Ivanhoe (158-7, Ashby 2-29) beat LILLEY (163-3, Perry 33) by seven wickets

Lilley’s fine run of form came to an abrupt halt at sweltering South Mimms yesterday with a sound thumping from Ivanhoe.
The home side won the toss in the time fixture and elected, curiously, to bowl first in searing heat.  The move appeared to have back-fired somewhat, as Doug Tomsett and Tim Perry resumed their good opening stand from last week, puting on 71 for the first wicket in the first 18 overs.
Tomsett’s demise for 20, bowled by the workhorse Christy (who eventually got through no less than 21 overs off the reel!), set the Lilley knees wobbling.  Perry, who had moved on to 33 and was looking in fine fettle, decided to try to hit Christy out of the attack, succeeding only in edging to first slip.  James Ashby’s poor season with the bat took a turn for the worse, bowled by a full toss from spinner Dancer and when Gareth Tompkins was next out, bowled middle stump for 11, Lilley had slipped from 71-0 to 85-4.  Brad Tompkins and Ken Hammond then steadied the Lilley ship briefly before the former went, LBW, to medium pacer Christy.
Hammond and new man Steve Eyres then set about trying to drag Lilley up to a defendable target on a reasonable track and did a brilliant job, puting on 53 in eight overs.  Hammond responded to comments of ‘mind the windows Tino’ after swiping and missing by launching Dancer straight back over mid on for four next ball and Eyres at the other end looking in good touch.  Eyres opened his six account for the year, slamming Dancer over long on for a mighty maximum as Lilley passed the 150 mark.  Nothing could be done about the ball which eventually dismissed Eyres for 22 in the final over, as it literally rolled along the ground and into the stumps – particularly harsh, given it was the only ball that misbehaved quite that badly all afternoon.
Hammond could only watch from the other end as Joel Mellor came…and went first ball, caught in the gulley to give Christy his five wicket haul in his 21st over.  Dave Carman survived the hat-trick ball, but couldn’t add anymore runs as Lilley finished on 158-7.
Ashby and GT opened up again with the ball for Lilley, but the Ives batsmen chanced their arm and had some outrageous fortune as the opening stand moved to 36.  The skipper was struggling with a dead leg sustained in a pre-match football game at Stockwood and GT was unfortunate as the openers edged the ball, played and missed and never looked at home.  Doug Tomsett put down a relatively easy chance at mid on off Tompkins as did Joel Mellor at short leg.  One of the openers, Dancer, was less than nimble on his feet however when Ashby banged a short one in during his fourth over and the opener could only glove the ball to short leg and the man under the helmet, Joel Mellor.  JA bagged a second in the over when fellow opener Kenchington, who’s infuriating slogs across the line were finally brought to an end in almost identical fashion, Ashby banging one in short and the batsman was only able to spoon the ball in the air, this time to stand in wicketkeeper Brad Tompkins.
Ivanhoe’s new pairing Collins and Phil Parnell endured a tough time initially, both playing and missing against both bowlers.  Lilley looked to the second half of the pace quartet, Perry and Hammond, to provide some more wickets.  Sadly Collins and Parnell were starting to find their feet and began looking extremely comfortable, particularly off the back foot.  Hammond eventually took Parnell’s wicket, bowled, but new batsman Bridgeman looked comfortable.
With Lilley staring down the barrel, Ashby turned to Rich Kendall to try and take some of the pace off the ball to restrict run scoring.  The new man’s first over was excellent and despite conceding two boundaries in his second, there was plenty of promise for the future there.  Dave Carman wheeled away for two overs, but even he could not keep the run rate down, going for 18 in his two overs.  The skipper brought himself back on in place of Kendall and almost had Collins as he edged behind, but the sharp chance was put down by Brad Tompkins.  The home side eventually won with four byes, to seal a victory of 7 wickets.
Lilley were soundly beaten here.  Not enough runs and, critically, the pace quartet were lacking.  In the previous two games, Lilley’s bowlers have picked up ten maidens (usually eating up at least a quarter of the batting side’s overs), but this week we managed only three.  Still, there were positives – another good opening stand from TP and Doug, Hammond back in touch with the bat, Eyresie finding his feet with the bat and a decent showing from Brad Tompkins with the gloves, amongst others.  Time to get back on track with victory against United Counties Bus next week

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