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Offley & Stopsley CC 201-8 Vs Preston III's 84 all out - 9th Sept

OSCC Won by 117 runs

After the dissapointment of having Saturday's game called of by the opposition, the players turned up determined to enjoy their day of cricket in these closing days of the summer. Preston came along as the opposition and play started with a jaunty air.

Darren Lunney was promoted to the top of the order with Dave Bridgland. Once again the pitch was to prove the undoing of Dave confidence as he recieved a couple of shooters and some prodigious sideways movement early on from Halsey. He never really settled and so it was not a huge shock when he tried to big hit his way into form, only to be clean bowled for 10. Lunney meanwhile look DETERMINED!

Latino got the ball of the day, a quick delivery on a length moving from leg to off cleaned up his stumps. Young Chamberlain then came nervously to the crease determined to overcome his duck on debut the previous week. After sighting the first ball, he played with considerable technique (better than most others) obn his way to a classy 6 runs before being clean bowled. Dathan Sale joined the RESOLUTE Lunney at the crease and played the supporting role while Darren reached his 50. Chris 'Tavare' Austin joined in the fun when Dathan was out for nine, and promptly got into his stride. Unusually for a man so committed to his forward defensive, he played some attacking shots on his way to an entertaining 32, Lunney and himself really took the scoring rate up a notch, while the increasingly FRENETIC Lunney ran him into the ground.

With the overs running out the drama started to unfold, would Lunney reach his maiden century, Richie Barker hoped not as he was committed to a drunken winter bet of five cases of Newcastle Brown Ale to the diminutive Geordie if he should reach this milestone. With 3 overs left Darren still needed 21. The runs they kept coming, 11 required from 2 overs. A single here, a single there then a four. With 7 balls left he ran a two and gave the strike to Mathew Freeman. With 9 needed of the final over, Freeman got the single, Lunney then got a four. 5 runs needed. He ran a single, 4 needed ahhh the tension was mounting. Freeman got a single, with two balls left Lunney needed for runs. He didn't get them, he ran himself out on 98 of the last ball. He returned to the pavillion for tea with a ruefull but still euphoric glow. He still bought a jug though, it was after all his first 50 of the year as well.

Preston's replied got off to a terrible start when Mark Ward forced a poor shot from Burrows and caught in the slips by Dave Bridgland whose promise to slide whilst fielding for the first time is still to be seen. Freeman bowled with real pace and aggression for the first time in a while, much to good on this day for the opposition his figures of 4-0-13-1 do no justice to his efforts.

Chris Latino got his first bowl of the summer, and very well he did too. Bowling with an action that appears to all around that everything is going to be his 'slower' one, he got the valuable wicket of skipper Saunders to effectivley kill of the game.

But for some woefull fielding from the decrepit Keeley, a fine bowling spell from Chamberlain and another 4 wickets for the jungle spin of Barker nothing much happened in a regulation win in only 26 overs. However, for a fresh view on Darren's attitude towards his near miss century, see the picture below.