Downpour halts Ottery cricket

An early evening downpour brought a premature end to an intriguingly poised encounter when South Devon outfit, Stoke Gabriel last weekend visited Salston Field for their clash with Ottery St Mary 1st XI, writes Ian Townsend.

Thanks to a patchy Otters’ bowling display, featuring a six wicket haul for left arm paceman, Will Harrison but also a large number of wides and full tosses, on a sporting wicket, the visitors managed to post a useful 225 all out.

Ottery were well placed at 58-1 in reply but were battling hard to contend with some hostile pace bowling from Stoke’s Aussie import, Anthony Scott when the weather intervened.

Having been asked to bat first on a bouncy, greenish track, the visitors scored rapidly, despite Harrison claiming the early wickets of Steve Tolley (14), Andy Lockyer (20) and Jack Tolley (1), the latter falling to a fine diving catch by George Biggs at mid-on.

From 47-3, Stoke were boosted by a terrific 108-run stand between Scott and Neil Robinson. The latter initially struggled to get the ball away, but Scott unleashed some terrific shots including hoisting the usually frugal Mark Woodman onto the roof of the pavilion and launching Rob Johns over extra cover for another magnificent maximum.

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The all-rounder rode his luck, however, as he three times miscued aerial shots which landed neatly between fielders as he reached his 50 from 62 balls. Scott’s luck ran out when he was yorked by James Faulkner for 62. After Jody Clements’ direct hit ran out Dave Pollard (0), Robinson began to take toll of some wayward bowling, dispatching numerous loose leg side deliveries to reach his own half century and take the total to 191 before edging off-spinner Adrian Pullin behind to Trevor Griffin.

The 200 arrived in the 38th over but, despite a defiant late 29 not out from Bernie Allcock, the tail failed to wag as first Woodman caught and bowled Seb Ansley (8), then the returning Harrison bowled Sean Dwyer (1) and Angus Lee (0) with successive balls, and trapped James Harris (4) lbw. Harrison’s 6-47 from 8.5 overs stood out in an otherwise mediocre Otters’ bowling display. The total stood at 225 all out when a score nearer 250 had looked likely.

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In reply and with the light deteriorating markedly, Ottery were given a slow but sound start by Griffin and Sam Tennant who endured a barrage of short bowling from Dave Bolland and pace from Scott.

The openers stood up to the challenge well, leaving the ball judiciously and dispatching the odd loose delivery to take the score to 27 before Tennant misjudged a Scott delivery and smeared it to Harris at mid-wicket.

Rain was constantly threatening as Will Munford joined Griffin who was batting very steadily. Munford produced two fine backfoot forcing shots to the point boundary to bring up the Otters’ 50 in the 20th over but shortly afterwards, as the rain intensified, the umpires decided to abandon the contest as the light became very poor and the outfield extremely slippery.

Griffin remained on 28 not out with Munford unbeaten on 11.

Both sides took 11 points from the contest which had been set for a fascinating conclusion with Ottery requiring a further 168 runs from 28 overs.

Otters’ Man of the Match – Will Harrison

Francis Clark Devon League C Division: Stoke Gabriel 225; Ottery St Mary 58-1 (T.Griffin 28*). Match abandoned – rain. Stoke Gabriel 11pts, Ottery St Mary 11pts.

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