CRICKET seems to have fared better than most other sports during the current situation, primarily due to the time of year the game is normally played, as well as strong leadership from the English Cricket Board producing and agreeing an adapted game to be played at community level.

As a result, cricket clubs in the borough have enjoyed two months of intensive activity with seniors and juniors, boys and girls benefitting from the hard work of their League and Club officials in getting the game on.

The Love Lane Liverpool Competition set up regional groupings with Newton Le Willows, Rainhill, Rainford and St Helens Town battling it out through six group games followed by finals.

Newton made the early running but were overtaken by Rainford who recorded most group wins only to be beaten in the grand final by a Rainhill side finishing strongly when winning their last four games.

Newton Le Willows 2nd X1 triumphed in the eight week league programme amongst the four 2nd X1s whilst Sutton progressed through to the final in their group, narrowly losing out to Hightown St Mary’s.

Meanwhile Prescot and Odyssey, Earlestown and Haydock played a shortened series of league matches well organised by their Southport and District League.

A huge amount of junior cricket was played at U9, U11, U13 and U15 level with all the borough’s clubs playing matches in leagues and formats organised by the Liverpool Competition Junior League and the Wigan Junior League.

One feature of this strange summer has been the greater interaction of the local clubs and the willingness to work together.

Clubs such as Newton Le Willows and Sutton have sorted junior games themselves across traditional boundaries and Prescot and Odyssey and Rainford formed veterans teams and played each other home and away, both now hoping to develop a set of local fixtures next year.

John Williams, Rainford Chairman and Chairman of the St Helens Borough Cricket Development Group was delighted with the amount of cricket played.

“The Leagues set things up and all the clubs took full advantage,” he said.

“We saw quality, competitive cricket with the new circumstances giving a number of youngsters their chance to play in senior matches.

"The amount of junior cricket has been impressive, particularly at the lower age levels of U9 and U11 which definitely bodes well for the future.”