Two convincing wins saw Market Rasen Town Cricket Club claim bragging rights for the season over local rivals Caistor.
Rasen bowlers restricted their rivals’ batsmen to a total of 221 runs from 91 overs across the two Lincolnshire League games that were played on Saturday.
Home team kipper Liam Wood won the toss for Caistor and elected to bat first, on a bright, if breezy, afternoon.
Harry Boulton continued his rich vein of form, compiling an untroubled 43. However, he appeared to be playing in a completely different match to his teammates, who succumbed to another excellent outing from left-arm spinners; Gary Bierlein and Rutherford.
Nathan Davies, who opened the innings with Boulton, was the only other Caistor batsman to reach double-figures.
Bierlein took 4 for 16 from 17 overs, backed up by Rutherford’s 4 for 37 from 17 overs and a wicket apiece for Will Bradford and Luke Richards, Rasen rolled up the Caistor innings for 92 in the 46th over.
Graeme Bell, 28, and Will Bradford, 23, put on 54 for the first wicket in brisk time and while Caistor were able to grab a bowling point, George Fussey continued his decent run of recent form with 27 not out, to see Rasen home inside 25 overs.
Caistor Town 3rds visited Rase Park and, having been put into bat, set about grinding the life out of the Rasen attack.
Ernie Allison set the tone, as the veteran skipper opened the batting with Dave Gowshall and consumed 105 balls for his 20.
Combined with a typically pugnacious innings of 37 from Gowshall, Caistor blunted a Rasen attack that worked tirelessly, but with little reward.
Excellent spells of spin bowling from Karl Bierlein, 1 for 30 from 15 overs, and Nic Keast, 1 for 46 from 15 overs, did not garner the reward they deserved and despite a late flurry of wickets, Rasen never looked like bowling the visitors out. Caistor closed their innings on 129 for 5.
Rasen’s reply got off to a rocky start, with Jon Stephenson castled by Ben Barrick before the hosts had got a run on the board. Charlie Scales and James Fussey set about repairing the damage, until the latter ran himself out. Scales, who was opening the innings for the first time in a senior game, then had to witness the rest of Rasen’s top order crumble, as Caistor took hold of the game, reducing their hosts to 52 for 5.
Tim Gillot, 2 for 32, picked up the vital wicket of Dale Christie LBW, as well as inducing Aaron Wells to chip the ball to cover, whilst Jake Thompson pinned Nic Keast LBW. In spite of the horror-show at the other end, Scales kept his head and the 14 year old left-hander found a willing ally in Andy Richley.
Having steadied the ship, Scales started to open up and unfurled a delightful range of shots all around the wicket. Unsurprisingly strong off his legs, Scales also displayed the ability to hit straight and through the covers and it was he who hit the winning boundary to bring up his maiden senior 50 for the club and a 5 wicket win for the 2nds.
This weekend sees the 1st XI with a bye week, whilst the 2nd XI visit Broughton in Lincs League Division 3, 1.30pm start. The Sunday 1st XI visit Hartsholme in the Lincoln League Premier Division, whilst the Sunday 2nd XI host Nettleham, both 2pm starts.