MARKET Rasen Town Cricket Club 2nd XI wrapped up the Lincolnshire County Cricket League Division Four Title on Saturday with a 24 run win over Hykeham at Rase Park.
The 2nds’ have been crowned with a game of the season left and the title is due reward for Mark Robinson’s side, who have dominated the division from start to finish in his first season at the helm.
The 2nds batted first at Rase Park against Hykeham and ground their way to 146 for 9 from their 45 overs.
Jon Stephenson, 33, and Darren Salmon, 32, were the leading batsmen for the home side, who were grateful to a gritty innings from Simon Bunn in order to see out their overs on a track which was never easy to bat on.
Hykeham’s batsmen found life tough from the start, and whilst they made a good fist of chasing down Rasen’s total, Ryan Penniston and Bunn – with three wickets apiece – ensured that they were unable to keep pace with the top of the table outfit.
Salmon and David Papworth were the other wicket-takers as the visitors were bowled out for 122 in the 41st over.
The 1st XI’s fine season continued at Appleby Frodingham, where the Steelmen’s 2nd XI were beaten by four wickets.
Unfortunately, Rasen were unable to take maximum points as Ben Bramley’s determined 28 not out, combined with 48 from Mick Bramley, helped App-Frod to bat out their overs.
This was in spite of a third five wicket haul of the season for skipper Matt Rutherford, who took 5 for 50 and was again the mainstay of the Rasen attack.
Chasing a modest 153 Rasen found themselves in all sorts of trouble early on, as Ben Bramley ripped through the top order, reducing the visitors to 33 for 4.
However, veteran Liam Scales and youngster George Fussey kept their heads, putting on 87 for the fifth wicket, with the pair bagging their first 50s of the campaign in the process.
Whilst both batsmen also fell to Bramley to hand the seamer figures of 6 for 44, Gary Bierlein and Will Bradford saw Rasen over the line in the 39th over.
The 1sts are top of Division One having completed all of their games and are guaranteed promotion. However, Bracebridge Heath 2nds can take the pennant if they pick up 39 points from their remaining two games.
It was definitely a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for Rasen’s Sunday sides at the weekend.
The Sunday 1st XI were bundled out for 84 against Bracebridge Heath – with only Matt Rutherford’s 28 bothering the scorers at Rase Park.
The home side did give Bracebridge a scare though, reducing them to eight wickets down thanks to excellent spells of spin bowling from Luke Richards, 4 for 20, and Matt Rutherford, 2 for 23. Unfortunately, Josh Lee, 43, kept his head to nurse his side over the line in a low scoring thriller.
The Sunday 2nd XI made the trek to Sleaford and lost to their Sunday 2nd XI for the second time in as many weeks.
Sleaford batted first and racked up 197 for 3 from their 40 overs, with Ben Burrows scoring 115 and Gavin Hutson 44.
Lee Chambers, 33, and David Papworth, 48, gave Rasen a solid platform in their chase, but the middle order faded and whilst a battling skipper’s innings from Gary Bierlein of 44 not out