Thursday, June 5, 2014
The frustrations of captaincy were brought into sharp focus for Ottery St Mary 1st XI’s rookie skipper, Lewis Townsend by last weekend’s hugely disappointing home defeat to Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough, writes Ian Townsend.
Having bemoaned his bowling attack’s inability to find a consistent line and length during the early stages of the new campaign, on the first occasion they did so, Townsend then watched his batting line up capitulate in alarming fashion!
After Civil were given a useful 38 run start in eight overs by Brian Gaylard and Ben Wilkinson, the introduction of change bowlers Joe Birch and Matt Reed saw the Otters apply a stranglehold which yielded the wicket of Wilkinson (29), courtesy of a sharp return catch by the pacey Birch (1-14 from 9 overs), and resulted in the visitors crawling to 65-1 from the first half of their allotted 45 overs as both bowlers produced fine spells, supported by sharp ground fielding.
Nevertheless, the Gaylard brothers, Brian and Rob, compiled a useful 48-run stand before the former was trapped lbw by promising 15-year old all-rounder, Billy Rudolph (1-23). The youngster soon pouched a sharp catch in the gully to remove Chris Sanders (6) off Rob Johns (2-13) who was producing a very good spell in his first outing of the season. Dan Winsor (20) unfurled some lusty blows before skying a mishit to Rob Crabb but a boundary to long-on then saw Rob Gaylard’s effective knock reach a valuable 50, with six fours.
The returning Jody Clements rounded things off, inducing Nick Read (6) to edge behind to Billy Reed as the visitors posted an eminently gettable 167-5.
The visiting attack initially struggled for line and length as the Otters replied, opener Mickey Wilkinson (13) cashing in a some loose deliveries before being run out in a mix up with partner, Billy Reed. This needless dismissal visibly lifted Civil and after the Otters handed them two further wickets via the run out of Ed Fowler (3) and Townsend’s dollied catch to mid-wicket off Matt Trevarrow, the visitors were in the box seat with the total at 30-3. Trevarrow (3-52) claimed two further scalps as Billy Reed (17), having clipped the paceman for six over mid-wicket, drove the next ball to Brian Gaylard in the covers and Crabb (13) was castled by a fine leg cutter. Rudolph (15) briefly resisted before skying Sanders to Winsor before the final four wickets were lost for just five runs as the Otters collapsed to a pitiful 88 all out. Sanders claimed 3-7 and left arm spinner Winsor 2-8 as he finished off proceedings by bowling Matt Reed (0) with a beautifully flighted, sharply turning delivery.
This was a chastening defeat for the Otters in what is becoming a worrying start to the new season. Townsend will be hoping his men can get all facets of their game firing on all cylinders very soon.
Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough 167-5 (R.Gaylard 52*, B.Gaylard 45, B.Wilkinson 29, D.Winsor 20, R.Johns 2-13) Ottery St Mary 88 (Extras 20, C.Sanders 3-7, M.Trevarrow 3-52, D,Winsor 2-8) Plymouth Civil Service (18pts) bt Ottery St Mary (2pts) by 79 runs.