CRICKET: Market Rasen U15s lead the way on a weekend hindered by rain

The bank holiday weather turned up a week late and did its best to wreck the weekend for Market Rasen Cricket Club.

The 1st XI’s game against Scunthorpe Town in the Lincolnshire League Premier Division and the Sunday 1st XI’s game at Morton in the Premier Division of the Lincoln League were both abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The 2nd XI went down by 19 runs in a rain-affected match at Washingborough and the Sunday 2nd XI won its sodden Major Hoult Cup clash with Nocton by seven wickets.

The club were given a great start to the weekend by the U15s, who romped to a 10 wicket win at Horncastle in the first round of the County Cup on Friday night.

Bowling first, Rasen’s attack came under assault from a fantastic exhibition of power hitting, as Ben Fidling smashed 51 retired, not out. Only James Keast (1 for 7 from 4 overs) and Charlie Scales (2 for 4 from 2 overs) escaped the punishment and Fidling’s endeavours allowed Horncastle to post 88 for 6 from their 16 overs.

Matt Travis (43 not out) and Tom Keast (46 not out) made light work of the target, with Rasen’s openers chasing the runs down in the 14th over to see James Keast’s side to a 10 wicket win.

The 2nd XI travelled to Washingborough on Saturday looking for their first win in three and did well to restrict a strong home batting lineup to only 137 for 6 from their 45 overs amongst the showers. All of the bowlers acquitted themselves well, with Ivan Nash (4 for 33) the leading wicket-taker.

With the weather lifting, but with the time lost to the rain, the sides would be playing until 6.30pm plus 20 overs.

Rasen set about the chase with gusto, marauding to 25 off the first four overs, before Jon Stephenson (22) was caught at fine leg in the fifth over to leave Rasen 26 for 1.

Ivan Nash (28) and Darren Salmon set about carrying on the good work and took the score to 63 before Nash was stumped to become the first of what would be six wickets for Mark Willey.

Rasen’s top order continued to chip away at the total and with the visitors at 86 for 3. Unfortunately once Kevin Salmon was cleaned up by Ryan Hubbard the rest of the lineup succumbed to Willey and Chris Elliott. Only Tom Bradford (20), held firm but he was unable to halt the slide, as Rasen were bowled out for 118 with Willey taking 6 for 22.

The Sunday 2nd XI won their Major Hoult Cup game against Nocton, with an understrength side defying the rain to win by seven wickets. A fine all-round performance with the ball saw Nocton dismissed for 93 in the 21st over. Jon Stephenson’s leg breaks were the sensation of the afternoon, bagging 3 for 32.

Rasen’s reply saw Stephenson complete a fine all-round game as he smashed his way to 68 not out and led Rasen to a seven wicket win. Victory over Woodhall Spa Sunday 2nd XI on May 26 will see Rasen into the Major Hoult Cup Final in August.

This weekend sees the 1st XI at Bracebridge Heath 2nds in the Premier Division of the Lincs League (1pm start) and the 2nd XI host Broughton 2nds in Division Three (1.30pm start). The Sunday 1st XI head to Sleaford in the Premier Division of the Lincoln League and the Sunday 2nd XI host Rustons in their opening Division Four outing (both 2pm starts).