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Offley & Stopsley CC vs Lilley; 6th June
Offley’s stroke-makers were denied a comfortable victory by the elements as torrential rain arrived to wash away proceedings just when they had the Lilley Cabbage Patch Dolls at their mercy.
Tom Reilly had played another masterful innings for his club, defying the erratic bounce and inconsistencies of a wicket that appeared to have been cut with a pair of nail scissors and flattened with a rolling pin, to stake Offley to an imposing total of 166-6.
Richie Barker lost the toss and was invited to bat first by a gloating James Ashby. Reilly made a sublime 83 not out and looked to be batting on a different field to the rest of his colleagues (lucky sod). Matthew Freeman, a cricketer or rare nerve and resource, plundered 23 runs on a surface that belonged in an allotment and Offley’s final total looked to be beyond Lilley’s reach, even allowing for their familiarity with their home patch.
Freeman had already reduced Lilley to 9-1 with a vicious lifting delivery that claimed the wicket of Dan McLaughlin when the heavens opened and spared the hosts a crushing defeat.
In related news, Lilley were spared a points deduction when pitch inspectors visited the ground to asses the surface but were unable to pass judgement after they were unable to locate the wicket.
Consequently the Mansfield-Towndrow Trophy remains up for grabs, although Offley lead the series 1-0.