Ottery St Mary teenager Conway canes Hatherleigh
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary 2nd XI continued to take A Division by storm as they swept aside the challenge of visiting Hatherleigh in last weekend’s clash at Salston Field, writes Ian Townsend.
After the home attack produced an excellent collective performance to dismiss the West Devon side for a sub-par total, highly promising teenage opener, Harry Conway took centre stage, posting an impressive half century which saw his side cruise home with a massive 23 overs to spare.
After skipper Rick Jackson inserted the visitors, frugal opening spells from Keith Biggs and George Southall-Brown saw the Otters take the early initiative with the total crawling to just 17 from the opening ten overs before first change bowler, Ollie Reed castled Ross Cherrington (3).
Three further departures, all pouched behind the stumps by Trevor Griffin, then plunged Hatherleigh into the mire as Biggs removed Danny Forester (5), Southall-Brown sent back Rob Chapman (10) and Ollie Reed claimed a second victim in the shape of Andy Bennett (11). Rob Fishleigh at least showed some resistance and despite the introduction of the typical nagging Rich Reed, he took the total past 50 with a sweetly driven boundary off Ollie Reed. However, in the face of sharp fielding and a consistently solid bowling display, wickets continued to fall at the other end. Zac Johns’s fine throw and direct hit from short third man sent back promising-looking youngster, Nial Leahy (8) and the left armer then got in on the wicket taking act as his removal of Kirt Forgham, bowled for a single, and veteran Richard Tidball (2), trapped lbw, reduced Hatherleigh to 68-7.
Fishleigh continued to play some quality shots but the wickets kept tumbling as Rich Reed sent back youngster Adam Quick (0) and Tom Strawbridge (6) was smartly stumped by Griffin off Southall-Brown (2-13). Fishleigh (45) lifted Ollie Reed for four over mid-on to bring up the 100 but was then denied a deserved 50 as he sliced Johns (3-15) to the diving Conway at backward point. 101 all out represented a woefully under par total for the visitors as the entire home bowling attack performed creditably.
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Batting appeared to be a wholly different proposition as the Otters replied, admittedly in increasingly favourable conditions. Openers, Conway and Ed Fowler (17) were positive from the off with the latter in particular unfurling some crashing drives before being bowled by Tidball.
Griffin (15) kept up the momentum as he lifted Tidabll for six over midwicket to take the total past 50 in the 11th over and, after the wicketkeeper-batsman was trapped lbw by Cherrington, Conway took control. The King’s School youngster has always had talent but is now beginning to mature, reining in his natural attacking instinct and judging the correct the ball to hit. Loose visiting bowling was punished by a series of attractive drives and fine backfoot forcing shots as the 15-year-old reached 50 from 57 balls and although he was then bowled, aiming a lazy shot at Quick, the Otters soon secured victory with six wickets in hand.
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Jackson afterwards paid tribute to the youngster, commenting: “Our all-round game was outstanding. Harry Conway has really matured this season – that was a super innings”.
Hatherleigh 101 (R Fishleigh 45, Z Johns 3-15, G Southall-Brown 2-13, O Reed 2-23) Ottery St Mary 102-4 (H Conway 52). Ottery St Mary (21pts) bt Barton (3pts) by 6 wkts.
Otters Man of the Match – Harry Conway