Ottery St Mary openers set new best as Shaldon are put to the sword

12:26 14 August 2014

Ottery batsman Billy Reed against Shaldon Optimists. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shsp 4480-33-14TI To order your copy of this photo go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Ottery batsman Billy Reed against Shaldon Optimists. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shsp 4480-33-14TI To order your copy of this photo go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Boosted by a record breaking opening stand of 177 between Devon Under-15s Billy Rudolph and skipper Lewis Townsend, Ottery St Mary 1st XI indulged themselves in a tremendous run spree against visiting Shaldon, writes Ian Townsend.

Having conceded a total well in excess of 300, the South Devon side inevitably caved in to scoreboard pressure, spin twins Alex Thurgate and Matt Reed claiming seven wickets between them as the Salston Field men claimed an emphatic seventh victory of the season.

Having been invited to take first knock on a hard and true track, Ottery were given a great start by Townsend and Rudolph who were both soon into their stride against a relatively toothless-looking opening attack. Both men played in pleasingly correct fashion, running well between the wickets whilst also posting regular boundaries. The scoreboard raced past the 100 mark in the 16th over and the hugely promising Rudolph reached a maiden first eleven fifty from 60 balls (eight fours). The youngster’s fine knock was eventually ended at 76 as he was caught by Jamie Day off Carl Woolnough, but Townsend continued to play in typically fluent fashion. Having been handed a life at 93, the Otters’ captain, who was given excellent support by teenager, Billy Reed (36 with six fours), reached his second century of the campaign from 97 balls (17 fours and two sixes).

After passing 500 runs for the season, Townsend (113) was bowled by Carl Woolnough (2-63) but despite the rapid loss of Thurgate (5) and Dan Flower (4), vice-captain Rob Crabb then produced some characteristic pyrotechnics to propel his side well past the 300 mark. The ex-Yarcombe man blasted an incredible 43 from just 16 balls faced (eight fours and a six) with youngster Seamus McKenna disappearing for 41 in just three overs!

Even the most optimistic Shaldon supporter could never have believed that a victory target of 328 was within their compass, and their reply was not helped by the early loss of star batsman, McKenna (19), brilliantly pouched by Matt Reed in the gully off Will Harrison.

After Jay Tufnell (5) then became the first of four catches in the outfield for Sam Lynch, Matt Reed the beneficiary, Carl Woolnough and Jimmy Fulner crafted a spirited 65-run stand in just six overs. Carl Woolnough was well held by Lynch off Crabb, having struck 46 from just 26 balls (five sixes), and the same combination then accounted for Karl Blackburn (22).

The visitors were up with the clock but losing regular wickets and the introduction of Thurgate (4-11) ended their resistance, the youngster’s teasing left arm spin yielding four wickets in quick succession; Fulner’s rapid 54 (43 balls) was ended by another Lynch catch, Todd Ballman (17) was athletically caught and bowled, Day (0) was neatly stumped by Billy Reed and finally Ross Abraham (0) was bowled.

Off-spinner Matt Reed (3-50) bowled Dan Woolnough (1) before ending the contest as visiting skipper, Couch (19) offered a catch to Townsend at extra cover giving the Otters a 131-run victory.

The Otters’ skipper afterwards paid tribute to his young opening partner, commenting: “I was very happy to see him score runs. Billy’s an extremely talented young player – we’ve seen that all season with his bowling and now it’s good to see him show what he can do with the bat. Once again the bowlers backed up our batting. The seamers worked hard on a tough wicket and the spinners both bowled very well”.

Ottery St Mary 327-6 (L Townsend 113, B Rudolph 76, R Crabb 43, B Reed 36, M Couch 2-56, C Woolnough 2-63, S McKenna 2-79) Shaldon Optimists 196 (J Fulner 54, C Woolnough 46, K Blackburn 22, A Thurgate 4-11, M Reed 3-50, R Crabb 2-44). Ottery St Mary (22pts) bt Shaldon (7pts) by 131 runs

Otters Man of the Match – Billy Rudolph

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