The start of the game was delayed for an hour and a half due to the overnight rain. When it did get underway Ormskirk, having lost the toss, were put in to bat.
Conditions were tricky for the batsmen and the opening partnership of Andy Baybutt and Michael Jones struggled against the bowling of Liam O’Toole. Andy (10) was the first to go when, with the score on 21, he was bowled by O’Toole and was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Michael (19), leaving Rainhill relatively happy with the score on 31-2. Their happiness was short lived, however, as George Lavelle and Gary Knight built up a superb 3rd wicket partnership of 121.
Both George and Gary dominated the bowling, showing no respect for either spin or pace attack.
The score rattled along very quickly as each batsman peppered the boundary punishing every poor delivery to great effect.
With the score having progressed to 152 George (66) lost his wicket when, going for his third 6 of his innings, he was caught on the boundary. It was the end of a fine innings which brought John Armstrong in to join Gary who was totally untroubled by the bowling and giving no hint of yielding his wicket to whatever the bowlers could put up to him. John (3), Gary’s new partner, in an attempt to keep up the momentum, attacked spinner
Darenkar only to be taken by a fine catch on the boundary to leave the score on 158-4.
The next batsman in to join Gary was Josh Bohannon. He fared little better than John, when, having scored 4, he went to a catch to leave the score at 173 -5, bringing in Simon Kerrigan to join Gary.
With just 4 more runs added, Matt Glayzer declared the innings with Gary on an undefeated 68, of which 54 were scored off boundaries. It was a fine innings and he left the field to well deserved applause from both the home and away supporters.
The declaration was a calculated gamble in so much as to bat on would have ensured at least a draw but the aim, before a ball was bowled, was to win the game. To bowl Rainhill out in the limited time available was the only way to do it. He was putting a lot of trust in his bowlers to produce the goods against a relatively strong batting side.
Early success was achieved when the first wicket fell with the score on 26 when Scott Lees trapped
opener Mike Rotheram. Scott also took the second wicket when he had Sam Kershaw caught behind with the score on 44. The gamble looking to have been a good one.
While the two wickets had gone relatively cheaply, the Rainhill, opening batsman Tyler McGladderry looked ominously comfortable. While he was at the crease the odds were in favour of Rainhill.
A change of bowling to bring Simon Kerrigan into the attack saw the pendulum swing in Ormskirk’s favour. He took two quick wickets
before getting the vital wicket of McGladdery (62) when he had him caught by Michael Jones.
Scott and Simon were charged with dismissing the tail end batsmen and they didn’t disappoint. When Rainhill had reached 142 their last wicket fell and the game was won to secure Ormskirk’s place at the top of the table.
The declaration had been a brave one but Scott Lees with figures of 5-27 off 8.5 overs and Simon Kerrigan with 5-15 off 10 overs had fully vindicated the decision and, not for the first time this season, gave all the spectators a nail biting finish.
It was a good all round team performance with outstanding contributions from Gary Knight, George Lavelle, Scott Lees and Simon Kerrigan. The Man of the Match accolade, by a hair’s breadth, just goes to Simon Kerrigan for tying down the Rainhill run rate and taking the vital wicket of Tyler McGladdery.