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Offley & Stopsley 2nds 167-9 Vs Grendon CC 168-5 ; 12 Sept

OSCC 2nds Lost by 5 Wkts

On a majestic late summer Sunday, one could imagine that we were playing on the sunny outskirts of Roma, apart from maybe the odd shout from Wally watching sipping his pints of ale from the social club, reminding us that we are indeed in a picturesque middle-class village in the heart of England.

However, at the end of the day Offley & Stopsley 2nd XI were asking? If only the opposition could come on time we might have finished earlier and won, as the match slipped away from them in the final over’s. Sadly this meant Offley & Stopsley 2nd XI continued there losing steak.

It was Offley up to bat first. Mr 49’er no more Josh Hook, on a streak hotter than Avril Lavigne currently, did not have the best of days opening the batting only managing to score a single run before spooning the ball into the covers. Colin Williams joined Marc Ward at the crease, and the Offley and Stopsley 2nd XI innings looked like it was back on track, as they both clattered the ball to the boundaries, playing cricket that is as pleasing on the eye as Frankie from the Saturdays 

Williams innings ensured he progressed beyond 50 for the second time in his Offley career, as well as achieving a stunning six, something he has been trying for seasons to achieve and celebrated in style, despite surviving some close scrapes. However, Marc Ward maintained solid at the other end until he also provide an easy catch to cover when a 50 seemed within reach.

With Williams holding strong at one end, it was time for a youthful middle order, and despite Asif Hassan, James  Kempton , Harry St.John ,  Charlie Page and Jack Willis all getting off the mark they were unable to develop an innings, and were soon dismissed. It was also time up for Williams as he overstretched for a sweep and was bowled off his pads for 71. This ensured as the innings was coming to a close 2 seniors were at the crease, in Darren Lunney and Colin Keeley, who managed to add a roughly a further critical 20 runs to the score, with Darren Lunney swinging freely he missed and was bowled in the final over, ensuring Gary Law came on to get off the mark with a single, something that a betting man would never gamble on and ensure that Offley and Stopsley had set a competitive total of 168.

Charlie Page and Jack Willis opened the bowling and were immediately faced with a heavy onslaught, the ball being pinged around the park, over the ropes and into the side-screens. However, they prevailed and managed to take the two opening wickets, in part helped by Colin Keeley’s decoy tactics of talking in length and detail about the variety of suicides and death he has seen in graphic detail, making the SAW movies look tame in comparison, and his life had been like one long Rambo movie.

With the opening wickets down, the runs slowed and both Jack Willis and Charlie Page finished there spells with some effective bowling restricting the opposition’s batters.

It was time to turn to Asif Hassan, provided another effective display of bowling following on from his performance the week before. Taking another 2 wickets, one bowled and the other an excellent catch by Charles Page, however he was unable to dislodge further batsman, or even tempt them into a shot in some cases. However by the end of his spell his promising bowling career at Offley looks to be continuing.

James  Kempton , managed to open his spelling with a stunning with move out the Anton du Bec dance book, as he delivered the ball and himself down the wicket, completing a majestic role with a grandstand please finished, if only strictly come dancing judges has been there. He would have had Alesha Dixon giving him a 10! With such a memorable start, he went to bowl a contained spell, occasionally providing the batsman with a loose ball to be crashed to the boundary, and despite much endeavour and a vast amount of exercise failed to take a wicket.

Harry  St John  came on to provide some variation to the bowling with a couple of over’s of light spin. It ensured there was a mixture of tough turners, 2 bounce balls and dot-balls, and the odd one strategically down leg side. However, the batters remained resolute. At the other end it was Josh Hook, who despite a effective opening, and every effort to ensure that the bookies had a day to forget offering up strategically placed no-balls, as well as a couple of loose balls before providing some balls, that were tastier and less eccentric that a Heston Bloomenthile banquet, ensuring the opposition was back on track despite a good run-out via a direct hit by Darren Lunney.

Keeley, equally had a day to forget with the ball, as loose swings from the batsman seemed to find the centre of their bats, possible catches were bottled by Jack Willis, whilst anything that they missed whistled millimetres wide of the wicket, and Asif Hassan for a spell that did not go as smoothly as his earlier efforts.

It was down to Marc Ward to take a 6 wicket maiden, and despite the promise of a date with Pixie Lott if he succeed, he failed. His dream will therefore never be reality, So despite an enjoyable days cricket, with friendly banter, Offley and Stopsley 2nd XI had lost again, a trend they need to get out of quickly before the end of the season.