Scunthorpe 16-5 Market Rasen & Louth
Market Rasen travelled the relatively short distance to play Scunthorpe in the Lincolnshire cup, a fixture that would normally be expected to be the final, but such is the luck of the draw.
As befits the league standing of both of these clubs the standard of rugby was high and competent with few tackles missed and although there naturally were mistakes they were not frequent, especially considering it was the first competitive game played this season.
Unfortunately, it has to be said that for all the good skills displayed by both sides, scoring opportunities from running, handling rugby were in short supply as the tackling generally stopped attackers progress.
Scunthorpe kicked off with wind advantage and the game started at great pace with full physical commitment and both sides showing good control of the ball at the breakdown.
The game ebbed and flowed for the first 10 minutes. A penalty from about 30 metres out by the Scunthorpe full back opened the scoring after 12 minutes. Rasen replied some four minutes later when Leigh Dearden won a lineout in the Scunthorpe 22 and the pack expertly drove him over the line for an unconverted try and give them a two point lead.
Two minutes later the Scunthorpe full back kicked a second penalty to restore their advantage. After 25 minutes Scunthorpe put together a concerted attack with many players involved and it was finished off with a try by the winger in the left hand corner. The full back converted the try. The score at half time was 13 points to 5, and Scunthorpe had made good use of the wind advantage.
Market Rasen started the second half quietly and within three minutes the Scunthorpe full back had a kick at goal which drifted well wide.
After five minutes play Rasen substituted prop Ashton with Ollie Cole and they had a period of pressure with no reward. With 20 minutes played the Scunthorpe full back kicked his third penalty to give his side a 16-5 lead.
Gutteridge came on as replacement for Norton and Market Rasen dominated the rest of the game. After 25 minutes Rasen set up a lineout/catch and drive, but with a score looking certain failed to do so. Two minutes later Rasen repeated the process and again failed to score with Everton taking the wrong option.
Within a minute Rasen had gained another lineout, but failed to win the throw in. With eight minutes remaining the Scunthorpe no.6 was shown a yellow card for an off the ball incident which allowed Rasen another go at the lineout/catch and drive, but again the ball was not won from the throw in.
Three minutes later Rasen were again on the Scunthorpe line and again failed to secure possession from the lineout throw.
The final whistle was a huge relief for Scunthorpe, who certainly knew they had been in a tough game and were somewhat fortunate with the score line.
Market Rasen had an excellent chance to win this game but failed due to slight inaccuracy at the rolling maul following lineouts and by failing to secure possession at the lineout in promising positions.
Early season rustiness combined maybe with a slight lack of confidence in attack resulted in a lack of justified reward. Market Rasen will be rightly disappointed with this score line from a fully committed performance, however, they should not be too despondent as if this level is maintained they will certainly enjoy a sound league campaign.
One can see many sides this season struggling to handle this Rasen side who with a little bit of confidence will score many points. The future definitely looks promising.
TEAM; Starling (C), Haig, Ashton, Mills, Chamberlin, Starling (D), Prior, Dearden (L), Everton, Sutton, Lawton, Dearden (A), Pridgeon, Norton, Robinson. Replacements; Cole, Gutteridge, (both used) Routledge, Crowe, Gregory.