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John Ceresale


Jon Cerasale: Debut: 1998.

Once upon a time Cerasale was regarded as one of the finest cricketers in the area. He bowled with real pace, hit the ball with awesome power and was a fine all-round fielder.

Those days have vanished irrevocably on the breeze of injury and destined never to be recaptured for despite his brilliant record of attending every AGM in club history and never landing a position of responsibility he is a leading member of Offley’s Over the Hill Gang.

After his first two innings of the 2007 campaign he had yet to score a run and was being given batting advice by the illustrious Wayne Cutts. Apparently stung by such abuse Cerasale duly turned in a rousing performance with the bat to beat Houghton Town.

However, abuse from the likes of Cutts can only produce so many motivated performances and Cerasale will admit that the days when he ripped through batting orders like a malevolent tornado are behind him.

Yet although he is not the bowler he once was he has still taken more than 150 wickets for the club and retains the ability to cause problems for any batsmen when he finds a pitch that suits him and his oft-injured back allows him a couple hours of respite. His bowling has lost a yard or three over the seasons and he now prefers to concentrate on squeezing the life out of batsmen and restricting the scoring rate. Offley’s run miser can generally be relied upon to bowl a tight and steady spell but show him the prospect of a green-top, a favourable breeze and the chance to come down the hill and Cerasale can still find the capability to crank it up a notch.

He still hits the ball with tremendous power and has caused spectators to scatter and run for cover at numerous grounds. He has also displayed his devastating power to impressive effect in the nets, on one occasion upending Luton Nomads’ scorer with a fizzing straight drive.

He has produced some of his finest displays in the short version of the game. Cerasale scooped Man of the Match honours in the 2002 and 2003 midweek cup finals as he produced some explosive hitting and snaffled crucial wickets.

Cerasale earned a place in club folklore when he knocked Matthew Freeman unconscious with a casual swing of the microphone during the 2006 Presentation Night, If only he could flick the ball off his legs as effortlessly as he flicked the microphone into Freeman’s unsuspecting forehead…