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Alex Rankin Steers Ormskirk to Victory

Wallasey won the toss and elected to bat and before they knew it they were 9-2, having lost both openers to the bowling of Scott Lees, who had Chris Davies (0) trapped lbw and Ryan Maddock, who caught and bowled Kuran Makol (5). It was as good a start as Ormskirk could have asked for.

A partnership of 60 runs between Neil Cross and Andrew Eagles was added before the 3rd wicket fell when Neil Cross (31) was magnificently caught by Gary Knight off the bowling of Tom Hartley. Gary Beaver (2) joined Andrew Eagles but he didn’t last long when he nicked a fine delivery by Nicky Caunce into the waiting gloves of George Lavelle behind the stumps.

The score was now 75-4 and the next wicket went cheaply, with the score having reached 95, when John Armstrong took a fine catch in the slips to dismiss Josh Rylance (6) off the bowling of Tom Hartley to give him his second wicket.

It was the prize wicket of Andrew Eagles (60) that was the next to be captured when he gave a catch into the ever-reliable hands of Nicky Caunce and reward Scott Lees with his second wicket.

The score was now on 131-6 with Matthew Wilcox, who had been playing confidently when partnering Andrew Eagles, was the last middle order batsman to dismiss before the bowlers could attack the tail-end batsmen. He was still there as the 7th wicket fell when John Armstrong caught Andrew Ward (3) to give Alex Mason his first wicket.

It was Tom Hartley who got the vital wicket of Matthew Wilcox (42) when he completely deceived him, with a clever delivery, to dislodge the stumps and send him back to the Pavilion to the great relief of the home players and spectators.

With the 8th wicket down and 162 runs on the board it was conceivable that the final batsmen could possibly take the score toward the 200 mark. Scott Lees, however, put paid to that possibility when he took the last two wickets in quick succession, bowling Chris Bourne (0) and Jack Lecky (8) with only two further runs being added to the total.

Wallasey were all out for 164.

Andy Baybutt and John Armstrong opened the reply for Ormskirk and took the score along to 15 when Andy Baybutt (8) was bowled. His dismissal brought in teenager Alex Rankin to partner John Armstrong and the pair put on 43 runs to take the score to 58-2. This partnership was ended when John Armstrong (26) was bowled by Chris Bourne.

George Lavelle, another teenager in the Ormskirk team, joined Alex Rankin but their partnership was cut short, with the score at 83 when George (8) was caught, high in the slips, by Chris Bourne off the bowling of Neil Cross.

When Gary Knight came into replace George Lavelle tactics changed whereby Gary was the anchor man and Alex took on the main responsibility of taking the score along, which he did with maturity, patience and skill. He passed the half century mark, much to the delight of himself and the home supporters, and went on to reach a score of 73 when he was adjudged to be out lbw, with the total score reading 127-4. He had played a fine innings.

Two quick wickets then fell cheaply with Tom Hartley (0) caught behind off the bowling of Matthew Wilcox and Luke Platt (4) out to a great catch by Andrew Eagles.

With the total now at 136-6 it was left to Gary Knight and Ryan Maddock to see Ormskirk home and this they did. They were both there at the finish with Gary 28* and Ryan17*. Ormskirk had won by 4 wickets.

It was a good win, yielding 25 points to keep Ormskirk in third place in the Premier League table.

At the request of the Merseyside Cricket Umpires Association (MCUA) the fixture was played as a tribute to the recently deceased umpire Walter Nelson.

It was left to the umpires of the game, Paddy Brown and Lawrence Watts, to nominate two players, one from each side, who had put in the best performances and be the recipients of £50 gift vouchers donated by Walter’s family.

It was Alex Rankin for Ormskirk and Andrew Eagles for Wallasey who found favour with the umpires and they were presented with their vouchers at the end of a very enjoyable game.

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