Fantastic displays by the inspirational Raisborough brothers eased Marshalls to another victory and extended their lead to 34 points in Division Four of the Lincolnshire County League.
In their first home match for a month, against a strong Louth 3rd side, Mark and Joe Raisborough took seven wickets between them to send the visitors packing for 143. And then the pair teamed up with the bat too, adding vital runs to rectify a shaky start to Marshalls’ reply and set up a four-wicket triumph.
On a good deck that offered runs for the batsmen but also movement for the bowlers, Mark Raisborough jnr struck the first blow and soon reduced Louth to 32-3. Sam Jones (42) and Tom Law (26) tried to rebuild the innings before their partnership was broken by Nathan Plumtree (2-46 in 13 overs). Joe Raisborough joined in the fun with 3-13 from seven overs and then his older brother returned to run out Jones and also collect the last wicket for figures of 4-34 from 11.1 overs.
It all left Marshalls with a target that they felt was very achievable. But their over-confidence threatened to cost them dear because their reply lost early wickets to Sam Ellis (2-34 in 15 overs) and Patrick Byrne (3-36 in 7.5 overs), reducing them to 37-4.
Step forward Mark Raisborough jnr yet again as he joined the experienced Mark Whitlam for a fifth-wicket partnership worth 65 that both saved the match and won it.
Some lovely shots were played by the two batsmen, with Whitlam rarely looking in any danger on his way to a polished 55 that contained one six and seven fours. He was finally caught on 102, which brought Joe Raisborough to the crease. He continued the good work and by the time he had fallen for 17, Marshalls were only six runs short. His brother continued on his merry way and completed a man-of-the-match display by striking the winning runs in the 44th over and ending on 32no (three fours).
The victory was made even sweeter by news that the match involving their closest rivals, Lindum, was abandoned because of rain that somehow bypassed the Haydn Green Memorial Ground where, this weekend, Marshalls host third-placed Old Lincolnians 2nd.