Vanquished Rangers coach Janeiro Tucker in denial after T20 title heads east
Sea Breeze Oval (Southampton Rangers won toss): Southampton Rangers beat Bailey’s Bay by eight runs
Janeiro Tucker, the Southampton Rangers player-coach, insists his team are still the best despite relinquishing their Twenty20 Premier Division crown at the weekend.
The dethroned champions ended the season in a three-way tie at the top of the standings on 70 points with St George’s and Somerset, with the east enders crowned champions via superior net run-rate.
“At the end of the day we still tied for first and they [St George’s] just beat us on run-rate,” Tucker said.
“We can hold our heads high because I still think we are the best. I still think we are better than them and I will take that to the grave. They are not better than us like that.”
Rangers all but surrendered their title after suffering a seven-wicket defeat by St George’s in a crucial make-up match at Southampton Oval on Saturday that was postponed from July 4.
Tucker cited poor fielding as the catalyst for his team’s downfall.
“I just think in that game we fielded bad,” he said. “When you drop somebody like Allan Douglas on zero third ball of the game and then drop him again on 20, you’re supposed to make a lot of runs.
“At the end of the day, we dropped a couple of catches and have ourselves to blame. I don’t blame anybody else and I still think that on any other day we will beat that team.”
Douglas went on to blast 123 off 45 balls, with 16 sixes and three fours, as St George’s scored 183 for three in reply to Rangers’ 182 for five.
“We just did the little things wrong and the main thing we did wrong was drop Allan twice,” Tucker added.
Rangers bounced back 24 hours later with an eight-run win over Bailey’s Bay in their season finale at Sea Breeze Oval.
The visiting side scored 137 for six after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Shannon Rayner was Rangers’ top scorer with 24. Charles Trott and Dion Stovell chipped in with 22 apiece and Tucker 20.
Zeko Burgess was the pick of the Bay bowling with two for ten.
The home side replied with 129 for seven, with opener Rodney Trott leading the way with 40 and Irving Romaine, the player-coach, belting 26 from just ten balls, with three sixes and a four batting at No 8.
Malachi Jones, with two for 24, and Tucker’s two for 23 led the Rangers attack.
“It was just a matter of making sure we finish the league on a high, which we did,” Tucker said.
“We came down here and scored 137 and had a game plan to make sure we get these guys under that score, which we did.
“I thought we bowled well. We didn’t bat too well because it really wasn’t a good wicket.
“But we just did what we had to do and we finished off the season tied for first and lost [the championship] on run-rate, which I can accept.”
In the other scheduled match on Sunday, Somerset beat relegated St David’s by default after the islanders showed with only six players.
K Tucker b Burgess 2
J Tucker c Z Burgess b J Burgess 20
C Trott b Hart 22
D Stovell b Z Burgess 22
*M Jones run out 16
S Rayner c J Burgess b Trott 24
J Albouy not out 9
T Smith not out 6
Extras (b 5, lb 2, nb 4, w 5) 16
Total (6 wkts, 20 overs) 137
N Mills, †G Simons and K Astwood did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-56, 3-81, 4-116, 5-121, 6-122.
Bowling: Z Burgess 4-0-10-2; Hodsoll 4-1-10-0; J Burgess 4-0-52-1; Hart 4-0-41-1; Trott 4-0-17-1.
R Trott run out 40
C Durham c Simons b Trott 10
Z Burgess b Jones 1
*T Fray lbw b Stovell 17
J Burgess c Simons b J Tucker 3
K Hodsoll not out 10
S Tavares b J Tucker 3
I Romaine c Stovell b Jones 26
Z Hart not out 1
Extras (b 8, lb 2, w 8) 18
Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 129
†S Smith and Z White did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-47, 3-75, 4-86, 5-88, 6-91, 7-119.
Bowling: Mills 3-0-16-0; Smith 3-0-24-0; Trott 2-0-10-1; Jones 4-0-24-2; Stovell 4-0-22-1; J Tucker 4-0-23-2.
Umpires: C Waldron and M Best.