Ottery 2nds edge out Exeter II - again!
- Credit: Archant
It was very much a case of déjà vu as, for the second time this season, Ottery St Mary 2nd XI edged to the narrowest of victories over Exeter 3rd XI, writes Ian Townsend.
Having won the reverse fixture with a scrambled bye from the final delivery, Rick Jackson’s men this time sneaked home by just two runs as paceman Joe Birch held his nerve to prevent the City side from scoring the last ball boundary needed for victory.
Having chosen to bat first, Ottery were given a useful start by teenage duo, Joe Henkus and Dan Jeacock, 42 runs accruing in 12 overs before the former fell to a stumping by Ben Norris off Martin Hoddinott. With Henkus batting in typically correct fashion, a further 44 were added in a steady stand with vice-captain Alex Clements before the promising young opener was run out for 42 (four fours). Clements (25) was soon caught by Byron McGuigan off Harry Conway but, well supported by Sam Bowyer-Thornton, regular first teamer, Sam Lynch played in typically wristy fashion to rapidly add a further 54. At 151-3 with eight overs remaining the visitors appeared well placed, but the arrival of Brian Bosomworth ensured there was no major late innings onslaught. Bowyer-Thornton (20) edged the old hand behind to Norris after which Lynch’s fine knock was ended at 47 via a catch by Conway. Skipper Jackson’s useful cameo was ended at 16 as he was bowled by Bosomworth (5-45) who claimed a deserved ‘fivefer’ with the late scalps of Joe Birch (9) and Tom Jeacock (0). A total of 203-9 appeared to be decidedly vulnerable.
After the early loss of Naj Choudhary (13), bowled by teenage seamer Tom Jeacock, despite a pacey opening burst from Birch, Exeter were boosted by a solid 60 run stand between Hurrell and Hoddinott (33 with five fours) which was broken when the latter fell to a catch by Frank Hartley off George Southall-Brown (1-30). However, Hurrell was batting with considerable application and in partnership with McGuigan, a further 39 were added before the former departed for a patient 48 from 87 balls (four fours) as he edged Rich Reed behind to Clements. Occasional medium pacer, Lynch (2-46) then came up trumps by removing both McGuigan (29) and Bosomworth (13) and when Reed (2-36) bowled Matt Wood (3), Exeter stood at 158-6. However, the home side’s seventh wicket pair of Jamie Fuller (33* from 31 balls) and Mark Hepplewhite (11*) then wrested back the initiative with an excellent stand which saw them enter the last over with nine required. After this was reduced to four with a single delivery remaining, luckily for the visitors, Birch kept his cool to concede just a single and hand his side a thrilling win!
Ottery St Mary 203-9 (S Lynch 47, J Henkus 42, A Clements 25, S Bowyer-Thornton 20, B Bosomworth 4-45) Exeter 3rd XI 201-6 (J Hurrell 48, J Fuller 33*, M Hoddinott 33, B McGuigan 29, R Reed 2-36, S Lynch 2-46). Ottery St Mary (18pts) bt Exeter (9pts) by 2 runs.
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