RAINFORD battled hard but came up just short again last Saturday losing by 35 runs to Southport and Birkdale.

The loss leaves them at the foot of the Liverpool Competition Premier League without a win, but, due the closeness of many of their games and the accumulation of bonus points, just a mere seven points behind both Hightown and Colwyn Bay.

After being inserted Southport and Birkdale recovered from the early loss of opener Dave Aston with a fine 108 run stand from Mitchell Quinn and Wim Van der Walt (32).

Quinn went on to make a match-winning 137 before being last out with the score on 234.

The Rainford bowling attack stuck to their task with Andy Davies being rewarded with 4 for 60 and Joe Doctor nipping in with a profitable spell of 3 for 30.

Chasing a large target Rainford struggled early on with only Mark Williams making inroads with 32.

At 78 for 6 the Sandgrounders were ready to start the car until the Rainford lower order showed the sort of determination which might ultimately save their season by adding a further 121 for the last four wickets, eventually falling for 199.

Young stumper Will Threlkeld led the way with a swashbuckling 49 and was only dismissed by a spectacular caught and bowled by Scott Lees.

Andy Davies played coolly and calmly for a well-made 24 not out and Andrew Pickavance continued his own good season with a fighting 30.

Ultimately however it was not enough but the performance stands the Jubilee Recreation Ground boys in good heart for a massive Bank Holiday Weekend with trips to Hightown and Leigh.

Meanwhile Rainford 2nd X1 came unstuck at Birkenhead St Mary’s losing by 89 runs.

Chris Bell produced a career best 5 for 21 to help dismiss the hosts for 146, Phil Murgatroyd bagging 3 for 29, before Rainford suffered a disastrous second half folding to 57 all out.

On Sunday in a rain affected encounter the 3rd X1 recorded an eight wicket win at Highfield. The hosts made 138 for 3 before Will Threlkeld’s 75 saw Rainford to victory.