STETHS dispatch Eltham to cop Spalding Cup

Jamaica Observer article.

Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth — Bowlers were again smiling as all-rural Grace Headley Cup champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) completed a six-wicket win over urban champions Eltham High before lunch on the second day for their 22nd hold on the all-island ISSA Spalding Cup at STETHS.

Scores: Eltham High 50 and 106; STETHS 122 and 35-4.

As was the case on the first day of what should have been a three-day game, batsmen struggled. Eleven wickets fell yesterday for 96 runs in 33 overs and one ball on a pitch which remained inconsistent in bounce, though seeming to have improved yesterday as compared to the first day.

Resuming their second innings at 45-3 still needing 27 to force STETHS to bat a second time, Eltham were never able to build partnerships, with Shaquille Brown (20) and Jevel Innis (19) being the topscorers.

STETHS, West Indies Under-19 and Jamaica Under-19 captain, Ramaal Lewis, was again the top bowler with 5-32 from 20 overs and five balls for match figures of 10 for 43.

West Indies Under-19 pacer Marquino Mindley took 2-29, and leg spinner Rushane Manning 2-31.

George Forbes (third right), competitions chairman of ISSA, presents the ISSA/GraceKennedy Spalding Cup to winning captain Ramaal Lewis of STETHS after their victory over Eltham High at STETHS yesterday. (PHOTO: AINSLEY CLARKE)

Needing 35 to win, STETHS were off to a disastrous start, losing two wickets in the first three overs without a run on the board. Off-spinner Shaquille Brown (2-24) removed Odain McCatty lbw for 0 and Shahid Crooks (0) caught behind off a brilliant arm ball.

However, Lewis removed the pressure by lifting Brown straight for six. It was relatively easy for STETHS thereafter, though Jevoy Spence (7) was bowled by off-spinner Jevel Innis and seamer Jerome Barton -- given the ball for the first time in the match -- trapped Dennis McGarvey (4) lbw.

Lewis completed a satisfying all-round performance with 23 not out following his top-score of 30 in the first innings and his 10-wicket match haul. Mindley, four not out, was with his captain at the end.

Eltham's assistant coach Glenville Holmes had no excuses at game's end. "STETHS played better cricket for the two days ...," he said.

STETHS coach Clive Ledgister, while thankful for the victory, said his team was forced to work much harder than should have been the case. He claimed the Easter holidays broke their momentum following triumphs in the Grace/ISSA Headley Cup and the ISSA rural Twenty20.

Ledgister said the latest triumph reinforced the sense of redemption following a poor year for STETHS last year, given the very high standards they have set for themselves over the last 35 years.

"We did poorly last year. We had one of the most talented teams but we lost all the trophies," he said ruefully.

"This year (at the start of the season) we had a long team meeting with all the guys, especially the senior ones, and the objective was to redeem ourselves ... this year is a redemption year," he said.

First Published In The Jamaica Observer.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 04:39