After a week with no cricket for any side due to the weather two out of the four Market Rasen senior sides were in action this weekend.
The 1st XI had a long trip south to play ECB title contenders Bourne.
Without the experienced D. Christie and G. Bell the team drafted in R. Chamberlain and T. Bradford to add to an already youthful looking side.
Winning the toss, Matt Rutherford elected to field first and looked to capitalize on a wicket that looked to hold promise for the side bowling first.
The opening partnership of Penniston and Fussey were reunited for the game and they began Rasen’s attack with conditions favouring swing bowling.
A conservative start from P. Morgan and B. Stroud in the first few overs reflected the early conditions of the match, which resulted in the wicket of Morgan falling. In an attempt drive straight Penniston took Morgan’s off-stump and reduced Bourne to 4-1.
Sensing an opportunity to pile on early pressure Rasen’s spirits were quickly lifted again when Penniston claimed his second wicket of the game after enticing B. Stroud to play at one outside his off-stump, which he edged through to Bradford.
With Lincs Minor Counties representative Conrad Louth and Stuart Airey now at the crease Rasen knew that the next wicket would be vital to ensure that the momentum stayed with the bowling side.
With a partnership of 20 quickly built, Rutherford’s fielding changes seemed inspired and immediately paid off as Airey was caught at Mid-On and closed a pleasing opening spell by Penniston who claimed his third wicket.
With Bourne’s danger-man Louth progressing the score, Seb Darke’s movement was too much for the Bourne batsmen and he edged a quicker ball to W. Bradford who took an impressive catch at first slip
With Bourne now 43-4 all the pressure was on the home side to consolidate their position.
Changes in the bowling coming at frequent intervals to ensure the batsmen were not getting comfortable, Bourne began to take control, moving the score onto 106 before T. Boryszczuk got one to turn and bowled a befuddled R. Bentley.
With only one added to the score Boryszczuk again struck, but this time pounced on some nervous running from A. Stroud and ran out the non-striker in a manner that left the umpire in no doubt that the stumps had been taken.
On 107-6 Bourne knew that consolidation was the best form of attack and with Rasen producing another impressive fielding display, wickets began to fall at regular intervals through the experienced bowling of Rutherford, who would go on to claim three vital wickets.
Finishing their innings on 177-9 off 50 overs Rasen were delighted to have once again got themselves into a great position to take maximum points.
The opening partnership of D. Papworth and W. Bradford opened the batting against an aggressive attack from Bourne, led by Colin Cheer and Jack Berry.
Frustrating and controlling the bowling side, the opening pair moved clinically to a partnership of 61 from the first 25 overs with the loss of no wickets.
Although scoring slowly the position of strength built in these early overs could now be turned into a match winning one with the needed injection of run scoring shots.
With this in mind Papworth attempted to lift T. Dixon for a straight drive, but managed only to find the bowler in impressive fielding form and was dismissed on 36 for a smart caught and bowled.
In a repeat of the batting integrity that showed its flaws at Lindum, Rasen again lost four wickets for as many runs and were reduced to 65-4.
With consolidation in mind and picking up batting points along the way P. Martin and Rutherford injected some stability into the middle order, but as their wickets fell Rasen were on the ropes at 108-8, with any chance of claiming outright victory lost.
In defiant mood, R. Chamberlin introduced some life into Rasen’s batting with some extravagant shots, dispatching the Bourne attack to all parts of the ground ending on 28 not out.
Finishing on 125-8 from their 50 overs, Rasen will, for the second time in as many games, rue the missed opportunity to turn a strong position into a win.
Many positives can be taken from Saturdays game, the bowling and fielding remain a strong feature of the side, but as a team Rasen know that work needs to be done on their ability to turn chances into points.
On a blistering Sunday at Rase Park Market Rasen Sunday 2nd XI welcomed Nettleham to a thankfully drier ground than the day before. On a green looking wicket Rasen batted first with the family duo of Tom and James Keast.
Starting in conservative fashion Tom and James were looking to steadily build Rasen an early score when the first aggressive shot of the day from Tom resulted in a fantastic caught and bowled from K. Baker.
The wickets of A. Ramsey and C. Janney quickly followed before the third of the Keast trio arrived at the crease.
With James and Nick playing some wonderful shots Rasen’s score progressed at an impressive rate. With only a few overs remaining in the match James claimed a well-deserved century and Nick moved onto an equally impressive 50.
Rasen finished their innings on 210–6 from their 40 overs, with “team Keast” scoring 184 of them.
In a game marked by family partnerships, Megan and James Quinlan opened the bowling for Rasen, taking some early wickets and putting Nettleham on the back foot.
With a plethora of bowling options to choose from, captain A. Ramsey spread the overs among his options as victory looked a certainty from the outset.
Although some late resistant added to Nettleham score Rasen can be satisfied with a fantastic victory in difficult conditions.
Both Megan and James Quinlan produced excellent figures and lead Rasen to victory claiming seven wickets between them.
Next weekend Market Rasen 1st XI welcome Sleaford to Rase Park for a 12-noon start and on Sunday Market Rasen Sunday 1st XI travel away for a local derby with Middle Rasen.