Iley spot on with weather prediction

In common with most Met Office employees, Ottery St Mary 2nd XI skipper Gavin Iley has to endure more than his share of good natured jibes when his organisation s forecasts prove to be inaccurate.

In common with most Met Office employees, Ottery St Mary 2nd XI skipper Gavin Iley has to endure more than his share of good natured jibes when his organisation's forecasts prove to be inaccurate.

Sadly, on this occasion, he escaped unscathed as the predicted mid-afternoon 'monsoon' arrived on schedule to drown his side's chances of victory, despite his charges having reduced visiting Dartington & Totnes to 69-5 in conditions tailor-made for pace bowling.

On winning the toss, inviting the visitors to bat was a 'no brainer' for Iley, given the green nature of the pitch and the glowering and humid overhead conditions which, unsurprisingly, proved to be very much to the liking of swing merchants Keith Biggs and Joe Birch.

The latter made the initial breakthrough inducing Paul Taylor (4) to glove a legside delivery behind to Alex Clements with the total on 11.

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Without further addition, the young left armer then produced a 'jaffa' which seamed in a long way to castle Halley Porkess for a duck.

Remaining opener Mark Andrews, though, was looking relatively untroubled, his excellent timing enabling him to dispatch anything remotely loose with alacrity.

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However, when the score reached 21 in the sixth over, Tom Petherick was left red-faced as he 'did a Pietersen', shouldering arms to be bowled by a fine delivery from Biggs which held its line and clipped the top of the off stump.

The experienced ex-Sandford man then produced two further blows, first comprehensively yorking visiting skipper Kevan Throgmorton for a duck, then, next ball, plucking out youngster Liam Bligh's off stump with a full length outswinger.

Harry Baxendale survived an lbw appeal on the hat-trick ball but D & T were in deep trouble at 29-5. However, the potency of the home attack was beginning to wane, due to Birch suffering a recurrence of an ankle injury, sustained during last week's defeat at Countess Wear, and also as the shine was disappearing from the ball as a result of the incessant drizzle which had started falling.

Despite being faced with Nick Doman's nagging off spin, Andrews and Baxendale (eight not out) resisted stoutly, the score passing 50 in the 12th over as a Biggs delivery resulted in five wides and, soon afterwards, as the heavens opened, the contest reached its inevitable and soggy conclusion.

Andrews remained unbeaten on a classy 38 (4x4s) whilst the ever reliable Biggs returned an excellent 3-30 from his eight overs.

Partner in crime Birch posted 2-16 from four aggressive overs and skipper Iley will no doubt be hoping that his young paceman recovers rapidly from injury and that his employer's super computers will deliver unbroken sunshine for the second half of the season!

Francis Clark Devon League 2nd XI C Division: Dartington & Totnes 69-5 (M Andrews 38*; K Biggs 3-30, J Birch 2-16) vs. Ottery St Mary. Abandoned due to rain. Ottery (8pts) Dartington & Totnes (6pts).

Ottery St Mary 1st XI endured the frustration of a fruitless trip to West Devon, their D Division match against Hatherleigh being abandoned after just one Mark Woodman over, from which the home side posted 11 runs without loss. Both teams claimed six points.

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