Second defeat leaves Rainhill at the foot of the table
Rainhill 67-8 (Amber Bowie 9*, Michael Bate 2-9)
Rainford 68-5 (Joe Duffy 17*, Sam Addy 2-9)
Rainford won by 5 wickets
Rainhill’s u15 squad face an uphill task after their second defeat of the league campaign leaves them at the foot of the table. There is plenty to play for though and with a raft of talented players there is time and motivation to turn things around.
Rainford were the opponents at home on Wednesday evening and, with Sam Addy winning the toss, Rainhill decided to bat with the intention of posting a competitive score. Unfortunately, no one had really brought their scoring boots, (or bat or gloves), and a slow pace meant that the run rate remained modest. Wickets soon began to fall and Rainhill struggled to generate any real momentum to put runs on the board. Motsim Khan was run out by Duffy for 5 and Gianni Albanese was bowled for 4 by McCullough meaning that, at the halfway point, Rainhill were 40 for 2 from 10 overs.
The 11th over proved a turning point with Jack Potter bowling Sam for 8 and Stevie Pennington for 7, on his way to a double wicket maiden. Well done that lad. Ollie Unsworth was then bowled for 4 by Joe Duffy, but not before crashing a lovely boundary off the middle of his bat.
Not to be outdone by his compadre, Michael Bate then achieved a double wicket maiden of his own, bowling Asher Sohail out for 6 before Thomas Lewis was caught out first ball by Cameron Murtagh. Owen Reilly also fell without scoring, bowled by Rhys Potter, and despite a spirited and hard-hitting rear-guard action by Amber Bowie (top-scoring with 9 not out) supported by Ned Brougham (0 not out), Rainhill posted 67 for 8 from 20 overs. They will have been disappointed with a relatively low score and rueing the fact that another 20 runs maybe would have made this a real competition.
Their task was to restrict Rainford wherever possible, be quick and keen in the field and reduce the number of extras given away through no-balls and wides – and do you know what? They very nearly did it. Harry Westerside (6) was removed by a lovely straight one from Ned Brougham that clipped the top of middle stump in the second over and in the 7th over Thomas Lewis bowled Callum Potter for 3 leaving them on 24 for 2 with 7 overs down. Rainford weren’t pushing the run rate and for a time it looked like this was going to be a very tight finish.
Sam Addy struck next removing Ben Gilbert for 5 before Motsim Khan dropped one onto Bharati Balachandran’s wicket in the 14th over after he looked like he was getting set to stay at the crease.
With a target of only 68 every run was precious and Rainhill did a valiant job of keeping the pressure on and causing the visiting spectators to wonder if their team was going to make it across the line. Addy took another wicket, this time that of captain Alex McCullough, caught by Lewis for 10 in the 16th over. However, with only 17 left to chase from the final 4 overs, Rainhill’s fragile grip on the contest faltered and Joe Duffy and Cameron Murtagh seized victory with 6 balls remaining.
Rainhill must shake off this defeat and regain their confidence. This was a winnable game, and the rest of the season will show whether it was against one of the stronger sides in the competition. For now though they need to look forward to the next game and dig those scoring boots out of the garage.
Sam Addy (Captain)
Ollie Unsworth (wicketkeeper)
Many thanks to Craig Brougham for the match report