Sloppy Otters well beaten at Braunton
- Credit: Archant
The long trip to North Devon proved to be a fruitless one for Ottery St Mary 1st XI as they were comprehensively beaten by Braunton, writes Ian Townsend.
After a depleted Otters batting line up had shown a collective lack of application to post a modest total, a patchy bowling display allowed the home side to cruise to victory with no less than 17 overs to spare.
After losing the toss, the visitors suffered an early setback when Alex Clements (1) miscued Mark Russell to Phil James at mid-wicket.
Unable to run properly between the wickets due to an ankle injury, Aussie overseas Ollie West attacked from the off, but when a loose shot off Callum Mitchell terminated his five boundary innings at 29 and Russell produced a good one to castle Dan Flower (5), the Otters were struggling at 35-3.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals with Russell claiming 3-41, Mitchell 3-22 and James Kemp pouching three catches behind the wicket.
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When Martin Smith (1-19) trapped Sam Brook lbw for a duck, Ottery had slipped to 63-7 before the tail enders put the top order to shame by more than doubling the total. Joe Birch (21 not out from 40 balls) showed real grit in first adding 31 with teenager, George Mutter (9), then 40 with skipper Will Harrison (18 with four fours) before the latter was bowled by Dan Brierley (2-1).
When the same bowler then castled debutant Jack Dallyn (1), the Otters had been skittled for a wholly inadequate 135.
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As Braunton replied the visitors were given early hope when first Harrison induced Mitchell (18) to offer a catch to Tom Jeacock, then Flower clutched a fine catch at second slip to send back Russell (4) off the impressive Birch.
However, from 30-2 the North Devon side were manoeuvred into the box seat by Joe Baglow and Alec Hodges (21) who compiled a largely untroubled 56 run stand in 11 overs before the latter was pinned lbw by Brook.
One bright spot for the visitors was an impressive spell by 17-year-old leg spinner, Dallyn who clutched a return catch to remove Baglow (32 with six fours) but from 101-4, Braunton were guided to a comfortable win by Aussie, Ben Whittey (20*) and James (10*).
Birch (1-32) and Dallyn (1-22) were comfortably the pick of the bowlers but overall the visiting attack delivered an eye watering 28 wides and, coupled with a poor batting display, this was day to forget for Harrison's men.
On Saturday (May 25) Ottery will look to bounce back when they entertain an Exeter 2nd XI side that sit second bottom of the early season table, three points and three places below the Otters.
Ottery St Mary 135 (O West 29, J.Birch 21*, C Mitchell 3-22, M Russell 3-41, D Brierley 2-1) Braunton 136-4 (J Baglow 32, A Hodges 21, B Whittey 20*). Braunton (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (5pts) by 6 wkts.
Otters Man of the Match - Joe Birch