Still no win for Firth men
LIVERPOOL Gin Liverpool Competition: ECB Premier League: Rainhill (24pts), 201, beat SOUTHPORT and Birkdale (8pts), 170, by 31 runs CHRIS Firth and his players are tired of being informed that they are getting close to their first league win of the season. They know that themselves and matches like that at Rainhill merely reinforce the point without making it any more palatable.
Getting close, as they did when they fell 32 runs short of success at Victoria Terrace, will not keep Southport and Birkdale in the Liverpool Competition’s Premier League.
It is vaguely astonishing that S&B are not already adrift at the bottom of the table.
As it stands, though, they are one of three teams covered by nine points. Ainsdale and Formby are the other sides involved and on Tuesday Formby signed Ajmal Shahzad, who was released by Sussex that morning.
S&B were never properly out of the game at Rainhill until they lost it. Andy Warhurst took two good wickets in his opening spell and had Bradley Yates held on to a very difficult leg side chance offered by Sam Kershaw off Chris Brownlow, Firth’s bowlers would have removed the cream of Rainhill’s batting.
As it was, Kershaw made 94 and held his side’s innings together. Yet even in the aftermath of defeat Firth was pleased by the way in which his bowlers offered Rainhill relatively few easy runs on what was a good pitch.
The captain himself grabbed four of the remaining wickets and a couple of top order batsmen fell to catches behind the wicket off Angus Gailey.
The efforts of Gailey and the other members of S&B’s attack gave Firth’s batsmen a reasonable opportunity to bat without feeling pressured by the run-rate. That they failed to take such an opportunity can be explained by the accuracy of Rainhill’s Indian spinner, Akshay Darekar, who dismissed four of the top seven batsmen.