Otters crash back to earth

Batsman Ed Fowler for Ottery St Mary against Ipplepen. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 2819-22-13TI To o

Batsman Ed Fowler for Ottery St Mary against Ipplepen. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 2819-22-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

After a recent series of excellent all round performances which had seen them steadily climb the C Division table, Ottery St Mary 1st XI crashed back to earth as a woeful bowling display resulted in visiting Chagford completing the double over the Salston Field side, writes Ian Townsend.

Virtually every home bowler was off colour as a ludicrous 46 wide’s were delivered, allowing Chagford to amass an impressive total which never looked under threat as the home side produced a lacklustre batting display.

The tone was set early on as left armer Joe Birch conceded two doses of five wide’s in a wayward first over and, despite Will Harrison bowling Charles Fitzroy for a duck, Paul Penberthy (29) and Chris Rowland (7) cashed in well on numerous loose offerings before both holing out to the reliable Alex Thurgate at deep midwicket off off-spinner, Matt Reed (2-60), to leave the score at 68-3.

Dangerous South African, Divan Marais (23) and John Wright rapidly advanced the total to 132 before the former was held by Dan Flower to become the first of four victims for James Faulkner.

However, in common with most of his colleagues, the medium pacer was proving expensive as Wright cut loose in spectacular fashion to hammer 79 from just 52 balls (eight fours and five sixes).

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A third catch for Thurgate removed Wright off Faulkner (4-63) who also trapped Dave Penberthy (24) courtesy of a neat stumping by Jack Pritchard, but useful late order contributions from the experienced Jerry Christophers (33*) and Duncan Manners-Chapman (20) boosted Chagford to an imposing 284-9. A late wicket saw Harrison, the pick off the home attack, return a respectable 2-36 from 9 overs.

Scoreboard pressure meant that a solid start was essential as the Otters replied but with Flower (7) playing down the wrong line to be bowled by the innocuous Steve Sizmur and Lewis Townsend (1) prodding Rowland tamely to mid-off, the home side were immediately in the mire at 28-2. Sam Tenant and Pritchard pulled things around with a useful 62-run partnership with both men producing some fine shots. However, the introduction of left arm spinner, Christophers, was to prove a turning point. After the former Bovey Tracey and Devon man induced Pritchard (25) to clip a delivery down the throat of Wright at deep mid-wicket, the wickets began to tumble as tight bowling and sharp fielding ramped up the pressure. Four more victims followed for Christophers (5-22) as Faulkner (6) was bowled slogging, Tennant (50) was stumped, skipper Jody Clements caught and bowled for a duck and Reed (9) held by Marais at slip. From 136-7 the tail wagged as, well supported by Dave Richardson (10), Thurgate (42* with six fours) produced some fine shots but with Wright (2-40) claiming two late scalps, Ottery eventually subsided to 186 all out and a chastening 98-run defeat.

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Chagford 284-9 (J Wright 79, Extras 57, P Penberthy 29, D Penberthy 24, D Marais 23, D Manners-Chapman 20, J Faulkner 4-63, W Harrison 2-36, M Reed 2-60) Ottery St Mary 186 (S Tennant 50, A Thurgate 42*, J Pritchard 25, J Christophers 5-22, S Sizmur 2-39, J Wright 2-40) . Chagford (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (8pts) by 98 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – Alex Thurgate

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