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After some suspected shenanigans from the team the 1sts were due to play in a league fixture, Ivanhoe stepped in at the 11th hour and agreed to host us for a friendly.

Ivanhoe are one of the most established clubs in Leicestershire with fantastic facilities and a superb pitch, the Fleckney skipper received some unnecessary backchat from a certain player, who attended a private school and has “played cricket for over 40 years, wot wot”, after offering to send him the postcode for Ivanhoe. Said player shall not be named but you may be able to identify him from this chant “he’s big, he’s round, he’s never off the ground”.

The skipper lost the toss and were asked to field. More abuse was dished out to the skipper from said player mentioned above but this time had more of a common touch, “you useless f*****g t**t”.

Nobody likes giving Darren Hutchings Webber any praise, but he did open the bowling beautifully with lovely movement in the air and off the pitch. He was backed up just as well by Mark Harris who put it in the right areas; he even managed to convince the skipper to put a second slip in AND continued to bowl to the field set, quite remarkable, perhaps more remarkable was he managed an eight over spell for the second week on the trot.

Jason Nicholson and Jimmy Loomes came on second spell and also bowled very well. When a new batsmen came to the crease and inquired what the ball was doing, he was informed, “it’s doing everything”, high praise indeed but this information came from Jason’s own mouth. Jimmy had two edges dropped, no FVCC players found this amusing.

The game was halted to move along a large, rotund spectator who was blocking the 25ft scoreboard. As it turned out this was none other than FVCC’s Sunday Vice Captain, stopper, and match report writer, Will Jennings, who popped over to have a beer and take the Michael.

Arjun Sudra bravely battled on bowling with the skipper offering him inadequate protection on the leg side. After, what can only be classed as a mutiny, the fielders took it upon themselves to change the field setting behind the skippers back (the skipper was day dreaming, wondering where Samit Kanji got his unsuccessful belly flop technique from for stopping the ball). It worked and the boundaries dried up. 165 on the board when the rain came after 36 overs.

Sam Payne and the skipper went out to open. Having had some impressive opening partnerships recently and Sam’s brutal 140 the week before, the skipper deduced Sam was not very sure of himself and needed the constant reassurance of a proper batsmen at the other end. The skipper managed to give that reassurance for one over, keen to set the tone for the innings he played a glorious cover drive for four, followed by a wild hack a rank wide ball resulting in him being bowled.

Promising starts for Sam, Archie Brown and Samit Kanji ended prematurely. Bobby Upple settled things down with some magnificent back foot strokes, the (old) boy was back in town! Sadly his innings came to an end for a well made 32, the hopes of a win probably going with it. However, respect was restored by a careful 39* by Jason Nicholson (not a bad first team debut) leaving Fleckney 20 odd shy at the end.

All in all a good day out, lovely ground, against a good bunch at Ivanhoe. Thanks for having us.

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