Saturday saw the 1st XI play fellow basement battlers Billingbrough CC and the 2nd XI travelled to face Cleethorpe Laportes CC.
With the holiday season bringing selection headaches for both captains, a much changed 1st XI won the toss and decided to let Billingborough bat first on a slightly damp wicket. With the sun and wind helping to dry the wicket out quickly early breakthroughs were needed.
Opening the bowling for Rasen were Penniston and Wright and the medium pace duo set about the task well.
Billingborugh were restricted for scoring opportunities during the early overs with Penniston getting the breakthrough in the fifth over. A second wicket followed shortly after for Penniston and put Billingbrough in trouble on 19 for 2.
This brought together the partnership of Dave Newman and Steve Scott to the wicket who put on an unbroken partnership of 73 for the third wicket.
The returning Tom Boryszczuk showed his early season good form as he unlocked Scott on 37.
Wickets began to fall at regular intervals with another superb fielding display from the Rasen side.
Will Bradford bowled a fantastic 13 overs straight through claiming the important wicket of Newman along the way.
A dangerous partnership at the end for Billingborugh added another 25 runs to the score that Rasen will feel may have changed the course of the game.
There was a stand out performance in the field for Rasen from Boryszczuk, who claimed 5 wickets on his ECB return and excellent bowling displays from 2nd team regulars Salmon and Wright will put pressure on the selection committee for the coming weekend.
Billingborough ended their 50 overs on 165 for 9, Rasen will be satisfied with their bowling performance once again as only three Billingbrough batsmen made it into double figures.
Once again, faced with a run chase that was more than within their means, Rasen acquitted themselves in the worst possible fashion.
Billingborough opening bowler Johnny Miles bagged two wickets in his first over putting Rasen at 0 for 2.
His left arm fast swing bowling looked too much for the Rasen batsmen and put any chance of a successful run chase out of mind.
All rounder Boryszczuk showed a little more fight taking the score to 20 before losing his wicket to Nathan Mill for 12.
This brought together the partnership of Bradford and Rutherford who set about the task of rebuilding Rasen’s innings.
Putting together a partnership of 50, both batsmen brought Rasen into line with Billingborough’s run rate and on course for their maiden victory of the season.
Bradford lost his wicket in disappointing fashion as his was caught and bowled by off spinner Angus Youles.
With Rutherford still at the crease Rasen battled onto 143-7, only 23 more runs were needed in 4 overs to claim victory as Rutherford eyed the chance of a big six to put the game fully into Rasen’s favour.
Whipping the ball away to the leg-side the Rasen batsmen was astonished to see the Billingborugh square leg fielder take a one-handed catch below knee height only inches from the boundary rope.
Still hopeful of edging towards victory, Rasen progressed onto 150 for 9 before the run chase ended and the battle for points took over.
Finishing only 14 short of outright victory Rasen will feel another chance of victory has slipped through their fingers.
Taking seven points from the game and Billingbrough walking away with only a few more keeps Rasen in touch at the foot of the table.
With the changes made to the 1st XI, the 2nd XI suffered by way of losing some of their key players.
With a challenging game away at Clee Town Laportes 1sts the Rasen side were joined by some familiar faces from the past.
Batting first, Rasen opened with Dale Christie and Lee Freeman, who set about their task well scoring quick early runs.
Attempting one big shot too many, Dale lost his wicket on 14, which was followed relatively quickly by two further wickets.
Rolling back the years, Ian Williams looked set for a big score until he was undone by some excellent bowling from opener Michael Barton.
This left Rasen 35 for 5. Needing a partnership to steady the ship Rasen found this in Lee Freeman’s mature display, who was successfully supported by innings from Richard Fussey and Rory Miller.
Both batted excellently with huge credited going to Rory Miller who showed the progress he has made this season, finishing on 32 not out.
Setting a target of 138 from their 45 overs Rasen knew that a tight bowling display would put them in with a chance of taking much needed points from the game.
Liam Entwhistle and Sam Williams started this in the best fashion possible as they restricted Laportes scoring chances. Both took early wickets as Laportes looked to build a match winning chase.
This came with a large 3rd wicket partnership which took Laportes to the brink of victory.
In-spite of this, Rasen continued the fight and were rewarded with more wickets as Laportes made a successful chase in 34 overs for the loss of six wickets.
Rasen all rounder Rory Miller was handed the Man of the Match award for Rasen for his batting and bowling display.
With a loss recorded for the first time in months the 2nd XI will look to get back on winnings way this week as they Normanby Park CC and the 1st XI welcome Bourne CC to Rase Park.