Terrific Townsend can’t stop Ottery St Mary slipping to a fifth straight Francis Clark defeat
- Credit: Archant
Playing in the stunningly beautiful surroundings of Chagford Cricket Club on the edge of Dartmoor on a heavenly early summer’s day was scant consolation to the players of Ottery St Mary 1st XI as they slipped to their fifth successive defeat, writes Lewis Townsend.
The Salston Field side paid the penalty for firstly failing to capitalise on a magnificent 194-run second wicket stand between Lewis Townsend and John Tierney, then producing another wayward bowling display during which they conceded an implausible 50 extras!
On a ‘road’ of a wicket and a lighting fast outfield, after the early loss of Ed Fowler (0), Townsend and Tierney put a weak-looking home attack to the sword. Tierney despatched Del Lammonby for three fours in an over as the 50 arrived in the tenth over and the pair pressurised the home fielders with some great running between the wickets. Makeshift opener, Townsend, who was typically strong in the ‘V’, reached his 50 from 53 balls (five fours) and the 100 stand came up in the 17th over. Spinner Matt Bowes’s two overs were savaged for 31 runs, Tierney storming past 50 from 49 balls as the pair continued to flourish until the former Exmouth & Devon man aimed a slog at Duncan Manners-Chapman to be bowled for 88 (10 fours & two sixes). With a full 20 overs remaining, the Otters should have been looking at a total well in excess of 300, but after Townsend (110) reached a fine maiden league ton from just 101 balls, he edged Manners-Chapman behind to Dave Penberthy and the innings went into decline. No other Ottery batsman posted any kind of sizeable innings as a combination of accurate bowling from Manners-Chapman (5-29) and some loose shots saw the visitors post a disappointing 279-9 despite a late innings cameo from Will Harrison (13*).
Chagford were in early trouble in reply as Peter Holland (0) was castled by Mark Woodman and Paul Penberthy (8) was pouched off Harrison despite the left armer generally struggling for line and length. After Woodman claimed a further wicket, South African import Divan Marais teed off in impressive fashion, plundering some loose bowling to all parts to reach a very rapid 50 (11 fours). Despite Marais (88) holing out to Alex Thurgate at deep mid-wicket off a high full toss from Townsend, experienced Chagford skipper Lammonby took control, unleashing a series of crashing pulls and drives to register a blistering unbeaten 97 from just 74 balls (15 fours and a six) against some decidedly ordinary bowling.
The Dartmoor side reached their sizeable target with four overs remaining and for the Otters, next weekend’s clash with second from bottom Clyst St George now assumes huge significance – defeat would open up a considerable gap between Ottery and the third from bottom side whilst a first victory of the season would probably see them leapfrog Clyst and at last get their season on the road.
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Ottery St Mary 279-9 (L.Townsend 110, J.Tierney 88, D.Manners-Chapman 5-29, D.Lammonby 3-43) Chagford 280-8 (D.Lammonby 97*, D.Marais 88, M.Woodman 3-52, W.Harrison 3-57, L.Townsend 2-40). Chagford (19pts) bt Ottery St Mary (9pts) by 2 wkts.
Otters Man of the Match – Lewis Townsend
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