Market Rasen and Louth turned in a much improved performance to register their second Midlands One East win of the season at Paviors on Saturday.
The Red and Greens went ahead through a Dan Robinson penalty in the ninth minute following a yellow card for Paviors centre Doug Billam.
Rasen and Louth were unable to capitalise on the extra man and having weathered the storm, Paviors went on the offensive and pressured the visitors into a simple penalty. But fortune was shining on Rasen as Paviors fly-half Jonty Green pulled the kick wide.
Six minutes later Jake Pryer broke through tackles almost at will to break into the Paviors’ 22 before a smart offload found full-back Paul Gutteridge in support who fed Nick Harvey for a classic winger’s finish in the corner.
The hosts reduced the deficit to a single point with a converted try when missed tackles allowed strong-running centre Matt Molyneux to leave Jack Pearson with a simple finish.
But the Red and Greens were still full of confidence, and a well-worked backline move allowed Harvey to charge up the centre of the field, and good support play gave George Grant the scoring pass for his maiden first team try. Robinson’s conversion put Rasen 15–7 up at half-time.
Paviors exploited Pryer’s sin-binning shortly after the break with two tries through Billam and Steve Allen to move ahead.
Rasen recovered their composure and with Pryer still in the bin, Tom Stephens came off his wing on a superb line which sliced open the Paviors defence to power over and put Rasen back in front.
This proved a turning point with Paviors pinned in their own half until the dying stages. And with 14 minutes left, Rasen’s catch and drive from a penalty lineout finally led to substitute prop Pete Southwell burrowing his way over the line.
With Robert Ratcliffe rather harshly yellow-carded, Rasen exploited their man advantage when Josh White’s half-break was latched onto by Harvey to grab his second try, converted by Robinson.
Green’s perfect cross-kick gave Pearson and Paviors a last-gasp consolation, but the Red and Greens had been the better side and richly deserved their win.