Pritchard powers Ottery home

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Boosted by a magnificent innings from 19-year-old Jack Pritchard, Ottery St Mary 1st XI defied the threatening weather to climb out of the C Division relegation zone with a comfortable six wicket victory over visiting Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough, writes Ian Townsend.

After a markedly improved bowling and fielding display by the home side had limited the visitors to a modest total, Pritchard’s silky, chanceless 92 not out eased the Otters to a vital win with almost seven overs to spare.

Visiting openers Jason Williams and Ben Wilkinson gave their side a flying start adding 60 in just 7.3 overs via a mixture of tremendous shots and fortunate edges before the introduction of giant paceman Rob Johns transformed the contest. Williams (32 with seven fours) skied a leading edge to Matt Reed before Wilikinson (28 with four fours and a six) and Rob Walker (0) were both comprehensively yorked. When Chris Sanders then became the third wicket to fall with the total on 69, courtesy of Dave Richardson’s leaping catch off James Faulkner, the visitors were on the slide. Dan Winsor resisted with some delightful off drives but the wickets continued to tumble. After Faulkner (2-26) removed Andy Hawker (5) via a fine catch at the wicket by Pritchard standing up, Winsor (21) nicked a wide one from Richardson behind to leave the visitors at 107-6. Useful late contributions from skipper Greg Bridgett (18) and Dan Sanders, last man out for 28, boosted the total to 160 as home skipper Jody Clements (2-20) returned to claim two late wickets. Rob Johns was easily the pick of the home bowlers posting 3-22 from his nine overs.

Walker removed Faulkner (2) and Lewis Townsend (2) to plunge the Otters reply into early trouble, but a useful stand between Pritchard and Johns (10) steadied the ship, taking the total to 44 before the latter was yorked by Ciaran Ellard. Pritchard then took control, displaying consummate timing in putting away anything loose to reach a fine half century (eight fours and a six) during a well controlled 66-run stand with Mark Woodman (16). After the latter was run out in a mix up, fellow teenager Alex Thurgate leant Pritchard sound support as the visitors’ attack began to feel the heat. An array of fine shots flowed from the UWIC student’s bat as he posted 13 fours and a six in guiding the Otters to a much needed victory. Thurgate also unleashed some fine drives in his unbeaten sixteen.

So, on a day when the outcomes of other matches were very much in their favour, this result sees the Otters leap frog Yelverton near the bottom of the table and the Salston Field outfit will now be targeting tomorrow’s trip to play the West Devon side as a great chance to continue their climb away from the danger zone.

You may also want to watch:

Plymouth Civil Service & Roborough 160 (J Williams 32, B Wilkinson 28, D Winsor 21, R.Johns 3-22, J Clements 2-20, J Faulkner 2-26) Ottery St Mary 164-4 (J Pritchard 92*, R Walker 2-26). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Plymouth CS & R (5pts) by 6 wkts.

Otters Man of the Match – Jack Pritchard

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