ANOTHER weekend of Lincolnshire League action saw two more wins for Market Rasen Town Cricket Club, with the 1sts edging home against Hartsholme 2nds by 21 runs at Ashby Avenue and the 2nds easing to a comfortable six wicket win over Hykeham 2nds at Rase Park.
The Sunday 2nd XI made their debut in the fifth tier of the Lincoln League on Sunday and found the going tough, going down to a hefty defeat against Aisthorpe.
Looking to continue the fine form that had seen them win each of their first three Lincs League 2 matches, Simon Bunn’s men travelled to Lincoln confident of bringing back another haul of points.
Thanks to Graeme Bell and Karl Bierlein the 1sts did not disappoint. Batting first,Rasen racked up 228 for 7 from their 45 overs.
The cornerstone of their innings was Graeme Bell. While he will be disappointed to get out in the 80s for the second weekend in a row, the all-rounder’s knock laid the foundations for Rasen’s intimidating total and was even better when viewed through the prism of the rest of the top order’s struggles.
Not until Gary Bierlein strode out at No.5 did Bell find a partner able to get the ball off the square.
With first Bierlein and then Darren Salmon, Bell took the attack to Hartsholme with Rob Thorpe and Ash Boothright coming in for some severe treatment.
Salmon’s innings of 32 was particularly pleasing on the eye, as the stylish young left-hander helped Bell to keep the score moving at a decent rate.
Dismissed for 81, Bell’s departure could have seen Rasen’s lower order crumble from 165 for 6, but with confidence running high, Luke Richards, 24, and Will Bradford, 31 not out, set about the home attack with gusto, taking the Rase Park outfit past 200 and enabling them to close on 228 for 7 from their 45 overs.
Rasen’s turn with the ball saw them struggle to make early inroads as Nick Wilkinson, 40, and Geoff Sewell, 43, made good use of Hartsholme’s mattress of a pitch.
The introduction of Simon Bunn broke the opening partnership and this opened the door for Karl Bierlein, 4 for 43 from 12 overs, to rip through the rest of the top order.
Unfortunately Rasen were reduced to ten men in the field, due to an injury and a determined 50 from home skipper Ash Boothright frustrated Bunn’s men, with Hartsholme closing their reply on 207 for 9.
Bunn and Gary Bierlein picked up a couple of wickets apiece as Rasen took another 19 points to leave themselves top of Lincs League 2.
Hykeham 2nds visited Rase Park and were unable to make much of an impact with the bat, posting 114 all out thanks to some fine seam bowling from Richard Limmer (4 for 9 from 6 overs) and James Fussey (3 for 31 from 7.1 overs), backed up by some extraordinary catching – particularly Mick Corden’s graceful leap at 1st slip.
Only 52 from Mark Leverett prevented the visitors from being completely routed.
Rasen’s reply saw them a wicket down before scoring, but Ivan Nash, 36, and Andy Richley, steadied the ship before Rob Chamberlin, 33 not out, and Richard Limmer bashed the home side over the line.
The Sunday 2nd XI made their Lincoln League Division Four debut on Sunday and a young side found it hot work at Rase Park.
Aisthorpe batted first and put up an impressive 215 for 4 from their 40 overs, thanks to 115 not out from M. Reynolds.
In reply, an inexperienced performance with the bat saw Rasen muster only 65 in reply.
Next Saturday sees the 1st XI host Owmby at Rase Park, 1.30pm start, and the 2nd XI travel to Hibaldstow to play Scunthorpe 3rds.
Sunday sees Rasen’s Lincoln league sides visiting Boston and hosting Bracebridge Heath 2nds (2pm start) respectively.