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Showing posts from August, 2021

Some Sums

  And so it goes to the final day. Kudos to Captain Dan for somehow dragging this thing out until the finale when at one point it looked possible that relegation might be clinched in July. Admittedly the prognosis for Saracens survival is not overly promising but there is yet hope. Barring outbreaks of plague and concessions, Dan Goord needs to lead his team to victory to have any hope of staying at the rarefied heights of Division 7B. Victory will lift Offley to 257 points and guarantee ninth place (Woohoo!) and ensure an exciting season of Division 8A cricket in 2022. If Offley win ( And why wouldn't they win against a Northchurch side who desperately need to win to clinch promotion to 7A and feel there was something dubious about the earlier Covid cancellation which has deprived them the chance of playing for the title on the last day of the season? ) Shenley Village will need to take five points from their fixture at Harpenden Dolphins to ensure survival without recourse to tie

That Sinking Feeling

 OSCC, 151 all out, lost to Kings Langley, 151-7 by 3 wickets Oh dear. Captain Dan's hopes of leading his plucky crew to safety suffered a potentially fatal blow when they lost to bottom club Kings Langley on Saturday. This was the second time this year Offley had sunk without trace against the basement dwellers and means they no longer control their own destiny with two matches remaining.  Last time out the middle order and tail sank without trace amidst an epic collapse.  This time it was the top order that was blown away before the lower order salvaged the innings and gave the bowlers something to work with. Unfortunately it wasn't enough and it's possible that a defeat at Ware on Saturday will seal the crew's fate before they face off against Northchurch in the final game of the season.

Boaty's Weekend Wonderland

  Some people say he's the messiah. Some people say he's just a very naughty boy. Regardless, Scott Boatwright, a man whose batting was (recently) so inept it prompted an appeal for leg byes to be donated to his tally, rose to the occasion at the weekend to lead Offley to two upset victories, one of which could keep the club in Division 7B.  After all we wouldn't want to lose all the lucrative perks that come with playing at that exalted level.   The stand-in skipper deployed his forces expertly on Saturday to mastermind a 54-run victory at Southgate that lifted Offley out of the relegation zone for the first time in months ahead of home game with basement boys Kings Langley.  Offley's regular Sunday captain might have got a duck on Sunday (the Boat Aid appeal is evidently still in some need of donations) but thanks to the magical fingers of Rehaan Samdani and the batting brilliance (seriously) of Kaiz Ul-Haq, Offley stormed to a four-wicket win against promotion-challe

Player Profile #18: First Viscount Piepenstock, Duke of Offley

  2020 represented a momentous landmark in the history of Offley & Stopsley Cricket Club as they were favoured for the first time by the regal presence of the First Viscount Piepenstock, Duke of Offley. Viscount Piepenstock - informally known as Roger - discovered his love of cricket at an early age during his schooldays at Harrow, Rugby, Winchester College and Eton. His passion for the sport increased during the time he spent at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale and increased further while touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  As befitting a nobleman with a family motto, family crest and family tree dating back well before the Norman Conquest (Tarquin Piepenstock was King Harold's shield-bearer at the Battle of Hastings; unfortunately - displaying a taste of what lay in store for his descendant on the cricket pitch - Tarquin dropped the shield which resulted in the King taking an arrow in the eye and the battle being lost), Roger was the driving force behind the unfur

48 Hours

  48 hours. Three matches. Three captains. Three losses. All in all it's probably best not to dwell on this weekend. Josh Scott captained the side to a first round elimination against Flamstead in the Herts Village Trophy.  Preme Lala gets a mention for his single over going for 20 while kudos to Kaiz Ul-Haq for reaching 20 for the first time in Offley colours. Dan Goord also deserves recognition for being run out for 49. Captain Dan presided over a spectacular batting collapse - even by 2021's standards - as Offley capitulated at Harpenden, losing their last eight wickets for about 3 (admittedly it wasn't quite that bad but it might as well have been) as they failed to chase down 106. Richie Barker capped the weekend off by leading Offley to a second seven-wicket drubbing of the year against Old Warden.  Both defeats have produced a single point.  This latest defeat featured a hat trick - congratulations to debutant Vince Neale for looking like a true Offley player as he w

Player Profile #17: Ali Shah

  If running twos is the game then Ali Shah is not the name.  Offley and local rivals Lilley seem to have some sort of time share arrangement with Ali - in 2021 he made his highest score of the season at Offley in Lilley colours.  At a club where the majority of fielders have the girth to fill two fielding positions, and where the slip cordon of Munt, Barker and Tattersall once caused a solar eclipse, Ali is often deployed as a sort of Great Barrier Reef at short midwicket.  Like the Great Barrier Reef Ali doesn't catch much either, often preferring to deploy a boot. In fairness he has snaffled four catches in his Offley career. Ali's batting, an assortment of biffs and blocks, is based around leisurely singles and the occasional boundary.  It is definitely not designed for pushing twos and he likes to amble between the wickets like a contented gardener keen to smell the enchanted roses in the garden of life. Despite a career-best of 75*, Ali's average continues to hover fr

Paper Doesn't Play Games

  OSCC 134-3 (Richie Barker 63*) beat Aspley Guise 133-4 (Vaidya 1-15) by 7 wickets  One of the weakest teams - on paper - ever to take the field on behalf of Offley & Stopsley Cricket Club pulled off a stunning victory against Aspley Guise to seal another season of Division Four cricket in the Bedfordshire League.  As a wise man once said, paper doesn't play games. After losing five in a row and capitulating for 50 at Langford, Scott Boatwright's team produced a stunning backs to the wall performance.  Boatwright's team might have lacked the star power of Dan Goord's All World All Stars after the side had been systematically asset-stripped to boost the Saturday team's hopes of survival but they made up for it in spirit.  It was a victory for faith against the odds, for camaraderie, for inspirational leadership, for realising if you're batting at the end of the innings you don't need to get the ropes in, and for a willingness to look defeat in the eye an

Staying Alive

 OSCC 224-4 (Hook 65) beat Hatch End 136 all out (Ali 3-34) by 88 runs Dan Goord's All World All Stars ensured they live to fight again another day by completing the double over Hatch End. The victory gives Captain Dan's Crew a chance of overhauling Hatch End to secure another season in Division 7B and also essentially eliminates (bar a massive fuck up) the prospect of sliding two levels into Division 8B next season. With survival hopes on the line Captain Dan had no qualms about throwing some of his less competent crew members and called in the heavy artillery. Steve Owen was called up for his first appearance of the season. C. J. McIlveen was hauled out of the recording studio where he'd been hanging with his bitches and laying down some beats and Josh Hook, occasional bane of Captain Dan's existence, was selected ahead of Kaiz Ul-Haq. Captain Dan lost the toss but happily was asked to bat first by the Hatch End skipper. Goord and Hook sallied forth to open the inning