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Offley & Stopsley 115-6 Vs Pirton 90-5 ; 11th June
OSCC Won by 25 runs
Offley began their defence of the Herts Village Trophy with a solid display at Pirton, as they overcame a sticky start to defeat their youthful opponents on a slow track where boundaries were at a premium.
Offley lost the toss and were asked to bat first. They got off to a dreadful start when Nathan Brodie chipped a return catch to the bowler off the third ball of the innings. It was a disappointment for Brodie who failed to last long enough to run himself out in his customary 20/20 fashion. Mark Tattersall soon followed him back to the hutch after playing on to a ball that kept low and Offley were in trouble at 11-2. Mo Chaudry and Richie Barker steadied the ship with a stand of 38, as Barker put one of the shortest retirements in club history behind him. The first boundary of the innings finally arrived in the seventh over and after that Offley began to score runs with greater frequency even though Chaudry was well held down the legside. Scott Addy made a breezy 6 before Steve Bexfield provided the innings with the spark it needed by taking 16 off one over, even though he ended it by holing out on the cover boundary. Barker reached his half-century and although Darren Lunney was bowled off the last ball of the innings aiming across the line, 115 looked to be a very competitive score on a sluggish pitch combined with a slow outfield.
Tattersall made an early breakthrough with the ball before Howard and Andrew dug in with a substantial partnership. However, they failed to get ahead of the scoring rate and as the pressure began to mount, Andrew holed out to Tattersall at long off, effectively deciding the issue. Hodges made a tortured 7 that dropped Pirton behind the scoring rate and when Matty Freeman was introduced to the attack, he quickly snuffed out Pirton’s last chance by castling Howard for 34. Pirton finished well shy of their target as Offley advanced to the next round, earning a home tie against Gravely or Codicote.