Biggs’ Bideford blitz
Boosted by a five wicket haul from prolific paceman, Keith Biggs, Ottery St Mary 2nd XI continued their late season revival by registering a three wicket victory having last weekend made the overland trek to Westward Ho! to face already relegated Bideford, writes Ian Townsend.
The result saw the Otters claim a creditable fifth placed finish from their debut season in B Division of the Francis Clark Devon League.
Fine opening spells from Biggs and Joe Birch soon plunged Bideford into trouble. Biggs sent back Reece Stanbury (10), caught behind by Trevor Griffin, Matt Shepherd (5), trapped lbw, and Giles Benbow (8), caught by Anthony Dean, before Birch (6) cleaned up Martin Stanbury to leave the hosts at 55-4.
A useful stand between the experienced Fred King (40) and John Weeks (34) took the total to 92 before the latter fell to a catch by Rick Jackson off left arm spinner, Duncan Bradshaw-Smith.
Biggs (5-41) returned to claim a deserved ‘five-fer’ by removing Billy Blackburn (5) and Josh Stevenson (4). However, some lusty late innings blows from King (40) and Mike Lemmings (49 with 3 x 6s) boosted the North Devon side to a useful 181 all out with the last wicket falling to Otters’ skipper, Gavin Iley, resplendent in a jumper presented to him by his team and sporting a pink number 11 on the back and masquerading as an off-spinner!
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After Ottery opener Barry Flicker (7) was characteristically trapped lbw by Lemmings, Griffin (30) and Dean posted an excellent stand before the former was embarrassingly caught of a Stevenson delivery which bounced twice!
After the loss of Dean (21) and Rob Crabb (8), both bowled by Weeks, Jackson (30 with 4 x 4s) and the experienced Phil Taverner (29) compiled a solid stand which took Ottery to 147-5.
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The lower order then chipped in to take the visitors to the brink of victory which duly arrived in the 42nd over as 14-year-old Harry Conway pulled King to the square leg boundary
Francis Clark Devon League 2nd XI B Division: Bideford 181 (M Lemmings 49, F King 40, J Weeks 34, K Biggs 5-41, R Crabb 2-47) Ottery St Mary 182-7 (Extras 33, T Griffin 30, R Jackson 30, P Taverner 29, A Dean 21, F King 2-33, J Weeks 2-34). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Bideford (7pts) by 3 wkts.