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Flatts will never have a better chance to win

Could this be the season that Flatts finally win the Eastern Counties trophy?

It took Cleveland some 33 years to win it, and there are many who would love to see Flatts dethrone Cleveland County after their drama-filled game with Bailey’s Bay.

Flatts will never have a better chance to win the competition than tomorrow, as the champions will be without three key players: Allan Douglas Jr, the captain, Dennis Musson Jr, the vice-captain, and Shaki Darrell.

First thing on the agenda for Cleveland this week will be filling the void left by Douglas.

Dion Stovell appears to be the obvious choice. Stovell has experience of captaining Southampton Rangers, and has an abundance of experience playing with Bermuda, and the players at Cleveland respect him.

The big question at Cleveland is which players are going to fill the void left by the three suspended players. Will Cleveland put their faith in the youth, or will they utilise the senior players that they have at their disposal?

Players such as Aaron Adams, Peter Philpott, Mishael Paynter, Curtis Jackson and Hasan Durham are names floating around for possible places within the team.

One thing is for sure, the Cleveland players will be under the microscope. Many will be watching to see how they conduct themselves throughout the game, as Eastern Counties has been under scrutiny after the fiasco of the last game.

What the competition needs is a good, entertaining game of cricket played in the right spirit.

Flatts will be looking for revenge against Cleveland after last year when they were embarrassingly bowled out for a mere 57 runs in 20.1 overs.

This year they have a new coach in Wendell White so they will be much more prepared, as a team, and in all aspects of the game. Unfortunately, this past weekend they had a bye, but that did not stop them from preparing for this much anticipated game.

Flatts are likely to bring in two or three players to strengthen their squad. On paper they have a fairly decent team, one Cleveland cannot underestimate. Temiko Wilson, the Western Stars opening batsman who has scored several half-centuries this season, is one player that they will be hoping comes good.

If they are to overthrow the champions, though, they will have to have an impressive performance in the field, as catches win matches.

Many think that attendance will be down at tomorrow’s game, but I beg to differ. Everybody wants to see Cleveland lose, and they do not care who to.

You will have non-Flatts supporters in St David’s cheering on the challengers, and there is a rich history when it comes to the Eastern Counties competition. I cannot see more than 100 years of tradition being broken because of one game.

The fans of Eastern Counties are some of the most loyal and dedicated. Cleveland have shown a lot of remorse for their players’ actions and I am sure they will be looking to put on a high quality, respectable, performance, one in which the public can be proud.