WITH only two games of the season remaining, Market Rasen 1st XI looked to continue their push towards the First Division title.
With visiting team Louth 2nds sitting in mid-table, Matt Rutherford’s troops were in confident mood but knew the weather was sure to play a part.
Having lost the toss and being asked to bat, Rasen opened up with the returning Graeme Bell and Ian Williams, and against what looked to be a reasonably inexperienced bowling attack both batsmen looked to cash in early.
Unfortunately, after putting on 22 in the first three overs, Bell was yorked to give Ryder his first and only victim of the day.
Williams soon followed for 11, reducing Rasen to 22-2.
Liam Scales joined Rutherford, and the two looked to rebuild and build a platform for later in the innings.
Tight bowling and indifferent bounce meant steady progress, but a partnership of 60 was ended shortly before the drinks break when Rutherford (24) was caught when looking to up the scoring rate.
This wicket brought Dale Christie to the crease, and he and Scales dispatched anything loose until one too many shots from Scales saw him caught at mid-off one short of his half-century.
George Fussey then fell cheaply and Christie (37), after some of his usual lusty blows, soon followed to leave Rasen 138-6.
Gary Bierlein (28 not out) and Will Bradford (33 not out) then faced the task of pushing the total towards full batting points.
In the space of 12 overs, both batsmen picked out the gaps in the field and sent the ball flying to all parts to enable a declaration to be called on 202-6 off 41 overs.
Having watched and listened to the surrounding rain, thunder and lightning for the previous 41 overs, it was always going to be a case of when, not if, the rain came.
And this was how it turned out when, after four overs and with Louth having reached 9-0, the heavens opened, forcing the captains and umpires to agree on a draw.
With 10 points picked up from this fixture, Rasen only require four points to guarantee promotion, but a full 20 points from their last game would see them crowned champions, despite their closest rivals still having games in hand.