Last title hurdle for St David’s
St David’s must beat Western Stars in their final league game of the season at Lord’s today to make certain of clinching the Logic Premier Division title.
The East Enders had their hopes of finishing the league season undefeated dashed after losing to Stars last month and suffered another setback last weekend, losing at home to Bailey’s Bay.
A win would have secured them the title with a game to spare. Both league defeats came a day after playing in the Eastern Counties.
St David’s hold an eight-point lead over second-place Bay. Their biggest threat could be the weather with more rain forecast for today.
Stars are safe in their first season back in the top flight. However, Stars will be without all-rounder Brian Hall, their hero during their win over St David’s, as he is in Canada with the Bermuda team, who lost their first match yesterday against a Canada High Performance team in Toronto by two wickets.
St David’s are without all-rounder Dion Stovell and seam bowler Cejay Outerbridge who are also on international duty.
Bay are also missing key players for their match against Willow Cuts at Somerset Cricket Club. Terryn Fray, the Bermuda captain in the absence of the injured OJ Pitcher, Zeko Burgess and Jordan Smith are also in Canada, although the depth in Bay’s squad should provide them with sufficient cover.
Cuts were relegated last weekend while Cleveland County, who play Southampton Rangers in the only Premier Division match tomorrow, will be involved in a play-off against either Flatts or St George’s to determine their fate for next season.
Somerset have clinched the automatic promotion spot, still seven points ahead of second-place Flatts who have finished their season.
St George’s are 11 points behind Flatts and play Somerset Bridge at White Hill field knowing a victory and a couple of bonus points will earn them a play-off spot.
However, Bridge cannot be taken lightly as they scored an impressive seven-wicket win over Devonshire Recreation Club last weekend.
“We’re not going to take Somerset Bridge lightly, they’re not just going to lie down,” Ryan Steede, the St George’s coach, said.
It has been an up and down season for St George’s, but they could still win a piece of silverware when they meet Somerset in next Sunday’s Twenty20 final, the day after the Premier Division play-off match.
“We’ve definitely got two important games left, possibly a third,” Steede said. “I’m just hoping my boys stay focused right to the end as there’s a lot to play for.
“We’ve had a couple of glitches along the way, I don’t think we’ve selected the same team twice in a row this season.
“Guys have been coming in and out of the team, but there have been a lot of positives this year.
“Our junior programme is up and running so that we can attract more children while the senior team has shown up this year, competing for promotion.”
Steede hopes Chris Foggo, his former Bermuda team-mate, will play a leading role in today’s match.
“It would be nice to see him finish off the season on a high, he had a good knock [38 not out] in the Eastern Counties [final],” Steede said.
St George’s youngster Okera Bascome will miss the match as he is in Toronto with the Bermuda team.
In tomorrow’s First Division matches, Warwick Workmen’s Club play Somerset at Southampton Oval while PHC take on Devonshire Recreation Club.
Somerset have three players in Toronto with Bermuda, captain Jordan DeSilva, Greg Maybury and Joshua Gilbert.
• The Masters Twenty20 matches scheduled for today at Somerset Cricket Club will pit Tubby’s Legends against Lloyd’s Drivers.
Soup’s Sportsmen, the league leaders, take on second-place Woodgate’s Keepers in the second match.
Sportsmen have eight points, with Keepers on six points, while Tubby’s Legends and Butler’s Spinners are tied on five points.
Bummy’s Skippers and Lloyd Drivers are still without a point at the bottom of the table.