CRICKET: Three wins from three for Market Rasen teams

Jon Stephenson in action for Market Rasen Cricket Club 2nds
Jon Stephenson in action for Market Rasen Cricket Club 2nds

A bumper Bank Holiday Weekend for Market Rasen Town Cricket Club saw their sides take three from three on the first two days of the break.

The 1st XI demolished Alkborough in the Lincolnshire League, romping home to a 9 wicket win inside 11 overs.

The Sunday 1st XI then handed table-toppers Lindum only their second defeat of the season, winning by 20 runs.

The Sunday 2nd XI capped it all by coming back from the dead to win their Major Hoult Cup Final by one run in a terrific contest at Bracebridge Heath.

Another dominant performance with the ball from the 1st XI – and a strangely subdued effort with the bat from Alkborough – saw Rasen bowl the visitors out for 80 on Saturday. Tom Borysczuk, 2 for 5 from 9 overs, started the rot for the Humbersiders,

Matt Rutherford and Gary Bierlein continued their fine recent form and throttled the life out of their opponents, taking 3 for 27 and 4 for 32 respectively to dismiss the opposition for 80 in the 43rd over.

With 57 overs at their disposal Graeme Bell, 35 from 28 balls, and Dale Christie, 45 not out from 22 balls spurned the circumspect approach and thrashed Rasen to a nine wicket win by the 11th over.

The Sunday 1st XI continued their topsy-turvy season, beating top of the table Lindum at Rase Park. Batting first, Rasen were grateful to a surprisingly subdued Rob Chamberlin, who top scored with a sedate 53, whilst Seb Darke, 38, Laurence Scott, 29, and Dave Papworth, 37 not out, all contributed to a decent total of 188 for 5 from their 40 overs. Lindum’s reply was given a solid foundation but once Matt Rutherford despatched Will Taylor for 30 and Scott picked up Pierce Morley-Barnes for 43, Lindum’s batting subsided from 91 for 1 to close on 168 for 8 at the end of their 40 overs.

The Sunday 2nd XI snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Major Hoult Cup Final at Bracebridge Heath, as Aisthorpe finally succumbed to a battling performance in the field from Rasen.

Invited to bat first on a sodden, but drying, wicket, Town were grateful to an inspired performance from Jon Stephenson, who carried his bat for a domineering 87 not out and the Man of the Match award.

Unfortunately the rest of the batting failed to match Stephenson’s high standards, gifting their wickets to the opposition via a mixture of poor shots and poor decisions to find themselves all out for 145 in the 29th over. Nicholas Beck was the pick of the Aisthorpe attack, bagging 5 for 31.

An excellent tea saw the public and spectators alike agree that Rasen were around 50-60 runs light with their total. Mick Reynolds and David Hayes set about proving them right, smashing 27 off the first four overs. Hayes then chanced his arm one time too many and was caught at cover off the bowling of Liam Entwistle. However, Reynolds continued in the same vein, and whilst Entwistle and Albie Wright started to find their lengths Rasen were leaking runs at an alarming rate.

Entwistle rose to the challenge, though, coming back from an untidy start to his fourth over to cleanup Reynolds with an absolute pearler. With Aisthorpe’s ‘keeper gone for 23 and the chase at 44 for 2 after 8 overs, Rasen had a foothold in the game, albeit a precarious one.

With his partner in the wickets, Wright upped the ante. Steaming up the hill from the Lincoln end of the ground, Wright worked up some genuine pace and was too much for the Aisthorpe batsmen to handle. Quite how he only managed to bag a single wicket from his ten overs is a mystery, but the tall seamer will no doubt bowl far worse for much greater reward in the future.

With Aisthorpe 51 for 2 after 12 overs, the skipper, Gavin Korytnickyj, turned to 13 year-old off-spinner Nic Keast, and the youngster did not disappoint, picking up two vital wickets from his six overs. However, this brought talented Aisthorpe all-rounder Jamie Nair to the crease, and the experienced batter was quickly into his stride, smashing the bowling to all parts and taking the game away from Rasen, even though they continued to chip away at the other end.

An inspired fielding change, with Aisthorpe on 140 for 7, saw Nair hit a good ball from Charlie Scales straight to cover. The ecstatic reaction of the Rasen fielders, and the sight of Nair stood in disbelief at the wicket for a good minute, amply demonstrated the importance of the wicket to both sides. When Scales cleaned up Harbon with the last ball of his over Aisthorpe were down to their last pair with 142 on the board.

With no room for error, Andy Richley, 2 for 8 from 4 overs, and Scales, 3 for 22, held their nerve, giving up only 2 runs between them in four overs as Aisthorpe’s final pair clung on. The final ball of Richley’s fourth over gripped, took the edge and saw Korytnickyj crown a memorable day for Rasen by taking a fine, low, catch at slip and with it, the Cup.