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Offley & Stopsley II's 87-10  Vs Shefford 118-9 ; 5th Sept

OSCC Lost by 30 odd runs

It was a dry September Sunday afternoon, and after a successful season for the second XI they wanted to keep there team overall season form running. However the day ended with another loss for the Offley & Stopsley second XI. Perhaps, like Tsar Peter I of Russia imposing a tax on all men except clergy and peasants, the captain should begin to tax players any player on a poor performance. Perhaps its time to start a Fabio Capello index?

It was Offley and Stopsley 2nd XI that started in the field with Williams unable to bowl the ball straight on the wickets, he was lucky to escape only giving a couple of 4’s, however unfortunately had the opening batsman dropped off his bowling early on. Keeley at the other end continued to motor-in like a Ford Mustang that never seems to break down, initially frustrating the opening batsman before eventually taking the 2 opening wickets for Offley in an effective opening spell.

The ball was turned over to Marc Ward who managed to keep the bowling tight at his end and ensure Shefford’s big hitting number 4, having to run for singles rather than been smashing 4’s, sadly for a certain someone with a bet in place he had refused to take the bribe to bowl a selection of carefully planned no-balls and wides on the day.

It was the next changes however that looked like it has swung the match in the favour of Offley and Stopsley 2nd XI as the magic came through the bowling of Offley’s, shortest players. Young Asif Hassan on his debut for a senior team took two wickets in a devilish spell that would have had Harry Potter puzzled at how to survive and Adam Ward, despite his short height appeared as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree, baffling the Shefford batters with his devilish spin. He ripping through the heart of the Shefford attack making them look like they were being herded like lambs going to slaughter in the pavilion.

The highlight of Adam Wards spell being a miraculous 1 handed C&B that had him diving across the field in the style that Tom Daly produced off a diving board, and come up with probably the loudest high pitched scream of the day in celebration and his opportunity to take a hat-rick only for the batsman to scrape it away off his pads and narrowly avoid been out, however remove him next ball.

It was one strong innings from the big hitting batsman that had held Shefford together, as the Offley youth confirmed there potential. Shefford finished with a total to 118 all out, something Offley and Stopsley 2nd XI though they could confidently take on, however this idea did not actually turn out as planned.

Chamberlain and Hook went out into the middle to open the batting, expecting to carry on the form they have had of recent times and set up a successful innings for Offley & Stopsley 2nd XI, however bowling tighter than a Simon Cowell’s trousers Scotsman wallet meant runs were hard to come by, and no sooner had they settled they both got out and were walking back to the pavilion. This brought Damien Sale to the crease for a selection of shots that would have looked good if he was doing an impersonation of Nick Faldo and hitting the ball, before being bowled for a duck.

However, the batsman re-born this season was surely to provide some tasty runs for Offley & Stopsley 2nd XI. However Marc Ward also fell early, maybe it was the lady in the clubhouse with the slogan ‘Tipp-ex covers my boobs’ on her t-shirt or maybe it was a poor shot, whatever the reason he was send back to the pavilion and Offley and Stopsley 2nd XI appeared to be struggling, bringing a younger version of Darren Lunney to the stumps, to unfortunately get a famous Offley shooter early on. It seemed the right time to bring on a steady batsman in Lunney, and the runs began to tick for a little while before a contentious LBW decision brought Lunney back to the pavilion.

It was time for the devilish bowling attack to turn themselves into all-rounders, they appeared to be the saviours for some time with, with Adam Ward and Hassan at the crease, running singles and turning the ball behind leg for 4’s appeared to have Offley and Stopsley coming back on track. However Hassan fell for a respectable score bringing Williams to the crease, who despite early promise went fishing, flashed at a wide ball and was caught behind.

Could Keeley perform a miracle and take Offley past the Shefford total, with an inspired batting display this week was the question as he strolled in, to take a penultimate final wicket partnership with Adam Ward, despite some acressive swings and a long 4, he failed to pick up a Yorker on leg stump and cleaned up, with the final wicket not putting up much a fight, it was Offley and Stopsley 2nd XI all out without reaching even 100.