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, not related to the club and are not intended to be helpful to anyone in any way.
Offley & Stopsley C.C. are delighted to announce the opening of the new Offley Aquatics Centre on the site of the old pavilion. The new facility features a shallow end in what was once the away dressing room. The kitchen end boasts the deep end and enough water to encourage diving from the top of the kitchen worktop. Elsewhere the site also boasts the Joshua Hook Paddling Pool for younger children who need time to cool off. Unfortunately there are still no showers - at least nit unless the roof has also given way in the wake of this weekend's torrential downpours. It is hoped the Aquatics Centre will also encourage wildlife - after so many ducks were seen in the middle last year there are expectations that they may make themselves at home in the pavilion wetlands. With nets still five weeks away the opening of the Aquatic Centre means an opportunity to get ready for the new season and as the above picture shows, the Offley Synchronised Appealing Squad are already getting in
Interesting update regarding social media and the ECB's latest dictate from their ivory tower.... "Recently, there have been an increasing number of social media posts that contravene the ECB’s new General Conduct Regulations. These GCR’s prohibit the posting of derogatory, defamatory, or discriminatory comments by any participant, (player, umpire, spectator, club member, club etc.), about any other participant on any social media platform or Club website. "Clubs and participants should be aware the penalties for such posts range from player bans/suspensions to point deductions, with such transgressions posted to the League’s Disciplinary Update report for all to see. "Apart from the above penalties, please think how you would feel if someone posted about you, what you post about someone else." This represents a new and exciting development, an entreaty to take a deep breath before you tweet and not say anything remotely controversial about suffering nine l
48 hours before the start of the Herts Trophy semi-final OSCC and Aldenham were still in the same division. By the time the game got underway there were three divisions between the sides, Aldenham going up one flight as a result of finishing runners-up in Division 8A, Offley dropping down two tiers as a result of finishing rock bottom. To that end the result was perhaps not a great shock. Ben Wiles won the toss but that was about as good as it got as Offley's bowlers were subjected to 20 overs of toil. Aldenham piled up 176-5 and then immediately reduced Offley to 6-2 with key men Wiles and Jono Evetts back in the hutch. Not for the first time this year the top order disintegrated with only standout performer Mark Tattersall (28 & 2-26) emerging from the rubble with a great deal of credit. Aldenham went on to beat Potten End in the final (they racked up 190-5 which suggests we did quite well to hold them to 176) so fair play to them. On the plus side Eaton Bray lost to Ware
These days Stephen Bexfield is something of a dinosaur, last of a dying breed of batters from a bygone era who persists in wearing a white helmet. Yet back in the day Bexfield was a dinosaur of a different kind, a mighty predator who devoured bowling attacks and terrified trundlers everywhere. He also terrified his own umpires who dreaded retribution and recrimination should they ever give him LBW when he padded up to a straight one. His greatest days may be behind him but he remains the most prolific run-scorer in Offley history, the great batting dinosaur known as none other than Tyrannosaurus Bex. Or T-Bex, as he likes to be known. As OSCC's 25th season draws to a close Bexfield is within touching distance of 15,000 runs, currently boasting 14,769. If you ask him he can probably talk you through each of them. It should be noted that had he not pissed off with the hump to play with his mates at St Joseph's at some point in the early part of the 21st Century during his inter
On the first Saturday in September in 2021, Ben Wiles claimed 7-7 as Offley smashed Northchurch to earn a victory that failed to keep[ them up. On the first Saturday in September in 2022, Ben Wiles scored a maiden century for Offley as they lost to Watford and consequently dropped down two divisions. Basically Ben Wiles parties suck. So essentially (and barring a league reshuffle) we've dropped three flights in 12 months and will be exploring life in Division 9A in 2023. Amongst others we can renew rivalries with Hatfield Hyde, Luton Inidans IVs and - joy of joys - Pinner IIs. Any repeat of this year's less than stellar performance will see us drop into the regional wastelands of Divison 10, be it East, South, North or West. We've had better years...
