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Offley & Stopsley CC 123 all out Vs Baldock CC 124-g - 5th Aug

OSCC Lost by 6 Wkts

Awful. Indisputably awful.

A weakened Offley team crashed to a comprehensive defeat at home to Baldock with the only redeeming feature being provided by an unbeaten half century from a splendidly hungover Mark Tattersall.

Stand-in skipper Richie Barker won the toss and after taking into account the scorching heat, a lack of proven batting firepower and an impromptu carpentry class featuring Nathan Brodie and Colin Keeley opted to bat.

Dathan Sale and Matthew Freeman opened the innings and dug in for the first five overs, Freeman playing a fine glance through the vacant third man area off the full face of the pad to pick up four leg byes. Unfortunately he was unable to open his account with the willow before being bowled by Logan, thereby picking up the unwanted pair for the weekend following his duck at Chorleywood.

Darren Lunney entered the arena having made the long journey down from Durham via train, bus, taxi and van. It proved to be something of a wasted trip as he offered catching practice to the slip cordon and went for a single. Sale soon fell for 7 before Scott Addy marched to the crease for the first time in five years. Addy and Tattersall took the score up to 38 before Addy became the third batsmen to be bowled.

Nathan Brodie joined Tattersall and the pair briefly threatened to carry Offley towards respectability before Brodie was bowled. Chris Latino came and went for a single before Barker was bowled sweeping behind his legs.

Damien Sale and Paul Bridgland both failed to trouble the scorers and Offley faced the prospect of being bowled out for under 100 before Keeley joined Tattersall in a rambunctious last wicket stand that saw Tattersall reach his fifty and Keeley swing his way to 18 enterprising runs before missing a straight one from Logan to become the eighth batsmen to be bowled, a fine testament to the team’s defensive technique on a day when the forward defensive shot did not appear to be in many repertoires.

Tattersall marched off unbeaten after playing one of the most responsible innings of his career, as proven by hitting just two sixes and three fours as he fought the discomfort of a hangover and the pain of watching the ineptitude unfurling before him at the other end.

Offley needed early wickets and Keeley tried his luck from the Kings Walden Road end while Freeman surged in from the Football Pitch end. Keeley found his line, Freeman did not, as he lumbered into the sun and started out with a 10-ball over before succumbing to heatstroke although he gallantly stayed on the field and fought to the last even though spectator Jon Cerasale refused to fetch him a drink.

Keeley made the breakthrough with the help of a fine catch from Damien Sale as the keeper held on to a sharp chance to remove Gentle. Baldock slowly began to accumulate the runs before Paul Bridgland struck in his first over, coaxing Peacock into a wild waft that Brodie pouched at cover. A rare Brodie drop granted Baldock life but Keeley switched ends and picked up a second victim as Damien Sale dived down the legside to take a fine catch. Tattersall caught Rayat in the gully off Bridgland and Baldock were rocking with four wickets down and 50 still needed.

However, Goodlad dropped anchor to score a mind-numbingly tedious 8 not out and Letford rode his luck including a strong lbw shout and a drop by Lunney to make an unbeaten 33 as the visitors crawled to their target with all the Úlan and flair of an asthmatic ant dragging a brick up Everest.

All in all the less said the better.