The second sunny bank holiday in a row saw cup action come to Rase Park with Market Rasen’s teams in a double-header against Barton Town.
Unfortunately both lost by three wickets to exit their respective competitions in the first round.
A maiden century from Will Bradford saw the Sunday 2nds into the final of the Major Hoult Cup for the second year in a row at the expense of Woodhall Spa Sunday 2nds.
Matt Rutherford took a strong 1st XI north to face Barton Town 1st XI on Saturday, only to find that the batting form displayed at Bracebridge Heath last week had deserted his team.
Having won the toss Rasen chose to bat first and soon found themselves under the pump, as Barton opening bowlers reduced the visitors to 23 for 3.
Dale Christie and Liam Scales, 21, put on 54 for the fourth wicket to steady the ship, but once Scales fell the visitor’s innings fell away rapidly.
Dale Christie continued his fine form so far this season to take his run tally for the season so far up to 236, dominating partnerships with Seb Darke and Gary Bierlein as he took the Barton bowlers to task, crashing 76 from only 67 balls.
But one he was the seventh man to fall the end came quickly and Rasen were bowled out for 148 in the 38th over.
Dan Tolson, 33, and Gareth Mellors, 33, gave the home side a solid start and in spite of some excellent bowling from Rasen’s trio of spinners, a captain’s knock of 26* from John Knapton saw Barton Town over the line with three wickets in hand and 21 balls to spare. Bierlein, 2 for 27, and Luke Richards, 2 for 32, were the pick of the Rasen attack.
The 2nd XI hosted Barton Town 2nds in the Bob Welton Trophy and paid the price for a batting display the fizzled out badly in the last ten overs.
Rasen lost the toss and were asked to bat first on a damp track at Rase Park.
Sam Williams, 20, got himself well set as Richley attempted to move through the gears, with the skipper for the day moving onto 52 before losing his off stump to Andrew Tester, having played one cut shot too many. At 120 for 3 with ten overs to go Rasen were set for a competitive total, but the middle order crumbled to some fine bowling from Koen, who returned to clean up the big hitters, and Nathan Jones as Rasen stumbled to 137 for 8 at the end of their 45 overs.
The consensus at tea was that Rasen were at least 20 runs light and so, in the end, it proved, but not after an excellent bowling display by the home side. Mike Wilkinson, 75 not out, was the difference for Barton, as the opener followed up an economical display with the ball with an excellent, if not chance-free, innings, but he received little support from the rest of his side as Rasen continued to chip away. All of the attack bowled well, with the bowling changes rung at regular interval in the search for wickets. Karl Bierlein led the way with 3 for 24 from his 9 overs, but half a dozen dropped catches and the poor display with the bat left Rasen with too much to do as Barton staggered over the line with 6 balls to spare and 3 wickets in hand.
The Sunday 2nd XI handed out a sound thrashing to Woodhall Spa Sunday 2nds and booked themselves a place in the Major Hoult Cup Final in the process. Will Bradford smashed his maiden ton for the club, cracking 130 whilst putting on 176 for the first wicket with 16 year old Seb Darke. Once Bradford had departed, Darke, Gavin Korytnickyj and Tom Keast continued to send the ball around the park with posting his second 50 of the season to finish on 60* having guided Rasen to 249 for 2 from their 40 overs.
Woodhall Spa’s reply never really got going as a strong Rasen attack put in a professional display, bowling the visitors out for 69 to seal the win by a margin of 180 runs.
This weekend sees the 1st XI head to bottom of the table Nettleham for a must-win clash in the Lincs League Premier Division, 1pm start at Mulsanne Park. The Sunday 1st XI host local rivals Owmby and the Sunday 2nd XI head to Aisthorpe, both 2pm starts.