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Offley & Stopsley 126-10 Vs Studham 148-8 ; 14th June

OSCC Lost by 22 Runs

The Offley & Stopsley II’s made the short trip to the picturesque village of Studham in Bedfordshire on a pleasantly sunny day for a 40 over contest. Darrell Cooper back as Captain after a 4 week absence won the toss and decided to field first, a decision which was proven correct at the break, as given the size of the tea that would be on offer later Offley would have been somewhat slowed down in the field.

The captain went with youth and experience to open the bowling, as himself and Marc Ward took the new ball. The contrast in age and experience between the two was highlighted by the contrast in performance. Whilst Cooper sent down some quality deliveries, Ward struggled with his line, but luckily not his length. The first wicket fell Cooper finally tempted Thorne to nick a delivery to Law behind the stumps. Freeman Replaced Ward and sent down 4 tidy over’s. with no luck.

Cooper struck in his last over to remove  Wingfield, who had spent the last 15 over’s trying to put bat to ball, so it came as no surprise when he offered a soft catch to Wardley at Gulley. Cooper finished with excellent figures, and only conceded 15 runs from his 8 over’s, let the report note that he did have the wind and the downward slope.

Williams replaced Freeman and Adam Ward replaced Cooper. Both bowled interesting deliveries, but both got results as first Ward tempted Mortimer into driving a delivery straight into Keeley’s safe hands, then Ward tempted the dangerous C Thorne into another drive, and again Keeley snaffled the chance. Williams then induced an edge from Rollinson and Law took the catch behind the stumps.

Freeman replaced A Ward from the favorable end, and the bowler’s season long bad luck continued as catches fell just short of fielders and the batsmen luckily dug out some probing yorkers. After being smashed for a huge six which almost broke a windscreen, Williams finished his spell conceding 32 runs from his 8 over’s, Freeman finished his 8 over’s, in the process conceding 22 runs.

Simon Wardley and Marc Ward came onto bowl, and were both unlucky as Offley leaked runs in the deep midwicket area. Keeley came on for the last two over’s and captured 3 wickets for 0 runs in a two over burst and the tail.

After the best tea of the season so far Offley set out to chase a very get-able 149 for victory. Colin Keeley and Carl Claire opened the innings. Keeley started like a train taking 7 from the first over, unfortunately it ended after two balls of the second over as Keeley chopped a poor delivery onto the stumps. Latino came in to bat at number three and made a decent start before also chopping a standard delivery onto the stumps.

Claire played some nice shots, especially a nice drive down the ground, so it came as a surprise when he was caught after a tame shot for 16. Things started to slide downhill from here for Offley, as Willis and Wardley came and went in quick-ish fashion, both playing some nice shots before soft dismissals.  Willis did have time to produce a trade mark flick off his legs to the boundary during his at the crease stay.

Some confusion between Cooper and Freeman led to Colin Williams batting at number 7, at this point Offley where 56-5, this also led to Freeman being banished to number 11, and with it any chance of the remaining 90 runs  being knocked off. Williams and Law put together a partnership of 16 before Williams fell to a horrible swipe across the line, as a floated delivery passed his stroke. Marc Ward failed to relive the glory of last week’s 50, to be caught for 4 at point, and Adam Ward was cruelly run out for 0 after smashing a shot to cover.  Two balls later Cooper added another duck to his tally as he attempted an attacking cut over point.

This left the resolute Law and Freeman to chase the 72 runs required from 18 over’s.  After knocking back a “few” maidens, Offley required 65 from 11 over’s. With Law holding the innings together, it was left too Freeman to tee off in hope of a miracle. After smashing two huge sixes and some other boundaries, along with some helpful extra’s to the total, Offley required 25 to win from 4 over’s.  After taking 3 from the first 2 balls, Offley required 22 run’s to win, from 3.4 over’s. The innings came to a close with the next delivery as Freeman walked down the wicket, only to top edge/glove a lifting delivery to gulley, Offley 126 all out,, falling 22 runs short. The 10th wicket partnership produced 50 runs, falling 16 runs short of the current record of 66.