RAINHILL1st XI totally dominated their home game against Ainsdale in a frustrating draw with the match sponsored by PBS Windows of Prescot.

Captain Mike Rotherham lost the toss and on a fine wicket Rainhill were requested to bat first. In an excellent batting performance Geoff Cropper 32 (retired hurt) and Dominic Sparkes (50) laid the foundation for the later batsmen to pulverise the visitors' attack.

This assault was provided by Paul Robinson with a superb 80 not out, including nines fours and a six, in only 64 balls; and a cavalier 34 not out from Mike Rotherham.

With the last 60 runs coming in only five overs, Rainhill declared on an impressive 210-1 in 43 overs.

But the match ended as a contest when Steve Jordan reduced Ainsdale to 18-4, including the wicket of New Zealand professional Simon Murphy courtesy of an excellent catch by Nick Chapman.

Steven Jordan bowled well throughout, eventually claiming 6-53 in 19 overs. Unfortunately, despite varied bowling changes and good catching, the visitors held on to close on 133-7.

This weekend the Merseyside Competition season reaches the half-way point as Rainhill travel to local rivals Prescot.

Rainhill 2nd XI's trip to sunny Ainsdale was a wasted journey as they slumped to only their second defeat of the season. Apart from Andy Lewis's hard hitting 22, which came to an unfortunate end when he pulled his hamstring, it was an inept batting display from Rainhill, who were dismissed for only 65.

Robin Farrington's spin bowling claimed five wickets for 25 runs from 19 overs. The Ainsdale openers made light work to win by 10 wickets.

In contrast the Sunday XI made it an exciting draw when they made a trip to scorching Halsall CC, near Southport. The hosts batted first to make 172 for 5 declared off 45 overs and then Rainhill's up and coming spin bowler Andrew Dickinson took 3 for 28.

In reply the visitors made a steady start, but when young Adeel Irfan came into bat, he set about the bowling to score a quick fire 20.

That made opener the star performer Steve Gregory determined to beat his highest score for the club which was 32 to sprint to an excellent 65 including half a dozen fours.

His mentor Andrew Birkett nearly caught him up to record a third 50 of the game and the highest partnership of 98. Needing 9 off the last over, Rainhill ended on 168 for 6.