RAINHILL elected to bat against champion hopefuls Northern and at 17 for 2 were on the back foot but then Kershaw (51) and Atkinson (68) attacked the Crosby side and got their rewards for being positive.

Rainhill batted on after tea and the tail wagged against the left arm spin from Sefton (4 for 83 from 23) and Maddocks (3 for 50 from 17).

Higham (28) and Dale (26no) got Rainhill to a decent score of 215 all out in 70 overs. Northern's response was clinical. Although wickets fell, there wasn’t any in close succession and all but one of their batsmen got into double figures. Lucas (71), Snow (43) and a quick 31no from Cole meant they passed their target in the last over of the game. Qureshi (3 for 80 in 22 overs) was the pick of the Rainhill bowlers but their 215 for 5 came from just 45.1 overs.

Rainhill 2nd vs Highfield 2nd.

Rainhill inserted the Wigan side and their wickets fell at regular intervals. O’Toole (5 for 64 from 13) removed the top order and could have had more victims if catches were held. Cornish (55) rode his luck but when he finally went, the innings soon came to a close and the visitors finished on 124 all out in 35 overs.

Although Phiri (3 for 33 from 16) bowled well for Highfield, Rainhill passed their target in 40 overs for the loss of 6 wickets. Rotheram (32) McKeown (27) and Brown (22) batting well.

Rainhill 3rd vs Ainsdale 3rd.

Rainhill elected to bat but lost both openers for ducks. McKittrick (4 for 33 from 8) was rewarded for bowling tight lines but a fight-back from Jones (59) and L. Smith (48) swung the game back in favour of the home side and a quick 24 from Parto meant Rainhill got to 183 all out in 35 overs. Although Ainsdale got off to a better start, they couldn’t handle the Rainhill attack.

Jones (2 for 34 from 11), and Parto (4 for 48 from 15) led the way and Rotheram (3 for 11 from 4) then cleaned up the tail. Apart from Fitzpatrick (40) none of the batsmen shown application and Ainsdale were all out for 104 in 31 overs.