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Bay seek quick end to St David’s reign

Bailey's Bay will bank on a four-prong seam attack as they attempt to make the St David's reign as new champions as short as possible on Saturday in the Eastern Counties final at Sea Breeze Oval.

The Bay selectors named three colts on Wednesday night, with seam bowlers Malachi Jones, Zeko Burgess and Nyhrobi Carmichael coming in to partner Kyle Hodsoll, their main strike bowler, whose seven wickets for 42 runs last weekend against Western Stars earned him this week's Logic Premier Division Player of the Week award.

Carmichael's selection is a dream come true for the 18-year-old, who was the man of the match when Bay beat St David's in the final of the Belco Cup in May. He claimed three for 24 as Bay defended their 127 for nine in a match reduced to 30 overs because of rain. St David's scored just 96.

Another seam bowler, Lateef Trott, just missed out on selection after recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up against St David's in a league match last month. Trott trained this week, but the lack of matches this season worked against him.

“I feel sorry for Lateef who hasn't played much all season, then got injured,” Rodney Trott, the Bay captain, said. “He's been one of our best bowlers in the counties over the last couple of years.

“It took us a little time [to pick the team], we had an idea what we wanted but there are always three or four spots up for grabs. Everybody wants to play but this is one game, it's not like we have the cup. It's a well-balanced team, but on the day the guys have to come up with the goods.”

Trott marks his second anniversary as Bay captain this week, after taking over from Stephen Outerbridge following their rain-affected second-round draw in 2014 against Cleveland. He would love to take the cup back from St David's, just two weeks after George O'Brien was presented with the 100-year-old trophy by Leon “Spider” Blakeney, the oldest surviving Eastern Counties player.

“The team on paper means nothing, it's about performance on the day,” Trott said. “But if we get it right I think we can upset St David's.”

While Bay have home, St David's, the holders, have the luxury of being able to take a more cautious approach. However, the most important factor of all could be the weather, with rain in the forecast for the weekend when the two teams meet twice in title-deciding matches.

On Sunday, the battle switches to Lord's when St David's, who hold a 21-point lead over Bay with two games remaining in the Premier Division, could wrap-up the Premier Division title.

Both teams won't look past Saturday's clash, however, with the Bay players watching as St David's pulled off an unlikely one-wicket win over the champions Cleveland in probably the most exciting match of the season. “I thought it was a very good game, a game that could have gone either way,” Rodney Trott said. “Cleveland, after scoring just 145 runs, brought themselves right back into the game, and I thought they should have won. I thought they got a couple of things wrong when they were bowling.”

Bay have lost to St David's in their past two league outings, but form will go out the door when these two rivals meet. They last played each other in the counties in 2013 when Bailey's Bay, then the champions, were dethroned after being bowled out for just 89. St David's reached their target with the loss of four wickets.

The fans are anticipating another exciting match, if the weather holds up.

“It should be a good game, the best two teams on the island right now,” Trott said. “This is the match people were asking for. I'm not even looking at the weather channel, I'm just hoping it doesn't rain.

“If there is any rain it could be very hurtful for us, the people in Bay are up for it, they're up for it and everybody is excited. It's what we live for, we've trained all year for this, and if the weather plays a big part it will be hurtful.”

Neither team will have much time to celebrate on Saturday, for there is another important match to come on Sunday in the league.

“I told the guys yesterday if we win on Saturday we have to take it easy because Sunday's match is just as important,” the Bay captain said.

“We've got a chance to win every trophy and we have to make the most of it. This is a big weekend. It would be a reward for me, too, because my birthday is coming up in the next week.”

Missing out: Lateef Trott, left, has been one of Bay's most successful bowlers in past years (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 26, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 26, 2016 at 7:51 am)

Bay seek quick end to St David’s reign

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