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Bailey’s Bay face must-win clash already

Desperate times: Rodney Trott, Sinclair Smith and Stephen Outerbidge celebrate the first-ball dismissal of OJ Pitcher in the Twenty20 final, but there hasn’t been much for Bailey’s Bay to smile about at home so far this season (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Bailey’s Bay are desperate for a win to turn their season around after another home loss to Somerset on Sunday left them with two defeats and a rainout in the Premier Division.

Somerset, just promoted from the First Division, scored one of the biggest upsets of the early season when they came away with a hard-fought seven-wicket victory at Sea Breeze Oval, which used to be an intimidating place for visiting teams. Jordan DeSilva, the Somerset captain, led his team to victory with 106 not out after he and Joshua Gilbert, who made 45 not out, added 153 for the unbroken fourth wicket as they reached Bay’s modest 171 with 5.4 overs remaining.

Bay were expected to be the main challengers for the title, won by St David’s last season, but that scenario has not materialised. Now they desperately need a victory against Western Stars at home on Sunday if they are to mount a serious bid for the league, with St David’s already well ahead after three straight victories.

“That’s what happens when you lose a couple of games, the next team always feels like they have a chance of beating you,” said Rodney Trott, the Bay captain. “That’s exactly what took place. Somerset know the talent we have but on the day it is what takes place on the field.

“I thought Jordan and Joshua played one of the best innings that I’ve seen in a long time. I must give credit where credit’s due. I’ve seen Jordan’s batting blossom in the last year and I gave him all the encouragement and respect.

“It was a top innings, he got dropped once, when he was only on about ten, but after that he played a phenomenal innings, so hats off to him.”

Bay’s fortunes have changed since they lost a close Twenty20 final against St David’s at Sea Breeze Oval last month, with Southampton Rangers then handing them a three-wicket loss in their league opener. “The last two games have been disappointing, I sat off with the fellas on Sunday and we had a chat,” Trott said. “There are some little problems that we’re having that could eventually become a big problem if we don’t sort it out.

“The guys still have a positive attitude but, yes, we have started way behind the eight-ball. Like I told them: ‘it is up to us as to what we want to accomplish’. I told them last weekend that once we take a loss, our next game is just as hard as the game before. It’s up to us if we want to fix it.”

The likes of Terryn Fray, Stephen Outerbridge and Trott have not been consistent with the bat, with Malachi Jones being used as an opener. Tre Govia scored a valuable 27 at No 6 while Derrick Brangman chipped in with another valuable knock of 34 in the middle order. He then led the bowling with three early wickets to finish with three for 24 off ten overs, but there was little support from the other bowlers.

“For the last couple of years we really haven’t been batting that well, but what has been doing it for us is our bowling,” Trott said. “Now our bowling is struggling a little bit and our batting is still struggling.

“We do have the quality to post 250 or 300 runs every week, but it is just not clicking right now. Hopefully this weekend we get it right, I know the fans are a little disappointed. In the last four or five years we have only lost about five games, most of them to St David’s, but now we’ve lost three games on the trot.

“That’s how sports is, on the day if you don’t come to perform then a team can set you back. There’s no way we’re going to go like this the whole season, there’s too much quality that we have for that to happen.”

Now the team will look for a victory when they welcome former batsman Tre Manders and his Western Stars side to Sea Breeze Oval this weekend. That will be followed by a match against St David’s on July 2 which will serve as a preview to the much-anticipated Eastern Counties first round clash on July 20.

Stars showed against St David’s that they have the ability to be competitive, losing by only 24 runs after being set 288 for victory.

“Hopefully on Sunday we get it right, we can’t afford to lose any more games,” Trott said. “We’ll look for a victory against Stars and then next week we play St David’s and again in County, so this weekend is a very important weekend.

“Beating Stars will give us momentum for St David’s and after that it’s county, which we would like to win. Just one game at a time, and we have to beat Stars on Sunday. Sunday will be like county for us.”