Market Rasen First XI welcomed Market Deeping to Rase Park on Saturday as the Lincolnshire ECB fixture list passed into its final quarter of the season.
With a replenished team from last week’s defeat at Grantham, skipper Matt Rutherford won the toss and elected to bat first.
Openers Papworth and Will Bradford looked to score quickly, but Deeping applied early pressure with Thomas Andrews bowling well. Rasen again lost early wickets and relied on Bradford to keep the runs flowing as Papworth, Scales and Williams all fell cheaply.
Unable to follow their recent batting exploits, the prized wickets of Martin and Rutherford were claimed as Andrews and Ali Sharp maintained their excellent bowling.
Bradford failed to reach his 50 as Emile Kriek found his outside edge and sent him back to the pavilion on 44. The returning Tom Boryzczuk looked in brilliant shape in only his second full ECB game of the season, punishing the Deeping attack to score a majestic 47 from 61 balls before Mehul Adatia claimed his wicket.
Boryzczuk was disappointed not to post his first ECB 50 of the season, but his form is encouraging for Rasen’s run-in.
A cameo role from Charlie Scales (13) helped the hosts to 141 all out from only 39 overs. With 11 spare overs, a score of 200-plus seemed par for the conditions.
Fussey and Boryzczuk led the attack, and the former continued his bamboozling swing bowling and soon castled Alex Wheatley (16-1).
Rasen had to work hard for their early wickets as Deeping’s Ajaz Akhtar formed small but productive partnerships with his top five.
Reaching 58, the opener was caught at gully by Charlie Scales and Deeping’s lower order began to collapse as the visitors lurched from 90-4 to 116-8.
Rasen sensed a spectacular finish, and after Deeping’s number seven blasted a huge six and four from a Fussey over, he then edged one to Will Bradford at first slip.
Seven runs short and with only one wicket in hand, Lee Peacock hit a crucial maximum and began to walk off the pitch before he was stopped by the umpire and informed the scores were now tied.
Deeping faced an agonising two overs to claim the vital last run with youngster Patrick Brown admirably defending a very tense over from Rutherford.
Despite losing out in a thrilling finale, Rasen walked away with five points, knowing they had fought to the bitter end.
With only six games left, Rasen lie ninth, but just 10 points above Skegness who occupy the second relegation spot. Saturday brings an away trip to fourth-placed Bourne.