Ottery saved by the rain

Despite managing to restrict unbeaten league leaders Plymstock to their first sub-200 total of the season, Ottery St Mary 2nd XI produced another batting display lacking in application and with a sound defeat appearing inevitable, the Salston Field side were relieved to see the contest called off due to heavy rain, writes Ian Townsend.

The visitors’ bowlers certainly did their bit, however. Backed by a fine display of ground fielding, they never allowed the home side to take full control.

Despite an obdurate innings from Steve Coomer, seamers Rob Crabb, Zac Johns and Keith Biggs all delivered excellent spells with the latter eventually claiming 4-44 from his 13 overs.

Spinner Lewis Townsend chipped in with sharply turning off breaks to bowl both Coomer (53 with five fours) and Paul Williams (5) and, despite a useful late innings stand between Dave Dyer (31*) and Mike Cherry, the Otters did well to restrict Plymstock to 179-7.

What followed, however, was an all-too- familiar story as loose shots from openers Townsend and Ed Fowler saw them both bowled for ducks by Cherry to leave Ottery at 9-2.

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The same bowler then produced a beauty to castle Alex Thurgate (0) before Crabb finally put up some resistance.

However, having deposited Cherry for six, Crabb’s wild swing, attempting to repeat the dose, gave the innocuous-looking seamer his fourth wicket and after Lynch (2) became to his fifth victim (5-21, all bowled), the visitors were saved by the weather as they stared over the precipice at 49-5.

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Francis Clark Devon League 2nd XI ‘B’ Division

Plymstock 179-7 (S Coomer 53, D Dyer 31*, K Biggs 4-44, L Townsend 2-28) Ottery St Mary 49-5 (R Crabb 25, M Cherry 5-21). Match abandoned – rain. Plymstock 12pts, Ottery St Mary 9pts.

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