RAINFORD’S determination to put last year’s relegation woes far behind them was in evidence again on Saturday when Joe Noctor’s unbeaten century set up their 172-run demolition of Prestatyn.
Noctor’s 101 not out and Paul Farrar’s 85 helped the home side post 259-2 declared in 50.5 overs, after which the job of sealing victory was passed over to the spinners, Andy Davies and John Dotters, both of whom took four wickets as the Welsh visitors were dismissed for 87 in 39.2 overs.
However, Rainford still trail First Division pacesetters Highfield by 14 points after the leaders defeated Skelmersdale by six wickets at Billinge Road.
The game was a triumph for left-arm spinner Madduma Lakmal, who took 8-41 in Skem’s 166 all out, Martyn Brierley making 41. Michael Gaskell’s 91 not out ensured that total was passed very comfortably in 25.2 overs.
At the other end of the table Burscough did themselves a power of good with a very rapid annihilation of the bottom-placed side Hightown St Mary’s.
Chris Andrews’ 4-11 and Rob Glaysher’s 4-22 played the leading roles in skittling Hightown St Ms for 44, a total which Burscough knocked off in just 10 overs.
Sefton Park are now in the top half of the table after their three-wicket defeat of Newton-leWillows at Crow Lane East. Daniel Kelly’s 4-37 did the early damage and Rob Houghton’s 4-31 completed the job of bowling out the home side for 110 in 38 overs, Muhammad Iqbal making 46 not out.
David Hort seemed to put Sefton Park on the way to victory but Hort was seventh out for 33 with 25 still needed and Matt Parkinson’s 4-19 made it tough going for the visitors on their way to a win which was only clinched in the 43rd over.
Naeem Islam made a fine 117 in Birkenhead Park’s 237-9 declared at Fleetwood Hesketh but the home side received only 39 overs in return and were 131-5 in reply, Lee Bolton making a patient 68 not out.