Ottery St Mary 1st XI find poor fielding is very costly!

10:33 01 August 2014

Ottery St Mary 1st XI 2014

Ottery St Mary 1st XI 2014

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The topsy-turvy nature of Ottery St Mary 1st XI’s season continued as they slipped to a disappointing defeat in last weekend’s low scoring encounter with Dartington and Totnes, writes Ian Townsend.

Whilst the Otters were admittedly handicapped by facing Ryan Stevenson, one of the fastest bowlers in the lower echelons of the Devon League, on a very poor wicket which, at times, bordered on being dangerous, Lewis Townsend’s men will know that this reverse could have been avoided had their fielding not slipped well below its recent excellent standard, resulting in several crucial catches being shelled.

Having been inserted, in a contest reduced to 35 overs per side due to rain, Dartington and Totnes were soon in trouble as tight opening spells saw Will Harrison (1-17) and teenager, Billy Rudolph (2-13) claim three early scalps. Steve Rew departed to Harrison for a duck, courtesy of a catch by Ed Fowler, before Rudolph sent back both Harold Stevenson (0), caught by Matt Reed and Liam Bligh (4) caught by Townsend. From 20-3 in the tenth over, Jono Colgate and Ryan Stevenson (33 from 32 balls) added a useful 38 before the latter was caught behind by Jack Pritchard off paceman, Jody Clements (2-37). When the same bowler held a return catch to end Colgate’s patient 21 (61 balls), Dartington had slipped to 66-5 but then, aided by a number of poor drops, Jack Marwick and Joe Hocking posted a rapid 62-run stand which was ultimately to prove decisive. Marwick (38) was eventually run out and Hocking (30) caught by Townsend off Rob Crabb, but the home side had escaped to a useful 141-8.

The Ottery reply was soon plunged into total disarray by Ryan Stevenson whose pace, coupled with the unreliable nature of the track, trapped Dan Flower (0) lbw and induced Crabb (1) to offer a catch to Hocking. Townsend offered brief resistance, despatching Will Gornell for two boundaries before Ryan Stevenson ripped out the middle order by claiming a hat-trick.

First Jack Pritchard (9) edged a lifter behind to Bligh, then Alex Thurgate was yorked and finally Rudolph (0) was adjudged lbw despite a sizeable inside edge.

A total of 27-5 soon became 37-7 as Townsend (14) top edged a pull to Marwick off Gornell and Fowler, bowled for five, became Ryan Stevenson’s sixth victim for just 17 runs in a high quality spell. The lower order offered spirited resistance with Clements (27 with five fours) and Joe Birch (19 with two fours and a six) adding 34 for the ninth wicket, but when Birch was trapped lbw by Ben Hartridge, the Otters had slipped to a frustrating 40-run defeat.

Dartington and Totnes 141-8 (J Marwick 38, R Stevenson 33, J Hocking 30, J Colgate 21, B Rudolph 2-13, J Clements 2-37) Ottery St Mary 101 (J Clements 27, R Stevenson 6-17). Dartington and Totnes (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (5pts) by 40 runs.

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