A turbulent weekend of weather caused havoc to the cricketing schedule across the county with all but a few games abandoned on Saturday.
The 1st XI travelled away to league contenders Woodhall Spa, whose flat track and quick outfield led Captain Jack Luffman to bat first after winning an important toss.
From early on the signals for a high score for Woodhall were evident. A number of edges from both batsmen flew through the slip cordon and evaded Rasen hands. A strong shout for an edge that found the gloves of Tom Bradford fell on deaf ears from the bowling of James Fussey.
The notoriously quick outfield at Woodhall allowed the batsmen to build a partnership and quickly raced to 112 without loss by drinks.
A change of bowling allowed Rutherford to change the pace of the game and support from Paul Martin at the other end began to give Woodhall problems.
The first wicket of the game fell on the score at 113 as the Woodhall opener edged one to Will Bradford, who had eventually found his spot at first slip. This brought Woodhall’s Sri Lankan test star Malinda Bandara to the crease.
After an introduction from Dale Christie, Bandara found the going tough and scored 23 before Will Bradford got him trapped in front for an LBW.
As the tide turned so did Rasen’s luck as the next Woodhall wicket came from a deflected run out off the bowling of Rutherford.
With the possibility of a big score, Rasen stepped up the pressure and began to reduce scoring chances for the home side. As the score reached 250 the fifth Woodhall wicket fell with an excellent catch in the deep from Charlie Scales from the bowling of Paul Martin.
Another great bowling display from James Fussey was rewarded with a justly deserved wicket and in combination with a brilliant fielding performance provided Rasen with the added energy to keep Woodhall below the 300 mark.
An interval for rain just before the close gave Woodhall the option of declaring with two overs remaining, not doing this allowed Rasen to claim another wicket with a catch in the deep from Ryan Penniston off the bowling of Rutherford when the game resumed.
Set a tough 284 to win Rasen began their innings with Bradford and Scales. After a wild first over from Connor Parsons the heavens opened and the covers came on. Following a two hour wait and a big effort from the Woodhall ground staff a final shower finished off any chance of getting the game complete.
Rasen picked up valuable bowling points from the game and go into next week’s away fixture with Spalding sitting fourth.
A similar story had also unfolded at Rase Park as Market Rasen 2nd XI faced Normanby Park CC. Fielding first Rasen were made to work hard as the away side set about building a competitive total.
Starting the innings with medium pacers Sam Williams and Simon May, Rasen claimed the first Normanby wickets cheaply as Williams and May restricted the away side to 30 for 2.
Batting at number three for Normanby was Alex Czabaniuk, who single-handedly changed the course of the game. The Normanby batsmen produced a vicious display of batting and dispatched a number of balls to the Rasen boundary.
With rain intervals also affecting proceedings Rasen kept their composure and waited for their chance. After batting for over 30 overs Alex was eventually dismissed on a fantastic 139 from the bowling of Luke Richards. The catch was made by the enigmatic Ian Williams who whooped in delight.
The next four Normanby wickets fell for less than 20 runs and as the rain came again closed their innings on 237 for 9 from 40.4 overs.
The new drainage and a mighty effort from Williams (senior) ensured that the game recommenced and Rasen got their chance to attack the Normanby bowlers.
Losing Captain Stephenson early on allowed Liam Scales and Dan Quinlan to form a promising partnership for the home side. With early season form that would make most top order batsmen jealous, Scales built on his half century last weekend and raced towards a second in as many weeks.
Reaching 42, Scales was stopped in his tracks as he was caught by Thomas off the bowling of Czabaniuk. Thick cloud cover now encircled Rase Park and the pressure was on for Rasen to claim as many batting points as possible before the game was abandoned by the umpire’s.
Ian Williams and Dan Quinlan gave the shivering crowd something to cheer as a number of sixes and fours flowed from the bat. Only an excellent catch in the deep stopped Williams onslaught with the bat and brought Ivan Nash to the crease.
With light fading and Quinlan and Nash losing their wickets the game was abandoned for bad light with the score at 172 for 5 from 25 overs. A fantastic effort from the Rasen batsmen and on another, brighter, day Rasen would have been confident of chasing down the total.
After two games Rasen sit top of Division Three as the league breaks for cup action next weekend as they visit Grimsby Town for the second time this season.