Market Rasen Cricket Club’s Second XI travelled away to Grimsby Town’s Augusta Street for the second time this season for the start of the cup competition.
With the traditional selection difficulties that a bank holiday weekend brings, the team was altered significantly from the victorious early season league game. With only 10-men Rasen won the toss and decided to have a bat first.
Opening the batting Stephenson and Williams (senior) put on a brilliant 65 partnership for the first wicket, stunning the crowd with a range of boundaries and even running a four which acknowledged the large outfield for the game.
Losing Quinlan without adding anything more to the score Christie came to the crease and in conjunction with Stephenson made a third wicket stand of 107. In typical manner the Christie performance contained 11 fours and two sixes, stretching the Grimsby Town fielders and adding pressure to the spare ball reserve.
Stephenson passed the 50 mark and will be disappointed to have lost his wicket on 57, leaving Christie at the crease, who eventually fell on 73. Only one further batsmen troubled the score as Dan Clarke added a further 21 runs leading Rasen passed the 200 mark, and in addition to the generous 21 extras, Rasen had put themselves into a strong position.
Leading the attack for Rasen, Dan Clarke and Sam Williams bowled a consistent line and length and made scoring opportunities for the home-side difficult.
After losing a fielder, Rasen were now down to nine men in the field and needed to rely upon everyone giving 110 percent.
Optimising this, Dave Mason picked up the ball and ran out the Grimsby Town opener and put Rasen on the board. A change in bowling, with Luke Freeman coming on, produced another wicket for the away side but Grimsby maintained their charge towards the Rasen total.
Topping an excellent performance Dave Mason bagged the prize wicket of Scott Bennett and this signalled the beginning of the end for the Grimsby chase. Dan Clarke topped a good day claiming a further two wickets, but the best moment of the Rasen performance came from vice-captain Sam Williams.
With an injured Liam Entwistle bowling his usual tight line and length he forced the Grimsby batsmen into cutting one to point where Sam Williams took the brave decision to dive full length towards the ball and took a magnificent catch.
Losing their last five wickets for only four runs Rasen ran out victorious in the most unlikeliest of circumstance. Ending with nine men, Rasen’s captain J. Stephenson put the victory down to team spirit and a desire to work for each together out in the cavernous Grimsby outfield.
Another double victory for Rasen’s Saturday sides could not be emulated on Sunday as the weather wiped out the chance for any play at Reepham.
This Saturday the 2nd XI continue their travels with a trip to Holton Le Clay and the Sunday team have the challenge of Hartsholme.