Batting woes came back to haunt Market Rasen First XI as they slumped to back-to-back defeats in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League.
They slumped to 86 all out and a 191-run home loss to in-form Bourne on Saturday as they slipped to sixth in the table, having started the season in blistering fashion with three straight wins.
Looking to bolster their position in the top three, Rasen faced a visiting side boasting several excellent players led by the Lincolnshire Minor Counties batsman Conrad Louth.
Having lost the toss, Matt Rutherford was put into field and immediately looked to challenge the Bourne batsmen. The track was of the usual high standard and a decent score was possible for batsmen who made it through the early exchanges.
A combination of Bank Holiday excursions and exam season had depleted Rasen’s team slightly and further changes had to be made, including the welcome return of James Fussey to open the bowling with Paul Martin.
Bourne began confidently and raced to 20 before Fussey claimed his first victim of the day, having Archie Stroud caught by Ivan Nash.
Fussey then claimed the second Stroud wicket of the day as Ben was dismissed for 13, reducing Bourne to 36-2.
Pete Morgan and Louth began to turn the tide Bourne’s way. Limited in his bowling options, Rutherford had to rely on his side’s usual high standards in the field, but Bourne reached their century and then passed 150 without further loss.
Following drinks, Rasen claimed their third wicket as Rutherford had Morgan caught on 60 to end a third wicket stand of 121.
Bourne’s next three wickets four wickets fell for 50 runs as Rasen hauled themselves back into the game, but tail end support allowed Louth to pass the 150 mark as Bourne made 277-8.
Martin (2 for 93 off 15) and Fussey (3 for 61 off 12) were the standout bowling contributions, while Rutherford also added another three wickets to his healthy ECB tally this season.
A score of 277 was a par score for the pitch and outfield conditions, and having already chased down a total exceeding 200, Rasen would have been confident of challenging.
With a relatively unchanged top five, Rasen opened with Will Bradford and Charlie Scales, and both batsmen looked uncomfortable from the start. This contributed to both batsmen’s downfall as they were dismissed for single figures.
In-form batsman Liam Scales seemingly steadied the ship for Rasen, taking the score from 17-2 to 46 before he was caught attempting to increase the run rate.
Having turned the corner of last season and overcome some of the batting issues which cost Rasen several valuable points, the trend seems to have resurfaced in the last few weeks.
With only a valiant fight from Ivan Nash (16), Rasen lost their final seven wickets for 40 runs, bowled out for 86 from 27.5 overs.
Taking only bowling points from the game, Rasen will know the areas of their game they need to work on for the trip to local rivals Louth on Saturday.
Bowling: J. Fussey 12-0-61-3; P. Martin 15-1-93-2; I. Nash 3-0-18-0; M. Rutherford 17-0-75-3; W. Bradford 3-0-30-0.
Rasen: W. Bradford 7, C. Scales 3, L. Scales 24, P. Martin 9, M. Rutherford 3, I. Williams 1, D. Papworth 0, D. Christie 8, I. Nash 16*, S. Williams 3, J. Fussey 5, Extras 7. Total: 86.