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Bombardiers and Gladiators make history at memorial tournament

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Good form: Warwick Bombardiers upset holders State of the Art in the final to win the Ghost and Smockie Memorial Tournament at White Hill Field, Sunday, April 14. The tournament is played in honour of footballer Jason Raynor and cricketer Gary Crofton (Photograph supplied)

Warwick Bombardiers and Warwick Gladiators made history competing in the third annual Ghost and Smockie Memorial Tournament at White Hill Field last Sunday.

Third time proved to be a charm for Warwick Bombardiers who claimed their maiden title while Warwick Gladiators became the first women’s team to feature in the double elimination six-a-side tournament.

Having lost in the final of the inaugural competition and then eliminated in the semi-final the following year, Warwick Bombardiers finally cleared the final hurdle after edging defending champions State of the Art by ten-runs in an exciting final.

“Obviously it feels good to win anything you enter, but the main thing is to support the cause,” coach Lorenzo Tucker told The Royal Gazette.

“This memorial tournament has been played the last three years and every year we have put in two teams to support the initiative and to win it after coming close the first two years does feel good.

“A good accomplishment for the guys who have worked hard and it’s going to springboard us for the season hopefully.

“That was a big result, so I think our guys are in some pretty good form to get promoted in the 50 Overs League and stay in the T20 Premier League in the upcoming season.”

Led by captain Stefan Dill, Warwick completed an impressive double having also beaten holders State of the Art in the first round of the double elimination tournament on the way to their maiden title.

“Every year they (State of the Art) have a team stacked with big players like ave Malachi Jones, Stephen Outerbridge, Dion Stovell and Terryn Fray and we beat them in the first round and the final so we actually beat them twice,” Tucker added.

Making history: Warwick Gladiators are the first women’s team to compete in third annual Ghost and Smockie Memorial Tournament cricket at White Hill Field on Sunday, April 14 (Photograph supplied)

It also proved to be an historic and memorable occasion for Warwick Gladiators as the first women’s team to compete in the tournament.

“That was a very good experience for them,” Tucker said. “They have been training hard for at least two months now and are coming along nicely.

“I am actually coaching them with Jodi Maronie now and initially we were going to mix them up with some guys and give them some experience, but they had no problem going in as the women's team.

“They played very well. The crowd was behind them and that experience alone is going to take them into the season.”

Tournament founder and former Bermuda and Somerset Cup Match star all-rounder Janeiro Tucker was thrilled to have a women’s team feature for the first time in the event this year.

“That’s a first time we have had a women's team and they had a good time,” he said.

“They had a blast and want to continue next year, which is really good because everybody enjoyed seeing the women play.”

The tournament is played in honour of footballer Jason Raynor and cricketer Gary Crofton.

Cancer sufferer Crofton passed away in 2020 while Raynor died two years later from unknown causes.

Proceeds from the tournament will go towards the Jason and Gary Scholarship Fund in aid of those pursuing a trade in electrical or masonry.

“For one day I think we raised $4,000, so now we are going to put that towards the scholarships for this year,” event founder Tucker said.

“I opened the fund through Bermuda College which you have to apply through and they will select the individuals for the Jason and Gary Fund.

“So once students apply then they can go for the scholarship to help with their schooling, which is the main thing.

“Gary was an electrician and Ghost was a maintenance man. So this is about learning a trade and helping people prosper under these two guys, who mean a lot to me and Southampton Rangers.”

As for this year’s event, the former Southampton Rangers player and coach added: “We had a good turnout at White Hill Field and I think everybody enjoyed the atmosphere up there.

“It’s bigger, better and family oriented, so that was good.”

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Published April 20, 2024 at 7:45 am (Updated April 20, 2024 at 7:40 am)

Bombardiers and Gladiators make history at memorial tournament

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