Whilst the weather forecast had threatened to turn the weekend’s cricket into a damp squib, only Market Rasen Town Cricket Club’s 1st XI were affected, with their game at Cherry Willingham lost to a waterlogged outfield.
The 2nd XI were unable to defend 168 for 7, losing by three wickets to Washingborough. The Sunday 1st XI suffered a hefty thumping at Lindum in the Lincoln League, losing by 139 runs, whilst the Sunday 2nd XI bagged the weekend’s only win for the club’s senior sides, winning by three wickets at Nocton.
Batting first on Saturday, the 2nd XI found a lively pitch and slow outfield cramping their style, along with an accurate bowling display from Washingborough. Of the top order, only Andy Richley, 44, showed any real inclination to build an innings with Rasen 54 for 3 after drinks. Dean Richards, 29, joined Richley and the pair put on 44 for the fourth wicket in less than seven overs, before Richley was bowled by Mark Willey.
When Richards was run out shortly afterwards to leave Rasen on 109 for 6, a decent score was looking doubtful for the home side. However, Rob Chamberlin, 48 not out, and Sam Williams, 17, put on 59 for the seventh wicket, with Chamberlin smashing the ball to all parts of the ground, to help the hosts to 168 for 7 from their 45 overs.
Needing to hit their straps from the first ball, Rasen managed to turn in an insipid display in the field as Washingborough raced out of the blocks. Stephenson turned to his little and large spin duo after only 8 overs and whilst Nic Keast, 1 for 48 from 14 overs, and Andy Richley, 1 for 36 from 11 overs, offered a semblance of control, the flattening pitch and lack of energy on the park from the hosts meant Washingborough’s openers met few impediments to their progress.
Sam Housam had made a brisk 84 out of an opening partnership of 118 with James Sewell, 25, before Richley bowled him and with Nic Keast cleaning up Sewell in the next over and Chamberlin executing a fine throw from the deep to run out Willey.
Rasen dragged themselves back into the game. However, Geoff Sewell and Jack Willey held their nerve and took advantage of the surfeit of overs available to nudge Washingborough over the line with seven wickets and five overs to spare.
The Sunday 1st XI took a young outfit to Lindum and, in spite of some excellent bowling from James Fussey and James Keast, went down to a hefty defeat. The Minstermen posted 197 for 7 from their 40 overs and once Rasen had lost Matt Rutherford and Graeme Bell early on, the visitors’ batting crumbled to 58 all out.
The Sunday 2nd XI trekked out to Nocton and took advantage of a sporting wicket to bowl the hosts out for 101, with only James White, 39, troubling the scorers.
Whilst the bowling display was a little uneven, Chris Higgins, 2 for 25, Dean Richards, 4 for 19, and Andy Richley 3 for 18, laid the foundation for Alison Ramsey to bag her first senior victim, as the 13-year-old brought Nocton’s innings to a swift conclusion.
Jon Stephenson, 40, gave Rasen the best possible start, with the experienced opener forming an excellent partnership with Claire Nicholson, who showed excellent technique and composure in only her second senior innings for the club.
A re-jigged batting lineup let Nocton back into the game, but some lusty blows from Rob Chamberlin, followed by the experience of Richards and Richley saw Rasen over the line with three wickets and eight overs to spare.
This weekend sees no cricket for Rasen on Saturday, as both teams are out of their respective Cup competitions, whilst the Sunday 1st XI head to Bracebridge Heath and the Sunday 2nd XI host Washingborough in the Lincoln League, both 2pm starts.