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Search for new cup sponsor starts now

One for all: Bailey’s Bay players before taking the field for the Belco Cup final at Lord’s (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Belco made its final donations to local cricket through the popular early-season competition that features the leading clubs from the previous campaign, with Bailey’s Bay receiving a winner’s cheque yesterday for $1,500 and the trophy to keep.

Now the search begins by the Bermuda Cricket Board to find a new title sponsor for the competition, which will be marking its 30th anniversary next year after starting in 1987 as the Premier Cup.

Bay appeared in that first final at Wellington Oval, losing to Devonshire Recreation Club, but at the weekend they brought the Belco Cup to an exciting end with a 31-run victory over St David’s in a match reduced to 30 overs a side because of rain.

Nyrobi Carmichael received a cheque for $300 after being voted man of the match for his three-wicket haul, which helped to restrict St David’s to 96 all out after being set 128 to win.

St David’s were presented with a cheque for $1,000 as runners-up, while losing semi-finalists Southampton Rangers and Cleveland each received $500.

Belco also presented a cheque for $1,858 from gate receipts to the BCB for the National Youth Academy, as well as $3,000 to the BCB to assist with the cost of organising the event.

“Belco have made a fantastic contribution; they put a lot into the event,” Neil Speight, the BCB chief executive officer, said.

“It created a good band of visibility so I’m hoping people can recognise there is value to be had, and as of now we’re looking to see if we can find a new partner.

“We weren’t going to start looking for anyone until we made sure this would be the best Belco Cup we could have. Belco have supported cricket for 14 years and will be sorely missed.

“For all that you have done thank you very much,” Speight told Denton Williams, the chief operating officer at Belco.

Speight added: “The event has to be preserved and it is important for the clubs as they try to finish in the top four.

“It’s always good cricket and the players get up for it. Bailey’s Bay, who haven’t won it that often, were really excited and had a motorcade after the game on a Sunday night, which shows how much value it is to the players.”

Appearing in only their second Belco Cup final, Bay followed their win in 2012, also against St David’s, with an impressive team performance to send out an early warning that they intend to be the team to beat this season.

“It’s in our hands to win some silverware this year, that’s the goal,” Irving Romaine, the Bay coach, said. “We’re just enjoying our cricket at Bailey’s Bay, the vibe is nice, the new players have fit in well and enjoy coming to training.

“I had my gear to play if it went down to a Twenty20 because we don’t really clear the boundaries like some of the other teams.

“So I had my gear in a chance that it went down to lower overs. In the shorter version I was prepared to play, but realistically there is no need with the way the guys are performing.

“With Tre Manders to come back and if Delray [Rawlins] gets a break and comes home, we have enough, so there is no need for me to play.”

St David’s have played in the previous five Belco Cup finals, but won only once despite playing at home.

“We call it our jinx trophy because the other trophies we’ve won many times,” OJ Pitcher, the St David’s captain, said. “When it comes to this, the Belco Cup, we make it to the final just about every year, but we don’t finish the job and that is something we have to work on. Somebody else taking over might be our lucky charm.”