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Creighton leaves with Cleveland’s blessing

Off to UK: Creighton with Minors before flying to England

Cleveland County have lost the services of another player with young spin bowler Isaiah Creighton joining Alleyn Cricket Club in Division Five of the Surrey Championship.

The 17-year-old will be in England until September, but could return to the island should Cleveland reach the final of the Eastern Counties on August 27 against Bailey’s Bay.

Cleveland have been hit by the departure of Allan Douglas Jr and Treadwell Gibbons Jr, but Creighton, one of the top youngsters at Cleveland, has left with the club’s backing.

Dean Minors, the former St George’s wicketkeeper, set up the opportunity for Creighton who flew out on Wednesday and could play in his first match this weekend.

“It’s a great opportunity for him, he’ll get some good coaching and develop a different mindset,” Carlton Smith, the team’s president, said.

“I just told Clay [Smith] that with the players we lost Isaiah would have been a key player for us this season.

“He was a colt in the Counties last season, enjoyed it and was looking forward to more, but in the big picture he has many years of cricket left.”

Creighton’s last game for Cleveland was against Bay in the Belco Cup last weekend when he claimed three wickets for 34 runs.

“He was instrumental in us bowling Bay out for under 200 [188], ending up with three wickets,” Smith said. “He’s a leg spinner and that’s rare, but the key for him is his control. He rarely bowls a full toss or long hop.

“He’s seizing the opportunity and we told him Bermuda will be here when he comes back. It will be up to him, if he likes it we’ll try to get him into school out there. This has been in the works since March.”

Cleveland meet Bay again this weekend in their first home match at Wellington Oval.

Smith is looking forward to the return of overseas-based players Damali Bell and Keishun Smith, who played last season and is now eligible for the Eastern Counties.

Bay have beaten Cleveland twice already this season, in the Twenty20 semi-finals and Belco Cup semi-finals.

“We’re starting off against the two favourites to win the league, St David’s and now Bay,” Smith said.

Cleveland’s goal is to avoid finishing in the bottom two places in the league, with the basement side being relegated and the side immediately above playing in a play-off match against the second-place team in the First Division.

Southampton Rangers, the defending champions, will be searching for their first league win when they host Western Stars on Sunday while Willow Cuts take on St David’s at Somerset Cricket Club, still searching for their first win of the season.

Tomorrow’s First Division match between Somerset Cricket Club and Warwick Workmen’s Club has been rescheduled for June 18.

• The Warrington “Soup” Zuill Masters Twenty20 League will start on June 24 at Somerset Cricket Club with a match between Woodgate’s Keepers and Soup’s Sportsmen at 7pm.

Two more matches will be held the next day at St David’s, with Lloyd’s Drivers playing Tubby’s Legends at 2pm and Butler’s Spinners taking on Bummy’s Skippers at 5.30pm.

The final is scheduled for September 24 at Sea Breeze Oval.

Players competing in the league are asked to contact organiser Hoyt Zuill at 504-4698 or 236-0589 with their shirt sizes and registration fees.