St David’s crush East End rivals to claim league title
St David’s, 132 for one, beat St George’s, 131 all out, by nine wicketsSt David’s skipper Delyone Borden hailed his team-mates as they saw off St George’s by nine wickets at Lords to take back their 50-over league title in fine style from Southampton Rangers.
But it was a miserable day for their East End rivals who were relegated as a result of the defeat.
St David’s headed into the final weekend of the league campaign with a six-point lead over Bailey’s Bay whose match against Willow Cuts at Sea Breeze Oval was abandoned.
Having lost their title last season to Rangers, the Islanders showed they are now the the best team in Bermuda with Borden acknowledging the impact of first-year coach Wendell Smith who was on the sidelines from the start of the season right to the end.
“It feels good to win the league but we made it a point to make a run at winning it back this year and my hat goes off to my team who produced an all-round performance today to secure the title,” said Borden.
“We have trained hard this year under our new coach, Wendell Smith, who has been putting us through our paces and not letting us get carried away with the title talk early on, so it feels like just reward for all the hard work we have put in.”
With both sides entering the day needing the win for different reasons, one would have thought that the match would be a tight affair. But it wasn’t to be as the league leaders turned the screws from the first ball.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat, St. George’s got off to a promising start with Clay Smith (30) and Richard Todd (49) putting on 36 for the first wicket before Smith departed and with him went their the hopes of grabbing a crucial win in their quest to avoid relegation.
Needing to get a victory along with enough bonus points that would see them overhaul Rangers for the third and final drop spot, St. George’s slumped to 121 all out in 45.4 over with extras (10) being the next highest score.
St David’s saw superb spells by Del Hollis, Loren Marshall, Samy Robinson and Borden, who all took two wickets apiece, restrict their rivals to a more than reachable target.
In reply, the hosts reached that target with minimal fuss, ending the game in 26.1 overs thanks in large part to Fiqre Crockwell who spearheaded the run chase with a solid knock of 67.
Crockwell hit eight fours and three sixes in his unbeaten knock.
Opener Borden carried his bat throughout the innings to remain unbeaten on 19 while fellow opener Ajuan Lamb scored 31 before being run out.
In the end it was more than enough to crush any hopes Bay might have had to win the league.
In what has been a long season for the newly crowned champions, Borden said he was pleased to see the fruits of his side’s hard work.
“It was always going to be about what we did in our game, we didn’t want to to worry about Bailey’s Bay and so forth, we knew that if we got a few bonus points on top of our win we would be ok, so our mindset from the beginning was to go and get our job done and not leave it to others to determine our future.
“We executed our plan well and in the end it feels good to have the title back down this way.
“It was always going to be hard against St George’s and they had everything to play for as well so it was always going to come down to who wanted the game more and executed in the crucial moments of the game.
“We all know each other and a few of them have taught us a thing or two over the years but we came out on top and we will enjoy this win and the day as we have been worth the title of champions.”
Willow Cuts and Southampton Rangers will join Bailey’s Bay and St David’s in next year’s BELCO Cup.