Rase Park has seen many fine junior sides over the years, but 2011’s crop of U13s are enjoying a cup run that will talked about for years to come in Market Rasen.
The latest game in their odyssey saw the side crowned county champions at Owmby, with a bowling masterclass putting their opponents from Sleaford to the sword.
The young Rasen outfit had already played at Owmby’s Todmoor Ground in 2011 and, as a result, knew that runs would be at a premium.
Skipper James Keast won the toss and had no hesitation in putting Sleaford in to bat with team manager, Steve Keast, setting the side the seemingly quixotic target of dismissing the opposition for 24.
Far from being over-awed at this ambitious ask, Rasen’s youngsters set about their task with skill and energy and were immediately amongst the wickets.
County seamers Paul Martin and James Keast took the new ball and picked up a wicket apiece in the first two overs, removing Dunn and Brewster. Keast struck again in his second over, thanks to an excellent catch from Katy Darke, and the third Sleaford batsman fell without troubling the scorers.
Liam Entwhistle and Nic Keast then entered the attack and, on a surface that was perfect for U11 County Star Keast’s off-spin, Sleaford capitulated. The youngster caused panic in the Sleaford ranks, using his flight, drift and sharp turn to confound the south Lincolnshire outfit and pick up 4 for 8 from his four overs.
With a run-out also arising from his spell and fine support from Entwhistle, Sleaford found themselves all out for only 34.
While Rasen were delighted with their performance with the ball, the result was still not certain at the halfway point as the pitch ensured that batsmen were never truly in and playing off the back foot was certainly not to be recommended.
Matt Travis and Tom Keast opened the batting for Rasen and the pair made a solid start, putting on 16 for the first wicket before Travis fell LBW.
Three runs late,r Keast followed him back to the pavilion, bowled by Dunn for a composed 12, to leave Rasen on 19 for 2.
Paul Martin and Harry Williams then departed quickly with only 24 on the board and Sleaford found themselves with a foothold in the game, however a captain’s knock from James Keast saw Rasen to a comprehensive six-wicket victory with Nic Keast smashing the winning boundary to complete a memorable all-round game.
The England and Wales Cricket Board run a national knockout competition for the winners of each County Cup competition.
Market Rasen were drawn at home against Swardeston CC from Norfolk in their Regional Quarter-Final. Unfortunately the side from the other side of the Wash were unable to fulfil the fixture, so Rasen progress through to a semi-final against Radcliffe-on-Trent CC, which will see the Rasen’s youngsters up against one of the perennial powerhouses of Nottinghamshire League cricket.
The club would like to congratulate the team on their efforts to this point and wish them luck for the next round.
The side are now only two wins away from the National Finals, which are held over two-days at Oakham School and see the top six U13 sides in the country battle it out for the National Championship.
This weekend sees three of Market Rasen Town Cricket Club’s sides in league action following last weekend’s washout.
The 1st XI host Hartsholme 2nds in the Lincolnshire League, looking for the first of the three further wins they require to guarantee promotion to Division One (1.30pm start), the Sunday 1st XI host Hykehams 1sts and the Sunday 2nd XI travel to Bracebridge Heath 2nds (2pm start for both).