4's battle all the way
Ivory's 96 not quite enough
Goresbrook 4's battled all the way in their TRippon division nine fixture against league leaders Rayne 2's on Saturday but were denied a tie with just two balls remaining.
Darren Ivory was the mainstay of Brook's innings with a hard hit 96 including 9 fours and 3 maximums until he was spectacularly caught one handed by a running long on with 2 overs of the innings remaining. 49 year old Ivory was ably supported by double figure contributions from Darren (on this occasion "supporting cast") Boland 10, George Sleight 13 and Billy Parnell 17 but the innings could only limp to 170-8 after his dismissal.
Rayne were kept well under the run rate by accurate bowling from 13 year old left- armer Pawan Singh and 48 year old veteran Owen Elsom and openers May and Driscoll had a series of close calls as they tried upping the pace but Elsom 2-21 nabbed a brace thanks to catches at slip and gulley by Leadbeater and Ivory. Rayne found themselves at 58-2 at drinks, however, following Paul Atkins having to limp from the field with a damaged achilles, wickets from Billy Parnell and George Sleight 1-13 put Rayne in further trouble at 78-4 after 25 overs.
The visitors began consolidating as experienced pair Gary Hughes and Will Farr's partnership benefited from some loose bowling and some perhaps rather harsh umpiring to put the visitors in sight of victory. SIngh returned for a second spell and this managed to apply the brakes somewhat to Rayne's victory charge but it was the introduction of Darren Ivory 2-12 and the reintroduction of Billy Parnell 4-26 , with the score on 164-4 with 4 overs to go, that swung the game on it's head. Each applied the pressure with tight line and length and four quick wickets fell, two for Ivory and two for Parnell for just 5 runs.
But then Parnell was adjudged to have overstepped the crease and a no ball had the scores level. Unperturbed Parnell charged in and nabbed another wicket. A rampant Parnell then unleashed a near perfect yorker at Rayne's number 11 bat and somehow he managed to jab a bat down on it and survive.
Darren Ivory bowled 3 sublime balls, two of which rapped the pads but the fourth clipped the edge and shot between keeper and slip to Brook's despair and Rayne's delight.
A few more runs or a tad more luck or a few less wides might all have brought about a different result but a battling ne'er say die attitude, albeit in defeat, is something at leaast to take from the game.