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Offley & Stopsley Vs Lilley - 23 April 2006

10-man Offley & Stopsley got their season off to a losing start as they slumped to a two-wicket defeat against visitors Lilley.

Things began promisingly as skipper Martin Bigmore won the toss and shared an opening stand of 24 with Mo Chaudry. However, after Chaudry departed for 16 the innings went into a steady decline. Richie Barker was adjudged LBW to a full-blooded leg glance by The World’s Worst Fielder™ and Nathan Brodie went for a duck.

Jon Cerasale joined Bigmore to put on 35, the highest stand of the innings, but he departed after injuring his calf and subsequently missing a long hop. Colin Keeley survived a dropped chance to make 8 before swinging across the line while Wayne Cutts went for 2. In between Phil Gourd fell to a grotesque swipe after failing to trouble the scorers. Qumar went for 0 and the innings closed on 112 after Bigmore’s captain’s innings ended with a tired swish for a relatively composed 48.

Lilley stuttered out of the blocks as Keeley castled Rodgers for 0 and bowled the dangerous G Tompkins for 12. When Rizwan bowled Perry for 10 Offley sensed victory. The sniff of glory intensified after Keeley picked up his third wicket but Lilley’s resolve stiffened. D Tompkins and Hammond dug deep before Chaudry was introduced into the attack. He dismissed Tompkins with a cracking delivery to snap up Lilley’s fifth wicket. Sadly Chaudry’s solitary over contained a plethora of long hops and no balls and eventually cost 14 runs.

Barker missed the chance to seize the initiative by dropping Hammond on the boundary and despite a pair of late strikes by Qumar and a wicket for Brodie Lilley kept their nerve to win by two wickets with the Carman Brothers leading Lilley over the line.

Note to all Offley players…. That isn’t exactly like being pipped at the post by the Waugh Twins.