Lion Hill Wins Caribbean Alliance 30 Overs Championship
Written by Neto Baptiste
The Lion Hill softball cricket team is the 2009 Caribbean Alliance Insurance 30-overs Softball Cricket champions. The boys in orange and blue defied the odds to defeat Rossi All Stars by 30 runs when they clashed in the competition’s finals at the Dredgers Cricket Grounds on Sunday.
Lion Hill, who were restricted to just 90 runs after they were all out in just 20.2 overs, were put in to bat after losing the toss and finding themselves struggling at 61 for six at one point. The final pair of Kennedy Tongue (18 runs) and Tyrone Moore (eight runs) put on a 24 runs partnership to stear Lion Hill to 90 before Moore was bowled by Vincie Bowen.
Ricky Buckley was the pick of the bowlers with four for 20 off six overs while Bowen had three for 22 off 5.2 overs. Alwyn Colbourne bagged two for 19 from four while Denley Barthley snatched one for 28.
All Stars had a horrible start at the crease losing four wickets in four overs for just four runs and were never really able to recover. All Stars lost their top-order, Carlson Richards, Dion Haywood, Vaughn Christopher and Carthroy Mason in just 4.1 overs to some good bowling from Kennedy Tongue who picked-up three for eight in six overs and Collin Warner who bagged five wickets for nine runs in just five overs.
Kenroy Frederick and Denley Barthley were the only two scorers of note for All Stars with 13 runs each. Frederick’s knock included one six while Barthley had one six and a boundary. All Stars were eventually bowled out for 60 runs.
Also bowling for Lion Hill, Marvin Webson, had two wickets for 12 runs in six overs while Wayne Constant, who had four overs, failed to pickup any wickets for 26 runs.
Captain of the winning Lion Hill team, Devon Thomas, praised his bowlers for the performance they gave, stating that have carried the team throughout the entire competition. He also expressed joy in being able to lift the championship trophy.
"Throughout the season, the bowlers have showed up and have been defending small totals like this and they haven’t let us down as yet for the season. After winning this championship, I am very excited," he said.
"We were always just about there but realised that we would just have to push a little bit tougher and keep the momentum. We did expect a tougher challenge from All Stars and after making only 90 runs we knew that the game would have come down close," Thomas told the AntiguaSun.
Captain of the losing team, Clarence Francis, however, expressed disappointment in his team’s performance. Francis blamed poor batting for their dismal showing but said some of the players were still mourning the loss of a former teammate and brother, Lyndon Browne, who was murdered at his All Saints home last month.
"I am a little bit disappointed with the batting because the bowling and fielding were real good and we just lapse in the batting – the opening bats failed us and it was just downhill from there," he said.
"Rossi All Stars is a team that normally, 90 runs is nothing for us but from the onset, the batting was bad and it just went down from there but I don’t think that it is nerves because we are a team that have been around for a long time and have be in a number of finals over the years. I think that the guys had a little pressure on them because of our falling brother (Lyndon Browne) and we were out of cricket for a little while," Francis said.
Besides the championship trophy, Lion Hill received $1,000 as cash prize while Tongue was awarded the Player of the Game award for which he received $300. The Antigua and Barbuda Softball Cricket Association (ABSCA) will host two more finals next Sunday when they host the men’s and women’s 20/20 Finals at Dredgers. The matches are slated to bowl off at 10a.m. The 30-overs finals was dedicated to the memory of Lyndon Browne who was a member of the All Stars cricket team and a former executive member of the ABSCA.