Youngsters shine as Otters triumph

Emerging young talent was very much to the fore as Ottery St Mary 2nd XI secured a terrific victory on their visit to high-flying Thorverton.

Emerging young talent was very much to the fore as Ottery St Mary 2nd XI secured a terrific victory on their visit to high-flying Thorverton.

A characteristically composed innings from 15-year-old opener George Biggs formed the basis of a reasonable total for the visitors, after which a wonderful spell of leg spin bowling from Devon under-13 starlet Sam Loud was pivotal in skittling the Thors.

Having been put in, the Otters were given a sound start by Biggs, and experienced partner Barry Flicker, the pair posting a steady 48-run stand in 17 overs before Flicker (26) fell to wily old fox Mike Denford.

Biggs and Ollie Mann then fashioned an excellent 77-run partnership, the former using his feet particularly well and the latter gradually imposing himself with some typically powerful blows.

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Biggs eventually fell two runs short of his half century as he drove Andrew Worthly to mid-on.

Mann (35) and skipper Gavin Iley (6) were soon both trapped lbw, but a good stand between Loud and Sam Lynch (23) boosted the total to 163 before the latter, having produced some delightful cover drives, yorked himself against seamer Simon Manning.

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The Otters' tail then edged the total up to a slightly below par 189, Manning claiming 4-61, although, for the umpteenth time in his long career, Denford (1-31 from 13 overs) was the most impressive of the home bowlers.

The Thors' reply suffered a disastrous start as mortified skipper Alan Birmingham (4) was run out in a comical mix-up, but a good partnership between Paul Fielder and Matt Millward (21) took the score to 57 before left armer Will Harrison produced a fine leg cutter which the latter edged behind to Alex Clements.

The home side's middle order was then blown away by the hugely promising Loud, who was extracting considerable turn and bounce from a dry track.

Shortly after, Fielder (35) hit a full toss to Keith Biggs at long on, Loud quickly snared two more victims and, when John Morgan was run out, the Thors found themselves at 91-6 in the 22nd over.

Manning was squared up by Loud as he edged to gully and Lynch then took a brilliant catch at point to remove Worthly (5) off Harrison.

Newcomer John Phillips chipped in with his first two wickets for the Otters to mop up the tail as the Salston Field outfit cruised to a fine victory.

Experienced paceman Keith Biggs reflected on a satisfying day for the Otters. He commented: "After a slightly wayward start, it was a disciplined performance and young Sam Loud certainly made the most of the conditions. We conceded too many extras, but we've just beaten the team who are third in the league".

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