Poor application with the bat results in back-to-back defeats for Trev's men.
A makeshift side arrived at Cross Green this weekend, with several players from the first & second XI absent for a variety of reasons. A late sickenss withdrawal and even later return to the side by vice captain Mick Gray saved makeshift skipper Dave Brady from having to try to work out which forms to fill in as a makeshift but by no means weak side looked to take points from a very mediocre-looking Adel team, some of whom were clearly suffering from the early stages of malnutrition after a couple of home games.
Whilst the batting line-up looked pretty strong, OCC were perhaps slightly light on bowlers and it was imperative once the milkman had won the toss and put Adel into bat that everyone stepped up to the plate. Reg Hollis opened up at the cemetery end along with Gun Show at the clubhouse end and both started well, restricting the Adel openers from getting an easy start. Deccers got a nick early on from the outside edge of the only obvious cricketer of the two, Stringer, but Wolfy was unable to snaffle it. This proved costly as Stringer and his hapless mate somehow both managed to get into the 40's thanks to some good fortune only bettered by the UK winner of the Euromillions on Friday. In the end, Gun Show made the breakthrough, bagging Stringer for 48 before his opening partner Grey, having somehow scraped his way to 46 fell in the next over thanks to a good low-down catch by Dom Kellett from the bowling of all-rounder Longman Huntley. The Adel number 3 batsman was even more comedy than number 2, and lasted just long enough to bludgeon a 6 back over Grunts' head before hearing the death rattle the following delivery. The Milkman, clearly under the weather and smacked off his face on medication, had a few overs from the clubhouse end before bringing Deccers back on who, along with Grunts started to work their way through the remainder of the Adel line-up. Grunts took a bit of punishment for his 3 wickets, and Deccers bagged a 2nd before Reg returned for a tight 4 over spell at the end of the innings, bagging a couple of wickets along the way to restrict Adel to 178-8.
After a tea interval that must've left the Adel lads thinking they were in some sort of dreamworld, OCC started the task of chasing down what was really a very modest total. The batting order, although very different from previous weeks, was by no means any weaker and confidence was high. Grunts got the home team off to the worst possible start, running himself out in ridiculous circumstances to bring Sulk to the crease to join Wolfy. These 2 took the score nicely onto 47 before Sulk got a rare good one that cleaned him up. Joe Braham joined Wolfy next, only to fall first ball getting trapped right in front. The only good result of that wicket was that Malfoy could put his hands back into his pockets, where they'd been for most of the 50 overs in the field. Wolfy & Dave Brady steadied the ship for a while, moving the score along nicely until Wolfy uncharacteristically chased a wide one only to nick it to the 'keeper and traipse back to the changing rooms for a well worked 36. Experience at both ends of the pitch continued as Carl Smith joined Bradders, and the pair of them showed a rare thing in the 2's this season as they steadily built a partnership, pushing the 1's & 2's around along with the odd boundary. Carol was eventually caught & bowled for 17 and Dom Kellett followed shortly after, although not before scoring his first runs for the season (even it it was only 2). Matt Garrett was next in, and he wasted no time in reaching the ropes, developing a good partnership with Bradders before the latter fell to a stunning slip catch by Bath off the bowling of O'Sullivan for 43. Reg strode in with just 23 runs needed, and he & Garrett looked to be moving the score on nicely before Garrett skied one to the most unlilkely person on the pitch to catch it. True to form he dropped it, but Reg having already decided there was probably 2 runs to be had, failed to communicate this to Matt early enough and ran out a team mate for the second time this season. This brought Gun Show to the crease and he & Reg moved the score on even closer to the required total before Reg, conscious of the dwindling overs, tried to play one shot too many and was bowled with just 8 runs required. The sick milkman joined Deccers for the last stand, and it was clear to all onlookers that there was never going to be a chance of a quick single happening. However, Deccers got caught up in the moment and called Mick through for a quick one. Mick never moved, leaving Gun Show to try in vain to scramble back to the crease only to see the dreaded finder rise as Otley were all out for 172, an antagonising 7 runs short of victory.
Whilst it could be said that Otley had a scratch team out, this was without a doubt 6 points thrown away and on recent form there's nothing to say that those missing this week would have faired any better with the bat.
Bottom of the league Green Lane beckons next Saturday. Those selected will have plenty of thinking to do to see how they can play their part in turning round the recurring inability to build an innings throughout the team.