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Offley and Stopsley II's 180-8 Vs Whitwell CC 249-6 - 27th July

 OSCC lost by 69 runs

On a stiflingly hot sunny day an agreement was reached by the skippers that meant that O&S had to field, skipper Bexfield was duped into believing the opposition only had 5 men at the time, they seemed to appear from behind the pavilion very quickly however.

On walking out to the square the skipper asked Darrel Cooper to bowl from the top end, with young Marc Ward at the other. With the stifling heat sapping everyone’s energy it was a slow start for the bowlers but eventually young Ward was rewarded with a wicket. He was then replaced by Mr. Lunney with his slow left armers. Coopers 6th over went for twelve, ruining what had been fairly good figures, as he tired in the heat. He was replaced at the top end by Mr. Freeman who had earlier been moaning that he should have that end as he was the best bowler and should get the choice. As usual however he was a reluctant bowler and had to be persuaded by the skipper to bowl at all after being hit on the elbow during some fielding practice. He soon discovered another reason for not bowling at his chosen end, and it wasn’t the fact that the Whitwell batsmen had taken a real fancy to him, it was the fact that there was a 2 inch hole in the middle of his run up that the poles for the square rope went into. He persevered with however but with no reward as one batsmen in particular took him to pieces, including charging down the wicket and driving him for 4 and then the next ball sweeping him for also for 4.

After there 50’s and a poor drop by Phil, the batsmen tried to open there shoulders against Lunney, only for one of them to be caught in the deep by Freeman, everyone held there breath as he eventually got under it, and the other was bowled having a big swipe. The future of the club were then asked to turn there arm over with the even younger Ward, Adam, taking a wicket with his first ball. The batsman somehow managed to spoon it to cover where it was caught by Bexfield. With the 2 youth bowlers on some thought the scoring rate would rise but the youngsters bowled well and kept the rate down for a while until they too tired and started to go for runs.

Cooper was recalled to the attack as was Freeman to close out the innings; neither bowler got a wicket and were probably shown up by the youngsters if the truth be told. O&S were set a daunting target of 250 to win.

After a fine tea the 2 openers Bexfield, coming off a duck from the day before, and Scott Addy, who could hardly walk due to sciatica, put on a fine opening partnership with Scott hitting one memorable 6 over midwicket off a full toss. He eventually feel as his mobility got worse. Damien came and went as he struggled to cope with the pace and bounce in the wicket. This meant Bexfield was joined by Mark Ward, who had been promoted up the order after some good displays lately, and they proceeded to score steadily, if not particularly quickly. Bexfield was his typical belligerent self and continued to score runs along with the ever more impressive Mark Ward. The line of the day had to be from the 5 foot nothing Ward to the 6 foot 4 bowler, who had just bowled off a 3 pace run so as not to bowl too quick, “bowl it normal mate, I don’t mind” to which the bowler returns to his normal run and pace only for the young ward to cream him through the covers for 2. Mark was eventually bowled for a fine 26, this saw a precession of batsmen with new man Shawn, young Adam, Charlie Page and Phil Gourd all going for a duck as they struggled to cope with the bowling on a pitch that livened up a bit after a brief spell of rain. Matty Freeman was eventually persuaded that he had to bat and he joined Bexfield in the middle for what was now a forlorn battle and an attempt to salvage some pride. The 2 batted well but eventually Bexfield missed one and was bowled for 87. This brought Cooper to the wicket to see out some 3 over’s with freeman. Cooper did provide some entertainment however when he hooked a head high full toss for 4, whilst nearly falling over and freely admitting that he had his eyes shut. The game petered out in the end with neither Freeman nor Cooper wanting to get out and exposing the injured Lunney to the bowling. This is probably the first game the seconds have played where Bexfield hasn’t scored more than half the runs so well done lads things are looking up.

Match Report by Darrell Coopper