Otters sunk by batting collapse

Ottery St Mary 2nds played Exeter 3rds at the weekend. Ref shsp 8009-24-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Ottery St Mary 2nds played Exeter 3rds at the weekend. Ref shsp 8009-24-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Despite restricting the home side to a total which was no more than par, a catastrophic batting collapse saw Ottery St Mary 2nd XI suffer a disappointing defeat from their trip to South Devon to face Ipplepen, writes Ian Townsend.

After Dan Flower and Joe Henkus had once again posted a fine opening stand, as the home side effectively took the pace off the ball, eight wickets fell for just 44 runs to consign Rick Jackson’s men to a miserable journey home.

After Ipplepen won the toss, the Otters’ teenage pacemen George Southall-Brown and Tom Hinch produced excellent opening spells to restrict the scoring to just 29 runs from the initial 13 overs. Southall-Brown (1-33) was rewarded with the wicket of Tom Dyer (12), courtesy of a catch by Harry Peters, and when Steve Short (7) was pouched by Henkus off Tom Jeacock, the score had reached only 69-2 in the 22nd over. However, Tom Crocker and Seb Powell then hit the accelerator as 61 were added in just nine overs before Crocker (65 with 11 fours) was bowled by left armer Zac Johns. The score continued to rattle along as Powell, in particular, took advantage of a short boundary to hammer an aggressive 82 not out from just 74 balls (seven fours and two sixes) as Johns disappeared for 38 in just three overs. Nevertheless, despite sound support from Adam Peters, whose 41 ended as he edged Johns (2-66) behind to Trevor Griffin, a target of 240 appeared to be within the compass of the visitors for whom Hinch’s nine over spell, which cost just 17 runs, was the pick of the bowling.

Ottery were given a terrific start in reply by the developing partnership of Henkus and Flower who both produced some fine shots in adding 80 in just 12 overs before Flower (36 with seven fours) was caught by Simon Tapley off Steve Harris. However, Henkus and vice-captain Alex Clements kept things moving with a 51-run stand before teenager Henkus (45 with four fours and a six) offered a return catch to James Wotton (2-41) who soon castled Trevor Griffin for a single. After Clements (35 with five fours) was held by Crocker off Peters, the innings went into terminal decline as the rest of an under-strength batting line up were found wanting against spinners, Dyer (3-24) and Powell (3-25) who shared the remaining six wickets, which were lost in six overs, at a cost of just 30 runs. Only Johns, with a lively three boundary 15, put up any significant resistance as the Otters slipped to a fourth defeat of a, hitherto, decidedly mixed campaign.

Ipplepen 239-4 (S Powell 82*, T Crocker 65, A Peters 41, Z Johns 2-65) Ottery St Mary 179 (J Henkus 45, D Flower 36, A Clements 35, T Dyer 3-24, S Powell 3-25, J Wotton 2-41). Ipplepen (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (6pts) by 60 runs.

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