Cannonier returns to rejuvenate St David’s
George Cannonier has returned as coach of St David’s and is hoping to restore some unity in the team as they get set to begin the defence of their Eastern Counties title next month.
A rift within the team led to the resignation of captain Chris Douglas after their Twenty20 Premier Division loss to Bailey’s Bay on June 8, while Kameron Fox was also replaced last week, as head coach with Cannonier returning to the post he gave up last season.
Neither Douglas nor George O’Brien played in the weekend matches against Flatts and Southampton Rangers. Justin Pitcher took over the captaincy of the Twenty20 team, with veteran Lionel Cann set to lead the team in 50 overs play.
“I felt my services were needed with the coaching again,” said Cannonier who has stepped down as cricket chairman. “Things weren’t sorted out with the coaching from the beginning and the management thought it was time to straighten it out.
“Kameron and I are still helping each other; you need more than one coach anyway in modern cricket. I wasn’t happy with the way things were going.
“I don’t know if it was a coaching issue or what, but when we sorted things out, we found there was a lot of disruption between the players, arguing on the field. It came down to Chris resigning and when George was overlooked [for captain] he stopped playing.”
St David’s, the Twenty20 champions, suffered their third loss in six games in that competition when they lost to Southampton Rangers on Sunday, all but ending their chance of retaining that title. “St David’s have lost so many players in the past and we’re still able to perform at a high level,” Cannonier pointed out.
“Even with the two players missing, we still put up a pretty good battle against Southampton and had an unfortunate loss. I have watched every game [this season] and a lot of things have happened that I didn’t agree with and just thought maybe I should come back and see if I can help out.”
St David’s, who are hosting the Eastern Counties series this summer, will meet Bailey’s Bay in the first round on July 20. They have beaten Bay twice this season, in both the 50-overs and T20 competitions.
“Some things happened during that [Bay] game that were unnecessary and management thought they had to do something about it, being that it is so close to the Eastern Counties,” Cannonier revealed. “This has given us a chance to rebuild, to get some youth in there. When I look back, I think it is amazing that with the calibre of players we have lost in the past that we’re still able to perform pretty high. I always try to be optimistic about our performances, we’re very competitive but need to play more together as a team.
“That was the problem, players were bickering and bringing each other down. You can’t be successful if you’re going to do that.”
Cannonier is not sure if Douglas or O’Brien will rejoin the team this season, with Douglas’s spot in the Cup Match team depending on his playing. “It would be nice if he had a change of heart but the word I’m getting is he’s not going to play,” Cannonier stated.
“I’m just hoping he changes his mind, both of them because we’ll be more a force with those two playing. We still have a good nucleus. I think we’ll be ready [for county].
“Kameron has been a big help and I’m hoping he hangs in there because the coaching has been passed down some time. I would like to hand it down because next year I don’t think I’ll be involved. Our main goal this season is to retain the Eastern Counties trophy.”
n Tre Manders scored 44 and Ricardo Brangman 37 as Southampton Rangers beat St David’s by three wickets in their Twenty20 match on Sunday at Southampton Oval.
St David’s scored 160 for seven before Rangers replied with 161 for seven, with just three balls to spare. Manders, who came to the crease at 42-4 in the fifth over, faced 45 balls and hit three fours and two sixes. Brangman faced 28 balls for his 37, hitting a four and three sixes as the pair added 61 for the fifth wicket to bring up the hundred in the 13th over.
Deunte Darrell then scored a valuable 17 not out before Jaloni Albuoy scored the winning runs in the final over, a four and a single. Captain Dion Stovell scored 24 from four fours and a six as opener, Justin Pitcher, the St David’s captain, claimed two for 26 for St David’s.
Earlier, St David’s were led in the batting by 43 from Allan Douglas, 37 from Macai Simmons and 35 from opener Lionel Cann who put on 46 for the first wicket in 5.4 overs with Delyone Borden (25).
Cann hit three sixes and three fours off 22 balls while Douglas faced 22 balls for his 43, hitting three fours and four sixes.
Simmons and Douglas put on 63 for the third wicket in just six overs, with Simmons facing 35 balls and hitting four fours and two sixes.
Malachi Jones took two for 30 and Stovell two for 25 for Rangers. Lamont Brangman gave up just 12 runs off three overs late in the St David’s innings, taking one wicket.