RAINHILL CC opened the new season with a draw at Prestatyn. Captain Peter Woods won the toss and inserted the home team on a damp wicket, but in glorious sunshine.

Scoring was slow in the face of tight bowling from Nick Chapman and Dave Birkett. Chapman had Taylor the prolific Prestatyn opener caught at slip and soon after Birkett landed his first wicket to leave the Welsh side 27-2. When the Australian professional was also caught off Birkett at 47-3, Rainhill had high hopes. Mattie Dale chipped in with two more wickets and 66-6 Rainhill were very much in the ascendency. But further success was hard to come by and the last four wickets moved the score along to 135 in 55 overs. Star bowling performance came from Dave Birkett who was unchanged for 27 overs to record 5-47. Nick Chapman finished with 3-45 and Mattie Dale 2-35.

It was always going to be tough for Rainhill's depleted side to score 135 in only 30 overs and this proved to be the case. When Peter Mercer fell for 19 at 33-2 none of the other batsmen came to terms with the scoring rate. Wickets continued to fall and at 37-4 defeat looked a possibility. Sound defensive play from Mattie Dale and Andrew Birkett delayed the home side victory efforts. Despite the loss of three further wickets with only a couple of overs remaining, Rainhill closed on 58 with Andrew Birkett six not out.

This weekend Rainhill play Port Sunlight.

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