Williamson 92 demolishes Old Xavs
Sam Williamson guides Rainhill to 58-run win over Old Xaverians
Rainhill 202-9 (Sam WIlliamson 92, Paul Ford 33; Alistair McKie 4-35)
Old Xaverians 144 (Matthew Farmer 40*, Jamie Doyle 34; David Pennington 3-17)
Rainhill (25 pts) beat Old Xaverians (7 pts) by 58 runs Scorecard
Rainhill's 2nd XI beat Old Xaverians for the second time this week thanks to an outstanding innings from Sam Williamson (pictured).
Having overcome Old Xaverians in the Chrysalis Cup at St Francis Xavier's School on Wednesday evening, Rainhill were hosts in the league encounter on Saturday. It was a slightly different team to the one Old Xaverians put out in the cup competition, but it was an accomplished side and one that - quite deservedly - went into the match sitting in third place in the league table.
Batting first, Rainhill lost the early wickets of James Clarke (0) and Dan Woodward (6). When Paul Millar was caught by Michael Catling for 8, Rainhill were in trouble at 26 for 3. However, WIlliamson and captain Paul Ford engineered a solid recovery and scored at a rate of almost a run per ball as they set about turning the game in Rainhill's favour. The pair had added 88 when Matthew Barnes dismissed Ford for 33 courtesy of a Samuel Anderson catch. Williamson remained at the crease and continued to make his presence felt, dominating the strike and playing some confident drives towards the boundary. His big-hearted efforts were backed up by Phil Morgan (6), Adam Edwards (18) and Sam Waine (11) as Rainhill took the score beyond 200. WIlliamson was finally out, agonisingly eight runs short of what would have been his first century, when he fell to Alistair McKie, the outstanding bowler for Old Xaverians.
It had been a stunning performance from Williamson, whose impressive season with the bat continues. He smashed his previous best score (of 73, against Wigan a few weeks ago) and in doing so also broke his personal record for the most runs scored in a season. His 92 runs came from just 97 balls and included 10 boundaries.
The start to Old Xaverians' innings was strangely reminiscent of Rainhill's. Sam Waine and Jack Lowrie took an early wicket each as they respectively dismissed openers Mark Dilworth (2) and Samuel Anderson (6). David Pennington bowled Kieran Hughes for 15 to reduce the visitors to 33 for 3, after which Jamie Doyle and Matthew Barnes offered some resistance, a bit of aggression and some quality shots.
Doyle and Barnes were making a game of it, although they were not scoring at the same rate Williamson and Ford had managed. However, once Adam Edwards bowled Barnes for 25, Old Xaverians suffered a major collapse. They sank to 74 for 7, as Pennington bowled Kieran Grierson (1) and Alistair McKie (1) and Edwards picked up the wicket of Michael Catling (2). Doyle's new partner, Michael Farmer, played defiantly and bludgeoned his way to an unbeaten 40 from 43 deliveries (including nine fours) but it was too little, too late for Old Xaverians. Doyle became Sam Waine's second victim of the day when he was caught by Oliver Powell for 34, while Jack Lowrie wrapped up the innings when he bowled James Butterworth. In spite of some valiant lower-order batting, Old Xaverians were all out for 144.
Old Xaverians lost an opportunity to move into the promotion places and sit behind New Brighton and Leigh (who drew their match); Rainhill, while remaining in sixth place, are now only twenty points behind New Brighton in second.
Umpires: John Veacock, John McCreanney
Scorers: David Crossley, Finlay Davies
Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax Advisers