Oh sing of the brave travellers, of Rich and Will, John and Steve, Venky and Vijay, Tristan and Prasad, Bob, Phil and Hansi who journeyed into Essex to take on Theydon Bois on a sun-baked and gently rolling ground…at least that’s what everyone found second time around as the postcode lead to an allotment…something the bowlers would have enjoyed but the batters might have complained about!

Having won the toss, the Ives padded up to take first use of the straw coloured pitch under sweaty and humid skies…the conditions were tempered by a breeze that oscillated between a zephyr and bluster, aiding movement through the air.

Bob and Hansi opened up, with Hansi exploring the edges of his bat whilst Bob striking many a leg-side boundary before a direct hit from distance left Bob watching on as Hansi was stranded. A few balls had reared but the first one that kept low scuttled Steve. Rich smote a couple of exquisite boundaries before he was dismissed then Phil got one that spun and spat at ankle height to bowl him.

Tight bowling was the order of the day as Will aided in the rebuild, as both batted serenely with occasional boundaries. Will surpassed his highest score before an edge popped up and the keeper bounded forward to effect the catch, and a frantic last couple of overs saw runs and wickets, including Bob sacrificing himself in a suicidal run in the final over.

The final total of 156 was built around Bob’s 76 but the general feeling was Ivanhoe had a chance but another 20-25 runs would have been a really challenging chase.

Tristan and Prasad opened the bowling, with T taking clean bowling one of the openers but boundaries aplenty put Ivanhoe behind the eight ball.  The bumpy outfield caused mishaps in the field but the beguiling and bedevilment the pitch had occasionally thrown up when the Ives batted was absent…Until Rich came steamed in off the long run and several exploded off a length.

Perhaps it was the fuller length Ivanhoe bowled than Theydon, but in contrast the run scoring areas were very different as down the ground was Theydon’s most productive area.

John got his customary wicket with a big turning straight one to add some pressure and slow the run rate down and Hansi bowled 8 tight overs on the trot.  After going at the best part of 5 per over things tightened up at around 25 overs. A couple of late wickets brought Ivanhoe back into the game, albeit as outsiders. It was probably a little too late to really impart pressure on Theydon, as too few runs were needed with many overs remaining. A last couple of hurrahs took the wickets tally to 7 before the winning boundary was struck.  

A great game that came to an end as the sun sank low, bruises from odd bounces in the field were forgotten as all and sundry retired to the clubhouse for a chat and enjoy the last few minutes of the Football.

Man of the Match – Bob C

Author – Hansi B

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