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.
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The Darkest Day
OSCC 189-8 beat Bedford 107 all out by 82 runs
And so it came to pass on Sunday September 3rd, 2023, that the curse of Captain Scott was fulfilled as Scott Boatwright's men joined Josh Scott's hapless crew in taking the relegation plunge.
After 26 years of cricket as Offley & Stopsley CC, the 2023 vintage have achieved what no one else could, or have indeed really come close to.
The Double Dip.
Offley headed into the game having lost 15 of their past 17 Beds League games dating back to the end of last season.
Despite including four TCWs (Two Club Wankers) in Ben Wiles, James Barker, Kaiz Ul Haq and Little Man of Many Cubs himself, Rehaan Samdani, Offley failed to stay up despite inflicting a crushing defeat on Bedford, the one team in the division inept enough to finish below us.
Kaiz made his highest score for the club, registering his first league 50 and top-scoring with 56.
Wiles made 31 and Barker did what Barker does, namely running amok amid the tail like a blood-crazed doberman in a rabbit sanctuary, as he took 4-4.
A big shout out to Ben who put his early season league woes behind him to finish with a healthy average of 11.6.
Little Man of Many Clubs failed to take a wicket which was disappointing.
Despite the victory Kempston's win over Eggington ensured they would stay up.
Boatwright's men finished the year on 158 points, 11 behind Kempston, a margin that would admittedly have been greater if they had not conceded to us earlier in the season.
In contrast to the other Captain Scott's crew in the Saracens League, a mob who finished 69 points adrift of safety, that might not be considered a bad effort.
Ultimately we played 25 league games (not counting concessions) and lost 20 while winning just five.
On those numbers alone it's hard to argue we deserved to stay up.
Harsh critics would argue we don't deserve to exist but they can go and fart in a bottle.
Incidentally a big shout to Offley's biggest loser, Wayne Cutts, who appeared in six league matches and finished on the losing side each time.
Others featured on the losing side more times but none featured so often without actually experiencing the taste of victory so kudos to the club's own special needs Jonah.
Ultimately, relegation to Division Five leaves just one question as we look ahead to the teams we might face next year.
Considering we combined to shell 78 catches between us last year it's slightly worrying that in 2023 Offley & Stopsley might be putting the worst fielding side in history on the pitch. That's not something to be said lightly of a club that once used to hold the Milk Floats of Fire contest to determine the slowest player. The only greyhound connected with the club is owned by Secretary Matthew Taylor. And the fact Matty T got landed with the secretary job shows he's clearly lost some of his speed and mental agility. A combination of the slow, the aged, the weighty and the infirm (and that's just Luke Munt's medical notes) look set to go into action when the season gets underway next month. It's not helped by the fact two of the younger members of the club, James Barker and Kaiz Ul Haq, are away at university for the start of the season. JB only plays on a Sunday and Kaiz is rumoured to be taking his 20 career ducks from 66 innings to Potten End on a Saturd
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