Market Rasen and Louth RFC Second XV played local rivals Lincoln at Nettleham on Saturday in summery conditions which offered an opportunity for open running rugby by both teams.
In an eagerly anticipated local derby, Rasen began the match playing into a strong cross-wind.
Despite this disadvantage they managed to dominate possession through the forwards, marshalled by skipper Mike Starling, and secured the lion’s share of the ball in the early exchanges.
The dogged determination of brothers Fred and Jack Norton, supported by Will Scupham and Ben Curtis, and aided by the unfathomable pace and mazy running of Bounce Hill and Danny Wootton, produced formidable firepower against their younger Lincoln counterparts.
The visitors were awarded a penalty try in the first quarter of the match when mercurial veteran David Starling’s break through the centre of a ruck was halted illegally by a high tackle.
Despite the early ascendency of the senior Rasen pack, Lincoln battled well and contained several promising attacks while launching several determined forays of their own.
The defence of Rasen’s back line was tested thoroughly, but the return of James Bemrose at fly-half, accompanied by Ben Young at inside-centre and colt Ben Palmer outside him, successfully thwarted home ambitions with some ferocious tackling combined with some dazzling counter-attacks.
Rasen increased their lead in the second half with tries from Bemrose and colt Connor Janney, playing on the wing.
Their resolute defence earned the visitors an impressive 19-0 win, but credit must go to the Lincoln second team who ensured a tight contest throughout.
The contribution of Palmer, Janney and Adam Nadine should not be underestimated with all three also playing a part in Rasen Colts’ impressive 17-5 victory against Stamford Colts.