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Offley & Stopsley CC 138 all out Vs Cockfosters III's 112 all out ; 26 June

OSCC Won by 26 runs

Offley and Stopsley v Cockfosters report

Offley and Stopsley once again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat from Cockfosters III in a low scoring, nail-biting match.  Bridgland lost the toss and the opposition skipper put Offley and Stopsley in to bat under the heat of the sun. Cockfosters’ captain was not popular with his own team when he informed them that they would be toiling in the heat of the sun for a possible 53 overs. 

Bridgland and Chaudry began slowly against some tight bowling on an Offley pitch with more than the regulation amount of bounce.  The wicket had been left somewhat green by the groundsman, who was not playing in the match!  Chaudry fell after just 3.4 overs to a catch, with the score on just 10, half of which were extras.  Bridgland was joined at the wicket by Hook and between them they added just 9 runs, before Bridgland was caught at the wicket and walked despite the umpire not hearing the nick as the ball went through to the keeper’s gloves.

The fall of the second wicket brought Brodie to the wicket but it was not long before Hook was returning to the pavilion, run out as the non-striker for just 12.  He had hit a couple of majestic fours before this happened, but was undone by a quick single.  Lunney and Brodie came together for the 4th wicket partnership and Brodie played confidently dispatching the ball to the boundary on 6 occasions.  The pair looked set for a big partnership when frustration got the better of Brodie and he was bowled by Sayers. 

Wardley came and went in quick time without troubling the scorer whilst Lunney saw little of the strike and struggled to get the ball off the square.  He departed in the 27th over having reached a total of 11 and Offley and Stopsley were looking a little on the ropes. 

Hum continued to play with some success as he was partnered first by Freeman (scored 1 off 10 balls), Cadden (0 from 15 balls) and Niven (0 off 3 balls).  Hum was then joined by Cooper who hit two splendid 4s in his total of 10 and finished unbeaten.  Hum was the final wicket to fall and Offley & Stopsley were all out for 138 in just 43.3 overs.  The total did not look good and there was some concern that a target of 139 in 56 overs was eminently achievable by the opposition.

Cockfosters began their innings with a quick wicket as Bridgland handed the new ball to Freeman, who steamed in, Lunney taking the first catch cleanly off the second ball.  This was not a portent of things to come although Hunt caught the other opener from the bowling of Cooper just as he had started to cut loose.  At 49-2 in 11.5 overs, Cockfosters were well ahead of the required rate and looked set fair, but the wickets continued to fall.  Langley struggle to connect with the ball and faced 30 ball for 8 runs in a period of the match which saw repeated dropped catches by Freeman, Hunt, Chaudry and Brodie off the bowling of Bridgland (twice), Cooper and Freeman.  It was beginning to look as if the Offley and Stopsley cricketers needed to be rechristened the ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ boys when Chaudry stopped the rot with successive catches in the deep off the slow, slow bowling of the skipper Bridgland.  Rollo went for 24 and looked the most self assured of Cockfosters’ batsmen, but what followed was something of a collapsed as the last 6 wickets fell for just 9 runs, leaving Cockfosters reeling and all out for 112. Bridgland was the most successful of the bowlers with figures of 4 for 20 although Freeman returned to mop up the tail returning his own haul of 4 for 20.  The opposition had much to say about the poor quality of the bowling by Offley’s men, but despite their comments, found both Bridgland and Freeman difficult to play on what was an unusually lively Offley wicket.  What’s more, the scorer was happy as the match finished earlier than expected!