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.
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