Ottery St Mary sneak home in nail biter
- Credit: Archant
There’s an old sporting adage which says that good teams find a way to win even when they perform below their best, a tag that could justifiably be attached to Ottery St Mary 2nd XI as they snatched a sensational victory from the jaws of defeat in last weekend’s clash with visiting Alphington, writes Ian Townsend.
After the Otters posted a slightly below par total and compounded this by spilling no less than five catches, only an incredible final over of the contest from skipper Rob Crabb denied the Alphas victory and ensured that the home side completed the first half of a promising season with a victory.
Barry Flicker (7) and Trevor Griffin gave the home side a solid 35-run start before the latter was bowled by Kiwi import, Kane Duffy.
Griffin (37) and Ed Fowler (13) took the total to 65 before both were bowled by Duffy who then removed the dangerous Crabb (5) with a truly brilliant catch in the covers off Jack Mills to plunge the Otters into trouble.
In-form pair Alex Clements and Rick Jackson (44 form 40 balls with six fours) came to the rescue by posting a belligerent century stand in just 15 overs and a rapid late innings 20, including two maximums, from the powerful Alex Tubbs took the home side to a gettable 210-6.
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The rejuvenated Clements remained undefeated on 61 (seven fours) and Duffy was the standout visiting bowler returning 3-26.
George Southall-Brown gave Ottery an early breakthrough as the Alphas replied,
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Richard Cousins (6) edging behind to Griffin and when Tubbs pouched a return catch to send back Tom Weeks, the visitors stood at 40-2.
A useful 56-run stand followed between Will Pring (48) and Luke Phillips (30) followed before both were removed by Fowler (2-25).
The impressive Southall-Brown (3-39) returned to claim two more victims but with four overs remaining, Alphington were in the box seat with just 20 required. This was reduced to just six going into the final over but cometh the hour, cometh the man and, as the visitors choked, the inspirational Crabb (2-39) removed both Ben Newcombe (10), caught by Southall-Brown, and Andy Mills, castled for a duck, whilst conceding just a single to take his side to a thrilling victory.
This was a vital win for the Otters who remain in second place in the B Division table behind Budleigh and eleven points clear of Sidmouth third eleven. Going into the second half of the campaign they appear to be serious contenders for promotion.
Ottery St Mary 210-6 (A Clements 61*, R Jackson 44, T Griffin 37, A Tubbs 20, K Duffy 3-26, A Mills 2-46) Alphington 206-8 (W Pring 48, K Duffy 36*, L Phillips 30, J Mills 26, G Southall-Brown 3-35, E Fowler 2-25, R Crabb 2-39). Ottery St Mary (19pts) bt Alphington(8pts) by 4 runs.