Market Rasen and Louth RFC emphatically halted their 11-game losing run in Midlands One East as they brushed aside Northampton Old Scouts on Saturday.
Following up from their impressive display at high-flying Newbold seven days earlier, the Red and Greens ran in six tries in an eventful match to secure their first win since October 3.
Kick off was delayed as the visitors protested at two icy patches on the first team pitch before agreeing to play the game on the adjacent school pitch.
The decision backfired as the smaller school pitch helped nullify Northampton’s pace out wide which had been Rasen’s undoing in the away fixture.
An early five-metre scrum resulted in a penalty, and home full-back Meehal Grint gratefully put Rasen 3-0 ahead within three minutes.
Old Scouts drew level with Adam Frost’s penalty when an over-eager Tom Stephens found himself in front of the kicker chasing the clearance.
Two minutes later the visitors were down to 14 when Richard Bussey was sinbinned, and from the penalty lineout Rasen capitalised.
Lock Chris Mills was sent away to rampage into the heart of Northampton’s defence before offloading for Dave Starling to power his way to the line. Grint added the conversion.
Fly-half Peter Everton then spied a gap and slipped through the first line of defence before popping the ball up for Starling to double his tally. Grint added the extras.
Ben Chamberlin’s strong run paved the way for the next score. The move seemed to be faltering until Stephens appeared from the opposite wing to grasp the final pass and cross.
It had all seemed plain sailing, but after Old Scouts were restored to their full compliment, Frost landed another penalty as the visitors laid siege to Rasen’s line.
In a mad four minutes the Red and Greens found themselves with only 12 men as David Haig, Leigh Dearden and Dave Starling were all yellow carded in quick succession.
Eventually the visitors capitalised when Frost’s exquisite cross kick found winger George Barrett with a clear run to the line. Frost’s well-struck conversion reduced the gap to 22-13 at half-time.
Rasen’s challenge was to manage the opening stages of the second half until the ranks were restored, but within five minutes Chris Everton’s clearance kick was charged down by Russell Lynch who had enough pace to win the race for the touchdown. Frost added the conversion and there was now only two points between the teams.
But once Rasen were back to full strength they took an iron grip on the game as the forwards totally dominated the set scrummage.
A scintillating break from centre Rob Batterbury took Rasen deep into Old Scouts territory and forced a penalty. With Grint on the sidelines, Tom Alldridge slotted the penalty to begin Rasen’s second-half rout.
Four minutes later the Rasen juggernaut drove the visitors off the ball, and the forwards took the ball on before skipper Chris Starling powered over the line under the posts, leaving Alldridge with a simple conversion.
Rasen’s dominance continued and another scrum turnover had Old Scouts marching backwards. Substitute prop Ollie Cole proved irresistible as he crashed over the between the posts. Alldridge’s conversion extended the growing lead.
While the forwards were monopolising the scoring, the backs were playing their part as more astute running from Batterbury sliced open the defence and the centre was unlucky to be held up.
It meant another scrum to defend fro the Scouts and again they had no answer to Rasen’s power which forced a penalty try. Alldridge completed the scoring with the conversion.
Rasen: Haig, Alldridge, C. Starling, Mills, Dearden, Pryer (Crowe), D. Starling, Chamberlin, C. Everton, P. Everton, Stephens (Cole), Brown, Batterbury, Goodwin, Grint (Gutteridge).
* On Saturday, Rasen travel to bottom side Old Laurentians where they will hope to maintain the momentum against a side who were out of action last weekend because of a postponement.