Terrific Tierney ton is in losing cause

Ottery St Mary 2nds played Exeter 3rds at the weekend. Zac Johns jumps in to acction. Ref shsp 8024-

Ottery St Mary 2nds played Exeter 3rds at the weekend. Zac Johns jumps in to acction. Ref shsp 8024-24-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

It takes a player of some considerable ability to influence the course of a cricket match in order to maximise the opportunity for inexperienced young team mates to develop their skills, writes Ian Townsend.

In skipper John Tierney, Ottery St Mary 3rd XI have that man. The former Devon all-rounder frequently appears well down the order to allow young batsmen as much time as possible at the crease but when his overwhelmingly teenage side are struggling, despite being in the autumn of his career, Tierney can still bring to bear his phenomenal ball striking skills to change the course of a contest. Last weekend’s clash with Bridestowe was a case in point. With the Otters having lost six wickets and overs running out, Tierney posted a blistering century in just 41 scoring strokes. Although the Otters ultimately slipped to a narrow defeat, the skipper’s blitz once again ensured that vital bowling and fielding experience was gained by his young charges.

Tim Shaw (2-20) plunged the Otters into early trouble as he claimed the wickets of Richard Kitzinger (2) and Anthony Dean (16) as the visitors slipped to 12-3 and then 59-5. However, a Tierney family stand of 75 in just 10 overs between father, John and son, Luke (24) began a recovery which was continued by John Tierney and Tom Jeacock who added a further 72. Tierney’s incredible display of hitting saw him reach three figures in just 52 balls with one seven, six sixes, one five and five fours before he departed for exactly 100, courtesy of a catch in the deep by Ron Dennis off Eddie Pritchard. 211-9 put the visitors in with a shout.

Jeacock gave Ottery an early boost by bowling Dan Jopling (5) and the youngster went on to come within a whisker of a hat trick as he claimed an excellent 3-33. However, Mark Jopling (51) posted a solid half century as 69 were added with Mike Dennis (34) and despite good spells from George Mutter (2-19) and Sam Bowyer-Thornton, Bridestowe claimed a deserved victory with six overs to spare.

Ottery St Mary 3rd XI 211-9 (J Tierney 100, L Tierney 24, T Shaw 2-20, L Jutson 2-21, E Pritchard 2-35) Bridestowe 212-7 (M Jopling 51, T Shaw 38, M Dennis 34, A Jopling 27, T Jeacock 3-33, G Mutter 2-19). Bridestowe (19pts) bt Ottery St Mary (8pts) by 3 wkts.

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