Ottery skipper’s superb ton in losing cause
- Credit: Archant
Despite a terrific, chanceless century from skipper, Lewis Townsend, Ottery St Mary 1st XI slipped to a stomach-wrenching narrow defeat in last weekend’s high scoring clash at newly-promoted Shaldon, writes Ian Townsend.
The Otters ultimately paid the price for another patchy bowling display which saw emerging home talent, Seamus McKenna blast a second successive league century to boost his side to an above par 263-8, a total which proved to be just out of reach for the visitors.
Having been inserted, Shaldon were given an excellent start by Jimmy Fulner and Todd Ballman (46) who posted an 84 run stand in 17 overs before the latter was bowled by off spinner, Matt Reed.
This brought McKenna to the wicket and the youngster was soon on the attack, reaching 50 from 45 balls despite surviving a unanimous appeal for a catch at the wicket in the thirties. Fulner’s solid innings was ended at 80 (with eleven fours), courtesy of a catch by Reed off youngster, Billy Rudolph (2-50) but McKenna was in full flow, his second fifty arriving in just 22 balls - including 23 in an over off left armer Will Harrison - before his impressive knock was ended at 101 (ten fours and seven sixes), when Rob Crabb held a catch off Jody Clements. The former Otters’ skipper again performed impressively at the death as he bowled both Jamie Day (1) and Andy Espley (4) to return an excellent 3-35.
A good start was essential as the Otters pursued such a large total and Townsend and 17 year old Billy Reed duly obliged, adding 93 in 21 overs to put the visitors in with a real chance. Reed was again batting fluently whilst Townsend was showing signs of rediscovering his characteristically expansive form, exacting a degree of revenge on McKenna by despatching him for three maximums! However, after Reed (41) fell to a catch by Ballman off McKenna, the visitors began to lose regular wickets. Nonetheless, Crabb (17), Rudolph (13) and Lynch (11) all leant useful support to their skipper who was now really into his stride.
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Townsend blasted Carl Woolnough for six to bring up a fine century, struck off 95 deliveries with nine fours and five sixes, but when he was caught on the rope by Mark Couch attempting to repeat the dose off Ross Abraham, Ottery were 214-5, still requiring 50 runs from the last six overs. Sadly despite a defiant late knock from Reed (17no), this proved beyond the lower order as the Otters closed just 13 runs short. Abrahams claimed a fine 5-36 from his seven overs.
Reaching three figures for the first time this season was little consolation to the Otters’ skipper who afterwards lamented: “Having not bowled particularly well, we got ourselves into a position to have won but I got myself out at just the wrong time. Falling short like that is absolutely gutting”.
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Shaldon 263-8 (S McKenna 101, J Fulner 80, T Bullman 46, J Clements 3-35, B Rudolph 2-50) Ottery St Mary 250-9 (L Townsend 103, B Reed 41, R Abraham 5-36). Shaldon (19pts) bt Ottery St Mary (9pts) by 13 runs.
Otters Man of the Match – Lewis Townsend