ANOTHER perfect Sunday afternoon at Rase Park saw Matthew Rutherford put the Sunday 1st XI’s Lincoln League Title challenge back on track.
After a galling loss to Boston at the Mayflower last Sunday, it was vital that Rasen defeated a strong Hartsholme unit and, on a day when the bat dominated in the lee of the Wolds, Rutherford’s undefeated 82 guideD his side to a five wicket win.
Asked to bowl first, Rasen found life tough in the field, doing well to restrict a talented Hartsholme line-up to 222 for 6 from their 40 overs.
M Wooldrige, 70, and R Thorpe, 54, providing the bulk of the runs for the visitors from the county capital.
Rasen’s reply centred around another stylish knock from the home side’s skipper, which saw him unfurl a range of shots all around the wicket to enthral the bumper crowd at Rase Park.
Dale Christie contributed a brutal 51, including five sixes, to speed Rasen to victory and much needed 20 points.
The rest of Rasen’s weekend was a tale of hard ‘yakka’ in the field and little application with the willow.
The Sunday 2nd XI visited Rustons, but could not notch their elusive first win.
Only Paul Bett and Shaun French made any contributions of note with the bat, with Rasen mustering 86 all out.
In reply Paul Bett, 2 for 20, and Sam Williams, 2 for 17, strove valiantly with the ball, but couldn’t prevent a six-wicket reverse for the young side.
Williams’ efforts with the ball for the Sunday 2nds this year have been one of the bright spots for the side; with the 13-year-old having taken four wickets at an average of 24 in his first three games this season.
Saturday saw both of Rasen’s senior sides in cup action against Scunthorpe. A depleted 1st XI visited Heslam Park and were handed a 103 run reverse in the George Marshall Cup, in spite of the valiant efforts of Graeme Bell, who put in a superb all-round performance.
Scunthorpe batted first and, having seen off a hostile opening burst from Bell, 2 for 40 from nine overs, amassed 224 for 6 from their 45 overs, with Ian Snowden, 50, Ram Chand, 57, and Liam Redmond, 49, doing the damage with the willow.
Gary Bierlein’s nine overs were the pick, as he snaffled two for 28, but the rest of the Rasen attack received little reward, despite toiling manfully.
Rasen’s reply saw Ben Brumby make early inroads into the top order and their innings never recovered in spite of a pyrrhic 73 from Graeme Bell, who battled furiously against the Premier Division attack, before becoming the seventh man out.
With Bell’s departure the end came swiftly enough and Rasen were dismissed for 121.
The 2nd XI hosted Scunthorpe 2nds and a young Rasen side found themselves outplayed by the third division outfit, losing by 136 runs.
Given the opportunity to field first, Rasen struck early through James Fussey, with the young Lincolnshire bowler again the pick of the attack with 2 for 46 from his nine overs.
Unfortunately that was as good as it got for the home side, as Jake Smith proceeded to compile his maiden ton and steer Scunthorpe to an imposing 224 for 8 from their 45 overs with 109 not out.
Smith received a bit of luck during his innings, but thoroughly deserved his ton with his driving through the off side being of the highest quality.
The rest of the Rasen attack strove manfully in the heat, with Rob Chamberlin working up a decent head of steam to take two wickets and Andy Richley sending down a miserly nine overs.
Rasen’s reply came off the rails early on, with the top three in the hutch and only 13 on the board.
A pugnacious 29 from Rob Chamberlin and 16 from Joe Stephenson ensured that Scunthorpe were at least made to break a sweat, but they had little support and were unable to prevent Rasen being bowled out for 88.
On Saturday Rasen’s Lincolnshire League sides will be back up to full strength and looking to resume their successful league campaigns.
The 1st XI travel to Haxey looking for win number six and the 2nds entertain early-season favourites Broughton 2nds at Rase Park, both games start at 1.30pm.
The Sunday 1st XI host Carholme in their last Major Hoult Cup group match at Rase Park, 2pm start.
Bank Holiday Monday sees the 1sts travelling to Mulsanne Park looking to complete the double over Nettleham 2nds.