St David’s ease past Bailey’s Bay in Eastern Counties Cup final
Holders St David's beat challengers Bailey's Bay by six wickets with a session to spare to comfortably retain the Eastern Counties Cup in a lopsided final at Sea Breeze Oval today.
Justin Pitcher, the St David's captain, claimed four for 38, while man of the match George O'Brien took three for 30 and Seth Campbell three for 25 as Bay were knocked down for a paltry 100 in 35.2 overs after winning the toss and oddly electing to bat.
It was a decision that should have stunned onlookers, given how desperately St David’s struggled batting first in the first two rounds —against Flatts (52 for four) and Cleveland (38 for five), whose bowling attacks are not as well regarded as Bay’s.
In-form Chris Douglas then struck 38, Shannon Rayner 35 not out and Pitcher a brisk 22 as the holders replied with 104 for four in 27.4 overs.
Pitcher was the last St David's wicket to fall with the scores level, leaving Brian Hall to serve the last rites, as he smashed Kyle Hodsoll to the long-off boundary for four just before the tea break to spark the celebrations among his team's jubilant fans.
"I thought it was a good game that worked out to our plan," Ricky Brangman, the St David's coach, said.
"We wanted to win the toss and put them in anyway, so they did us a favour.
"We were working on if we get a couple early wickets then we could be right in the match, and it happened that way."
Bay slumped from 42 for one to 68 for six in the blink of an eye and never recovered as wickets continued to tumble at an alarming rate.
With victory there for the taking, St David's then raced to their target with minimum resistance.
"I am proud of the team and happy we got the win," Brangman added. "This feels good and is good for the fans."
Meanwhile, Terryn Fray, the Bay captain, was clearly disappointed with the outcome.
"We made some decisions and it didn't work out for us today," he said. "It's unfortunate, but of course we will be back."
Guest player Tre Manders led the Bay batting with 36. Fray, with 19, and Zeko Burgess, who made 17, were the only other batsman in double figures.
Colt Cameron Jeffers claimed two for 19 with his leg spin to lead the Bay attack
"Congratulations, St David's," Fray added. "I thought St David's played well. They bowled real well up front and deserved it."