Ottery St Mary brush aside Braunton challenge with Reed a centurion


- Credit: Archant

Boosted by a sparkling century from teenage prospect Billy Reed, Ottery St Mary first eleven swept aside the challenge of visiting Braunton to register a second successive victory at the outset of their debut season in B Division of the Tolchard’s Devon League, writes Ian Townsend.

After Rob Crabb’s men had posted an imposing total, Braunton never recovered from the depths of 47-5, left arm paceman Will Harrison producing an outstanding spell as the home attack proved far too strong for the North Devon side who subsided to a 94 run defeat.

And yet the visitors’ opening bowlers, John Baglow and Martin Smith began well, restricting Ottery openers Dan Flower and Billy Rudolph to just 22 runs from the opening 10 overs which ended with Rudolph (11) departing to a brilliant slip catch by Baglow off Smith. However, the introduction of the change bowlers and the arrival of Billy Reed saw the visitors completely lose the initiative.

The 18-year-old was immediately onto the attack, launching spinner Callum Mitchell’s first delivery for six before unleashing a series of delightfully timed shots to race to fifty from just 40 balls (four fours and three sixes).

Flower also came to the party, producing some typically bludgeoning drives to reach 40 (seven fours) before missing a straight one from Callum Mitchell. Mickey Wilkinson (28) was trapped lbw by the impressive Baglow (1-24 from 9 overs) but Billy Reed reached a superb hundred from just 77 balls (13 fours and four sixes) as the Otters passed 200 in the 35th over.

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However, after Dan Brierley removed Crabb (1) and Billy Reed (117) in quick succession, the home side lost momentum, Brierley (5-65) claiming three more victims as Ottery slipped to 233-9 before last wicket pair Ollie Reed and Joe Birch produced a useful 28-run stand to take the total to a healthy 261.

Harrison (3-12) plunged the Braunton reply into disarray with a terrific opening spell. Alfie Huxtable (0) was cleaned up with a beautiful inswinger, Rob Collier (4) edged behind to Billy Reed and Callum Mitchell (0) was pinned lbw as the visitors slipped to 19-3. David Cresswell (19) launched some defiant blows but then bottom edged Ollie Reed into his stumps before Mark Mitchell (12) tamely chipped Jody Clements to Crabb at midwicket. Bobby Patterson and Ian Roberts (25) stopped the rot with a 52-run stand, but when the latter was pouched by Clements off Matt Reed and Patterson’s impressive knock was ended at 32 (five fours) as he was trapped lbw by Rudolph (2-17), Braunton stood at 103-7.

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The score was given an air of respectability when number 10 batsman Smith produced a superb cameo to blast 50 from just 30 balls (three sixes and seven fours) but when he holed out to Flower off Ollie Reed (2-50), the Otters had clinched an impressive victory.

Ottery St Mary 261 (B Reed 117, D. Flower 40, M Wilkinson 28, D Brierley 5-65, M.Mitchell 2-26) Braunton 167 (M Smith 53, B Patterson 32, I Roberts 25, W.Harrison 3-12, O Reed 2-50). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Braunton (9pts) by 94 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – Billy Reed

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