Ottery suffer heavy defeat against Heathcoat 2nds
PUBLISHED: 09:22 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:22 17 July 2019
Ottery St Mary 1st XI were given a lesson in the value of well-directed bowling and astute field placings as they slipped to a heavy defeat at the hands of promotion chasing visitors, Heathcoat 2nd XI, writes Ian Townsend
The Otters' middle order were unable to capitalise fully on another solid opening stand from Ollie West and Alex Clements after which their bowlers were never able to exert the control needed to prevent the visitors cruising past a below par target.
Having been invited to take first knock, Ottery were given a slow but solid start by West and Clements in the face of tight opening spells from Louis Stephenson and James Gregson.
The stand was broken at 59 as Clements (19) clipped Matt Hodson to Will Thompson at mid-wicket and, without further addition, Joe Henkus (0) was bowled through the gate by the same bowler.
West and the incoming Dan Flower stabilised things with a useful 47-run stand but just as the Otters' overseas appeared to be getting into his stride, he failed to get over a Lee Dixon half volley to be pouched by Tom Frankpitt at mid-wicket for 54 (ten fours).
The bright spot of the Ottery innings was a highly promising knock from 16-year-old Eddie Rudolph who produced a series of beautifully timed off drives in sharing stands of 42 with both Flower (20) and Rob Johns (27 from 24 balls).
However, after Rudolph departed to Matt Hague for a fine 31 (four fours), the Otters innings stalled in the face of terrific bowling from the returning Gregson (0-9 from nine overs) and Hodson (3-22).
The home side's total of 200 appeared vulnerable as the Heathcoat reply was given a flying start by Toby Lochead and Jake Stoneman (12) who added 32 in just four overs before the latter was bowled aiming a big hit at Will Harrison.
After a brief lull, the aggressive Lochead again teed off posting a number of aerial boundaries as the home attack failed to hit a consistent line and length.
The Otters could ill afford West's failure to clasp a sharp chance offered to backward point as Lochead reached 51 with eleven fours before the Aussie's leg spin trapped him lbw.
Frankpitt, though, was batting beautifully, expertly manoeuvring the ball through surprisingly attacking fields to pass 50 in fine style. Young seamer Sam Brook (2-38) claimed two quick victims, bowling Simon Sobczak (10) and trapping Frankpitt (57 with ten fours) lbw, but Dixon (34* with seven fours) and Gregson (17*) then had little trouble in guiding Heathcoat home with a huge 18 overs to spare as the Otters endured a bad day at the office.
Eddie Rudolph was named as Otters' Man-of-the-Match.