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Offley & Stopsley CC 179-10 Vs Harold  II's 182-5 ; 22nd Aug

OSCC Lost by 5 Wkts

As the sun shone bright over Offley for the penultimate match of the Bedfordshire League, with Offley and Stopsley needing a win to secure the play-off things were bright, but by the end of the day things has turned as Offley and Stopsley XI walked off the pitch after taking there second loss to Harold 2nd XI this season. Maybe it was the fact the Paul the Octopus has suggested that Offley would lose, maybe it was that they just weren’t good enough of the day.

With Offley and Stopsley batting first Bexfield and Lovell walked out to the middle. After surviving the first couple of overs Lovell has his stumps split in a way reminiscent of Moses parting the Ocean, and Bexfield pushing a low catch to point leaving Offley and Stopsley 2 wickets down within the first 5 overs. It therefore fell on Chamberlain, who walking in seemed more reminiscent of a Zombie from Micheal Jackson’s Thriller Video, with Williams in support at the other end as they managed to push Offley and Stopsley above the 50 mark with a variety of luck and well times shots.

The partnership ended with Williams attempting to sweep the ball, only showing the co-ordination of Charlie Chaplin completed missed and had to walk back to the pavilion, with Offley and Stopsley XI requiring a strong innings from Cerasale bespite a strong opening, again he fell to an exquisite catch from a Harold fielder meaning he had to walk back with Offley and Stopsley innings looking like it would be as successful as the popular soap Eldarado

Things brightened as Brodie and Chamberlain were at the crease slashing the ball over mid-wicket, through the covers and mid-wicket increasing the run-rate as impressively as the speed that Hussain Bolt runs the 100m and putting Offley & Stopsley in a stronger position. The wicket of Chamberlain however fell when he was just short of making his first 50 for the club, which these days is seeming about as regular as Eastenders is on BBC1.

With Patel joining at the crease to support Brodie the runs ticket onwards, however Patel was bowled playing a shot that was almost as good at getting straight E’s in your GCSE, and M.Ward despite his successful recent batting performances also failed. Playing a wreakless shot and getting cleaned up, in a style that would have Kim and Aggie smiling.

It was Keeley that shone in the final over’s with a batting performance, that had all the girls wanting to be with him, and all the boys wanting to be him as he hit a vital 25 runs of 9 balls and providing the Harold spinner with a memorable day. The innings finished with a short foray from A.Ward punching through the covers before being cleaned up by the Harold opening bowler with Offley & Stopsley setting the total of 180 all out.

It was up to Brodie and Keeley to open the Offley & Stopsley reply. Despite initial promise, Brodie bowling went downhill and he was dually punched around the pitch, Keeley fairing a little better and although managing to take the opening wicket with a C&B that has him leaping through the air like a salmon in mating season, however no further breakthrough’s could be found.

A first change was quickly made with Cerasale coming on, and despite some tight bowling, it was the fielding that started to fall apart from Offley & Stopsley as Keeley appeared to be more like a beached whale, and Chamberlain looking like he was still drunk. Cerasale continued to bowl taking a wicket with a LTB. However Patel with his spin managed to take 2 wickets one LBW and one caught meaning that Offley & Stopsley had removed the Harold top order.

The Harold batting however seemed to go deeply into the bottom order, a despite Lovell taking a final wicket of the day Harold easily coasted past Offley and Stopsley to take the win.

After a game that seemed to last as long as watching an hour long special of Big Brother, yet was as short an episode of Family Guy, it was all finished and the place tidy by 6.30, with Offley & Stopsley needing a win next week to secure promotion. However some conclusions that can be made are that it looks like it is time to wave ‘bye byes’ to Chamberlains wicket keepings career…and any chance that Keeley might turn into a ‘fine’ fielder have been totally dismissed.