Otters sign off in style

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Ottery St Mary 2nd XI rounded off a tremendous campaign with a comfortable victory from the short trip to Alphington, writes Ian Townsend.

Fittingly, in a season characterised by impressive contributions by emerging young players, two more talented youngsters played key roles in this win with fourteen year old seamer Harry Peters claiming his first two league scalps and Devon U-15 opener, George Hoult, hitting an impressive maiden half century.

Otters’ left arm paceman Joe Birch (1-15) produced a well-directed opening spell during which Mike Phillips (5) was caught by Ed Fowler. Remaining opener, Al Davey, compiled a solid knock, scoring 39 in 48 balls (seven four’s) before falling to a catch by Harry Conway off skipper Rob Crabb to leave the Alphas at 57-2. Teenage change bowlers, Peters and George Southall-Brown (2-26) continued the good work with the former bowling opposing skipper Tom Weeks (5) and inducing Richard Gott (11) to offer a catch to Alex Tubbs as he opened his league account with a fine 2-26. Left arm spinner, Duncan Bradshaw-Smith (3-21) made short work of the tail, claiming three wickets in as many overs, courtesy of three more catches by the prolific Fowler. 155 all out appeared to be well under par on a decent batting wicket.

However, Gott soon had the Ottery reply in trouble as vice-captain Rick Jackson was bowled for a first ball duck and Birch (9), somewhat surprisingly promoted to open the innings, was caught by Weeks as the visitors slipped to a vulnerable-looking 23-2. Fifteen year olds Hoult and Conway steadied the ship, adding 45 in eight overs before Conway, who dominated the stand with a five boundary 32, departed. That was the last success for the Exeter side as Hoult, playing in typically correct fashion, and experienced ex-Whimple batsman, Trevor Griffin compiled an excellent, untroubled 88-run partnership to propel Crabb’s men to a thirteenth victory of the season with almost 20 overs to spare. Hoult’s unbeaten 54 contained nine fours and a six whilst Griffin’s eight-boundary 44 not out occupied just 39 balls. Gott returned 2-38 for the Alphas.

Alphington 155 (A Davey 39, R Amesbury 24, D Jordan 20, D Bradshaw-Smith 3-21, H Peters 2-26, G Southall Brown 2-26) Ottery St Mary 156-3 (G Hoult 54*, T Griffin 44*, H Conway 32, R Gott 2-38). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Alphington (4pts) by 7wkts.

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