RAINHILL'S cricketers travelled to Birkenhead and after winning the toss, inserted the home team. This was justified as wickets fell regularly - the first 5 falling with only 45 on the board.

Qureshi’s relentless line and length was supported by the quick seam of Williams (3 for 56 from 25 overs). Birkenhead batted on after tea but thanks to some great fielding, their innings ended in 133 all out in 65 overs. Qureshi finished with 5 for 51 from 33 overs.

In reply, both Rainhill openers were ‘back in the hutch’ with only 19 runs off their target. A counter attack by Kershaw (44) and Mc Gladdery (12) pushed the score 72 for 4 but the Birkenhead left arm round pro – Palliyaguruge bowling unchanged claimed 4 for 48 from 22. He was supported by Wahbe 3 for 33 from 15 and Rainhill lost their last six wickets for 19 runs finishing on 101 all out from 44 overs.

Rainhill 2 vs Wigan 2 – No play due to a waterlogged pitch.

Rainhill 3’s vs Orrel Red Triangle 3’s – No play due to a waterlogged pitch.

Lancashire KO. (Round 1). Ashton Ladysmith 1st vs Rainhill 1st (Sun 22nd May)

Rainhill travelled to the Ashton Under Lyme ground and although the wicket looked favourable to bowlers, they elected to bat. Once the batsmen realised it was not a day to play cultured drives but just smack it, they excelled. Kershaw (72), Edmundson (67no) and Atkinson (60) hit the ball to all parts of the ground. With a game reduced to 42 overs due to rain, Rainhill posted a mammoth 289 for 8. Strangely enough - all 8 wickets falling to catches. In reply, Ashton had no answer to the spin of Atkinson (2 for 20 from 8) and guile of veteran seamer Wilding (3 for 23 from 9). Qureshi then mopped up the tail with 4 for 5 from 8 overs. Ashton finished on 78 off 32 overs.