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.
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
Big shout out to Adam Ward on his maiden century for the club on Sunday. Adam's 145 was not only the fifth highest score in club history, it was also the highest score by an Offley batsman since 2006. Prior to Sunday Adam had a career average of 13.44 from 97 innings (not to mention a single-figure average for the season) so he was either due or it really was a sign that the apocalypse is at hand and we're all as fucked as the Queen's Park bowlers. Regardless, the limited edition Adam Ward 145 should soon be available from all leading cricket bat manufacturers. 102 of Ward's 145 came in boundaries (24 4s and a 6) which means he scored more runs in boundaries in one afternoon than 22 Offley batters combined for last weekend (96). It also means that three of the five highest scores in club history have been recorded by gingers.
His name is C. J. Mac and his bowling's pretty mean But his real passion's as a rap machine He's honey with the ladies so they keep their fannies clean Cos every girl wants to be Mrs Courtney McIlveen C. J. McIlveen splits his time between dropping tunes in the studio and dropping catches in the outfield and is the only man ever to open the bowling for Offley while wearing a du rag. This accessory is complemented by a youthful mustache that pays tribute to two of the aspiring rapper's musical influences, Freddie Mercury and the Village People. C. J. thinks he looks like Tupac. Everyone else thinks he looks like a fortune teller who has misplaced his crystal ball. McIlveen invariably misses the first part of the season through injury (who knows, maybe every Easter he drops his crystal ball and smashes it and cuts his foot to ribbons) before turning up in August to bolster the latest Offley survival bid. McIlveen is the youngest bowler in Offley history to take 100 wic