Rudolph the Ottery star as Salston Field men stay top

Ottery batsman Billy Ruldolph fell short of a hundred by just three runs against Uplyme on Saturday.

Ottery batsman Billy Ruldolph fell short of a hundred by just three runs against Uplyme on Saturday. Ref shsp 7241-22-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Excellent innings from burgeoning young talent, Billy Rudolph and former Premier League batsman, Mickey Wilkinson, coupled with a well-controlled bowling display, saw Ottery St Mary 1st XI claim a comfortable win over visiting Uplyme & Lyme Regis, writes Ian Townsend.

This fourth straight victory at the start of the new season sees the Salston Field men hold a ten point lead at the top of the embryonic C Division (East) league table going into this weekend’s local derby against Clyst Hydon.

A fine opening spell from young paceman Ollie Lee saw the Otters lose the early wicket of Billy Reed (4) whose checked drive flew to Aussie, Richard O’Halloran at mid-off. However, with Rob Crabb then playing in typically aggressive fashion, in partnership with the prolific Rudolph, a 50-run stand was compiled in quick time before the Otters’ vice-captain, leading the side in the absence of Lewis Townsend, miscued a big drive off Paddy Barraclough to be well held in the covers by Steve Batey for 22.

From 72-2 in the 16th over, the home side were boosted by a wonderful century stand between Rudolph and Wilkinson. Visiting spinners O’Halloran and Daley Holmes came in for severe punishment with Wilkinson giving a masterclass in agile footwork and Rudolph, despite the occasional false shot, playing in typically correct fashion. Rudolph passed 50 in 58 balls (nine fours) whilst Wilkinson (64) reached the same landmark from just 43 deliveries (seven fours and a six) as the score raced to 189 before the latter miscued a lofted drive to be caught by Steve Batey off O’Halloran.

Despite a terrific spell from Steve Batey (1-19 from overs), Rudolph guided the Otters past 200 in the 35th over but, just when it appeared the 16 year old was about to post a maiden league century, he edged the erratic Barraclough behind to Jed Whittington to depart for 97 (111 balls, 15 fours).

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The Otters’ innings then lost momentum with Barraclough (3-60) soon ending Jody Clements’ three boundary cameo before pacy youngster, Rhys Davies (3-34) claimed three late scalps as the home side closed on 256-9.

Whittington (9) fell victim to an impressive opening spell from teenager Ollie Reed (1-18) which saw the opener held by brother, Matt in the gully. O’Halloran used the first of four lives as he was dropped at the wicket by Billy Reed off Clements. However, the former Otters’ skipper was delivering an accurate spell and the visitors struggled to break the shackles before Laurie Thomas (26) edged Clements behind with the total on 79 in the 23rd over.

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O’Halloran survived as second chance to reach fifty (eight fours) but Mark Batey (17) soon suffered the agony of being run out backing up and Alfie Bellworthy (4) spliced a lifter from Rob Johns to Matt Reed in the gully to leave Uplyme at 131-4.

The visitors were slipping well behind the clock and when O’Halloran’s luck ran out at 72 as he was well held in the deep by Ollie Reed off Johns (2-38), all hope of victory was effectively extinguished. However, Steve Batey was not going down without a fight and the all-rounder completed a fine afternoon’s work as, in the company of Mark Brimacombe (11*), he powered his way to 50 off just 35 balls (six fours, two sixes) as the visitors came up 38 runs short on 218-5.

Ottery St Mary 256-9 (B Rudolph 97, M Wilkinson 64, R Crabb 22, R Davies 3-34, P Barraclough 3-60) Uplyme & Lyme Regis 218-5 (R O’Halloran 72, S Batey 54*, L Thomas 26, R Johns 2-38) Ottery St Mary (17pts) bt Uplyme & Lyme Regis (9pts) by 38 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – Billy Rudolph

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