Orrell’s first team started the 2017 Liverpool Competition season with an away loss to an impressive Rainford side.
The leg injury to keeper/batter David Naylor and the late withdrawal of last season’s top performer, Sam Heeley, was a blow to the side in the lead up to the season opener. Skipper Andrew Mottram won the toss and elected to field on a sunny yet cold April day. Orrell took to the field with new signings Australian Matt Morgan, young opening bowler Joe Lyth, recently signed left arm spinner Ali Sartaj and the returning Richard Everett.
Lyth and Gareth Houghton took the new ball and Lyth in particular passed the bat on a number of occasions with no luck. Houghton struck with the score on 34. The Rainford batters continued to show a positive intent whilst also riding their luck at times. The introduction of first change bowlers Lee Martinus and Sartaj saw wickets start to fall at more regular intervals. Sartaj found a good rhythm to his bowling and looked very impressive- aided by some high class keeping from Everett. His final figures of 5-43 from 18 overs, whilst very impressive, don’t tell the true story of how many difficulties he posed the batters. Morgan picked up two late wickets at Rainford finished on 167 all out from 54.5 overs.
The Orrell reply began with Rainford’s England Under 19 fast bowler, Dan Houghton, charging in from the top end. Aided by some uneven bounce, Houghton posed the Orrell batters many significant problems as he blasted through the Orrell top order to leave them 13-3. Despite some resistance from the impressive Morgan, the Orrell innings never recovered from the opening blast from Houghton as they finished 55 all out. A bad day for the team with the bowling of Sartaj being the best of only a few positives.
Orrell’s Second team lost their opening fixture to Liverpool CC. Skipper Paul Mottram won the toss and elected to bowl. Liverpool were all out for 168 from 37.3 overs. Chris Kirby (3-25) Steve Pegg (3-39) and Charlie Abbott (3-21) being the standout bowlers. Despite a solid start to the reply, Orrell’s batting crumbled to 131 all out. Steve Tickle (33) and Stuart Craig (27) being the only batters to threaten to lead the team to victory.
Orrell’s third team convincingly beat Ainsdale in their opening match of the season. The visitors won the toss and chose to bat at a sunny YMCA ground. The visitors were bowled out for 103 in 29.5 overs. The wickets were shared out amongst the bowlers but special mentions to Under 14 Katie Hodge for her 2-19 and the spin twins who wrapped the innings up at the end- Alan Moore (2-12) and Matthew Hayes (1-7). Orrell passed the required total in 21.3 over for the loss of 2 wickets. Joe Burrows with 28 and Joe Lyth finishing unbeaten on 68.
Orrell’s resurrected fourth team, began their campaign in the West Lancashire League with a defeat at Heaton CC despite a scintillating 149 from Richard Everett and 46 from 13 year old Callum Martlew.