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Brangman vows to bounce back with relegated St David’s

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Justin Pitcher, the St David's captain, was left to carry an extra load with both the bat and ball for injury-hit St David's this season (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Cejay Outerbridge missed most of the season with St David's because of a shoulder injury (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

A day after achieving a rare coaching feat in local cricket, Ricky Brangman suffered the disappointment of relegation with St David’s in the Twenty20 competition last weekend.

Brangman achieved the honour of leading three teams to three separate counties titles, Southampton Rangers in the Western, Devonshire Rec in the Central and St David’s following their three wins this year in the Eastern Counties. “A guy mentioned it to me on Saturday, but I wasn’t really thinking about that,” said Brangman who took over as coach of St David’s last summer after a successful stint with Rangers. “He said he thinks I am the first coach to win all three counties.”

The expected close contest between St David’s and Bay, the two strongest teams in the competition, never materialised as Bay opted to bat first and were dismissed for just 100 with St David’s using just three bowlers.

“Saturday’s game was good, it’s really exciting to be a coach and win trophies,” said Brangman, a two-time Coach of the Year award-winner.

“This was my first season as an Eastern Counties coach and it was a little nerve-racking as it is a serious thing down here.

“I’m glad that we came through and won and that the players hung in there. It’s a nice feeling for the club and the community as a whole.”

However, the celebration was short-lived as the next day they suffered the loss to St George’s that confirmed relegation along with Willow Cuts after picking up just three wins in their nine games.

Brangman insists it will only be a short setback and that the team will bounce back next season.

“In the T20, we had some serious injuries all season and we just haven’t recovered,” he added. “I just want to thank all the players who hung in there and the players who came out to help us.

St David’s were missing players like OJ Pitcher, Delyone Borden and Chare Smith for the whole season while Cejay Outerbridge played a couple of early games before being sidelined with a shoulder injury. Mikkail Crockwell was another player missing this season.

Veterans like Sammy Robinson, Kevin Hurdle, McLaren Lowe and Arthur Pitcher Jr, who played on the weekend, came out to help the team but could not keep them in the top flight, one year after finishing level on points with champions Southampton Rangers.

They close out their season tomorrow when they travel to meet Somerset who are level on points with Southampton Rangers who lead on run rate.

This will be a chance for St David’s to end their season with a win and have a say in the title race.

“I want to thank all the youngsters, those between 13 and 15, who came in and played to help us, I think they did a good job,” Brangman said. “I’m very pleased with every one of them, they are the future of the team.

“We had a couple of guys who came out and played while they were hurt, but trying to put their best foot forward. I can’t ask for more than that.”

Brangman is looking forward to the team bouncing back next season when it is hoped the league will return to 50 overs cricket where St David’s will be playing in the top division.

“It’s not a bad thing to go down to a different division, we just have to stick together and bounce back,” he urged.

“We should have OJ [Pitcher] and Chare [Smith] back next year and with youngsters back from school, we should have a bigger squad. We won’t be missing for long, I guarantee you we’ll be back.

“I also want to say thanks to Chris Douglas, Oronde Bascome, Shannon Raynor and Seth Campbell for coming in and helping us out in the Eastern Counties. Also Justin Pitcher, George O’Brien and thanks to Sammy who came out and helped.”

Brangman, who also has his two sons, Ricardo and Derrick, with him at St David’s, will soon discuss his future plans with the club.

“After we finish on Sunday, I’ll have a talk with the team and then I’m going to talk to the committee at the club,” he revealed.

“I’ll discuss my future with them and see what plans they have for me. Right now everything looks good.”

Meanwhile, Cleveland, in third place will play leaders Warwick in a make-up First Division match today at Southampton Oval starting at 11am.

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Published September 05, 2021 at 7:20 am (Updated September 05, 2021 at 7:20 am)

Brangman vows to bounce back with relegated St David’s

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