Ottery’s ‘fat lady’ starts tuning up

As the day began, and the wicket prepared at Salston Field, the fat lady tuned her voice, as Ottery 2nds required 17 points for promotion against a Plymouth Civil Service side in the lower half of the table, writes Louis Biggs.

This preparation, however, was perhaps premature, as Otters’ George Biggs (16) and Gavin Iley (37) found batting difficult early on, in the face of some accurate and hostile bowling from Alex Yates and Chris Newton. Newton, especially, bowled extremely tightly, conceding only six runs from his first eight overs.

The bowlers’ accuracy and persistence was rewarded, however, in the 14th over, when Biggs was bowled by Newton, and, from then, Ottery fell to 99-6. Iley, Rob Crabb (4) and Matt Reed (0) were all lured by the leg spin bowling of Nathan Bulley (3-54) and Rick Jackson was trapped LBW by the vivacious and excitable Yuvraj Viyajayakumar.

When Alex Thurgate was disastrously run out, wandering out his crease, the Otters’ innings looked in deep trouble. But, the lower order saved the innings as Steve Forbes (53*) and Alex Clements (25) put on a partnership of 60 in 10 overs. A few late wickets fell, as Ottery tried to get as many points as possible, but as Gavin Iley said: “170 was a very defendable score.”

This notion was proved true as, in reply, only Ben Pitman (47*) and Dan Piddock (21) scored above 10 for the PCS side. Joe Birch found his rhythm once again, to produce a devastating spell of 3-23, effectively backed up by Alex Tubbs and Zac Johns. Some fine fielding and hostile bowling secured the win for Ottery and promotion was won.

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Celebrations ensued, and captain Gavin Iley, who has taken this side from D division into B, could only say “what a feeling!” effective sentiments for what has been a remarkable season.

?Ottery St Mary 2nd XI 170-9 (S Forbes 53*, G Iley 37 B Pitman 3-21) Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough 92 ao (B Pitman 47* J Birch 3-23, Z Johns 2-20) Ottery St Mary (18 pts) beat Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough (4 pts) by 78 runs.

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