Otters bowlers get side ‘out of jail’

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- Credit: Archant

Having produced some of their poorest batting of the season, Ottery St Mary 1st XI were indebted to a terrific display of bowling which saw the newly crowned C Division (East) champions conclude a magnificent campaign with a narrow victory over visiting Seaton, writes Ian Townsend.

After opener Dan Flower had registered the Otters’ only substantial score, paceman Jody Clements once again starred, claiming five more victims to take his season’s tally to an impressive 39.

Despite being faced with an unevenly damp wicket, Flower and makeshift opener Kevin Kelly gave the Otters a rapid start. Young paceman Kersley Sutton (0-24 from 3 overs) came in for particular punishment as Flower played in typically powerful fashion to take the score past 50 in the ninth over.

However, after Kelly (15) smashed a Joel Seward full toss straight to Sutton at square leg, from 63-1 in the 12th over, the Ottery innings nose-dived. Mickey Wilkinson (1) edged Chris Aplin behind to Ollie Pinnock and despite Flower reaching a fine fifty (six fours and a six), paceman Phil Collins (3-15) struck three quick blows.

The Reed brothers, Matt (4) and Billy (0), were both castled by balls which seamed in and when Flower (68) was unfortunate to see his spanking on drive well pouched by Ben Libby at mid-on, the Otters were struggling. Aplin (3-26) produced a ‘nip-backer’ to castle Clements (1) before Joe Berry (2-4) removed Ollie Reed (1) and Rob Crabb (1).


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When skipper Lewis Townsend (8) then aimed an ill-advised pull at an Aplin delivery which kept low, any chance of a decent total had gone and with Seward (2-23) trapping last man Will Harrison (0) lbw, Ottery closed on a poor 122 all out.

After Mark Bray (0) was bowled by Ollie Reed, Ed Hunt and Seward took the Seaton reply to 38 with relative ease. Once again the introduction of Clements proved crucial, the paceman’s immaculate line and length garnering three quick victims.

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Hunt (16) was bowled, Ben Morgan (0) well held by Harrison at mid-off and Mike Wheeler (0) trapped lbw with an in-swinger. From 45-4, the visitors never recovered. Off spinner Matt Reed produced a beautifully flighted delivery to bowl Libby (1) before Clements completed a terrific ‘fivefer’ (5-11) as first Townsend clasped a low slip catch to remove Pinnock (1), then Sutton (0) was bowled.

Kelly removed Aplin (0) via a very sharp Townsend slip catch, but Berry and the obdurate Seward (45*) who had batted impressively throughout, produced late resistance. Thirty five were added before a pacey cameo from left armer Joe Birch (2-9) ended the innings. Berry (20) edged behind to Billy Reed and Collins (0) was bowled as the Otters claimed a fifteenth victory from 18 contests by 25 runs.

Townsend afterwards acknowledged that his bowlers had got the side out of jail commenting: “That was a terrific bowling performance. There was a bit in the wicket and you just had to put it in the right spot. We did that very well”. Paying tribute to Clements’s outstanding season, he added: “Jody’s been fantastic all year – throw him the ball and you know exactly what you’ll get”.

Ottery St Mary 122 (D Flower 68, P Collins 3-15, C Aplin 3-26, J Berry 2-4, J Seward 2-23) Seaton 97 (J Seward 45*, J Berry 20, J Clements 5-11, J Birch 2-9). Ottery St Mary (16pts) bt Seaton (5pts) by 25 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – Jody Clements

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