Market Rasen CC land George Marshall Trophy for first time

Market Rasen captain Dale Christie and team with the George Marshall Trophy EMN-160824-173217002
Market Rasen captain Dale Christie and team with the George Marshall Trophy EMN-160824-173217002

All-round heroics from Will Bradford steered Market Rasen CC to silverware as they lifted the George Marshall Trophy for the first time.

Rasen’s First Xi travelled to Cleethorpes CC for the 45-over-a-side final where they faced Bracebridge Heath.

Market Rasen scorer Shelley Clayton with the trophy EMN-160824-173231002

Market Rasen scorer Shelley Clayton with the trophy EMN-160824-173231002

Winning the toss, captain Dale Christie elected to field first and asked Bracebridge to set a total.

A blistering opening spell from James Fussey and Bradford had Bracebridge on the ropes from the start.

Swing bowler Fussey picked up two wickets from his opening six-over spell, conceding only six runs, while Bradford found equal success from the other end.

His pace was too much for the Bracebridge batsmen as he sliced through the batting order to pick up a five-for.

Arriving at drinks after 15 overs, Bracebridge were 50-6 and the pressure of the final was telling on some of their more experienced players.

Young Joseph Mansford formed a vital middle order partnership, carrying Bracebridge nearer to the century mark before losing his wicket to Tom Boryszczuk as he attempted to push the score on.

Following an injury to Penniston which cut short his bowling for the afternoon, Charlie Scales produced an assured display, and made a vital breakthrough, aided by Rob Chamberlin’s spectacular catch.

Gary Bierlin remained a thorn in the side of the batsmen on his return to First XI duties, as his probing spell pinned Bracebridge back.

Rasen collected the last couple of wickets cheaply to bowl their opponents out for 107 in 37 overs.

Knowing the target was well within reach, Bradford opened the batting with Boryszczuk and set about punishing the Heath attack.

The pair reached 30-0 before Boryszczuk fell, followed quickly by Charlie Scales as the momentum swung back to the bowling side.

Liam Scales steadied the Rasen nerves with Bradford’s support before holing out to mid-on.

And when Papworth went without scoring, Rasen still needed 50 runs with four wickets down.

The Bracebridge tails were up, but Bradford looked immovable and Chris Higgins showed fantastic calmness under plenty of pressure while dispatching the ball to all corners.

Bradford sealed his man-of-the-match performance by winning the game with a huge six to the furthest corner of the ground, landing in front of an ecstatic Rasen balcony.

Rasen cruised to a six-wicket win in just 31 overs, Bradford adding an unbeaten 57 to his five-wicket haul valiantly supported by Higgins (19).

Having received the George Marshall Trophy from Lincolnshire County League chairman Robert Welton, they returned to Rase Park to celebrate.

Rasen were also assisted by good luck charm Shelley Clayton who provided her expert scoring skills for the competition.