Lincs ECB Premier: Market Rasen battle to Louth draw

Market Rasen wicketkeeper Liam Scales attempts a stumping against Louth batsman Rory Osmond EMN-150817-153419002
Market Rasen wicketkeeper Liam Scales attempts a stumping against Louth batsman Rory Osmond EMN-150817-153419002

Market Rasen CC held on to a draw and collected 10 points from their crunch derby match game with Louth on Saturday.

The losing draw moved the First XI up a place to ninth in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier Division with just four games of the season left.

Skipper Matt Rutherford brought Rasen all-rounder Graeme Bell back into the side, and having lost the toss, the hosts had first bowl on an excellent batting surface.

The new opening partnership of James Fussey and Dan Quinlan ensured Rasen started well as the latter struck, inducing Laurence Scott into an edge to first slip where 12th man Andy Quinlan took a superb catch.

But the muggy conditions soon lifted and opener Matt Hamilton formed excellent second and third wicket partnerships, and when his wicket fell to Fussey, he had reached 86 from 101 balls.

Wickets were hard to come by for the hosts and as Louth reached 200 they began to play with even more freedom.

It was a difficult day in the field as the visitors compiled 293-6 from their 50 overs despite good performances from Dan Quinlan, Charlie Scales, Fussey and the usual clutch of wickets from Rutherford who took his season’s tally to 61.

Facing a difficult run chase, Rasen’s attitude impressed from the start as they took the attack to Louth.

Openers Papworth and Bradford soon reached their 50 partnership before Papworth was stumped off the bowling of Nic Keast.

Rasen lost their second wicket only one run later as Scales, following his good innings at Bourne, was bowled by Tom Corden for one.

Bradford continued his steady form and took his season total past the 300 mark. Having now been out seven times between 25 and 40 Bradford will rue another missed score as he edged Corden to Louth’s slip cordon on 31.

Dale Christie smashed a massive six and punishing four before he became Keast’s second victim of the game, holing out as he attempted another expansive shot.

Playing his first game since returning from injury, Bell looked like the rest had done him good as he punished the bowling, building a solid stand with Rutherford.

Bell took 31 runs from three overs as he took the chase by the scruff of the neck and pulled Rasen back into contention. With powerful hitting he raced to 46 from 44 balls before Corden bowled him.

With the score on 136-5, Rasen knew a successful chase was now very difficult, but more bonus points were still within reach.

Rutherford missed out on his half-century when he fell to the excellent Keast who recovered well from some expensive early overs to claim the prize Rasen wicket.

Rasen stalwart Ian Williams had put on a good stand with Rutherford and forged another with Scales Senior until he also fell to Keast (5 for 67).

Needing 30 from the final six overs to claim two additional batting points, Fussey and Williams blasted Rasen to 227-8.

Williams scored an important 34 from 58 deliveries, including a dramatic four off the last ball to ensure Rasen collected maximum points for a losing draw.

Thanks go to the Rasen groundstaff for preparing an excellent wicket.

Rasen face title-chasing Bracebridge Heath on Saturday knowing every point will be important as they move closer towards survival.