Market Rasen CC Seconds bolster Lincs County league lead at Morton

Title-chasing Market Rasen Second XI strengthened their grip on Lincolnshire County League Division Three with a dominant win at Morton.

With captain Jono Stephenson still sidelined with a broken finger, it was once again left to Lee Freeman to lead the team on Saturday.

Batting first, Rasen opened up with Freeman and Chambers and were immediately on the back foot as the home side reduced them to 4-2.

This brought together Rasen’s two most in-form batsmen with Freeman (53) and Daniel Clarke (35) now at the crease.

Building on the blistering start the team has made this season, both batsmen took the attack to the Morton bowlers, and a resilient display took the score from 4-2 to 93 before the fall of the third wicket.

But after losing both batsmen within a few overs of each other, Rasen’s middle order showed little fight.

It was left to James Greenwood to add 17 vital runs to the score before the innings was brought to an end inside 43 overs, all out for 135.

The bowling partnership of Clarke and Entwistle has produced a feast of wickets this season and this continued apace as Morton began their chase.

The score stood at 10-0 before Entwistle broke the Morton defence with assistance from Rory Miller who took a great catch.

With only two more runs added to the score, Clarke got in on the action, trapping the captain LBW and leaving Morton stranded on 12-2.

Sensing blood, the visitors stepped up a gear and increased the pressure on the home side.

Both bowlers were now taking turns to grab wickets as the batsmen began a procession to the pavilion.

With only two batsmen reaching double figures, the hosts scrambled to 39 before losing their ninth and final wicket of the game with one Morton player unable to bat.

Both bowlers finished with enviable figures as Clarke claimed 5 for 18 from 7.5 overs and Entwistle 4 for 21 from seven overs.

Reaching victory inside 15 overs, the league leaders are top by eight points from chasing Hibaldstow, but a full 55 points clear of fourth-placed Morton.