Skip to main content

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 unfurling of the Club's splendid new flag.

A talented sportsman in his youth, anyone who has seen Roger play cricket will not be surprised to know that he honed his skills while playing such diverse sports as fives, real tennis, croquet, polo, peasant shooting and serf hunting. 

Indeed he is the only player at the Club whose immediate reaction to hearing the word "Polo" is not to think about mints, shirts or Volkswagens but ponies, chukkas and mallets. 

Roger's first season for the club was a resounding success as he scored 38 runs at an average of 7.6, including a most impressive 15 at Preston.

He also claimed his first wicket for the club and displayed a tremendous enthusiasm in the field.

2021 has been more of a struggle, albeit one that has in no way dampened his enthusiasm. 

At his best when the ball is pitched up wide of the off stump, thereby allowing him to unfurl his favoured forehand down the line, Roger has recently displayed a fatal weakness against the straight ball.

As the season heads towards it's climax, Viscount Piepenstock was averaging a disappointing 2.50 with the bat prior to the trip to Harpenden. 

(There has been no official confirmation of his performance there but unofficially we can reveal that his average has now dipped closer to 2.00 than 3.00.)

Additionally, as of August 8 the Viscount has not been one of the 26 bowlers deployed by Offley this summer.

And yet 2021 also saw the Duke of Offley's most majestic moment on the cricket pitch. 

Indeed if he goes on to play for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was his finest hour."

Deployed at deep square leg in the early-season clash against Lutonians, the Duke took a wonderful low catch to help seal victory for his team.

And, ironically enough for a titled blue-blooded member of the aristocracy, he took the catch while playing under the alias of plain old Des Bateman!

Did You Know: Roger turned down an invitation to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as he felt Harry and Megan were simply beneath his social status. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

BOAT AID

  It's not a secret. Everybody knows. League runs have been hard for Scott Boatwright to come by this season. Seven innings. 18 runs. Top score 6 (Before Dan ran him out - to be fair he did say he was going to get runs that day). Average 2.57. It's been hard going. But you can help. Because in 2021 it's not about orphans, or the homeless, or the starving, or about saving the rain forests. It's about Boat Aid. If everyone can find it in their hearts to pledge just one run to the cause we can really make a difference. Umpires - if the ball hits Boaty on the pads and the batsmen go through for a single, don't signal leg byes.  Give that run to Boat Aid. Scorers - if there's a bye or even a wide, don't be so quick to mark it down in the extras.  Can you not find a way to add it to Scott's tally to help him reach his goal of 100 league runs this season? Fellow batters - when batting with Boaty, can you not push for that second run to boost the Boat Aid total?

Player Profile #7: Josh Hook

  Cool. Calm. Collected. Not three words you generally associate with Offley's Mr Angry, Josh Hook. Well, maybe collected because he does like to be picked up whenever possible. The Boy With The Shit Tattoo came through the youth ranks under the expert tutelage of Darren Lunney and has been scoring runs for the Offley first team for over a decade.  Hook has now racked up over 6000 runs to rank fifth in the all-time standings and in a team littered with fading stars, has-beens and never-will-bes, he is invariably the candidate most likely to get to 20. Despite not owning a bat - something not generally associated with most leading batsmen - Hook's determination and idiosyncratic technique have helped him score four centuries - he is one of the club';s youngest-ever centurions alongside Mark Tattersall - while he has also added 30 half-centuries.  Hook currently has a timeshare arrangement with Lunney where he borrows his mentor's bat and holds him responsible for any fai

Player Profile #2: Mark Tattersall

  Once upon a time Mark Tattersall was young, reckless and mobile. These days he is older, wiser and more responsible and to be honest his mobility is of the kind customarily associated with scooters.  Over the years he has made the transformation from young tearaway to elder statesman and is now the chairman of Offley & Stopsley Cricket Club. Let that percolate for a moment; Mark Tattersall is our moral compass. Mark has also demonstrated a flair for organisation that has resulted in tours all around the world and is the brains behind the club's annual money spinner, the Offley Sixes. In a sense he has become the new Simon Warrington. That observation should impress him about as much as asking him to wear a Tottenham shirt. Just as at closing time at the bar he is invariably closing in on a double Jack Daniel's Honey, on the pitch he is closing in on the double of 5000 runs and 300 wickets. The youngest player in club history to score a century, Tattersall's batting re