Friday, May 16, 2014
Having suffered an opening day mauling at the hands of South Devon, Ottery St Mary 1st XI last weekend took full advantage of their good fortune at being able to play when the majority of the league were inactive by comprehensively outplaying a weak-looking visiting Kingsbridge side to record a morale boosting victory, writes Ian Townsend.
Amongst a host of good individual performances, it was the efforts of two recent graduates of the Salston Field youth system which really caught the eye with 17-year-old Billy Reed posting a classy maiden half century for the club and 15-year-old Billy Rudolph claiming three wickets with some impressive seam bowling.
Despite the early loss of Sam Tennant (6), bowled by James Rosewarne attempting to whip a full ball to leg, Ottery were given a rapid start by Dan Flower and skipper Lewis Townsend (11) before the latter was adjudged leg before to a swinging delivery from Will Pyke. James Westlake claimed the wickets of Jack Pritchard (6) and Rudolph (6) but the visiting bowling attack was generally very wayward. Flower took full advantage and, having been dropped on three occasions, he reached a typically powerful fifty by hammering spinner Bahnu De Silva for six over mid-wicket. The incoming Reed began to time the ball delightfully as the score raced past 150 via a 59 run stand which was only broken as Flower (72) lost concentration after a rain delay to be bowled by De Silva (1-29) whose excellent spell stood out amongst an otherwise poor attack. Reed was now in full flow unleashing fine shots all around the wicket and, with useful support from James Faulkner (14), the youngster guided the Otters to 240-8 from a rain restricted 40 overs, a total at least 80 runs above par on a sodden outfield. Reed’s impressive undefeated 74 (seven 4s and one six), promises much for the future.
Kings’ reply never gained any momentum in the face of a fine home bowling display. After Will Harrison trapped Westlake (9) lbw, fellow paceman Jody Clements (3-15) continued last season’s excellent form by removing James Ellis (13), pinned lbw, Oli Etoe bowled for four and Mark Edmonds sharply caught and bowled for a duck. And after Harrison induced Will Dorey (5) to slice to a diving Faulkner in the gully, Rudolph produced a well-directed spell of his own to hit the timbers three times in dismissing Pyke (3), De Silva (13), who at least posted one or two defiant blows, and Rosewarne (4) to return an impressive 3-11. Faulkner (2-1) chipped in by bowling Neil Peach (4) and Chris Snook (0) as the visitors were blown away for just 53 to slip to a huge 187 run defeat. Ironically, left arm paceman Joe Birch, once again probably the pick of the Ottery attack, finished wicketless.
The Otters’ fledgling skipper, understandably delighted to see his charges get their season on the road, enthused: “After last week’s result it would have been easy for the guys to be disheartened, but I was really pleased with how positive everyone was. Dan anchored the innings really well but I was over the moon with Billy’s innings! He showed real maturity for only his second innings with us and at a time when we were losing too many wickets, he played some great shots all around the park. All the bowlers were really disciplined and made run scoring very difficult. Birchy bowled really beautifully for the second week running with no luck – some of his deliveries were just too good – and I was pleased to see Billy Rudolph get his first wickets, just reward for the consistent areas he bowled.” Looking ahead to this weekend’s trip to face old adversaries, Ipplepen, Townsend observed: “They’ll be a good side, they’ve got real strength in depth but if we pick up where we’ve left off here, I’m sure we won’t be far off”.
Ottery St Mary 240-8 (B.Reed 74*, D Flower 72, Extras 41, J Rosewarne 2-46, W Pyke 2-56) Kingsbridge 53 (B Rudolph 3-11, J Clements 3-15, J Faulkner 2-1, W Harrison 2-13). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Kingsbridge (4pts) by 187 runs.
Otters Man of the Match – Billy Reed.