Ottery St Mary third eleven make it four wins for four as superb first season rolls on

Despite the absence of holidaying skipper, John Tierney, Ottery St Mary 3rd XI last weekend registered a fourth successive victory in an ever more impressive inaugural league campaign, writes Ian Townsend.

After left arm paceman Jack Webber once again starred in a terrific all round bowling display, the Otters chased down the resultant modest target with ease, Anthony Dean posting a well-constructed half century.

Webber claimed the first of his five victims as Cully suffered the early blow of losing the experienced Ken Norman, bowled for four. Two victims for Tom Gardner (2-34) then saw the visitors reduced to 51-3 as veteran Martin Elliott (10) was caught by Dean and Joe Teape (2) was pouched by Tom Hinch. The aggressive Euan Tinley and Arthur Burns-Cox (12) added a useful 47 in eight overs before the latter was caught by Dan Jeacock off Albert Southall-Brown. Tinley – 36 from 20 balls with six fours – was then immediately bowled by Jeacock, but a good 43-run stand between Gareth Hale and Josh Richards took the total to 142-5 with 12 overs remaining. However, the return of Webber saw the lower order blown away. The eighteen-year-old left armer’s pacey late in-swing saw him hit the stumps on a further four occasions, sending back Hale (24), Richards (18), Graham Bowles (3) and Nick Eddborough (0) to claim a maiden league ‘fivefer’ (5-17), thus restricting the visitors to 154 all out.

As Ottery replied, opener Richard Lock suffered the agony of being run out without facing a ball, courtesy of some poor calling from partner, Joe Henkus. The youngster atoned to a degree by batting solidly to score 24 before being bowled by Richards. Despite appearing vulnerable at 33-2, the Otters then cruised to victory. Dean and Tom Conway posted a half century stand in good time, the younger of the Conway brothers playing in typically fluent, unorthodox fashion to score 21 before being caught off Bowles. Dean was beginning to flourish, timing the ball well all around the wicket and, with solid support from the evergreen Barry Flicker (28 not out), he reached a fine half century (57 not out with six fours) shortly before the Otters crossed the line with a full 12 overs in hand.

Cullompton 154 (E Tindley 36, G Heale 24, J Teape 20, J Webber 5-17, T Gardner 2-34) Ottery St Mary 3rd XI 155-3 (A Dean 57*, B Flicker 28*, J Henkus 24, T Conway 21). Ottery St Mary (22pts) bt Cullompton (4pts) by 7 wkts.

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