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Offley & Stopsley Vs Lilley - 30th Sept

OSCC Won by 129 runs

The 2006 season ended as it began for Offley with a home contest against local rivals Lilley. Yet whereas the season started out with defeat and some genuine concerns for the months ahead, it ended with a crushing victory to bring the curtain down on a successful campaign that produced silverware and a (hopefully) lucrative cheque for lifting the Saracens League Division 11 title.

Steve Bexfield won the toss and elected to bat first on a damp wicket that promised to get slower and lower as proceedings wore on. Nathan Brodie and Darren Lunney opened the batting and shared a stand of 34 before the first wicket fell. Lunney, already fortunate to have survived the embarrassment of being bowled ducking under a full toss after Umpire Freeman ruled it a no ball, edged a catch to the keeper. The dismissal brought Richie Barker to the crease and he was quickly apprised of his batting pedigree, or lack thereof, by the visiting fielders.

Brodie fell for 21 after playing some pleasant shots and clearing the 500-run mark for the season. His innings came to a surprising end when he mistimed a drive into the covers and was snapped up by substitute fielder Wayne Cutts. The dismissal gave Cutts just his second catch of the season and marked him down as a double agent par excellence. Steve Hoar – hopefully set to sign for the 2007 season – came and went in a barrage of full blooded drives that invariably missed the ball before skying an attempted pull behind the stumps. Gareth Mathewson relied on a rustic method as he employed his bat as a machete before swinging and missing once too often and Cutts came and went in the blink of an eye after playing all round a straight one without troubling the scorers.

That left Offley in a spot of trouble at 71-5 but Tom Reilly joined Barker and the pair shared a stand of 90 that effectively settled the issue as they imposed their will on the visiting side. Both negated the probing spin of Craig Paddington with few alarms before Reilly chopped on off the bowling of the impressive Gareth Tompkins for 40. Chris Latino joined Barker at the crease and he batted fluently to score a single despite being compromised by a grotesquely injured finger sustained after attempting to punch the ball rather than using the bat. Barker hammered the hapless Mills for 18 off one over but the shot of the day came when he deposited Kempston’s favourite son Allbones into the trees which presumably answered the bowler’s inquiry as to whether his bat was any good as he made an unbeaten 81. Latino finally fell to persevering trundler James Ashby and Matthew Freeman produced a couple of big swings to help Offley finish up on 206-7, a score that was worth far more in the unpleasant conditions.

Lilley’s hopes of challenging the target hinged on a good start but the game was all but up within seven balls. With thunder and lightning providing the backdrop, Freeman came charging in with impressive venom and cleaned up Brad Tompkins with his second ball. His brother lasted one ball less as he thumped Colin Keeley’s opening delivery straight to Hoar to make it 0-2. Ashby produced some lusty blows in an attempt to ward off humiliation but despite a splendid six over cover to get off the mark he was unable to sustain his efforts and holed out to Brodie. It gave Brodie his 25th catch of the season. Mathewson endured a torrid time at mid on as he looked directly into the sun and South Africa’s answer to Nadia Comaneci saw one chance slip agonisingly over his finger tips, dropped another one and was left sprawling in the mud on two more occasions before holding on to a fine catch to dismiss Perry.

After Freeman limped out of the attack after sustaining a muscular injury of some sort that reduced him to orange disc status for the remainder of the game, Mathewson enjoyed success of his own when Bexfield held on to a catch at fine leg with the minimum of fuss. To be fair to Freeman he was not the only fielder who looked to have seen better days during the summer. By the end Barker looked very much like a man two months shy of his 32nd birthday, Keeley was trying to work out which part of his anatomy hurt most and even Reilly dived over one and had to be bailed out by Cutts.

After a brief spell from Cutts at the football pitch end Bexfield introduced himself into the attack for his first bowl of the season. Despite looking a little rusty and serving up one or two really abysmal pies, Bexfield ran in with an aggression and speed that belied his advancing years and finished with three wickets. After Hoar ran out Paddington with an impressive pick up and throw Bexfield had the final word, bringing down the curtain on the season with a sharp return catch to dismiss Lilley for 77 and hand Offley a convincing win and hand the hosts the bragging rights in the latest instalment of the Towndrow-Mansfield series.

Fixture…..… Lilley     Date……….. 30-Sep   Venue….. H  
Fixture Type: Friendly     Match Result: OSCC Wonn by 129 runs    
Offley & Stopsley Lilley    
Player How Out Bowler Score Player How Out Bowler Score    
N Brodie CT Sub (Cutts) Perry 21 B Tompkins Bowled Freeman 0    
D Lunney CT B Tomkins Perry 7 G Tompkins CT Hoar Keeley 0    
R Barker NOT OUT 81 Ashby CT Brodie Keeley 14    
S Hoar CT B Tomkins G Tomkins 13 Allbones Bowled Bexfield 36    
G Mathewson Bowled Perry 8 Perry CT Bexfield Keeley 3    
W Cuts Bowled G Tomkins 0 Horner CT Mathewson Mathewson 3    
T Reilly Bowled G Tomkins 40 Mills Bowled Bexfield 0    
C Latino Bowled Ashby 1 Paddington RUN OUT 5    
M Freeman NOT OUT 6 Mills NOT OUT 2    
C Keeley DNB     Welsh C & B Bexfield 0    
S Bexfield DNB                
    Extras 29     Extras 14    
    Total 206     Total 77    
     Wickets 7     Wickets 9    
Bowling Figures    
Offley & Stopsley Lilley
Player Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Player Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
M Freeman 6.1 1 20 1 Ashby 7 0 34 1
C Keeley 8 3 12 3 Perry 8 2 32 3
G Mathewson 8 2 17 1 G Tomkins 8 3 20 3
W Cutts 0.2 0 5   Allbones 8 1 32 0
S Bexfield 6 1 18 3 Paddington 2 0 17 0
          Mills 7 0 62 0