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Offley & Stopsley 225-7 Vs North Mymms III 123-3 - July 12th
Sponsor: Lilley Mercenaries – Established 1895
Offley took to the road for the second week in a row, for a long jaunt over to Potters Bar to play the North Mymms 3rd team. With the team missing Richie Barker due to a wedding and Colin (Sick, but later seen at the bike show) Keeley, the attack looked a little light, as the pair to date have taken 77 scalps between them. Offley did welcome Lilley all-rounder Majid Shah and Phil Gourd to the cause, but still started the game with 10.
With Bexfield playing the Keeley role and taking in the sights of Hertfordshire, it was left to Martin Mcculley to head out for the toss. With an attack never really likely of taking 10 wickets, we duly lost the toss and were invited to bat. The clock read 1.25pm and Offley currently had 4 players in the changing room, just as Chaudry and Latino headed out to the middle, with Mcculley padded up at number 3, the rest of the team arrived.
The opening pair made a solid start taking 18 runs from the first 8 over’s, as Searle kept things tight, whilst the quicker Davies was a tad way-ward. After reaching 15 Chaudry got a rush of blood to the head and chipped a catch to mid-off, and given the relatively hit or miss middle order, it was a poor show from an experienced batsmen. Brodie strode to the wicket and started his innings with some aggressive running, before playing the shot of the day, as he creamed a shot through mid-wicket for four.
After reaching double figures, Latino got out in typical fashion as he spooned a catch to cover to be dismissed for 11. Unfortunately the batsmen crossed and the very next ball Brodie picked out the same fielder, leaving Offley 43-3, two of the “experienced” four batsmen on show, now back in the hutch after getting themselves out. Bexfield saw of the hat-trick ball and then set about building an innings, this plan unravelled as he carved a leg-stump full-toss to square leg, at 60-4 things looked iffy!!
Majid took over at this point, as he started playing some nice shots either side of the wicket, of course these where all undertaken in his own uniquely relaxed style. The batting pair of Majid and Gourd will also be remembered for the worst piece of running in the history of OSCC, as Majid turned for a second run the ball was already on its way to the wicket-keeper, with the batsmen strolling along ¾ quarters of the way down the pitch, the wicket-keeper broke the stumps, alas the ball was laying on the ground behind him, and Majid was safe, at this point the batsmen only had 38 to his name.
Gourd was bowled attempting one smear to many, allowing Lunney the opportunity for a long-ish bat. Listen carefully and you could almost hear the “Beep-Beep” as Lunney started running for everything, frequently turning 1’s into 2’s, the opposition started to wilt, as over-throws and poor fielding allowed the pair to push Offley past 175 after 46 over’s. During the intense period of running, Majid passed the 50 mark with some lovely drives down the ground.
In the 49th over, and after pushing his score up to 83, a tired Majid finally gave the hopelessly expensive Howell a wicket, as he offered up a simple catch to end a fine innings. Roy died for the cause and was bowled first ball, before Mcculley continued his good bating form from last week adding a couple of lusty blows, as Offley closed on 225-7 from their 53 over’s.
A note to the pathetic North Mymms captain Goodlife who wanted
to go back out and bat on for an extra point in the dark, with an ambulance
still on the field taking one of our players to A+E: If you win this toss and
bowl first, don’t moan when you only have three points after 94 over’s of play,
because with the exception of Patel, you made no attempt to chase the score
down, bowling first is 30 points or bust!!
Mcculley and Lunney opened the attack for Offley, as Freeman was left to digest a hefty tea in the outfield. Lunney mixed good balls with bad, but paid the price for dropping too short on occasions. At the other end Mcculley got into the wickets in the third over, when Tyler who looked like a blocker, tried to go over the top and perished at mid-off, it’s a shame the rest of the team didn’t follow his acting intent!!
Patel and Nicol joined forces and pushed the score past 60 by the 20th over, as the pair waited for the bad ball whilst mixing watch-full defence. Lunney was not aided as some poor fielding added to the total, Freeman was particularly at fault, given the high standards he expects when bowling. After 20 over’s of the innings Freeman was invited to bowl, unfortunately the bowler needed the toilet, so with the captains field-leaving policy firmly in place and after a brief exchange of views, Chaudry was invited to bowl.
The new ball was taken, allowing Chaudry and Mcculley to both pick up a wicket, leaving the hosts on 102-3 after 30 over’s. The pair both bowled well, but failed to really look threatening after the departure of Nicol. After 36 over’s Roy and Freeman were introduced into the attack, no further wickets were yielded as the hosts decided to settle for the draw, and their master-plan was to try and sneak up to 155, which would have given them 4 points for there days effort, they ended with 3!!
With the game meandering to a close, a big shadow was cast over the day, due to lack of calling, Roy and Lunney collided. Roy was badly hurt and an ambulance was called for. During the wait for the professionals some great first-aid care was given by Southall and Bennett of North Mymms a, something for which we are all very grateful for.
After a 40 minute break and no real prospects of a winner, both teams assumed the game would be declared a draw, as 25 over’s had been bowled in the second innings. Opposition skipper Goodlife had other ideas, he wanted to bat on for the extra batting point, this was not the views of everyone around him. After failing to agree on anything, Bexfield came steaming out of the pavilion, and ordered his quick bowler too “knock some heads off”, before the license to bounce could be printed, Goodlife found some sense and offered a hand-shake to the fuming Bexfield. The match ending in a draw, as Offley walked away with 13 points and the hosts only 3, a meagre return for Offley, which allowed Stevenage 3rds to open up a gap in fourth place, ahead of the make or break encounter next Saturday in the Sports World Heartland.
· A note to the Captain Goodlife who wanted to go back out and bat on for an extra point in the dark, with an ambulance still on the field taking one of our players to A+E: If you win this toss and bowl first, don’t moan when you only have three points after 94 over’s of play, because with the exception of Patel, you made no attempt to chase the score down, bowling first is 30 points or bust!!