Ottery St Mary Under-13s book Devon finals berth
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary Under-13s have reached the Devon finals of the ECB National Cup and are now just two victories away from moving into the regional stages of the competition.
A second successive victory over Exeter – the young Otters had beaten Exeter in a close contest the week before when the teams met in a Bradleys East Devon Youth League game – and this latest match was even closer than the league encounter with Ottery securing a victorious run chase with just three deliveries remaining!
It all means that, on Sunday, June 25, Ottery will now play either North Devon or Hatherleigh in the first of two ‘County Finals Day’ semi-finals.
The winner of that match will then play later the same day against one of Kingsbridge, Paignton or Ivybridge to see which team represents Devon in the regional stages.
In the game against Exeter, Ottery skipper Michael Lilley lost the toss and his opposite number opted to bat first.
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The Ottery bowlers kept things pretty tight in the opening overs and James Tyler took an early wicket.
Exeter then came back strongly and regained control with both Joe Cole and Ben Sims retiring after reaching 30.
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However, the Ottery youngsters then showed real character for, with Exeter heading towards what would arguably have been a ‘winning’ score of around 140, the Otters battled back during the latter part of the innings with a combination of tight bowling and some great fielding.
Three times the Ottery fielders managed to fashion run-outs and there was a three –wicket haul from Lawrence Walker who had handed over wicket keeping duties to Michael Lilley halfway through innings and Exeter closed on 115-7.
A target of 116 to win was less than it could have been, but Ottery knew it would be a tough ask because Exeter have some talented bowlers.
To prove the point, Michael Lilley got a brilliant delivery which saw him out to an early leg before wicket decision.
Matt Jeacock and Lawrence Walker steadied the ship and never panicked, despite falling a little behind the required rate.
After 11 overs of the run chase, Ottery were on 47 – Exeter, at the same stage - had been on 76!
It all meant that, with just nine overs (54 deliveries) remaining, the Otters required another 69 runs, but they did have nine wickets to play with.
Jeacock and Walker began to boost the run rate before both had to retire having reached 30.
James Tyler played a leading role, facing just 21 balls for a powerful contribution of 30 runs and it was left to Freddie Eul-Barker, Sachin Coppell and Ollie Brealy to see Ottery to an eight wicket win with victory sealed midway through the final over of a compelling contest.