Ottery edged out by visiting Alphas

Ottery celebrate a wicket against Sidmouth. Ref shsp 25 18TI 5794. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery celebrate a wicket against Sidmouth. Ref shsp 25 18TI 5794. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary suffered a second successive defeat in their Tolchards Devon League C Division East campaign when they went down by a margin of just four runs in their home game against Alphington.

The Alphas won the toss and elected to bat first, but there was early success for Ottery with Alex Clements pouching an edge off the bowling of Joe Birch to leave the visitors 36-1.

That brought recently appointed manager of Exeter City Football Club, Matt Taylor, to the wicket and he and Mark Halse took their side to 66 when Halse was clean bowled by Sam Brook. It was soon 91-4 after a Dan Flower-inspired run-out of Taylor (68) and Joe Birch clean bowling the Alphas overseas player for eight. The innings got to 141 when the fifth wicket was claimed, this down to a Dan Flower catch off the bowling of Jody Clements. A sixth-wicket arrived when a Joe Birch catch gave Henry Mutter his first wicket. Ottery skipper Will Harrison held a catch to give Mutter a second and it was soon 184-7 with the running out of Taylor for 68 with a Dan Flower throw setting up the dismissal.

The eighth wicket added what would ultimately prove to be a ‘match-winning’ 29 runs with the total being 213 when Mutter knocked the stumps over. The end came soon after as Mutter picked up his fourth wicket and also provided the throw for a run-out with Alphington’s innings ending on 216 all out with just one ball of their 45 overs remaining.

The Ottery bowling honours went to Henry Mutter with his return of 4-49 from six overs and Joe Birch had 2-36.

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The Ottery run chase was hit by a rare failure for Oliver West, trapped leg before to the 10th delivery he faced, sent back for seven. Dan Flower joined Alex Clements and they took the total to 50 when Flower was also trapped leg before, in his case for 17. Joe Henkus was next man in, and out, caught for two and the loss of both Henry Mutter (16) and Jack Malden (30), left the run chase on 124-5. It was soon 131-6 with the loss of Richard Jackson, for six. It was arguably the loss of opener Alex Clements that ended the Ottery hopes of a successful run chase – Clements was bowled for a 97-ball six boundary 52 with the score then 164-7. However, Jody Clements and Sam Brook had other ideas and added 39 to take the Otters to within striking distance of victory when Jody Clements was caught having been at the wicket for 40 balls for his 43, a knock that included four fours and three sixes.

Six runs were added when skipper Will Harrison became the ninth wicket. That left the last pair, Joe Birch and Sam Brook, tasked with looking for the five runs that would give the Otters victory. Sadly, it was not to be as Birch was bowled for two leaving Sam Brook the not out batsman on 16.

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The Otters’ defeat, a third of the campaign, leaves the team sitting third in the table. This Saturday it’s the halfway stage of the campaign being reached with Ottery travelling to fifth-placed Whimple.

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