The Ins and Outs (and Run Outs) of Hertfordshire's premier village cricket club, the one and only Offley & Stopsley CC.
All observations here are totally unofficial and not related to the club on any level.
Additionally, they are not intended to be helpful to anyone in any way.
OSCC 189-8 beat Bedford 107 all out by 82 runs And so it came to pass on Sunday September 3rd, 2023, that the curse of Captain Scott was fulfilled as Scott Boatwright's men joined Josh Scott's hapless crew in taking the relegation plunge. After 26 years of cricket as Offley & Stopsley CC, the 2023 vintage have achieved what no one else could, or have indeed really come close to. The Double Dip. Offley headed into the game having lost 15 of their past 17 Beds League games dating back to the end of last season. Despite including four TCWs (Two Club Wankers) in Ben Wiles, James Barker, Kaiz Ul Haq and Little Man of Many Cubs himself, Rehaan Samdani, Offley failed to stay up despite inflicting a crushing defeat on Bedford, the one team in the division inept enough to finish below us. Kaiz made his highest score for the club, registering his first league 50 and top-scoring with 56. Wiles made 31 and Barker did what Barker does, namely running amok amid the tail like a blood-
OSCC, 180 all out, nearly fucked it up to Great Gaddesden, 171 all out Umpire Bonnie Tyler Calls Cummins For Another Wide Make no mistake about it, this was almost the biggest fuck up in Offley history, a fuck up that really would have set the tin lid on a season of woe and ineptitude. Having (for once) posted a decent total despite eight batsmen chipping catches of varying simplicity to fielders, Offley's bowlers reduced Gaddesden to 87-9 before things nearly went to shit in epic style as the last pair put on 84 to take their side to the brink of victory before Jamie Cummins produced a devilish piece of cunning, chicanery and borderline cheating by serving up a straight ball to settle the outcome. After Offley lost the toss and were invited to bat, Cummins had begun the day opening the batting and being dismissed almost immediately for a duck, gently steering a catch to gully. On a day where Offley's batsmen threw the bat to reasonable effect (15 4s and four 6s) before self
One of the bright spots of the 2023 campaign has been the arrival of lower middle order stalwart and perpetually enthusiastic fielder Bradley Lyons. Bradders - never Bradley and rarely Badly - has enjoyed a mixed start to his Offley career and is yet to taste victory in a league match. Bradders bears an uncanny resemblance to former Offley star Josh Hook, both in terms of appearance, physique and a slightly dubious taste in tattoos. His finest piece of art is of Spiderman, a work that appears to pay homage to a Fathers 4 Justice protestor rather than the original Marvel superhero. His batting is improving like a toddler taking its first steps. You can't but help admire his enthusiasm but know it's only a matter of time before he falls over. Or gets out. After finally getting off the mark, Bradders doubled that with a nifty 2 and this weekend struck his first boundary. Hurrah! He was stumped next ball. Hurroo. Readers of a certain vintage will remember the good old days befo
OSCC, 74 all out, lost to Cranfield, 236-8, by a shed-load Sometimes, so they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. And, really, what is there to say about a doomed run chase where the scoreboard read 8 for 6 after 9.1 overs? Thus, rather than dwell at length on the unfortunate trip to Cranfield, let a single picture offer silent testimony to a day that ended in another defeat. It is the battered helmet of a warrior of Offley. It is the helmet of a warrior brought low in battle, a warrior who demonstrated his passion for the cause by reacting to his dismissal (and, surprisingly enough, his first duck of the year) by venting his frustration on his helmet. If only he had thought to strike the ball with the same passion, rather than, yet again, missing a straight one. Matty Taylor, we salute you.
