Otters scramble to losing draw

Ottery St Mary 1st XI's disappointing opening to the new campaign continued as they scrambled to a losing draw on their visit to Babbacombe.

Ottery St Mary 1st XI's disappointing opening to the new campaign continued as they scrambled to a losing draw on their visit to Babbacombe. Having restricted the home side to a par score on a difficult wicket, the Otters sunk to 75-7 in reply before an unbroken ninth wicket stand between Rob Bradshaw-Smith and Jody Clements staved off defeat.Despite an economical opening spell from the experienced Mark Woodman (0-11 from eight overs), having been put in, the home side made a steady start, Marcus Thompson and Steve Cocker adding 33 from 10 overs before the latter was caught by Bradshaw-Smith off Clements. The introduction of Bradshaw-Smith saw three more quick wickets fall as Babbacombe declined to 74-4 in the 27th over. However, after a slow start, Terry Farkins was playing a good innings eventually posting an undefeated half century, compiled from 53 balls with five fours and a six. Despite Otters' skipper and left arm spinner Martin Miller chipping in with three wickets, Farkins and Nick Sleeman shared an unbroken ninth wicket stand of 31 to achieve a useful 152-8 from a full 46 overs.Against some good bowling and a wicket which deteriorated even further, the Otters struggled in reply, suffering the early loss of Miller before Barry Flicker was caught at slip for a duck to leave the visitors at 13-2. John Tierney (24) offered some resistance and Somerset academy prospect, 16-year-old Charl Axsel, was playing particularly well. However, with the total on 40 the youngster offered a return catch from a delivery which stopped, after which Matt Kirk was caught for a golden duck. Two more quick wickets left the Otters in desperate trouble at 44-5 before Bradshaw-Smith and Nick Doman briefly arrested the slide taking the total to 75 after 27 overs. After the latter was bowled by the persistent Paul Bates, even worse was to follow as both Sam Lynch and Woodman tamely offered catches from the next two deliveries to present the Babbacombe man with a hat-trick! Bradshaw-Smith (39*) and Clements (18*) batted responsibly to secure the draw but this was a far from convincing display from the Otters.Vice-captain Clements afterwards ruefully summed up the mood in the camp remarking: "We threw away a win through a lack of application - too many people didn't think about what the wicket was doing". l Babbacombe 152-8 (T Farkins 50*, M Thompson 26, S Cocker 22, R Bradshaw-Smith 3-22, M Miller 3-51) Ottery St Mary 129-8 (R Bradshaw-Smith 39*, J Tierney 24, A Lockyer 3-21, P Bates 3-22, T Goodwin 2-51). Babbacombe (13pts) drew with Ottery St Mary (8pts).

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