Gold medal worthy effort
The Olympics may be over, but if you are looking for edge-of-the-seat sporting drama, then following Ottery 2nds is the thing to do. After last week’s thrilling six-run victory over Alphington, Ottery were head to head with Kingsbridge in a potential relegation battle, writes Keith Biggs.
But they pretty much secured their league status with a 23 run win which anchors them mid-table with two matches to play.
Ottery, inserted on a bowler friendly green-top, immediately had Barry Flicker top edge a half-tracker straight to mid on.
Anthony Dean and Rob Bradshaw-Smith compiled a 60 run stand - Bradshaw-Smith having last picked up a bat three months ago. He looked well in touch as he cut and drove with great timing. His dismissal triggered a middle order collapse as Phil Taverner, Rob Crabbe and George Southall-Brown came and went only adding one run between them. Dean tried to dig in with skipper Gavin Iley but fell for 28 as he drove a half volley to mid wicket.
Another cricketing legend then strode to the crease in the guise of Charlie Pritchard. With ancient, oiled willow in hand he nurdled a few comfortable singles before playing across the line to Taylor. A score of 79-7 became 108-8 as lusty blows by Iley and all-rounder Joe Birch took the score past the first batting point.The total of 120 looked at least 50 runs short as the pitch had started to dry out and play better.
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Kingsbridge’s reply got off to a faltering start when a javelin-like throw from Harry Conway saw Matt Peach run out without facing. Hardy was trapped lbw by Keith Biggs and then he found an extra yard of pace and chipped a large splinter off the centre stump of Etoe who faced only three balls.
Another straight one from Biggs found Steve Dean’s finger pointing skywards and Joe Birch’s rapid pace got through the defences of Rosewarne to make it 37-5. Biggs trapped Bradbury with a full one and drinks were taken with Kingsbridge on 60-6.
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Church and Hammett mounted a mini recovery as Rob Crabbe toiled with little luck. Hammett spooned one towards extra cover where veteran Biggs caught one-handed before toppling to the ground like a sack of spuds. Tom Daley it wasn’t but the celebrations were as if a gold medal had been won!
Crabbe struck immediately bowling Innocent through the gate and an unlikely win seemed on. The dangerous Church, though, was still scoring intermittently at the other end and Ottery needed his wicket.
But Rob Bradshaw-Smith used his guile and brought one back into the left hander who was unable to get his bat in the way. One wicket was needed. The final celebration of the day though was Crabbe’s as he ran out skipper Sean Taylor with a direct hit from mid wicket. Start the car!
Team OSM strike golden form
Francis Clark Devon League 2nd XI ‘B’ Division
Ottery 120 (R Bradshaw-Smith 32, A Dean 28; S Taylor 4-27, M Edmonds 4-30); Kingsbridge 97 (E Church 23; K Biggs 4-34, R Crabbe 2-12,) Ottery (16pts) bt Kingsbridge (5pts) by 23 runs.