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.
Have you seen this man? Rehaan Samdani is wanted by NASA for his part in deliberately attempting to damage satellites by serving up pies to dangerous batsmen. On Sunday Mr Samdani willfully conspired to send down several utterly woeful short-pitched deliveries that jeopardised the safety of a number of aircraft in the vicinity of Luton Airport and also threatened to damage the International Space Station. Greenpeace are also calling for Mr Samdani to be investigated and prosecuted for deliberately damaging the ozone layer by allowing it to be perforated by cricket balls. In addition to intergalactic space terrorism and environmental piracy, Mr Samdani is also wanted for questioning by the Hertfordshire Constabulary on multiple counts of impersonating a batsman. For the record Mr Samdani is currently Offley's leading wicket taker this season.
If one works on the principle that a quick game is a good game, Offley could be deemed to have had an excellent weekend. Quite how you manage to lose a pair of 40-over matches where you bowl a combined total of 13.3 overs is something that really ought not to be possible. A combination of spectacularly inept batting (Marc Ward excepted) and toothless bowling ensured we only had to spend 43 deliveries on the sandy beaches of Old Minchendenians on Saturday. Not content with capitulating to the quickest ever defeat in the club's 25-year history, Offley contrived to plumb new depths on Sunday with a 38-ball surrender against Harrold as the visitors chased down a so-called target of 59 in 6.2 overs. In the space of 24 hours Josh Scott led Offley to the swiftest defeat in history only for Scott Boatwright to cruise past it. Who would have guessed having two Captain Scotts would ever lead to disaster? I'm still not sure whether Harrold's decision to invite us to bat constituted
Even before Ben Wiles barbecued the tail in the final over at Langford for the greater good, OSCC had been racking up the run outs with aplomb this year. There have been some absolute classics, ranging from Luke Munt's lemming-like suicide at Harrold to Kaiz Ul Haq's gormless attempt to get off the mark at Gaddesden and of course perhaps the moment that eclipsed all others, the likely skirt of the year debacle at Aldenham featuring Messrs Hook and Bexfield. The latter incident was particularly impressive as all that was at stake was a leg bye. Run outs are nothing new for Offley. And speaking as someone who has probably survived more of them than any other batter in Offley history I should know. The club's debut season saw the little incident at Wardown Park where the entire middle order was decimated in a succession of misadventures that culminated in four run outs and left the man who survived all four incidents feeling that somehow or other he might have been somewhat
So let's be honest, the weekend did not exactly go according to plan. We managed four wickets across two matches, dropped four catches, accumulated five points out of a potential 60, tightened our grip on bottom spot in one league, deep-sixed our promotion hopes in the other and spent precisely 38.2 overs in the field trying to defend woefully inadequate scores. Let's face it, it was not the Alamo. Which brings us on to the batting. It was perhaps the most inept batting display since the Black Sunday weekend of August 2009 where 29 Offley batsmen registered 22 single-figure dismissals including nine ducks. 19 batsmen were dismissed last weekend, 14 failed to reach double figures and six failed to get off the mark. Perhaps even more impressive was that half of those batters failed to score more than 1, including Vince Neale and Callum Winters who both actually recorded their highest score for Offley; one apiece. Even Ben Wiles, the one batsman who did score some runs - Ben ac
OSCC, 86 all out, lost to Pinner, 90-2, by 8 wickets with plenty of overs to spare Another bad day at the office saw Offley take a step closer to the relegation trap door as they amassed two points in an eight-wicket defeat to Pinner. In fairness the two points were as many runs as five of the dismissed batsmen managed between them (this does not include Steve Denton who ran out of partners before he got off the mark) and one less than the three catches that were shelled. As in the first meeting between the teams Offley batted first. On that occasion they plumbed the depths of 15-6 before "recovering" to reach 70. This time they fared twice as well, in as much as they reached 30 before the sixth wicket fell. Extras announced their presence early in the piece (9 byes, 7 leg byes and 7 wides added 23 to the 63 runs cobbled together by the Offley batters) and made a bright start before Kaiz Ul Haq was adjudged LBW for 4. Captain Scott went without scoring (Fun Fact: in the fir
Napoleon said that his primary requirement of his generals was that they were lucky. Then again he was French and his current descendant ruling that unhappy land is someone who married one of the dinner ladies he met at school. Honestly, you might as well have a soft spot for the tea lady.... That's by the by. Whatever Napoleon might have thought about luck, he would not have argued that it's also imperative to pick the time and place for the battle which gives you the greatest advantage. To that end Offley's very own Captain Scott deserves huge plaudits for guiding the club through to finals day with a deft display of tactical excellence. It was Captain Scott who selected a Friday night at the end of the hottest week in history to take on Bentley Heath, thereby requiring the opposition to slog nearly 30 miles down the M25 and M1 during rush hour. Such brilliant tactical planning clearly left Bentley Heath so distraught at the prospect of making the trip that they opted
Just in case anyone from higher authority at League HQ is reading this and is getting all huffy, all thoughts and observations noted here are very much my own, and totally independent of OSCC. So if you don't like it, fuck you. The illustrious history of Offley & Stoplsey CC is littered with promotions and trophies and the odd scar of relegation. To be fair when you've been led into combat by such a dynamic and inspirational leader as Matthew Freeman the odd relegation is rather inevitable. Simon Warrington once contrived to lead a team featuring Keith Towndrow, Jon Cerasale, Steve Bexfield, Neil Bigmore and Tom Reilly to relegation. Dan Goord latterly discovered it takes Azeem-work to make a dream work, or at the very least keep a team afloat and several other captains (with the exception of Steve Bexfield as he'll be only too keen to tell you) have flirted with relegation's bitter kiss at one time or another before taking her home in the back of a taxi. Yet one t
OSCC, 155 all out, lost to Watford, 156-3, by 7 wickets Offley went to Watford, the home of Elton John We hoped the game would finish before the lights came on Instead the game took ages and we finished in the dark Smashed by a fucking rabble in a fucking shitty park Offley chose to bat first but it didn't really work As Hooky chased a wide one like a silly little berk Boaty played his shots but alas he didn't last long Then Danny headed back after an attempted leave went all wrong Tatts lobbed one to cover and Roger lost his stumps And when Ben Wiles missed one we were all down in the dumps Richie edged to slip off the face of the bat Not a clever shot by the handsome ginger twat The end looked swift to come as the top order was cack But no one had accounted for the portly Kaiz Ul Haq Kaiz played his shots, Kaiz swung his blade and runs began to flow And Kaiz in his all glory put on an epic show He's famous for his milkshakes and he's famous for his fries (And on day