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Offley & Stopsley II's, 179-10 Vs Simmons 256-9; 7th July

OSCC II's Lost by 77 Runs

Offley & Stopsley II's made the arduous trip through Dunstable to Leighton Buzzard on Sunday, to attempt some revenge against a  Simmons team who gave them a good beating earlier in the season, only to find their batsman was once again in fine form. An excellent tea was to prove to be the saving grace of a tough day out.

Captain Cooper lost the toss and the home skipper was very quick and gleeful in consigning Offley to the field, who wouldn’t when you have an opener who smacks the attack round the ground, doesn’t umpire and then goes home at tea;

M Ward and Cooper opened the bowling for the third game in a row, and both seemed to settle in nicely, as the pair picked up a maiden each too account for the first two overs. In the over’s that followed Offley’s new buzz catchphrase “bowling a treat” was not heard very often as Singh thumped the ball to all part’s, with Cooper resorting to spin in a bid to contain the batsmen. Claire replaced M Ward after 4 over’s and bowled way would to start with as he sent down two lots of 5 wides, in addition to be smacked to the boundary. Claire composed himself and dismissed P Robinson with a good delivery, which the batsmen nicked behind. After an 8 over spell which cost 50 run’s, Cooper replaced himself with A Ward, or his other name adopted on the day; brother of buffet.

The enforced change worked first ball, as Singh misjudged the youngsters speed or lack of, and drove a firm catch to Wardley. The start that Singh proved his team allowed his team mates to see A Ward and Claire off, but not before Claire removed P Devril with a good yorker. Claire’s wayward start meaning his 8 overs went for 51, whilst A Ward’s four over’s went for just 5 run’s.

After a late drinks break, Large and Williams entered the attack, and both got some treatment before finding their lines. Edwards was next to go as he launched a fearsome drive towards Freeman at mid-on. To the surprise of some fielder’s, Freeman stopped the ball with one hand before pouching the sharp chance on the rebound. Williams then produced a “top nut” to remove N Clarke as Law took his second catch of the match. Large then picked up two wickets, before being smashed for 3 huge sixes and removed from the attack.

M Ward returned to the attack for Williams, and after some more tap, picked up the wicket of the semi-dangerous J Clarke. A woefully underused Freeman entered the attack to bowl the 40th over, and sent down a maiden.

The Hosts where gifted 50 extra’s, and without Singh’s master blaster one man team innings, they would have limped to 123-9. But because of that, and some iffy bowling the hosts had a massive 256 to defend.

Claire and a reluctant Hum opened the innings and it wasn’t long before Hum’s bad trot continued as was caught behind to a good away swinger. Things got worse moments later as the inform Van Hoof played what can only be described as a lazy forward defense to be clean bowled for 0. And when Law departed caught behind for 2 from another J Clarke away swinger, Offley where facing an early start in the Pub.

Wardley and Claire combined, as the pair pushed the score to 49, with Wardley playing some pleasant cover drives and Claire punishing anything loose. With both batsmen looking set, Wardley became J Clarkes 4th victim of the day as he was caught behind for 13. Freeman joined Claire, but the pair never really settled together, as numerous singles and chances to rotate the strike where turned down. After seeing off the opening bowler’s, Freeman then played a terrible/poor/awful/crap/shit shot to a loopy full toss, and was then forced to watch the ball go under his bat and hit the stumps. He also had to do the book for the next 20 overs as the lower order made hay against an average bowling attack.

A Ward came and went for 4, but not before playing a 20/20 style flick over his head, which didn’t impress the bowler. Williams joined Claire and the pair got stuck in, as the ball flew to the boundary on numerous occasions. Claire brought up his maiden Offley 50 with a crunching four down the ground. Claire has also now become the 4th different person to score 50+ with Freeman’s bat.

After adding a further 20 run’s in quick time, Claire fell to a tired shot, as he offered a tame catch to square leg. It was a shame, as Claire could/should have scored his maiden Hundred for Offley given the attack. But a very fine effort indeed, with Claire ending on 70, and in Captain Cooper’s eye’s guiding Offley to the morale victory.

Large and Williams now took center stage, for the probably the innings most exciting partnership. The pair punished some truly buffet bowling, as Large scored 17 and Williams moved within sight of his first 50. When large departed, Cooper tried his hardest to get Williams a 50, the skipper even managed to open his account for the season. Alas it wasn’t to be, as Williams holed out in the last over for 45 entertaining runs. Offley closing on 179 all out from 39.2 overs.