Always a treat to return to hospitable Ley Hill, and even better to be in midsummer and not just the end of season September weather lottery – and to think this author played a season for them in 1980! And even better was that a very acceptable tea was on the menu – how times change for this to be a special treat.

Having won the toss with a team better suited to bowling Ivanhoe elected to field. With Ley Hill at 100 in less than 15 overs this did not look like the best decision, even though Peter Oakley had bowled 6 economical overs, with figures of At this point Oakley almost took a spectacular catch, but ended up with a ripped nail and hand, medical attention, early bath, no tea and no further participation in the match – kindly Ley Hill provided a sub fielder and, later, a replacement, young Luke Bell, who bowled and batted. The extremely talented and aggressive Henry Sussum (Bucks under 23s) swiftly made his way to 48 before Prasad returned for a second spell to bowl him – a key wicket. Meanwhile young opener Ted Sussum progressed to a well-judged half century.

Ley Hill progressed swiftly and smoothly to 157-3, before Brooks calmly ran out the wily and experienced McHugh (26). It was then Tristan time. Parnell junior bowled his 5 overs for 30 runs and took 4 wickets, one courtesy of the usual juggling family of Parnells – in this case his Dad. Six wickets fell for 28 and it was only a last wicket stand of 24 that took Ley Hill to 209 all out with 15 balls unused. Catches by sub Bell and Loveday, a stumping by Kenchington and a further run out by T Parnell completed a good performance and  ensured a much lower total than looked likely earlier. GOAT Loveday had bowled economically near the death with 5 overs 1 for 10, before Hausler eventually got his first wicket to end the innings.

Ivanhoe’s reply began with a surprisingly quick cameo of 24 from skipper of the day Collins, before Kenchington, after a slow start, settled in, mixing solid defence with outright aggression to form the backbone of Ivanhoe’s reply. Ably supported by Parnell P, Bell and Brooks, wickets fell regularly and Ivanhoe found themselves 116-4 in the 23rd over. With regular rabbit, Loveday, joining Kenchington the game looked over, but Kenchington progressed to a superb 80 (his second highest score for Ives) and, with Loveday, put on 52 for the 5th wicket. Loveday was no 2019 Leach – he overcame the shock of batting at 6 and soon went beyond his previous top score of 26 not out, and with Hausler took Ivanhoe beyond 200. Loveday reached 43 not out (strike rate over 87 and included a 6 – admittedly to the shortest of boundaries) and a famous victory was achieved with 2 balls to spare.

A great team effort which also included sound fielding from Parnell C and Saqib, the game leaves the question of where will Loveday bat next week?

With MOM still to be decided there are a wealth of candidates, including Kenchington, Loveday and Parnell T.

On a final note – good to see Ives legend Andy Christie (plus dog) circling the boundary and filming Ives’ heroics!

Author: Bob C

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