OSCC, 110 all out, lost to Broxbourne, 171-8, by 61 runs Marc Ward made his debut for Offley in 2007. For 16 years he avoided having to keep wicket. On Saturday he took the gloved for the first time and proved a natural. Ward allowed a mere four byes, took two catches and a stumping and looked totally at ease behind the stumps. Guess what? Offley lost. With the latest defeat relegation from the Saracens League was officially confirmed. To be fair it was always a little difficult to see us winning four in a row while Baldock picked up less than three points from their remaining games but there you go. Hoddesdon's outstanding ineptitude will probably ensure we only drop one flight (pending potential regional reorganisation) but it still means we're going to have dropped four divisions in three years on a Saturday. The game started well when Josh Scott won the toss and elected to bowl. Steve Denton and Darren Lunney combined to send down 16 miserly overs as Broxbourne failed to m
Offley, 193 all out, lost to Eggington, 205-7, by 12 runs Jamie C Not since Richie Barker ran out four team-mates in a single game at Wardown Park in 1998 has one man stamped his signature on a defeat with quite such aplomb as Rose West lookalike Jamie Cummins managed against Eggington. Despite finishing with figures of 3-27, Cummins is unlikely to quickly live down the memory of delivering 14 wides and five no-balls. Not to mention dropping a catch. Or being run out without facing to end the game, a dismissal admittedly that the aforementioned Barker was somewhat complicit in. Matty Taylor deputised for Ben Wiles at the coin flip and won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision based on necessity and past experience as much as anything else. Cummins took the new ball and opened up with an early barrage of wides before making the breakthough when he surprised the batsman with a straight ball. Cummins gave way to Wiles who struck with is first delivery before repeatedly beating the ba
OSCC 219-5, beat Hoddesdon, 65-7, by 62 runs (Rain) Offley kept their slim survival hopes alive as they recorded their first league win of the season against still-winless Hoddesdon. It was Offley's first Saracens League win since August 6th, 2022. A club-record sixth wicket stand of 109 between Dan Goord (65*) and Josh Scott (54*) set up the victory, as the dynamic duo caused chaos in the closing overs before the bowlers just about got through enough overs either side of two rain breaks to seal the win. Captain Scott lost the toss and Offley were inserted. They suffered an early blow when Marc Ward played a textbook cut shot to a delivery that required a text book forward defensive. Steve Bexfield joined Richie Barker and the pair displayed different techniques and approaches, with Bexfield content to survive and pick up the odd single and Barker looking to find the boundary whenever the opportunity presented itself. Nonetheless it was Barker who went next, bowled for 26, after
OSCC 162-9, lost to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ & _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 165-8, by two wickets Not a lot to say about this one really. Well, obviously that's not strictly true. There's a lot that could be said about legside wides and an LBW decision that wasn't given even though the batsman had elected not to play a shot and was hit in front of middle. Then there was the stumping that wasn't given. The persistent coaching from the umpire advising his batters when to come back for a second run. Wasted advice really as there's pretty much always two to any Offley fielder. And finally, in the last over, the run out that was not, a decision - or not - that was beyond pathetic. Incidentally said umpire was the one who was reprieved when not playing a shot when hit in front of middle so maybe it's like a glorified cricketing circle jerk where everyone gets off.... Still, when you're in Divison Three Thousand and are desperately trying to finish in the top six, then obviousl
Cricket is famous for some of its legendary brothers. On the world stage Australia have given the game the Chappells, the Waughs, the Marshes and the Husseys. England had the Smiths, the Bedsers and the Hollioakes. West Indies had Dwayne and Darren Bravo. Zimbabwe produced Grant and Andy Flower. New Zealand had Jeff and Martin Crowe. At a slightly less exalted level, Offley have featured the Tattersalls, the Hooks and the St Johns. Young tyro James Barker might not be related by blood to any other Offley player (apart from his dad who has played the occasional game) but he does have a role model and big brother figure to look up to in Jamie Cummins. This inseparable pair are more like the Trotter brothers, Del and Rodney, with JB assuming the mantle of naive innocent Rodney looking up to his streetwise older brother Del. JB and JC Rodney JB regards Jamie as someone he hopes to grow up to be just like - an accomplished cricketer and a man of the world with a fine taste in style and f
OSCC, 82 all out, lost to Langford, 199-8, by 117 runs Considering the entire UK economy is now seemingly dependent on everything being produced in China, it should come as no surprise that Offley are now dependent on C. Hinks for wickets. That would be Connor Hinks, who took 4-29 on his debut against Langford, a performance that means he's taken more wickets in 7 overs than 15 other Offley bowlers have mustered so far this year. Opposing batsmen will now beware that among the traditional buffet options available at Offley, there is now a dangerous Chinky to be treated with respect. Despite that performance Offley rarely threatened to stem the flow of runs, although did gain a moral victory by restricting the visitors to under 200. In fairness if we're looking for specks of gold in another huge sack of shite, it could be pointed out that Langford managed 97 runs fewer than last time, Offley scored four runs more and the margin of defeat was slashed from 208 to 117. Someone pa