Market Rasen Cricket Club - 1st XI
A DOMINANT away-day in the Lincolnshire League for both Market Rasen Town Cricket Club’s 1st and 2nd XIs was followed up by a fine win for the U13s over Scunthorpe Town in the County Cup Semi Final at Rase Park.
The 1sts visited third-placed Cleethorpes on Saturday looking to put a dent in the hosts’ promotion ambitions and retain their 100 per cent league record.
Both targets were achieved comfortably in an outing that saw the seasiders dominated by the Rase park outfit from start to finish.
Batting first, only Cleethorpes’ talented young opener Ryan Harrrison, 32, looked truly comfortable and Rasen’s attack turned in a fine all-round performance.
Graeme Bell, 3 for 35, made early in-roads, with Clee ‘keeper Ben Marris nicking off to Mark Robinson with only three on the board.
Backed up by a searching, but unfortunately wicketless, spell from Will Bradford at the other end, Rasen strangled the scoring rate and Bell picked up the wicket of John Mansfield as a result, to leave Cleethorpes needing to retrench on 38 for 2.
Kris Richardson, 24, and Harrison proceeded to dig in and had put on 41 for the third wicket before Division 2s leading wicket-taker, Karl Bierlein, added to his 31 wickets so far this season, luring Richardson to his demise.
When Rasen skipper, Simon Bunn, picked up the vital wicket of Harrison to end the young opener’s vigil, the visitors had reduced Cleethorpes to 92 for 4.
Ian Mansfield and Andy Haith battled gamely, with Mansfield doing his best to keep the tail company as Gary Bierlein joined brother Karl to wreak havoc in the Meggies’ lower order, picking up 3 for 12 from seven overs.
Graeme Bell returned to finish off the tail-enders, but having picked up the wicket of home captain, Jeff Todd, the Rasen paceman couldn’t budge the last wicket pair and Cleethorpes closed their 45 overs on 141 for 9.
Rasen’s reply saw Jason New returning to Lincolnshire League action for the club and the experienced opener delivered in his first outing, as he opened up the innings with Graeme Bell.
The hosts were left to rue missing a difficult chance offered by Bell early in his innings as the belligerent all–rounder went on to lead a rout of the Cleethorpes bowling, posting 86 not out as he chased down the target with New in only 29 overs.
Todd was the only home bowler to escape the severe treatment handed out by Rasen’s openers, as Cleethorpes’ trio of spinners experienced a chastening afternoon at Chichester Road.
Whilst Bell sped on, New posted a beautifully composed 53 not out to act as the perfect foil for his partner.
Rasen’s ten-wicket win sees them remain top of Division 2 of the Lincolnshire League and the forthcoming games against Caistor 2nds look likely to prove title deciders.
The 2nd XI also headed north-east on Saturday and posted a convincing six-wicket win over Holton le Clay 2nds at Tetney Lane.
The hosts batted first and their openers made a rapid start, putting on 62 in the first ten overs.
However, Rasen’s young side didn’t lose their heads in the field and excellent bowling from youngsters James Fussey, 4 for 40 from 12 overs and Will Sutton, 1 for 22 from six overs, accompanied by the wiles of captain Andy Richley, 3 for 8, saw Holton le Clay bundled out for 132 in the 40th over.
Rasen’s openers also made a rapid start, with Richley and Ivan Nash, putting on 39 in six overs before Nash was adjudged lbw to an in-swinging yorker.
With the departure of Nash, Rasen’s top order wobbled, and at 56 for 3 the hosts found themselves back in the game.
However, a cultured and care-free 17 from Will Sutton broke Holton le Clay’s spirit. Sutton’s surprising dismissal left Richley, 58 not out, to guide his side home with Adie Turner, 13 not out, smiting some lusty blows at the end.
The win sees Rasen up to fourth in Division 4 of the Lincolnshire League, with a game in hand on the two teams directly above them and puts them firmly in the promotion picture at the half-way point of the season.
Sunday’s County Cup semi-final saw the U13s run out convincing winners over Scunthorpe Town, wrapping up a 59 run win in the final over of Scunthorpe’s reply in front of a large crowd at Rase Park.
Tom Keast, 33 retired, and Matt Travis, 30 retired, gave Rasen the perfect start, as the visitors’ attack toiled with little joy.
James Keast, 30 retired, then marshalled the middle order to ensure that Rasen didn’t waste their fine start as the home side posted an intimidating 135 for 2 from their 20 overs.
Paul Martin, 2 for 14 from four overs, and James Keast, 3 for 8 from 3.1 overs, were handed the new ball and terrorised the Scunthorpe top-order, bundling out the first three wickets in quick time.
With wickets and time running out, Scunthorpe’s middle order looked to kick on against Rasen’s change-bowling, but Liam Entwhistle, 3 for 21 from four overs, and Harry Williams, 1 for 18 from four overs, proved themselves more than up to the challenge.
An economical three overs from Sam Williams, 1 for 7, and some flight and guile from Spencer Holvey, laid the table for Keast and Martin to return and finish off the tail.
This weekend sees a full slate of fixtures, with the 1sts hosting Keelby and the 2nds travelling over the Wolds to play Alford 2nds on Saturday.
On Sunday, the 1sts host Lindum in a vital fixture in their Premier Division title defence and the 2nds head to Hykeham 2nds in search of their first win of the season.