Ley Hill show they’re top class with five wicket vic­tory

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - CRICKET -

REIGN­ING cham­pi­ons Ley Hill re­turned to the top of the Mid Bucks Premier on Satur­day af­ter beat­ing pre­tenders to the throne Ballinger Wag­goners by five wick­ets.

Ballinger have sat atop the ta­ble for the past cou­ple of months while Ley Hill started their ti­tle de­fence slowly, but the champs showed why they can­not be writ­ten off by re­tain­ing their lofty perch in some style.

Ballinger went into the game not only top, but with the psy­cho­log­i­cal ad­van­tage of hav­ing knocked Ley Hill out of the T20 Knock­out Cup four days ear­lier.

On that oc­ca­sion, the he­roes were bowlers Will Reid (4-21) and Fred­die Thomp­son (4-25), and bats­men Richard O’Kelly, whose well-made 37 in­cluded two sixes, and Max Dug­dale, who hit a cru­cial 48, in­clud­ing four sixes.

But the only Ballinger hero on Satur­day was grounds­man Jamie Kel­lock, who sal­vaged the game by cut­ting and rolling a new strip af­ter the pre­vi­ous wicket was sat­u­rated.

Kel­lock may wish he hadn’t both­ered as Ballinger was bowled out for 98, hav­ing fallen to 3-2 early on and never re­cov­ered, de­spite the best ef­forts of Danny Draper, whose knock of 60 in­cluded three mighty sixes.

Fast run­ning out of part­ners, Draper was ninth man out, as 86-6 fast be­came 98 all out for Ballinger, their last three wick­ets fall­ing to con­sec­u­tive de­liv­er­ies.

Hope flick­ered briefly when two early wick­ets for Reid re­duced Ley Hill to 23-2, fol­lowed by a third for the same player soon af­ter. But even the late scalp of opener Craig Peter­son, with a sec­ond catch for Jamie McIn­tyre, could only de­lay the in­evitable, and two balls later it was all over.

Else­where in the Premier, Holmer Green ham­mered Braden­ham by 173 runs, by Hawridge & Choles­bury went down by 78 runs to Ayles­bury Town.

Cel­e­brat­ing: Reign­ing cham­pi­ons Ley Hill went back to the top of the pile de­spite the ef­fiorts of Ballinger’s Danny Draper, right, who hit a val­liant 60

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