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St David’s must be wary of over-confidence

The much-anticipated second round of the Eastern Counties, featuring Champions Bailey's Bay against powerhouse St David's, is now upon us.

Deemed as the second biggest game on the local cricketing calendar, with pride and history at stake this is one game you won't want to miss.

St David's, who are currently undefeated in the league, sit on top of the table, oozing with confidence with the abundance of talent in their League team alone.

Anywhere from five to eight of their players could lobby for a spot in the national team if they took the game seriously. However, they are their own worst enemy, and this could be the factor that stops them from winning the Eastern Counties. Being over confident from past laurels might get in the way of performing at their best on the day. Cohesiveness will be a trait they must display as 11 exceptional individuals will result in disappointment.

So far this season no team has yet to score 200 runs or more against their potent bowling attack. George O'Brien spearheads the pace attack supported by Justin Pitcher and Rudell Pitcher, and they are backed by three off spinners in Delyone Borden, Sammy Robinson and Dell Hollis.

In addition to that, they have a steady medium pacer in OJ Pitcher, thus giving their bowling attack a very good balance. In order to retain the trophy, Bailey's Bay will have to find a way to keep this lethal bowling attack subdued.

This is certainly possible with the abilities of Terryn Fray, Sinclair Smith, Rodney Trott, Calvin Dill and the ever reliable Stephen Outerbridge. These five batsmen form the backbone of Bailey's Bay's batting line-up and they must respond if they plan on retaining the Cup.

In a game of this magnitude mental toughness and team unity is key, and while St David's may have the better players man for man on paper, Bailey's Bay have the edge in both of these categories. Bailey's Bay beat St David's five times last year including a thrashing in the Eastern Counties, which will surely give Bailey's Bay the edge this Saturday. There is no fear of St David's, and I'm sure their memory bank will recall cruising to victory comfortably last year.

The biggest challenge for St David's will come if they are found to have their backs up against the wall in the fielding or the batting department. I'm writing this prior to St David's announcing their team and I believe that they must include Lionel Cann because of his confidence in pressure situations.

Lionel thrives off of pressure, with the recent Cup Match being a perfect example. Here is a guy who is arguable the most aggressive shot player in the country, but yet he has the ability to defend and sit up and bat for however long it takes. He is the type of player that no matter what total Bay put on the scoreboard, it will be a makeable target for St David's.

I remember playing a league game with St David's years ago against Bay at Bay and they scored 300 plus runs. Lionel and Glenn (Blakeney) walked into the changing room and said, “What's wrong with you guys, we are going out there and we are going to get those runs easy, just watch”.

While every other player had their heads down, the pair of them were able to motivate the team, and believe it or not we won the game with five overs to spare. It's that mentality that no current player in St David's has and that is why they need him in the team, he's a natural winner.

Champions Bailey's Bay have worked tirelessly to build a team where everybody plays from ball one to the last ball for each other. Their togetherness, reduces the pressure in those tight situations, and helps to maintain the focus on what needs to be done, rather than panicking.

In Stephen Outerbridge and Rodney Trott Bay have two seasoned veterans who have guided them through time after time, and if Bay are to retain the trophy then these two in particular will have to play a massive role.

So at the end of the day the question is who will win? Will St David's win, the team formed of 11 quality individuals or will Bailey's Bay win, the team that lacks the stardom, but plays like a team, thinks like a team, and is a team?

If coach Wendell Smith can get his players to put their differences aside and come together and focus on the task for the sake of their community, then St David's can pull this off easily. However, if there is the slightest kink in their armour, a strongly knit Bailey's Bay team even though short of Tre' Manders could still come out victorious.

Quote of the week: Team guts always beat individual greatness — Bob Zuppke

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Published August 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm)

St David’s must be wary of over-confidence

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