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Offley & Stopsley CC 207 - 4 Vs Therfield 99 - 17th June

OSCC Won by 108 runs

Offley cruised to a 108-run victory over Therfield as Nathan Brodie and Gary Davison starred with the bat before Mark Tattersall and Kosala delivered the goods with the ball, claiming three wickets apiece on a day when all six bowlers tasted success.

Steve Bexfield won the toss and opted to bat first on a low, damp wicket in overcast conditions. Brodie, freshly returned from a suit fitting that ruled him out of the previous day’s rain-wrecked game at Clifton, opened the batting with Dave Bridgland. The pair made a solid start in trying conditions before Bridgland, beginning to labour somewhat in the humid conditions, swung across the line and skyed a chance to mid on with the score on 38.

Davison joined Brodie at the crease and the pair quickly began to carry the attack to the Therfield bowling. Davison was quick to take advantage of anything short of a length and racked up seven boundaries – although he remains in search of that elusive six – while Offley’s answer to Beau Brummel found the going more difficult and struggled to find the boundary. Perhaps still dreaming of his new suit (reportedly a crushed velvet number complete with wide lapels, an ebony cane and a fedora) Brodie sauntered down the wicket once too often and was stumped by about four feet after making an excellent 73. Not for the first time Brodie could be accused of a slightly reckless shot when in sight of three figures after doing the hard work. The dismissal ended the partnership at 113 and Davison soon departed after spooning a catch to point to leave Offley at 158-3.

Tattersall was next to go in slightly curious circumstances. After opting out of the Hatfield clash to preserve his batting average, Tattersall was keen to return to the fray against the weaker Therfield attack but was soon undone by a long hop that was shorter and slower than it appeared and dipped beneath his attempted pull to make it 165-4.

Bexfield and Darren Lunney hauled Offley up to an imposing total as they shared an unbeaten stand of 42, once Bexfield had found his touch after playing out five consecutive dot balls while complaining about the lack of movement on the scoreboard. Running the singles with gusto – especially after Bexfield had shouted for a quick run and followed it up with the advice that, “You’re on the back foot Darren” – they left the Therfield fielders struggling for breath and in deep trepidation of the run chase that lay in wait for them after tea once Tattersall had consumed most of a splendidly blue cake.

Therfield’s best chance lay with opener Viner, a batsman who went first ball at Offley earlier in the season. He signalled his intent by effortlessly flicking Tattersall over midwicket to open his account first ball but then ruined things slightly by putting an equal lack of effort and thought into chipping his third ball to Steve Baron at midwicket. Baron juggled the catch before holding on to leave Therfield rocking on 5-1. It was soon 16-2 as Rizwan had Gatwood caught behind by Davison before the Tattersall-Baron combination struck again to leave Therfield on 29-3.

The game was as good as up when Tattersall trapped Bradfield plumb in front for 19 before Kosala mowed through the middle order, bowling three victims in succession to reduce the hosts to 67-7. King and Tokley showed some defiance and also exacted a heavy toll on the fielders thanks in part to a shocking long hop from Richie Barker. A slow half tracker looked destined for the trees before Baron heroically placed his ankle in the way of the ball. The stricken fielder went down with barely a whimper and lay helpless on the ground before making a slow and painful exit back to the pavilion, unable to play any further role in the game.

King struck some hearty blows against Barker before picking out Bridgland at mid on and Tokley paid the price for smiting Bridgland for six when he was stumped trying to repeat the shot.

The game ended when Dathan Sale celebrated his senior debut for Offley by removing Ward for no score as Offley eased to victory ahead of a grudge match with Holwell and long-time nemesis Parkins, to say nothing of Orville Batson.

Time to duck and cover….