Bailey’s Bay select bold Eastern Counties final team for ‛straight-up victory’
Irving Romaine, the Bailey’s Bay coach, is confident his team can wrest the silverware from champions St David’s in the Eastern Counties Cup final at Sea Breeze Oval tomorrow.
“We picked a team to win,” the former Bay and Bermuda captain said. ”It’s nothing else about it; just going in for an all-out victory on Saturday.
“That team was picked for a straight-up victory. On paper the team looks very good, so hopefully on Saturday it comes together on the field and comes to a victory.”
Bay’s team comprises Terryn Fray, the captain, Sinclair Smith, the wicketkeeper-batsman, Zeko Burgess, Rodney Trott, Jordan Burgess, Malachi Jones, Tre Manders, Detroy Smith, Kyle Hodsoll, Sancho Jackson and Cameron Jeffers.
Among the noticeable absentees is regular opening batsman Coolidge Durham, who has been named as a reserve.
In all, the challengers have made five changes to their line-up from the one that drew with St David’s the last time the teams met in the competition in 2019.
Smith, Jackson and Jeffers are set to make their debut as colts while Manders and Hodsoll have been recalled, having been ruled out two years ago through injury.
“We have three colts that are good players that deserve to play,” Romaine said. “Jeffers transferred to us and qualifies this year, then you have Detroy.
“Detroy has actually been training the last couple of years to play Eastern Counties for us because he was raised in Harlem and was a part of our junior counties programme as well.
“We messed up on the paperwork before, so he didn’t get to play in the last county match [in 2019] when Rodney Trott was captain. But he qualifies now and is a good all-round player.
“Then we have Sancho, the youngster who has come through the ranks and has had a good season with the ball.
“We are definitely happy to have Kyle and Tre back. These guys want to play and are strong players. They are national squad and Cup Match players and have looked good in training.”
Smith, Manders and Jones are all guest players.
Jones is fresh off his record-breaking exploits with the bat for champions Southampton Rangers in the Western Counties at White Hill Field last Saturday.
The all-rounder, who is better known for his feats with the ball, smashed Willow Cuts for 202 not out, the first double hundred in the competition's existing 50-overs format. Rangers won by 280 runs.
“We have a lot of options with the ball and with the batting line-up,” Romaine added.
“We are prepared to bat first and prepared if we have to chase quickly in the second half of the game. That was a big decision on team selection; there’s a lot of all-rounders in the team.
“On paper, it is a very strong team, but paper never wins the game —cricket is a funny game.
“I am confident we can be equal to the task and if we show up to play we should do well.”
Bay and St David’s have already met twice this season in the Premier Division Twenty20.
Bay won the first encounter by 27 runs at Sea Breeze Oval on July 4 and St David’s the return fixture by 52 runs at Lord’s on August 15, the day after their emotional close call against Cleveland in the previous round of the Eastern Counties.
Cleveland looked for all money as the next champions when century-maker Dion Stovell and Makai Young were at the wicket. But George O’Brien, who is questionable for the match on Saturday because of a knee injury, rose to the occasion to first catch Stovell and then drop the hammer on the challengers with a two-wicket burst to secure a seven-run win in one of the most dramatic county matches of recent times.
St David’s beat Flatts by 180 runs in the first round on July 17.