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.
These days Cliff Large tends to limit his appearances for Offley to about one a year, preferring to spend his time on the golf course or offering support and encouragement from the boundary edge. It's safe to say in 2023 that Cliff is more about the pars (occasional) and the bars (plentiful) than wickets and economy rates. Yet there was a time when Large's gentle swing proved fatal for opponents. These days the swing on the golf course is markedly less gentle and reminiscent more of a Saxon Housecarl dying hard in the final moments at Hastings, sweeping his blade through the air looking for Frenchmen to smite. By the end of the 2022 season only eight bowlers in Offley history had taken more wickets than Cliff's 179. As a young man - and there are cave drawings to support this - Cliff relied on pace, bounce and an intimidatory stare to weaken a batsman's resolve. Yet at the height of his Offley heyday, Cliff relied upon guile and craft and the ability to make a ball m
Adam Ward might not be the best batsman in his own family (his career average of 14.97 leaves him in the slipstream of brother Marc's 15.32 record) but in 2022 he recorded the highest score by an Offley batsman for eight years and also the fifth highest score ever. In the context of last year it probably goes without saying that Offley lost but in fairness it wasn't really Adam's fault, especially as he took two of the three Queens Park wickets to fall in a miserly spell of 7-0-64-2, a performance that made Peter Gilkes look economical. While it may be tempting to regard that knock as something of an outlier (he failed to average 10 in his other innings last year), there has never been any doubting Ward's class. To see him drive through the covers or mid off early in his innings is to see a batsman of real pedigree. Sometimes he even makes contact with the ball. Sadly the Offley scorebooks are littered with entries along such lines of Ward bowled 0 or Ward bowled 1