Good luck to all the Offley players heading to Knebworth on Sunday. While we may have been absolutely fucking terrible on our travels this season in the Herts & Beds Leagues (14 of 16 road trips have produced defeats which have ranged from comprhensive to crushing to outright annihilation and humilaition) we are unbeaten on the road in the t20 after hammering Little Gaddesden in our one previous match. The omens are clearly on our side. The opposition isn't up to much. Frogmore got relegated (admittedly from Division 5A but wevs). Potten End only came second (fair enough it was 5B). Aldenham have already lost 10 wickets to Offley this year (admittedly over two games). Furthermore all three won on Saturday so they've clearly peaked too soon. Victory shall be ours! And if it's not there's always beer to take the edge off it. Go well boys. Good luck emulating the 1998 Offley & Stopsley team that won the club's first trophy 25 years ago. Back Row: Gary McDer
As we countdown to Sunday and an appearance at Finals Day, it's a good time to take a look back at perhaps the club's most epic cup match. The OSCC side that took on Luton Sixth Form at Leagrave in 2003 In 2003 Offley & Stopsley were the defending midweek champions. The previous year we had swept all before us prior to overcoming a determined Shaheen side in an epic encounter of sportsmanship and chivalry at Crawley Green and hopes were high that they could lift the trophy again in Keith Towndrow's final season. They were so high that eight players turned up for the first round at home to Vauxhall Griffin. It would have been nine players but Phil Gourd claimed it was too cold and refused to leave the sanctuary of the bar. In the end his absence was not crucial as Richie Barker claimed four wickets and Mohammed Qumar made 43, his highest ever score for the club. Offley fielded ten men in the next game, Towndrow contributing runs and wickets to the cause to seal a com
So, we're up the creek without a certain implement. To be fair it could be argued we've been up that particular creek ever since we conceded to Chipperfield, thus beginning a run of seven defeats in eight matches that have produced a net total of 67 points. At this point in time we've probably left the relatively tranquil waters of Shit Creek behind us and are adrift on the Ocean of Effluent with a tidal wave of the stuff about to sweep us to our inevitable doom. However, there are still certain scenarios to be played out to dictate which division we will be in next season. First of all it's impossible to avoid the obvious fact that if we lose to Watford on Saturday we will be dropping down two divisions, an outcome that would mean we've dropped three tiers in twelve months. The punishment for that would be dropping into 9A and a trip to Lancaster Avenue which frankly seems harsh but if you're gonna play like cunts you've got to expect to play at a ground
OSCC, 65 all out, lost to Waresley, 876-2 (or something similar) by about three million runs Some girls want to be a princess. Other girls want a pony. But for one lucky cricket-mad young lady Christmas came early on Sunday when Offley's so-called batsmen lumbered incompetently into sight at Waresley prepared not so much to do or die as to surrender as swiftly and as cravenly as possible. Lucy Barrett - whose one previous over this season had gone for 19 runs - ripped through (or unwrapped) the Offley ranks to claim figures of 4-0-7-4, denied a maiden five-wicket haul only by the fact we ran out of batsmen because we only had 10 men. Admittedly that was one more than on Saturday but that's rather a moot point. Perhaps considering the standard of batting at Offley this season that should be a mute point. We shall gloss over another somewhat underwhelming performance by the popgun attack that has now taken a frankly unfathomable seven wickets in the last five Beds League matc
OSCC, 52 all out, lost to Ickwell, 53-0, by 10 wickets with 175 balls to spare Once upon a time there was an advert for Ragu pasta sauce which finished with the catchy slogan, "Ragu, Ragu, Ragu brings the Italian out in you!" After the debacle at Ickwell that slogan should perhaps be changed to, "Raju, Raju, Raju gets the batsman out that's you!" That would be Anish Raju, the Ickwell opening bowler who ran through the Offley middle order and blew away the tail to take 7-16. In comparison Offley's opening bowler, Peter Gilkes, bowled one over for 14 and was withdrawn from the attack. Speaking to reporters after the game Offley's disgruntled skipper responded to an inquiry as to whether Raju was actually the devastating bowler he seemed. The response was enlightening. "He was fucking useless. Worst five-for I've ever seen, yet he took fucking seven. He didn't move it and just kept bowling short half-track shit." Fighting talk from the