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Bailey’s Bay and Cleveland set for title decider

Leaders Bailey's Bay will face Cleveland in the Premier Division 50 overs title decider at North Field, National Sports Centre, today (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

It’s winners take all today at North Field, National Sports Centre, as Bailey’s Bay and Cleveland lock horns in the Premier Division 50 Overs title decider.

Leaders Bay hold a ten- point advantage over second place Cleveland, who boast a superior net run-rate than their Eastern Counties rivals heading into the final round of the competition.

The two teams have yet to taste defeat this season and are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting contest featuring some of the island’s best players.

“This is like an Eastern Counties final, Bailey’s Bay versus Cleveland, and may the best team win,” Clevie Wade, the Cleveland coach, said.

“Hopefully the weather holds up so at least we can get some cricket. We know we can’t control the elements, so we just have to prepare as best we can and on the day hope things go according to plan.

“Bailey’s Bay are a good, strong all-round team coached by a great man in Gus Logie, and the guys are definitely up for the game. They are hungry to play.”

The recent inclement weather has been particularly harsh on Cleveland, whose title hopes were hindered when their previous two fixtures against St David’s and St George’s were abandoned without a ball being bowled.

“Not being able to play for the last two weeks or even train has been out of our control,” Cleveland all-rounder Dion Stovell said.

“So the only thing we can control now is how we are going to approach the game, and hopefully it’s a good day for some entertaining cricket. The guys are definitely up for the challenge and I think it will be a good coming up against a well-organised Bailey’s Bay.

“It’s a great test for us in a pressure situation most players at Cleveland have never been in before with it being a league decider.

“We know it won’t be easy. Bay have some very good players that on any given day can take a game from you and will be the favourites coming into it, but at the same time we have players capable of getting the job done.”

Bay coach Logie feels his players have put in the hard work throughout the campaign and deserve to reap the rewards

“Unfortunately the weather intervened on Thursday and we never had the necessary practice,” Logie said. “However, I think that all the work that we have put in during the season, this is it.

“The players understand that and have accepted that responsibility, and I expect another good performance from all the players.

“There will always be a star player on the day, too, but I expect that everyone will put their hand up in this final game so I look forward to it with much anticipation and much expectation.

“All we can ask for is for the players and everyone involved to come out and give a good account of themselves, for their team, for their community and even for Bermuda cricket as a whole.

“It’s high expectations with excitement at its peak on all sides. There’s also some anxiety especially with the weather being as it is and the forecast for some kind of intervention by the gods.

“But whatever it is, it adds to the drama of the final games of the season in terms of the league. It could be a drama-filled day at the stadium, a beautiful venue, and certainly befitting of such an occasion.”

The remaining top-flight fixtures on Sunday feature St George’s taking on Warwick at Wellington Oval and Southampton Rangers facing St David’s at Southampton Oval, with those matches determining the two teams to be relegated.

As it stands, St David’s hold a ten-point advantage over Warwick and Rangers, who occupy the relegation positions heading into the final day.

Western Stars, who have played their quota of matches, have already secured their top-flight status for next season.

“We are trying to build something around Western Stars and the main objective was to remain in the Premier Division, and we did that quite comfortably,” Jekon Edness, the Stars coach, said.

Somerset clinched the First Division 50 Overs title and promotion with a game to spare last weekend and will be playing for pride in their final outing against the Bermuda Under-19 team at Somerset Cricket Club today.

“We knew the First Division wasn’t going to be much of a challenge,” Dominic Sabir, the Somerset all-rounder, said. “It was still a good experience to be able to get some guys in that we haven’t seen.”

Somerset will be without Sabir, who is playing as a guest player for Evening League side Tuff Dogs in their Central Counties second round clash with holders Stars at Devonshire Recreation Club today.

With the title already sewn up, all attention shifts to the remaining fixtures, with Willow Cuts taking on Flatts at North Field and Somerset Bridge playing Devonshire at White Hill Field.

Second-place Cuts have a ten-point advantage over Flatts and Devonshire heading into the final round of the competition, but Flatts boast a superior net run-rate, which could prove crucial.

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Published June 10, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated June 10, 2023 at 6:39 pm)

Bailey’s Bay and Cleveland set for title decider

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