Ottery St Mary find table-toppers too strong
- Credit: Archant
Despite slipping to their fourth successive league defeat, Ottery St Mary 2nd XI can take a number of positives from last weekend’s encounter with unbeaten league leaders, Cornwood, writes Ian Townsend.
Rick Jackson’s men became one of the few opposing teams this campaign to stretch the West Devon side’s high quality attack. Claiming full batting points was just reward for a spirited display in which a brave knock from fifteen year old opener, Joe Henkus and some delightful stroke play from Jackson were the highlights.
Faced with the pacey opening attack of Craig Harris and Andy Bees, both of whom boast considerable first eleven experience, Ottery soon lost Richard Kitzinger (9) who was bowled by Harris. The same bowler removed Steve Forbes (0) who edged behind to Graham Jones, but Henkus was showing terrific application, getting into line and playing the ball late. Fifty three runs were added in partnership with the experienced Trevor Griffin before Henkus (37) suffered a rush of blood and skied young spinner Matthew Petheridge to Harris. Griffin (33), meanwhile, had been batting solidly, pouncing on anything loose until he miscued a lofted drive to be well held by Dan Piddock off left arm spinner, Robin Dart. The hard hitting duo of Jackson and Alex Clements then combined to boost the Otters with an impressive 60-run stand in 10 overs. Both men were timing the beautifully with Jackson producing the shot of the day, a sumptuous on driven boundary off the wayward Joe Langsworthy. After Clements (19) departed, Rob Bradshaw-Smith (16), making his first appearance for almost a year, provided a brief reminder of his quality, launching a majestic six over wide long-off before being bowled by Will Caufield.
At 181-5 with six overs remaining the home side appeared well set to post a challenging total but sadly, the returning Bees ended Jackson’s knock at 37 (seven fours) as he played down the wrong line to be bowled. Faced with some well-directed bowling, the lower order were unable to maintain the momentum and, as Ollie Reed (6) was bowled by the excellent Harris (3-11), the Otters were restricted to 200-8.
As Cornwood replied, old hand Duncan Boase took advantage of some early good fortune to get the visitors off to a flying start, launching some big shots to bring up the 50 in the 10th over. Despite playing and missing a number of times at both Rob Bradshaw-Smith and Keith Biggs, Caufield leant solid support until the experienced duo broke the stand at 91, Boase (52) clipping Biggs to to Bradshaw-Smith at square leg. Caufield (31) soon departed lbw to left arm spinner Duncan Bradshaw-Smith to leave Cornwood at 109-2, but Harris and James Hagan (48* with six fours) then took the game away from the hosts with a 74 run stand before Harris (40) was bowled by Reed. That was the last scalp for the Otters as Dan Piddock (15*) joined Hagan to see his side home to a comfortable victory. Biggs (1-27 from 9 overs) was the standout bowler for the home side.
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Jackson afterwards lamented the fact that a number of his men got a start without then posting the one major score that could have made the difference, commenting: “That’s the best bowling attack we’ve faced but we should have scored more. We had three or four batsmen set and they all got out”.
Ottery St Mary 200-8 (J Henkus 37, R Jackson 37, T Griffin 33, C Harris 3-11) Cornwood 202-3 (D Boase 52, J Hagan-Burt 48*, C Harris 40, W Caufield 31). Cornwood (21pts) bt Ottery St Mary (6pts) by 7 wkts.
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Otters Man of the Match – Joe Henkus