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Third time is a charm for Western Stars

Hopes dashed: Young took four wickets at St John’s Field(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Western Stars clinched the First Division championship and with it automatic promotion to the top tier next season after edging past Devonshire Recreation Club in a nailbiter at St John’s Field yesterday.

Stars beat their Central Counties rivals by 12 runs in a low-scoring affair that went right down to the wire.

Temiko Wilson, the wicketkeeper, struck 52 from 91 balls, and Brian Hall, the Stars captain, 33 from 31 balls before the home side were skittled out for a paltry total in 43.1 overs.

But any thoughts the visiting side had of inflicting a first defeat of the season upon Stars were dashed as seam bowlers Makai Young and Rohan Davis claimed seven wickets between them to help Stars to victory.

“All season we have made hard work of our matches,” Wendell Smith, the Stars coach, said. “We’ve had too many games where our batting has failed and we had to depend on our bowling and fielding like we did today.”

Stars wrapped up the title and automatic promotion spot available with two games to spare, leaving Devonshire and St George’s to battle it for the promotion play-off berth.

“I am very happy for Western Stars because they have been threatening to come up two years in a row and had to play that play-off game and lost,” Smith added. “I am very happy for our spectators. We have a core group of spectators that have been coming out every week and some of them even watch our training and I am happy.

“The truth about this team is they have probably worked as hard as any team I have ever coached. We went to the Athletic Club and worked out prior to the season and they worked really, really hard.”

Devonshire sent Stars into bat and gained early control as the home side slumped to 38 for three.

Hall and Wilson added 54 runs for the fourth wicket to halt the slide before the former was caught down the ground attempting to smash Levar Talbot outside.

Wilson carried on the fight in Hall’s absence, bringing up his half-century off 87 balls and adding a further 43 runs for the fifth wicket with Justin Robinson.

Robinson departed in the 34th over and his dismissal triggered another collapse with Stars last six wickets tumbling for 19 runs in 9.1 overs.

Phillip Thomas, the Devonshire off spinner, was the catalyst for the lower-order slide as he claimed four wickets in his second spell after being brought back into the attack at the start of the 34th over.

Thomas had figures of four for 31 while Burt and Talbot seized two wickets each. Chris Douglas had a superb day in the field, taking four catches and claiming a wicket.

Devonshire found themselves in early trouble in reply as first-change bowler Young picked up four wickets in quick succession to reduce the visiting side 31 for four in the thirteenth over.

Talbot featured in two middle-order partnerships that kept Devonshire’s victory hopes alive, adding 19 for the fifth wicket with Ajuan Lamb and a further 45 runs for the sixth with Sean DeGraff.

But Stars regained the upper hand when fifth-change bowler Davis was brought into the attack in the 30th over and claimed two wickets in as many balls to place himself on a hat-trick.

Davis bowled Talbot, who faced 57 balls for his 22 runs that included two fours, and Ajai Daniels for a duck with successive deliveries but was denied a hat-trick after incoming batsman Dennis Williams got off the mark with a single down to third man.

Williams, who was dropped off the bowling of Naquan Smith early in his innings, led Devonshire’s lower-order fightback that brought the visitors within sight of victory.

The tailender scored 34 from 51 balls, adding 24 runs for the last wicket with Burt before he was last man out.

Young took four for 39 and Davis three for 12.


Western Stars v Devonshire Recreation Club

St John’s Field (Devonshire won toss): Western Stars beat Devonshire Rec by 12 runs

Western Stars

M Young b Burt 6

Swayne Campbell c Douglas b Williams 12

W Campbell c Brangman b Burt 5

*B Hall c Lamb b Talbot 33

†T Wilson c Williams b Thomas 52

J Robinson c Douglas b Thomas 18

R Davis c Douglas b Thomas 2

J Smith c Douglas b Thomas 0

J Manders b Thomas 2

Seth Campbell not out 4

N Smith c Brangman b Douglas 3

Extras (b 2, lb 7, w 12) 17

Total (43.1 overs) 154

Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-24, 3-38, 4-92, 5-135, 6-144, 7-144, 8-145, 9-154

Bowling: Burt 7-2-16-2; Maronie 4 0-17-0; DeGraff 2-0-19-0; Williams 5-0-28-1; Thomas 10-1-37-4; Douglas 8.1-3-21-1; Talbot 7-1-17-2


C Douglas b Young 15

P Thomas lbw b Young 9

†*R Brangman lbw b Young 2

A Lamb b Manders 6

L Caines b Young 0

L Talbot b Davis 22

S DeGraff lbw b Hall 21

A Daniels b Daniels 0

D Williams c N Smith b Robinson 34

J Maronie b Davis 0

W Burt not out 4

Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 23, nb 4) 29

Total (43.4 overs) 142

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-30, 3-31, 4-31, 5-50, 6-95, 7-95, 8-111, 9-118

Bowling: Seth Campbell 6-0-25-0; Hall 10-1-25-1; Young 10-1-39-4; N Smith 5-1-18-0; Manders 3-0-11-1; Swayne Campbell 3-1-10-0; Davis 6-1-12-3; Robinson 0.4-0-2-1

Umpires: R Dill and J McKirdy