Sandford sent packing by rampant Otters

Luke Tierney bowling for Ottery at home to Hatherleigh. Ref shsp 29-16TI 4288. Picture: Terry Ife

Luke Tierney bowling for Ottery at home to Hatherleigh. Ref shsp 29-16TI 4288. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary 2nd XI bounced back from a trouncing in the Otter valley derby as they cruised to an impressive win over visitors, Sandford, writes Ian Townsend.

Players across a wide spectrum of ages made key contributions as Alex Clements’ men overcame an uncertain start with the bat to register a useful total, then produced a terrific bowling and fielding display to secure a vital maximum points return to boost their quest for safety in an extremely tight league.

Visiting seamers Brian Leach and Shaun Fryett delivered fine opening spells to put the Otters on the back foot at 22-2 from the opening 10 overs after Tom Jeacock (0) edged Fryett to Nigel Ashplant at slip and veteran Barry Flicker (4) was bowled by Leach.

The introduction of Greg Lewis eased the pressure, skipper Clements despatching three powerful boundaries, but after the change bowler induced an inside edge onto his stumps from Anthony Dean (11) and the dangerous Alex Tubbs (13) gave a return catch to Simon Saunders, Ottery were wobbling at 80-4. Enter the unflappable 14 year old, George Mutter who proceeded to play with a maturity beyond his years in a terrific 69 run stand with his captain.

Totally unfazed by the introduction of erratic paceman Freddie Filor, Mutter unleashed a series of delightfully timed shots all around the wicket to reach 35 from just 36 balls before falling victim to a brilliant direct hit run out from Fryett.

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However, with Clements taking toll of anything loose and old master Rob Bradshaw-Smith producing some typically elegant strokes, the score raced along until the Ottery skipper’s gritty knock ended at 67 (11 fours) as he miscued Ben Clement to short mid-wicket. Despite Clement (3-53) and Lewis (3-38) claiming two further wickets apiece, Bradshaw-Smith posted a hard hitting 42 not out from just 36 balls, including two big sixes, to guide his side to a competitive 210 all out.

The Sandford reply was plunged into complete disarray by teenage opening bowlers Jeacock and Tom Hinch. After old warhorse, Ashplant (7) played around a very full delivery from Hinch to be bowled. Jeacock’s terrific spell was rewarded with the scalps of Filor (4), who edged behind to Eddie Rudolph, and Leach (0) whose reckless drive was well held by Clements at extra cover. When Hinch (2-30) then trapped Rory Millar (6) lbw and Jeacock (3-37) exacted a similar fate on Chris Blake (35), Sandford had nose-dived to 35-5! Clement (24) briefly stemmed the tide with some fine drives including four boundaries in an over. However, the introduction of the ever-reliable Bradshaw-Smith ended the fun as a thick edge from a wild drive flew quickly to slip where Flicker held on well to complete a dismissal executed by team mates whose joint age is well into three figures! The introduction of Jack Webber prompted another collapse as three wickets fell in successive deliveries with score on 86. The pacey young left armer proved too sharp for Tom Gidney (10), who spliced an attempted pull back the bowler, after which Saunders (0) was comprehensively yorked and Matten (14) was bowled slogging at Luke Tierney. Brave last wicket resistance at least guided the visitors past the three figure mark, but when Lewis miscued a pull to Mutter at square leg off Webber (3-28), the Otters had claimed a superb 98-run triumph.

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Ottery St Mary 210 (A Clements 67, R Bradshaw-Smith 42*, G Mutter 35, G Lewis 3-38, B Clement 3-53) Sandford 112 (B Clement 24, T Jeacock 3-27, J Webber 3-28, T Hinch 2-30). Ottery St Mary (20pts) bt Sandford (7pts) by 98 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – George Mutter

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