WHILST the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, the rain in Lincolnshire this year seems to be mainly falling everywhere, constantly.
Unsurprisingly only one of Rasen’s four scheduled senior matches survived the weather, with the 2nds’ Bob Welton Cup tie at Barton and both McKinnells Lincoln League games being washed away.
The only match Rasen were able to play was the 1sts’ George Marshall Trophy encounter against Alkborough, from the Lincolnshire League’s Premier Division, which Rasen contrived to lose by 52 runs.
Steve Clay won the toss for Alkborough and the veteran opener lost little time in deciding to have a bat.
Graeme Bell and Will Bradford took the new ball for Rasen and asked plenty of questions of Clay and his fellow opener, Craig Ross.
Bell received little luck and went for a few runs early on, whilst Bradford was both tight and hostile and it was the youngster who made the first breakthrough, inducing Clay to chip the ball straight to Matt Rutherford in the covers.
Graham Wilson joined Ross and the pair of them set about consolidating the visitors’ position.
The pair saw off Bell and Bradford and then set about nullifying the threat of Matthew Rutherford (1 for 11 from 9 overs) and Karl Bierlein.
The safety-first approach from the batsmen saw them to 81 for 1 in the 30th over and had placed Alkborough in a position to accelerate to a challenging total.
The introduction of Gary Bierlein at the Gallamore Lane End saw the tempo of the match change, as Wilson, 23, and Ross, 38, looked to move the game on.
Both succeeded initially, but were unable to sustain the outbreak, as Bierlein dismissed them both to put Rasen in charge.
Unfortunately, the home side could not counter the big hitting of Lee Brocklebank, whose quick-fire 26 contained a couple of huge sixes off Gary Bierlein and Nigel Brown, 38 not out.
A run-out from Bierlein and another wicket, thanks to a sharp stumping by Tom Keast, saw Rasen’s skipper finish with 3 for 41 from his nine overs and Alkborough close their 45 overs on 167 for 6.
Jake Astle and Liam Hebblewhite opened the bowling for Alkborough as Rasen looked to make immediate inroads into the total.
However, it was Astle who made his mark first, picking up Ian Williams cheaply.
Bell, 21, and Liam Scales, 20, set about rebuilding Rasen’s reply, until a mix-up saw Bell run out.
Rutherford threatened to take the game away from Alkborough, as Rasen ticked along nicely, but the introduction of spin, in the form of Clay and Brocklebank, turned the course of the game.
The veteran twirlers tied Rasen down and then turned the screw, with Brocklebank picking up Rutherford LBW and Clay luring Scales into an attempted hit over the top that could only find mid-off.
Scales’ dismissal proved the turning point, as from that point on Alkborough never looked like relinquishing their grip on proceedings.
Promising cameos from George Fussey and Luke Richards provided some light in the gathering gloom for the home side, but couldn’t stop them being bowled out for 115 in the 38th over, to lose by 52 runs.
This weekend sees another full slate of fixtures for the club, weather permitting.
The 1st XI will look to put their cup exit behind them, as they take up fellow Division One new-boys, Cleethorpes 3rds at Rase Park.
The 2nd XI head north again to take on Immingham Blossom Way in Division Four. Both games start at 1.30pm.
The Sunday 1st XI head to the smoke to play Hartsholme 1sts and the Sunday 2nd XI host Bracebridge Heath 2nds, both games start at 2pm.