Conway stars in derby triumph for Ottery St Mary 2nds
- Credit: Archant
A powerful all-round display saw Ottery St Mary 2nd XI claim an impressive victory over Sidmouth in last weekend’s derby at Bicton Park, writes Ian Townsend.
After top-drawer bowling and fielding hustled Sid out for just 138, the visitors raced to victory with almost 20 overs to spare courtesy of a sparkling unbeaten half century from exciting teenage prospect, Harry Conway.
The result sees the Otters leapfrog their local rivals to claim second place in the table approaching the halfway point of the season.
Tight opening spells from left armers Joe Birch and Zac Johns saw Sidmouth suffer an early blow when Anthony Dibble (7) fell to a catch by Conway at point off Birch. Although highly rated teenager Harvey Sargeant then batted with impressive maturity, wickets continued to tumble at the other end as Sid slipped to 64-5.
A sharp Ottery fielding display was epitomised by Alex Clements’ brilliant run out of Joe Griffiths (10) with a direct hit from deep cover. Sargeant and George House put up spirited resistance with a 39-run stand but when another emerging Otters’ talent, Billy Rudolph (2-19), removed the former for 41 (seven fours), courtesy of Rick Jackson’s slip catch, the writing was on the wall for Sidmouth. Off spinner Adie Pullin (2-16) claimed two late wickets as Sid posted a total which was way below par on a good batting track. George Southall-Brown (2-21) again produced an excellent spell amongst a visiting bowling attack who were collectively on the top of their game.
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In reply, Rudolph and Trevor Griffin gave the Otters an excellent start, cashing in on anything loose to rapidly post a 44 run stand before Griffin (14) failed to clear Sargeant at long on, attempting to loft veteran left arm spinner Graham Munday over the top. However, the arrival of Conway saw the scoring rate rocket. Well supported by the pleasingly correct Rudolph, the 14 year stroke maker unleashed a series of beautifully timed drives to take the total to 87 before Rudolph (27) wafted at a wide one from Lee Clayden and edged behind to Dibble. Conway continued unabated, however, and with good support coming from Pullin, who posted a typically brutal 23 not out, 54 runs were added in just 8 overs. Victory was secured when Conway (58 not out) hammered House through the covers for the tenth boundary of a terrific innings.
Especially satisfying for the Otters will be the fact that this comprehensive win was achieved without skipper and talisman Rob Crabb bowling or facing a single ball in the contest, something which sat very comfortably with the big all-rounder who enthused: “That was the best bowling and fielding display we’ve produced this season. Yet again the three young lads came up trumps, particularly Harry who batted really well”.
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Sidmouth III 138 (H.Sargeant 41, A.Pullin 2-16, B.Rudolph 2-19, G.Southall-Brown 2-21) Ottery St Mary 141-2 (H.Conway 58*, B.Rudolph 27, A.Pullin 23*). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Sidmouth III (3pts) by 8 wkts.
Otters Man of the Match – Harry Conway