Woodhall get a flier as big Ben strikes

Ben O'Brien
Ben O'Brien

Ben O’Brien was the star of the show as Woodhall Spa proved too strong for rivals Market Rasen at Jubilee Park on Saturday.

The Australian all rounder took 5-46 as ECB Lincolnshire Premier League newcomers Rasen were routed for 115.

That total was never going to seriously test a powerful battling line-up and Woodhall posted 119-2 off 22 overs with O’Brien (26 no) fittingly hitting the winning runs.

The eight wicket success was just the start to the new season skipper Jack Luffman had been hoping for as Woodhall look to go one better than their second place finish last season.

Luffman said: “It was a decent start - a good solid performance and maximum points. We couldn’t have asked for much more.

“Ben bowled very well on what was pretty much a flat track. He stuck it in much the right place.

“Our fielding was sharp. We held some nice catches and it was good that most of the batsmen spent time in the middle.”

Woodhall were without their two star signings - Malinga Bandara and Andrew Carter.

Sri Lankan ace Bandara - a leg spinning all rounder - is still waiting for clearance while Carter is very much in Nottinghamshire’s first team plans.

Rasen won the toss and batted first, but soon lost Matthew Travis (4) to O’Brien, who ripped a delivery though his defences.

Woodhall had to be patient as Rasen’s early order offered some determined resistance, but Connor Parsons, Matthew Sargeant, Paul Timby and Luke Smith all lent excellent bowling support.

From 45-1, Rasen lost wickets at regular intervals with Sabestian Darke (31) top scoring,

Woodhall openers Jonny Cheer and Sam Evison - fresh from a winter in Australia - virtually ended the match as a contest with a stand of 74.

Evison went for 34 and despite the loss of Ricky Lovelace for only four, Cheer (25 not out) and O’Brien saw Woodhall safely home.