Dean inning crucial to Ottery
Boosted by an excellent half century from young batsman, Anthony Dean, Ottery St Mary 2nd XI last weekend ground out a draw from their visit to Brixham despite having earlier appeared to be slipping to defeat, writes Ian Townsend.
After winning the toss and batting, Brixham were given a fine start by Mike Barren and Tom Hopper who compiled a 78 run stand in 23 overs, despite a steady spell from Otters’ swing merchant, Keith Biggs.
It took the introduction of the off spin of teenage all-rounder Matt Reed to break the stand as he trapped Hopper (40) lbw.
Barren then opened up as a good stand with Wes Fowler took the score past 150. Barren’s fine knock was ended at 67 (12 x 4s) by a trademark swinging yorker from Joe Birch.
The Otters bowled and fielded well in the final 15 overs during which three further wickets fell. Off spinner Lewis Townsend (2-40) accounted for Fowler (21) and Reece Dallow (12), both caught by Reed at mid wicket, whilst Sam Thomas (5) edged Birch (2-41) behind to Alex Clements as Brixham posted a slightly above par 207-5 from their 46 overs.
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Ottery were soon struggling in reply as good opening spells from Dallow and the pacy Joe Hide reduced them to 19-3.
James Faulkner (6) fell to Dallow as he top edged a pull to be caught behind whilst Hide castled both Alex Thurgate (8) and Reed (0).
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Determined looking stand-in skipper Rick Jackson and Clements then batted steadily to post a 62 run stand in 14 overs before Jackson (23) edged a Barren outswinger behind to Dan Franklyn.
After Townsend (3) was unfortunate to see his searing off drive brilliantly pouched by Hide off Matt Parsons, Clements (20) played on to leave Ottery in the mire at 71-6.
Dean, who had begun to unleash some typically flowing off drives, was batting beautifully and, in combination with the hugely experienced Biggs, he proceeded to fashion a precious 45 run stand featuring some very good running between the wickets.
After Biggs (13) was bowled by the impressive Hide (3-40), Birch provided sound support to Dean who reached a well deserved half century (7 x 4s) as the Otters hung on for a gutsy draw.
Francis Clark Devon League 2nd XI B Division: Brixham 207-5 (M Barren 67, T Hopper 40, W Fowler 21, L Townsend 2-40, J Birch 2-41) Ottery St Mary 143-8 (A Dean 51, R Jackson 23, A Clements 20, J.Hide 3-40, M Parsons 2-18, M Barren 2-23).
Brixham (15pts) drew with Ottery St Mary (6pts).