Flower blooms as Ottery complete double over Filleigh

Matt Reed bowling for Ottery cricket club. Ref shsp 0118-28-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Matt Reed bowling for Ottery cricket club. Ref shsp 0118-28-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The second half of the Devon League campaign began in near identical fashion to the first for Ottery St Mary 1st XI as they cruised to a comfortable win over Filleigh to complete the double over the North Devon side, writes Ian Townsend.

After spinners Matt Reed and Alex Thurgate took advantage of a responsive wicket to limit the visitors to a modest total, in-form opener Dan Flower crafted an excellent half century to guide the Salston Field side to a ninth win of the season.

The contest began in bizarre fashion as Victor Lothian (0), standing in for regular Filleigh opener Mark Prideaux who was delayed by travel problems, first attempted a crazy run to short cover to run out partner John Hickman (0), then had a wild ‘yahoo’ at Will Harrison to lose his off pole.

Visiting skipper Simon Prideaux (18) unfurled some fines drives before nicking Harrison (2-21) behind to Jack Pritchard after which Reed, extracting considerable turn, plunged Filleigh into complete disarray by claiming three quick scalps.

Alun Sullivan (6) gave a return catch via a leading edge to the off-spinner’s first delivery whilst James Marsh (0) was deceived and bowled by a quicker ball as Reed (3-22) claimed a double wicket maiden.

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When James Campbell’s solid 26 was ended by a well flighted Reed off-break and James Hill (1) was pouched by Billy Rudolph off Joe Birch, Filleigh looked down and out at 63-7. However, the arrival of the delayed Mark Prideaux finally put some backbone into the visitors as he combined with father, Mike to lead a spirited fightback. Mark Prideaux tucked into Birch (1-49), in particular, as he raced to a fluent half century from just 30 balls (six fours, three sixes).

Mike Prideaux (13 from 56 balls) leant stoic support as the 18 over stand reached 90 before Thurgate’s excellent spell was rewarded with the wicket of Mark Prideaux (73), courtesy of a fine catch in the deep from Reed.

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Two late scalps for Rudolph (2-22) wrapped up the innings at 157 all out.

Flower and Rudolph (26) gave the Otters a fine start in reply, 55 being added in 12 overs before the latter was trapped in front by a Marsh nip-backer.

Flower was in top form, however, and despite Rob Crabb (13) edging Mike Prideaux behind to Simon Prosser, the big left hander unleashed some typically powerful drives to reach a well-constructed fifty from 60 balls faced (nine fours).

Pritchard’s brief cameo ended at 15, bowled by Hill, but the arrival of Townsend hastened the end of the contest, his 28 not out from just 16 balls featuring six boundaries. Flower remained unbeaten on an excellent 73 (14 fours).

The comprehensive nature of the victory was much to the liking of the Otters’ skipper who reflected: “That was a pleasingly clinical all round performance. All the main compartments of our game are coming together and we’re going about chasing down totals in a good fashion”. In paying tribute to Flower’s innings, Townsend continued: “It’s great to see Dan get runs. His attitude when he was recently in the seconds was spot on - he got his head down and scored heavily - and now he’s got his reward”.

Filleigh 157 (M Prideaux 73, J Campbell 26, M Reed 3-22, W Harrison 2-21, B Rudolph 2-22) Ottery St Mary 159-3 (D Flower 73*, L Townsend 28*, B Rudolph 26). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Filleigh (4pts) by 7 wkts.

Otters Man of the Match – Dan Flower.

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