreboard ticking over. Ultimately the target of 172 proved beyond them, but Rainhill's lower order deserve credit for not throwing in the towel and for recovering in the fashion they did from the nightmare start to the innings.
Emilia Lamb (2 for 14) and Alex Fitzgerald (2 for 33) bowled exceptionally well for the visitors
Points: Rainhill 0pts, Newton-le-Willows 3 pts