Midlands 1 East
Market Rasen & Louth 7
Newbold on Avon 36
Market Rasen & Louth RFC went down 36-7 at home to highflying Newbold on Avon.
A difficult game for the red and greens began with a penalty opportunity within 20 seconds of the kick off - pulled wide of the posts by Dan Robinson - and ended with a consolation score in the dying stages.
But for most of the game Rasen toiled against a well organised Newbold side and barely ventured out of their own half.
Newbold were quick to pick up the pace as flanker Kyle Furlong shredded the Rasen defence with a powerful run, ending just short of the line before prop Ben Dawes powered his way over for the opening score on eight minutes.
Flyhalf Ethan Wookey added the conversion.
Whilst firmly entrenched in their own half, Rasen kept a dominant Newbold at bay through a combination of determined defending and unforced errors from the opposition before fortuitously the ball bobbled into a Newbold hand and centre Phil Reed gratefully accepted the scoring pass to saunter in at the corner in the 25th minute.
Furlong lead the charge again with another forceful run that drove Rasen back on their heels before Wookey threaded a perfect grubber kick between the oncoming red and green defensive line for winger Rory Blood to gather at pace and sprint over in the corner to extend the lead.
Newbold secured the try bonus point before the interval as Furlong linked with fellow backrower Henry Clony to dot down under the posts to leave a simple conversion for Wookey.
After trailing by 24 points at the interval, the signs were not good, but Rasen stuck to their task with some resolute defending until Newbold dragged the defence in to create an overlap for Blood to grab his second try with a regulation winger’s finish wide out.
With the wind at his back Wookey’s superbly struck conversion was inch perfect.
However, the avalanche of points didn’t materialise as Rasen changed tactics to run the ball wider to make regular visits into the Newbold half, which had been pretty much uncharted territory in the first half.
An excellent break from Robinson and long runs from winger Simon Cooper lifted Rasen spirits, but lack of support and good cover defence kept Rasen at bay. Sadly, this more expansive approach resulted in a soft try for the visitors when centre Freddie Norton’s blind pass was easily intercepted by opposite number Lloyd Warner.
The Newbold centre belied his rotund physique and showed a good turn of pace to evade the chasing defenders for a try in the corner with six minutes remaining.
Through sheer guts and determination vice-captain Chris Mills, who had started the game in an unfamiliar backrow slot and returned to his more accustomed second row berth later in the game, powered his way to the line for a consolation try.
In a vain hope to salvage more out of the game, Robinson quickly added the conversion with a drop kick, but it was too late as the game closed a minute later and Rasen had been comprehensively beaten by a better side.
RASEN: C. Starling, Alldridge, Southwell, Inman, Crowe, Chamberlin, Mills, D. Starling, M. Starling, Robinson, Cooper, F. Norton, J. Norton, Harvey, Jones; Replacements: McMillan, Grant, Wallis.
On Saturday the red and greens are on the road with a trip to Northampton Old Scouts.