Otters beaten in crunch match

PUBLISHED: 08:36 31 July 2015 | UPDATED: 08:36 31 July 2015

© Brian Jackson / Alamy

Combatting the strongest bowling attack in the section on a very poor wicket was a challenge which proved to be beyond Ottery St Mary 1st XI who registered only their second reverse of the campaign from their trip to Uplyme, writes Ian Townsend.

Combatting the strongest bowling attack in the section on a very poor wicket was a challenge which proved to be beyond Ottery St Mary 1st XI who registered only their second reverse of the campaign from their trip to Uplyme, writes Ian Townsend.

The home side, who are in red hot form, therefore close the gap at the top of the league to 16 points with five matches remaining.

Having elected to bat first, Uplyme saw Jed Whittington castled by Will Harrison for a duck but with the left armer struggling for accuracy, Aussie import Richard O’Halloran and Alex Richards cashed in to post a 90-run stand.

O’Halloran batted impressively to pass 50 (nine fours) and Richards (30 with five fours) leant good support before clipping a Billy Rudolph full toss to Harrison who clung on to a reflex catch at square leg. Mark Batey (7) soon departed to a brilliant leaping catch by Kevin Kelly off Rudolph (2-25) and when O’Halloran’s fine knock ended at 75 (13 fours) as he was trapped lbw by off spinner Matt Reed, and Steve Batey (0) was caught off Kelly, Uplyme had slipped to 139-5.

Kelly and Matt Reed were delivering excellent spells on a very helpful surface but despite Reed (3-31) claiming two more victims, Adam Caddy compiled an excellent measured innings.

Fine shots all around the wicket saw the stylish right hander reach 50 (five fours, two sixes) before a last over featuring two run outs and Ollie Reed trapping last man Paddy Barraclough lbw for nought, saw Uplyme close on an above par 200 all out.

The Otters were given a useful start in reply by Dan Flower and Rudolph but the former, in particular, was struggling to deal with well-directed pace bowling on a deteriorating surface.

With the score on 43, the opener’s scratchy knock was ended at 20 as he was trapped lbw by Barraclough.

A flurry of further wickets then plunged the visitors into deep trouble. Having batted very solidly, Rudolph (21) chased a wide one from Steve Batey to be well taken by brother, Mark at slip before Jack Prichard (0) was trapped lbw by the medium pacer.

When Billy Reed’s leading edge off Barraclough was very well pouched by O’Halloran and Rob Crabb (7) edged a lifter from Ollie Lee behind to Whittington, the score stood at 64-5.

Despite leg spinner O’Halloran extracting prodigious turn, Kelly and skipper Lewis Townsend put up spirited resistance.

The latter brought up the 100, lofting Lee for a straight maximum, but in attempting to repeat the dose off O’Halloran, he holed out to long off for 31 (four fours and a six).

Matt Reed (0) was stumped off O’Halloran and Kelly (29) miscued Lee (3-44) to the Aussie at extra cover to leave the Otters on the brink of defeat. Jody Clements (29) posted some defiant late blows but when he holed out to Mark Batey at wide long on off Rhys Davies, the league leaders were beaten by 39 runs.

The Otters will know that they can ill-afford another slip up if they are to claim the title and avoid the lottery of an end of season play off.

Uplyme & Lyme Regis 200 (R O’Halloran 75, A Caddy 52, A Richards 30, M Reed 3-31, B Rudolph 2-25) Ottery St Mary 161 (L Townsend 31, K Kelly 29, J Clements 29, B Rudolph 21, D Flower 20, O Lee 3-44, S Batey 2-24, R O’Halloran 2-29, P Barraclough 2-34). Uplyme (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (8pts) by 39 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – Kevin Kelly


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