Thursday, May 8, 2014
Ottery St Mary 2nd XI’s Steve Forbes produced a match changing innings to ensure his side enjoyed a winning start to life in A Division as they edged to a thrilling victory over visiting Barton, writes Ian Townsend.
Run scoring was difficult throughout on an unevenly damp wicket and sodden outfield, but the former Exeter Civil Service man brought all his experience and athleticism to bear in a knock featuring outstanding running between the wickets. George Southall-Brown continued his wicket taking exploits of last season, trapping opposing skipper Jim Parker lbw for a duck before luring Alex Hunt (5) into a leg side stumping by Trevor Griffin as Barton slipped to 17-2. Scott Bellamy (15) and Andy McVey added 43 in 10 overs before 15-year-old debutant seamer Ollie Reed produced a fine delivery which saw the former pouched by Jackson at slip. McVey (43 with eight fours) continued to play expansively until Reed clasped a leaping catch at extra cover off 14-year-old Harry Peters. Tom Hinch’s steady line and length were rewarded with the wicket of Ian Jarman (2) before the returning Southall-Brown (3-27) removed Jamie Peters (4) courtesy of another Reed catch. Will Wyatt (29) struck
some defiant late blows but the return of veteran seamer, Keith Biggs (3-11) saw the innings rapidly fold as the last five wickets contributed just nine to the visitors’ total of 130 all out. Hunt claimed the early scalps of Alex Clements (1) and Barry Flicker (5) before Griffin (4) contrived to slap the rankest of long hops from Matt Lipton straight to Sullivan at square leg as the Otters’ reply plunged to 20-3. Amongst the carnage, Peters (9) was batting with admirable courage and sound technique in the face of the pacey McVey, but runs were at a premium with the first boundary not arriving until the fifteenth over. Mike Livesley eventually deceived and bowled the youngster with a well flighted delivery and, in combination with fellow off-spinner Bellamy, exerted a stranglehold which saw the Otters slip to a seemingly terminal 58-6. However, with the arrival of Forbes the pressure shifted onto the fielding side as a series of sharp ones and twos were run. Excellent support from Reed (16), who turned in an impressive all-round debut, and Zac Johns, who produced some typically well-timed blows, helped Forbes guide his side past 100 in the 41st over. The return of the opening bowlers saw the scoring rate increase. Forbes (39 not out) lifted Hunt for six over square leg off the first ball of the penultimate over before Johns (11no) clipped the pace man through mid-wicket for four to guide the Otters to a terrific win.
Debutant skipper, Jackson, was afterwards in understandably jubilant mood, enthusing: “That was a fantastic performance from a young side. We bowled in good areas and limited them to a gettable total. Their two spinners bowled very well and our top order, myself included, showed some naivety and played some inappropriate shots but what a terrific performance from Forbesy. He really put the pressure back on the fielding side and he marshalled the youngsters so well. As a skipper, it’s fantastic to get off to a winning start!”
Otters Man of the Match – Steve Forbes
Barton 130 (A McVey 43, W Wyatt 29, Extras 29, K Biggs 3-11, G Southall-Brown 3-27) Ottery St Mary 132-7 (S Forbes 39*, A Hunt 2-24). Ottery St Mary (18pts) bt Barton (5pts) by 3 wkts.