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Mark Tattersall

Mark Tattersall: The closest thing that the club has to its very own version of Andrew Flintoff, which is to say that they’re both stout all-rounders of yeoman English stock with an other half named Rachel. That is perhaps where the likeness ends because where Flintoff is the nation’s hero of the hour, destroying Australians and pints with equal relish, Tattersall is a model of clean living, a quiet soul who spends his Sunday mornings at church.

It is Tattersall’s abstemious nature and preference for mineral water over strong drink that has enabled this devout young man to establish himself as Offley’s premier all-rounder. In 2005 he carved out a new role for himself at the top of the order as the club sought to take advantage of the 40-over format on a Sunday. Tattersall was sent in first to smash the bowlers off their line and his simple but effective matter of standing still and swinging through the line, using his bat as a nine-iron, allowed him to get the team off to a number of fine starts. He never looked likely to increase his tally of centuries but provided an increasingly assured presence as an opener, even blending a couple of text book defensive shots with his fine assortment of mows, smears and hoicks.

His bowling remains impressive. Tattersall has shown that he can consistently move the ball away from the batsman both through the air and off the pitch. The self-styled Offley Express scooped the bowling honours in 2004 and again produced some quality performances last season. He has been known to experiment with leg spin but is most effective as a medium pacer who can hurry the odd batsman with his heavy ball, delivered with surprising speed for someone of such a chunky frame.

He has become one of the club’s most effective fielders, displaying a tremendously reliable pair of hands and an exceptional arm. Despite a serious injury on the football field some years ago he has recovered full fitness and is equally at home on the boundary or at point.

His biggest disappointment this year was when he was beaten into fourth place at the Offley Masters.