MARKET Rasen’s cricketers took advantage of the first temperate weekend of the season to storm into the next round in four different cup competitions.
Meanwhile the Sunday 1sts eased to a five wicket win in the Lincoln League Premier Division to keep their title campaign on track.
There was Twenty20 action at Rase Park on Thursday, as a balmy summer’s evening was lit up by some entertaining cricket and a fine win for the home side in the Albion Cup.
ECB Premier side Hartsholme batted first and dug themselves into a hole early on, with two run outs in the first three overs.
Nick Wilkinson did his best to recover the situation for the visitors, but could only see his side to 87 for 8 from their 20 overs, thanks to some tight bowling from the Rasen spin trio of Matt Rutherford and The Brothers Bierlein.
Graeme Bell and Rutherford opened Rasen’s reply and found themselves shackled early on by Shillito and Hartsholme’s overseas pro, Jason Hayward.
Bell nicked off in an attempt to break loose bringing Liam Scales to the middle. The veteran Kent League batsman then took control of the situation with Rutherford to chase down the target in relative comfort.
Rutherford hit out to mid-off for 35 with only four runs required for victory, leaving Scales, 38, to smash the winning runs and take Rasen into the next round.
n SATURDAY saw the 1st XI host Hibaldstow in the first round of the George Marshall Cup and Simon Bunn’s men cantered to a seven wicket win over the villagers.
Father and son duo, Jon and Tom Taylor, scored 60 and 58 not out respectively in the visitors’ 133 all out, but the rest of their batsmen were unable to live with the Rasen attack.
The pick of the home bowlers were Gary Bierlein, 4 for 13, and Will Bradford, 3 for 16.
Ian Williams’ unbeaten 87, at near a run a ball, saw Rasen over the line within 30 overs and into a second round tie with Alkborough.
n THE 2nd XI headed to Cherry Willingham and handed their opponents a thrashing, in spite of their being in a higher division than Mark Robinson’s young outfit.
George Fussey’s rapid 33 set the tone for a Rasen batting performance that saw runs delivered by the whole team as they posted 227 all out from only 41 overs.
Cherry’s reply was never allowed to get going thanks to a probing new ball spell from James Keast and James Fussey.
The spin trio of Luke Richards, Andy Richley, 3 for 33 and Ivan Nash, 2 for 9, tore the heart out of the home side’s middle order and it was left to Fussey, 2 for 15, to deliver the coup de grace with Cherry bowled out for 94.
n THE Sunday 1st XI were also at Cherry Willingham this weekend and a weakened Rasen outfit ground out a five wicket win over the Crows.
Asked to bat first the home side struggled against the pace and movement of Graeme Bell, whose probing ten over spell saw him rip out four of Cherry’s top five.
Matt Rutherford and Andy Richley, 4 for 15, then wrapped up the lower order to dismiss the hosts for 119 in the 38th over.
Jason New, 69 not out, and Ian Williams guided Rasen’s run chase and were, at one stage, looking likely to wrap things up on their own.
However, Matt Spikings cleaned up Williams and sparked a mini-collapse that left youngster Seb Darke to help New see Rasen over the line.
n THE Saturday 2nd XI wrapped up its Major Hoult Cup group with a three wicket win over Aisthorpe. The villagers were treated to a masterclass from skipper Gary Bierlein, whose 96 not out allowed the home side to chase down the visitors’ 151.
But the star turn was George Fussey, whose 95 not out for Lincolnshire U17s saw them chase down Hertfordshire’s 277 at the Lindum.
Fussey’s knock saw him face only 106 balls and included a 120 run partnership with Cherry Willingham’s Matt Carter.
This weekend sees the 1st XI hosting Scothern in what promises to be a fantastic clash between two of Division One’s fancied sides, 1.30pm start.
The Sunday 1st XI host Lindum and will be looking to maintain the momentum of the last couple of weeks and the Sunday 2nd XI head out to Nocton to begin their Lincoln League campaign, both 2pm starts.