Ottery St Mary spurn opportunity of reveneg

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A palpable sense of frustration enveloped Salston Field after Ottery St Mary spurned a golden opportunity to gain revenge over visiting Bideford for the humiliating defeat suffered at the hands of the North Devon outfit in the opening match of the season, writes Ian Townsend.

Having restricted the visitors to a below par total on a good batting track, poor shot selection saw the Otters’ top order contrive to get themselves out, thus handing yet another maximum points haul to the unbeaten league leaders.

After the early loss of Dan Barratt (13), pouched at mid-off by Lewis Townsend off Will Harrison, the Bideford innings was built upon a fine knock from young Aussie import Jordi Gilmore who played expansively from the start. A challenging total looked likely as the score raced to 72 in just 13 overs, but after James Ford (26) holed out to John Tierney in the covers off James Faulkner, the introduction of off spinner Matt Reed changed the complexion of the innings.

The youngster, who has been steadily gaining in confidence over recent weeks, was proving hard to get away, extracting considerable turn from a dry surface. Josh King (12) shouldered arms only to castled by an outrageous off-break and shortly after Gilmore reached a fluent half century (eight fours and a six), Chris Luxton miscued a pull and skipper Jody Clements held a fine tumbling catch.

After Fergie Bradbeer (13) was run out backing up, Alex Crisp’s ugly hoik gave Reed a deserved third wicket.

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Gilmore reached a fine century (13 fours, two sixes) but was then held by Townsend off the returning Harrison who produced a well-controlled spell which also yielded the wicket of Martin Stewart (2) as Bideford fell way to 227 all out. Reed (3-34) was the standout Otters’ bowler, well supported by left armer, Harrison (3-27).

The Ottery reply was plunged into disarray as impressive 17-year-old paceman Fred King claimed a clutch of wickets. But, as well as the youngster bowled, most of the Otters’ top order perished to poor shots. Faulkner (7) checked his shot to dolly a catch to cover, Dan Flower (9) played around an inswinger to be bowled, Tierney blazed his way to an eventful 25 before holing out to deep mid-on and the in-form Jack Pritchard (12) failed to get over an off drive to give Josh King a second catch at cover.

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When Alex Thurgate then tamely prodded a catch to Gilmore at short mid-wicket, Fred King had claimed the first five wickets of the innings before Clements’ ugly swipe at Crisp saw the Otters slip to 70-6. Townsend (27) and Sam Lynch played some pleasing shots in trying to pull things around, but after lifting Crisp for six over square leg the former edged a lifter to slip.

Lynch continued to play nicely taking his score to 36 (six fours) before being bowled by Josh King who then swiftly cleaned up the tail to finish with three wickets for two runs.

Brother Fred was the star bowler, however, returning 5-32 from seven overs.

Bideford 227 (J Gilmore 103, J Ford 26, F King 24, W Harrison 3-27, M Reed 3-34, J Faulkner 2-52) Ottery St Mary 151 (S Lynch 36, L Townsend 27, J Tierney 25, F King 5-23, J King 3-2, A Crisp 2-40). Bideford (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (8pts) by 76 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – Matt Reed

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