RAINFORD 166 -5 (37.4) ACKWORTH 166 ao (40).

Rainford triumphed in this keenly contested Voneus Village Cup National Round game with an all-round team performance to carry them through to the last eight.

A gripping affair in front of a large Jubilee Recreation Ground crowd, including a sizeable contingent from Ackworth, saw the visitors recover from a disastrous start.

They were reduced to 11 for 3 and in further deep trouble at 57 for 8, before the game was turned on its ahead with a tremendous 99 run 9th wicket stand from Bailey Mathews (63) and George Gillespie (31).

When the final wicket fell off the very last ball of the innings, the lads from Pontefract had compiled a very competitive 166.

Rainford’s bowling attack had excelled itself to achieve such a strong early position with the spinning duo of Andy Davies (4 for 14) and John Dotters (3 for 10) off their allotted 8 overs, doing most of the Damage.

St Helens Star:

Excellent frugal spells from seamers Liam Gaskell (1 for 8) and Mark Williams (0 for 17) had perfectly complemented their slow bowling colleagues until Matthews and Gillespie’s onslaught changed the game and set everything up for a tremendous second half.

In the opening exchanges, Ackworth’s Luke Townsend removed John Dotters with the score on 24 bringing Craig Woods to the crease to join Matthew Bailey.

The pair then produced what turned out to be a match winning partnership, with a patient, secure and ultimately run scoring approach to lift the total to 119 for 2 before Bailey was dismissed for a fine 45.

Woods continued the good work and was 62 not out when he watched on as Will Threlkeld took Rainford to Victory with a straight six in the 38th over.

St Helens Star:

Rainford now await their opposition, once again at home on Sunday 17 July.