Market Rasen & Louth 1st XV 22 Scunthorpe 1st XV 13
AT a rain swept Horncastle the red and greens battled against Scunthorpe and the elements to end the season on a high with a victory in the Lincolnshire Cup Final.
Scunthorpe had first use of the wind in a largely nondescript first half where Scunthorpe had the territorial advantage, but couldn’t unlock the Rasen defence.
A Samoan style open armed shoulder charge pole axed winger Adam Dearden and earned the Scunthorpe hooker ten minutes in the sin bin.
However, Rasen couldn’t capitalise on this despite brief forays into their opponents half where skipper Ollie Cole and fullback Meehal Grint made some determined battering ram type charges.
As the half drew to a close Scunthorpe gained some reward for their persistence as Grint was penalised, earning himself a yellow card, and the fullback landed the penalty to give his side a slender 3–0 lead.
With the wind at their backs Rasen made a strong start to the second half and began to build an attacking platform.
A penalty in the 11th minute was drilled to touch and once more the tried and tested catch and drive bore fruit as prop Chris Starling was driven over the line, emerging caked in mud. Grint added the conversion with a superbly struck kick from wide out.
Scunthorpe came back, but the red and green rush defence forced them to spill the ball, which was hacked up field.
Speedsters Peter Everton and George Edell gave chase, but Scunthorpe defenders managed to get to the ball first to temporarily stall the Rasen attack.
The respite was short lived as Scunthorpe were penalised and Grint slotted the penalty.
Rasen continued with their purple patch as further forward drives created a position for Cole, returning to his rampant rhino best, to take a pop ball and charge over the line.
Grint added the conversion and Rasen seemed out of sight, but Scunthorpe had other ideas and two minutes later their winger crossed the whitewash to reduce the deficit.
Four minutes on Rasen were reduced to 14 men again as touch judge Alan Hawkes spotted an infringement and Adam Dearden was yellow carded.
The red and greens drew on their resolve and made light work of their numerical disadvantage as they pushed Scunthorpe deep into their own twenty-two.
As the forwards continued with their driving play, Grint called for the ball on the blind side and charged over for a score in the corner.
Ten minutes remained on the clock as the balance tipped back in favour of Rasen, but Scunthorpe continued to probe for an opening and some ominous driving play from their pack created another try for them in the 36th minute.
Rasen remained on the back foot for the remainder of the game, but defended with grit and tenacity to keep their opponents at bay to secure the silverware.
It was good for the team to finish the season on a high and a fitting end to the tenure of coaches Simon Green and Steve Kirkby, for whom it was their last game in charge of the first team as they are both stepping down from their posts.
Team: Starling C, Oliver, Cole, Mills, Thornes, Chamberlin, Starling D, Murphy, Starling M, John, Dearden A, Jones, Edell, Harvey, Grint. Subs: Everton P (Harvey), Beaumont (Murphy), Barker, Barr, Inman