61-run victory over Firwood Bootle takes Rainhill to top of table
Rainhill 123-1 (Oliver Wallis 32*, Kieran Rose 30*, Matty Evans 1-14) Firwood Bootle 62-1 (Harry Kilbane 10, Jack Tyms 2-5)
Rainhill won by 61 runs
Rainhill’s talented under 13 team moved to the top of the league with their second win of the campaign against Firwood Bootle on Sunday morning.
Stevie Pennington won the toss and elected to bat on a bright but chilly morning, taking to the middle with fellow opener Oliver Wallis. Unfortunately, his innings was cut short in the third over when he was bowled for 2 by Matty Evans, but it was to be the only Rainhill wicket to fall in what was a strong batting performance.
Oliver was joined by Kieran Rose and the pair made steady runs. Oliver retired on 32 not out (including 3 fours) while Kieran followed him after hitting a superb 30 that included four boundaries. The confident batting continued with Ollie Unsworth showing great power and timing on his way to 26 not, with Jack Tyms ably assisting with 9 runs of his own.
Rainhill ended their 20 overs on 123 for 1, a formidable target at this level and one that Bootle were unable to convincingly challenge.
Captain Harry Kilbane and Lewis Brown began for Bootle, but the wickets were soon tumbling.
Holding catches can be tricky in junior cricket. The ball can often arrive flat, quick and hard and even if reflexes are sharp, young hands, (or maybe heads) can still be a bit apprehensive. Without conviction and a bit of luck catches can often be put down and chances can pass by. McKenzie Henderson had a chance as early as the second over, but it popped out and was chalked up as a single saved. The next one, arguably a more difficult ball altogether, looped up and over his head, whereupon he swivelled, got his bearings and grabbed the falling ball on the turn. His delight was mirrored by the team as Brown had been dispatched for 1 from the bowling of Pennington.
Kilbane was bowled for 10 by Wallis in the 5th over and in the 6th it was Jack Tyms who benefitted from another Henderson catch as Matty Evans departed for 1. Bootle were 24 for 3 and the target of 124 began to look increasingly difficult to attain.
Patrick Nagle was next to lose a wicket, bowled by Wallis for 3 and Kieran Rose stepped up to bowl Owen Ecclestone out for 4 in the 10th over. Rainhill were not finished as Tyms bowled Jack Ward out for 4 and, not content with just taking catches, McKenzie then popped up with two wickets of his own; Oliver Hadderley being caught by Pennington for 6 and Jose Mills being caught out by a quick-thinking stumping from Unsworth as he stepped forward out of his crease.
All of Rainhill’s bowling was tight and something to be proud of. Owen Morrissey bowled 2 overs for just 2 runs, while Leo Brougham bowled 3 overs for just 6. Wallis, Tyms and Henderson all took 2 wickets each for 6, 6 and 7 runs respectively from their 2 overs each.
Freddie Ehlen (2) and Kyle Medlicott (0) batted out the 20th over for Bootle but with their team only managing to reach 62 for 8 it was Rainhill who took the spoils, the points and the league top spot…… for now.
Stevie Pennington (captain)
Ollie Unsworth (wicketkeeper)
Leo Brougham Many thanks to Craig Brougham for the match report