Quest for Village Cup Glory Begins… Again!

With the weather forecast looking brighter than a disco ball on KaraOakley night, The Oaks are gearing up for their 2024 season opener at Oakley Park. And guess who’s dropping by? None other than Cadnam (not Sway, Alex). Can we make headlines (on this website) and rewrite history in the Village Cup? The odds aren’t great as to be honest, our track record is about as consistent as the recent weather.

That said, last year, we shocked the cricket world (well a few people from Oakley) by actually winning a Village Cup game. Yep, we broke the curse, defeating the mighty Amport and giving hope to first round failures everywhere. Can we do it again? Well, seeing off Cadnam, a team from a league higher than ours, will be a bit like trying to concentrate on one of Deano’s football stories with a hangover. Not impossible, but a tough gig all the same.

Seasoned Oaks and Fresh Young Faces

To attempt this feat, we have got a team that’s a blend of seasoned Oaks and fresh young faces. Unfortunately, we’re missing our skipper James Bayliss due to a pesky prolapsed disc (heal soon, James). However, we’re not about to start sending out smoke signals for help as it won’t come. We’ll be fine as Matt Burrell and Paddy Saines are primed to start us off with a steady opening partnership, and with hitters like DJ, AB, Josh Carpenter, Will Cheyney, Ian Bennett, George Lethaby and the Ridler, down the order, we’ve got more firepower than…erm…a dragon with vindaloo inspired indigestion, perhaps?

In the bowling department, we’ll sure miss Stef Kaltner’s metronomic opening spell, but fear not. For we have the emerging youngster, Harry Tucknott partnering Alex Rogan, who is ready and raring to unleash some unguided missiles. With radar turned on, Rogan Josh can turn many a good batsman into the proverbial ‘cat on hot tin roof’. With backup from the likes of Graeme Riddler, George Lethaby, AB, and the spin wizardry of DJ and proud new dad, Will Cheyney, we’re armed and dangerous…sort of.

All Systems Go

As for Cadnam, well, all we know is they’re from the mystical lands of the New Forest, where fairies and a host of decent cricketers roam free amongst the bluebells. However, they’re probably just like us, in it for the love of the game and the chance to spend a Sunday afternoon trying to dust off the winter cobwebs in a pre-season amble at ‘The Theatre of Scenes’.

So, with the weather promising a break from the rain gods (albeit with a slight chill in the air) it looks like we’re all go for launching 2024. The next chapter of our cricketing saga begins now. The bar is stocked and we’re ready to host the Foresters!

Onward we travel you mighty Oaks, onward we travel!