Top order culpable in Otters’ first defeat
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary 1st XI paid a heavy price for a poor display from their top order batsmen as they tasted their first defeat of the season in last weekend’s derby clash with visiting Feniton, writes Ian Townsend.
After spin twins, Matt Reed and Alex Thurgate delivered excellent spells to limit the visitors to a below par total, a series of soft dismissals saw the Otters slump in reply and, despite a battling display from the lower order, Feniton held their nerve to claim a deserved victory.
Feniton were given a useful start by Graham Tucker (24) and Mark Salter who cashed in on a number of loose deliveries to post a 51-run stand in 12 overs before the former fell to a fine catch by Lewis Townsend at second slip off teenage paceman, Ollie Reed. Despite Mark Kingdon (6) edging Jody Clements behind to Billy Reed, Salter continued to flourish as the score passed 100 in the 24th over. The introduction of an all spin attack changed the contest as Thurgate and Matt Reed went on to claim five scalps between them. Salter (55 with nine fours) played across the line to be trapped lbw by Matt Reed before Canadian all-rounder Adam Ramcharran (26) struck some powerful blows but holed out to Jack Pritchard at deep mid-wicket off Thurgate (2-35). Matt Reed (3-30) trapped Ben Allen (13) lbw whilst both Jon Pyle (2) and Andrew Rose (2) fell to catches in the outfield. However, Alex Frankpitt was playing beautifully, timing the ball well all around the wicket and despite losing Jamie Baker to a Sam Lynch run out, he reached 45 (five fours, one six) before holing out off Clements (3-43) who soon trapped Matt Davies (0) lbw to limit Fenny to a gettable-looking 210 all out.
The Ottery reply was soon in deep trouble as four of the top five departed to poor shots. Townsend (7) miscued a drive off Kingdon to Jon Pyle at mid-off and Rob Crabb (4) was castled by a fine delivery from the same bowler to leave the Otters at 27-2.
However, with Billy Reed timing the ball delightfully, the score passed 50 in the eighth over before Pritchard (17) half-heartedly drove veteran left arm spinner, Fran Pyle to Kingdon in the covers. Lynch (3) then carelessly gloved Kingdon (4-36) behind to Salter and when the medium pacer induced Billy Reed (20) to weakly guide the ball to Fran Pyle at gully, Ottery were in the self-inflicted mire at 60-5. Spirited resistance from the lower order saved the league leaders from complete embarrassment.
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Thurgate showed real application as 43 were added with Rob Johns (28) before the latter was trapped lbw by Davies who also induced Clements (3) to slice to Rose who took a fine tumbling catch at backward point. Matt Reed (21) drove the ball beautifully as a further 34 were added before he fell to an involuntary stumping by Salter off Davies (3-28).
The same combination accounted for Ollie Reed (2) and after Harrison’s late cameo was ended at 12 by Jon Pyle, Thurgate was left stranded on a brave 48 not out (86 balls, six fours) as the Otters came up 23 runs short.
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Feniton 210 (M Salter 55, A Frankpitt 45, A Ramcharran 26, G Tucker 24, M Reed 3-30, J Clements 3-43, A Thurgate 2-35) Ottery St Mary 187 (A Thurgate 48*, R Johns 28, M Reed 21, B Reed 20, M Kingdon 4-36, M Davies 3-28). Feniton (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (9pts) by 23 runs.
Otters Man of the Match – Alex Thurgate