Shaw reflects on Alphington's promotion prospects

ALPHINGTON skipper Stuart Shaw has had time for reflection after the 86-run defeat by Uplyme, which cost his side second place in the table.

Shaw has been positive all season about Alphington promotion prospects – and until Saturday felt long-time leaders Ottery St Mary were catchable.

Now the gap is 39 points between Ottery at the top and Alphington in third, Shaw has had to have a rethink.

“I thought we were the second-best team in the division, but maybe not?” said Shaw.

“Uplyme had a couple of better players than the last time we played them and did a pretty good job on us.

“You look back at the game and see things that could have gone differently, such as Richard O’Halloran making 41 when he could have been given out third ball.

“We had them 32 for three, had a good shout turned down and O’Halloran put on 50 with Mark Batey to get them back in the game.

“We were 30 for two, 50 for three and 60 for four – which leaves a lot to do chasing 212 to win.

“Did we go for it a bit too hard? Possibly. We certainly didn’t bat to our best.

“Uplyme are ahead of us now, but it is only 11 points which we can still get back.”

Mark Batey (59), O’Halloran (41) and Steve Batey (37) were Uplyme’s main scorers.

Ashley Green took four wickets and Tom Bath two.

Apart from Mark Porter (41) and Dave Haysom (27) there wasn’t a lot of stickability from the Alphington batters.

O’Halloran (3-15), Ollie Lee (3-30) and Ashley Caddy (2-32) bowled out Alphington for 125.

Alphington visit Barnstaple & Pilton this Saturday, but will be almost as interested in the outcome of the game between Ottery and Uplyme.

SHALDON skipper Mark Couch remains optimistic his side won’t get sucked into a relegation dog fight.

Table-topping Ottery St Mary registered a comfortable six-wicket win over Shaldon after holding them to 220 for nine.

Defeat leaves Shaldon three off the bottom of the table, 29 points clear of the second drops spot, with six games to go

Couch said he was struggling to work out why his side are finding wins hard to come by this season.

He feels there are enough opportunities in the last third of the season to climb away from danger.

“We have finished with Ottery (2nd), but still have Alphington (3rd)and Uplyme (2nd) to play,” said Couch.

“Apart from that we play teams around us – Filleigh, Feniton, Clyst Hydon and Barnstaple – and we ought to be able to win enough of those to be safe.

“Unlike most sides we get stronger in the second half of the season as players come back. I am not worried – we will be fine.”

Karl Blackburn played his shots from the start in a stand of 51 for the first wicket with George Thomas.

Thomas batted most of the way through the Shaldon innings,finishing with 80 and sharing in further stands of 47 with Todd Ballman and 50 with Mark Couch (31).

Kevin Kelly (2-42) and Jody Clements (2-19) were Ottery’s leading wicket takers.

Ottery opener Dan Flower set his side on course to win by making 102. His stand of 83 with Billy Rudolph (22) set the tone and was followed by 50 with Rob Crabb and 45 with Jack Pritchard.

Pritchard (48) took Ottery the rest of the way there.

On a  quiet day for the Shaldon bowlers, Couch had a tidy two for 38.

FENITON will hope to take the spoils off Kentisbeare this Saturday after a 40-run defeat by Barnstaple & Pilton dropped them down to seventh.

Brady Saunders (41) and Lee Cole (41) were the prime run getters in a total of 207 for six.

Fenton were all out for 167. No one made more than Adam Ramcharran (35) and skipper Alex Frankpitt (30).

CLYST Hydon cruised to a five-wicket win over Filleigh which keeps them in with a chance of making the promotion play-offs.

Filleigh were all out for 145. Ryan Bowden made 73, Clyst Hydon chucked in 30 extras and there was very little from the rest of the batsmen.

Clint Lewis was the pick of the bowlers with four for 15. Dhanuja Haturusingha and Ian Sutton claimed two wickets each.

Hydon got to 66 for two – Sutton (29) and Chris Holmes (33) in the runs – then Hatursingha (31) and Lewis (13) pretty well finished the job.

Hydon are away to struggling Shaldon Optimists this Saturday.

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