A lower order batting collapse cost Market Rasen First XI as they suffered their third successive defeat in the Lincolnshire Premier Division on Saturday.
Having won the toss against league leaders Alford and District, Rasen skipper Dale Christie decided to bat first and was given a solid start by openers Will Bradford and Jason New.
They were closing in on a 50-run partnership when New was caught and bowled with the score on 46.
Just before the drinks break Rasen lost two further wickets, but were looking good on 57-3 at the halfway stage.
After drinks, Rasen increased the run rate with Liam Scales and Tom Boryszczuk at the crease.
Both men were scoring freely and looking to put a sizeable score on the board when Scales was out for 37, soon followed by Boryszczuk who fell for 39.
Despite a quick 19 from Dave Papworth, Rasen’s lower order collapsed as the last four wickets fell for just one run and the visitors were bowled out for 175 in the 47th over.
In response the home side got off to a slow start as James Fussey picked up a wicket with the second ball of the innings.
This sparked a terrific spell of bowling from Fussey and Paul Martin as they restricted Alford to 29-2 off the first 14 overs.
However, the next three Alford batsmen all scored quick 30s as they looked to put the game out of Market Rasen’s reach.
When top scorer Jack Wightwick was brilliantly caught by Martin there was slight hope for the away side.
Fussey returned to take another scalp, thanks to some fantastic glove work by New behind the stumps, but ultimately 175 was an easy target for Alford who knocked the runs off in the 43rd over with seven wickets down.
The results leaves Rasen eighth, three places above the relegation zone.
Rasen: J. New 5, W. Bradford 34, N. Davies 2, P. Martin 15, L. Scales 37, T. Boryszczuk 39, D. Papworth 19, I. Williams 12, D. Christie 1, J. Fussey 0, D. Clarke 0*, Extras 11. Total: 175.
Bowling: J. Fussey 11-1-38-3; P. Martin 11-2-44-1; T. Boryszczuk 11-3-44-2; D. Clarke 7-0-40-0; W. Bradford 3-0-12-1.
* This weekend Market Rasen First XI have two important matches, starting on Saturday when they face Cherry Willingham at home in the league.
The following day they are at home again when they entertain Hartsholme at Rase Park in the semi-finals of the George Marshall Trophy. Both matches start at 1pm.