Draw lifts Rainford off the foot of the table

First published in Cricket

Rainford travelled to Hightown on Saturday for a match crucial to both club’s fortunes in the current three-way Premier Division relegation battle being fought out with Colwyn Bay. They returned with honours even after six and a half hours of enthralling cricket ending in an enforced stalemate due to heavy rain. Chasing Hightown’s score of 195, Rainford’s pursuit was ended with the score on 169 for 9 with just four overs to go.

In the circumstances the home team will justifiably feel robbed but having played through a dozen or so overs of very heavy rain a draw was also nothing less than Rainford deserved.

The Hightown innings was dominated by 109 from Shaun Vosloo with the rest undone by a splendid spell of bowling from Andrew Pickavance taking 5 for 64 from 22 overs. Pickavance, enjoying a good season, was backed up by the rapidly improving John Dotters with 3 for 9.

The Rainford response faltered losing the first four wickets for only 22 runs before Joe Noctor (30) and Dave Tully (41) shared a 50 run stand to put their side back in the game. Ravi Mistry (38) continued the good work but when he was eighth out with the score on 158 and with the rain continuing to come down in stair rods, most observers thought that would be it. Not so. Pickavance (17 not out) took Rainford past the 160 bonus point landmark before the game was eventually halted.

Both sides took eight points from the game which maintained Hightown’s seven point advantage and for 48 hours at least, took Rainford off the bottom of the table. Monday’s washout at Leigh and Colwyn Bay’s draw at home to New Brighton means that Rainford are now joint bottom with Colwyn Bay with three games left.

Rainford 2nd X1 kept up their challenge for promotion with a three wicket win over Parkfield on Saturday but were thwarted by the weather on Monday when the game against bottom of the table Hightown was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Chris Spencer (4 for 32) and Andrew Harrison (3 for 50) once again combined to dismiss Parkfield for 125 before the seconds made their way to a three wicket win. Mark Brook’s 30 at the start of the innings proved crucial as Phil Curran’s men, narrowly in second place, face a crucial run in.

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