Market Rasen & Louth weather storm and then strike with venom
LIGHTNING struck twice for Market Rasen & Louth RUFC who, for the second season running, recovered from an inferior position to defeat Towcestrians 19-17.
In a strange parallel with last weekend's international between Scotland and Ireland, it was Rasen who soaked up the early pressure – like the Scots – before making the most of their scoring opportunities.
A Ben Roe penalty started things off for the visitors before Rasen winger, Nick Harvey, took full advantage of his good fortune to cross the line – Matt Sutton converted.
Adam Beasley added another try for the home side soon after, but Sutton was unable to maintain his perfect record in the match.
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Towcestrians came back with a vengeance to push Rasen deep into their own half, and eventually the pressure told as David Stocks touched down.
Despite taking a slender 12-10 lead into the interval, the home side were forced to retreat in the second period – Chrissie George (try) and Roe (conversion) combined to put Rasen behind.
This signalled the resumption of Towcestrians' occupation – and a high-tackle from home number eight, Ben Chamberlain, heaped further pressure on the red and greens.
The visitors continued to attack and were twice thwarted close to the line, but resolute defending from Rasen kept victory within their reach.
Having resisted well, the home side then began to force the issue and, ultimately, were able to fashion a way back into ascendancy.
They won a line-out close to the 22-yard line which, in turn, resulted in a golden opportunity for Chris Starling, who made no mistake under pressure.
Sutton remained ice cold to convert his second of the afternoon.
Towcestrians almost issued the perfect comeback but Roe, who had earlier had mixed fortunes with the boot, spurned a comfortable penalty chance.
Mistakes continued to filter through the away ranks and Rasen, who had battled hard to stay in the contest, were allowed to see out the game and complete a remarkable victory.
A fantastic result with the superb team spirit in full display, but it is still unfathomable as to how Towcestrians failed to capitalise on the amount of possession and territory they commanded, which ought to have seen them run out comfortable winners. In the end Rasen rode their luck, but made the most of the limited opportunities with some excellent finishing. However the result does not detract from certain deficiencies as the penalty count remained high, midfield defence was weak and reaction to counterattack was slow.
This week there is another home game with a stern test against Bedford Athletic, who are currently third in the table. On current form anything is possible, and although the away fixture was lost, Rasen are still the side to score the most points against them.
The kick off is 3pm as the League have now adopted the first Saturday in March as the date to revert back to the later start, rather than British Summer Time.