Market Rasen & Louth 1st XV 40 Towcestrians 1st XV 19
IN a remarkable turnaround, the red and greens recovered from a 19 point deficit to score 40 unanswered points and record an outstanding victory to banish last week’s indifferent performance to the annals of history.
Rasen made a bright start again, putting together a series of drives from the forwards straight from the kick off, but after conceding an early penalty the pendulum swung in favour of the visitors.
With 11 minutes gone, fullback Matt Yuill narrowly missed a penalty chance before the Towcestrians back line hit top gear as centre Martin Harvey’s superb running line sliced through the Rasen defence before putting winger Adam Wilkinson in for a try wide out.
Rasen came back almost immediately and looked to have created an overlap for a certain score, but winger Dan Falvey took a gamble and intercepted the final pass to gallop unopposed under the posts leaving the crestfallen Rasen team to trudge back to face Yuill’s successful conversion.
With the visitors in the ascendancy, Rasen appeared desperate for any score and opted for a long range shot at goal from Paul Cook instead of a territorial touch find.
The kick fell short and Towcestrians came back with a vengeance as fly half Benjamin Roe broke through the first line of defence.
The move continued at a pace and slick handling from the visiting backs put Yuill in for another try, which he duly converted to give his side a 19 -0 lead with only 26 minutes gone.
With Rasen seemingly startled like rabbits in the Towcestrians’ headlights, a rout looked on the cards and no one watching could have envisaged such a dramatic red and green revival.
Rasen came back and created some space, but contrived to get in each other’s way to curtail the promising attack.
However, superlative scavenging from Ben Chamberlin, revelling in the freedom of his open side role, disrupted Towcestrians possession from the scrum, giving Rasen valuable turnover ball that was efficiently utilised for Nick Harvey to come off his wing and crash over for the hosts opening score.
Fullback Meehal Grint slotted the conversion to leave Rasen 19 – 7 down at the interval, but with a renewed glimmer of hope.
Buoyed up by the resurgence at the end of the first half, Rasen began strongly as prop Chris Starling charged through the opposition ably supported by substitute Dean Hutchinson before desperate defence from the visitors halted red and green progress.
In the eighth minute, the Towcestrians substitute received a yellow card that turned out to be pivotal in the demise of his team as Rasen plundered two tries during his 10 minute absence.
The penalty following the dismissal was drilled into touch and Towcestrians were powerless to stop the Rasen catch and drive as the red and green pack careered towards the line like a runaway train, Chris Starling making the touchdown and Grint then adding the conversion.
As Rasen played a more calculating game, an astute kick from fly half Nick John bounced kindly into the arms of Harvey who was stopped just short of the line, but the supporting Chamberlin was on hand to force his way over the whitewash to tie the scores.
A long kick from scrumhalf Andy Neesham was chased by Harvey like an enthusiastic dog and forced Yuill to carry over his own line for a five metre scrum, much to his chagrin.
Rasen won the scrum and John darted through a gap in the visitors’ defence to put the red and greens in the lead for the first time. Grint’s sure footed boot added the extras and Rasen were now the dominant force.
Smarted by their sense of injustice as Yuill was adamant that the ball had crossed the line before he minored it, Towcestrians went on the offensive, but in a case of déjà vu Cook intercepted a wayward pass on the Rasen 10 metre line and hared off to score under the posts, leaving Grint to stretch the lead with another conversion.
With time running out Grint administered the coup de grace by stealing up the blindside from a five metre scrum to score his side’s sixth try before calmly adding the conversion from wide out.
Next week there is no fixture as the leagues take a break, but the first team returns to action on November 12 with a home game against Bedford Athletic with a 2.15pm kick off.
Rasen: Starling C, Oliver, Southwell, McCardie, Mills, Dearden L, Chamberlin, Starling D, Neesham A, John, Dearden A, Jones, Cook, Harvey, Grint
Subs: Hutchinson (McCardie), Mc Daid (Dearden A), Nicholls (Southwell)
Towcestrians: Growler, Tustian, Causebrook, Banks, Kirby, Skelton, Adams, Yeates, Stocks, Roe, Wilkinson, Harvey, Williams, Falvey, Yuill
Subs: George, Goodman, Osborne-Wright