Market Rasen 1st XI took advantage of a dust bowl at Rase Park to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at Nettleham with a nail-biting nine run win over Alford in the Lincolnshire League Premier Division on Saturday.
The win was the prelude to a mixed weekend of results for the club.
The 2nd XI’s batting let them down as they lost by 31 runs at Barton Town 2nds, the Sunday 1st XI also failed to score enough runs to challenge Hartsholme, losing by four wickets and the Sunday 2nd XI beat Nettleham 2nds by 64 runs.
Batting first on a track that offered the spinners turn and bounce from the off, Rasen 1sts battled into the 46th over to post a total of 135 all out against Alford.
Matt Rutherford, 34, and Will Bradford, 30, laid a solid foundation for the hosts, but only Liam Scales, 21, in the middle order, was able to make a score of note as Alford’s attack ground Rasen down for a total that would have been well below par on most weekends of the year.
Rutherford and Gary Bierlein made Rasen’s score look unassailable though, with a mesmerising spell of left-arm spin bowling.
The pair sent down a combined 35 overs, with Rutherford taking 4 for 53 and Bierlein 3 for 47 to bowl Alford out nine runs short of victory.
Without Joe Irving’s 71 the visitors would have been out of the game much earlier, but the young all-rounder’s lone hand was almost enough for Alford, until he was the last man out, cleaned up by Rutherford.
The 2nd XI bowled Barton Town 2nds out for 152 at Marsh Lane, thanks to an incisive new ball spell from Liam Entwistle, 5 for 11 from 7.1 overs.
Barton’s total was largely thanks to a hard-hitting innings of 67 from Regs Koen, who looked to be taking the game away from Rasen, until Ivan Nash, 3 for 16, beat Koen in the flight to bring the visitors back into the game.
With 50 overs to chase down the runs Rasen ambled out of the gates, but at 65 for 2 just after drinks, looked well set to move up a gear and knock off the runs.
Unfortunately, Andy Richley, 32, played across the line and was bowled, triggering a brief collapse, as Rasen slumped to 75 for 5.
Kevin Salmon, 36, and Rob Chamberlin, 27, briefly got Rasen back on course, but when Regs Koen came back on from the football ground end and cleaned up Salmon the end was nigh, with the last four Rasen wickets falling for only one run. Koen finished with 6 for 16 from 11.4 overs as Barton bowled the visitors out for 121 to win by 31 runs.
Sunday 1st XI
The Sunday 1st XI welcomed table-topping Hartsholme to Rase Park on Sunday in the Lincoln League, but a limp top-order batting performance saw the home side reduced to 6 for 3 and then 47 for 5 as the visitors made their presence felt.
Only a pyrrhic knock of 80 from Matt Rutherford and a stoic 14 not out from youngster Charlie Scales, who put on 86 for the sixth wicket with his skipper, gave Rasen a hope as the hosts closed their 40 overs on 133 for 6.
An enthusiastic performance in the field wasn’t enough to save the day for Rasen, as Richard Genge, 51, and Paul Bassingthwaite, 27 not out, saw the visitors home with 4 wickets and 3 overs to spare.
Sunday 2nd XI
The Sunday 2nd XI batted first at Nettleham 2nds in the Lincoln League and found themselves reduced to 12 for 2 early on.
However, career-best knocks of 39 from Liam Entwistle and 33 from Jamie Beastall, combined with 76 from Andy Richley allowed the hosts to post 209 for 8 from their 40 overs.
Another incisive opening spell from Entwistle, 4 for 55, and two wickets apiece for Gavin Korytnickyj and Paul Bett saw the hosts bowled out for 145 to hand Rasen the win by 64 runs.
This weekend sees the 1st XI make the short trip to Cherry Willingham in the Lincolnshire League Premier Division, 1pm start, and the 2nd XI host Washingborough in Division Three, 1.30pm start. On Sunday, both sides are away, with the 1sts visiting Lindum and the 2nds heading out to Nocton, both 2pm starts.