Manchester lift Spalding Cup
Headley Cup champions Manchester High dominated urban area winners Wolmer's Boys to take the ISSA/GraceKennedy all-island Spalding Cup trophy by virtue of first innings advantage in the rain-curtailed drawn three-day match at the Melbourne Cricket Club yesterday.
Spinner Raghni Francis starred for Manchester with match figures of 10-60 to give the school a first hold on the all-island title.
In their second innings on yesterday's third day, Manchester High extended their lead to 324 after posting 186 and restricted Wolmer's Boys to 117-9 before afternoon showers ended proceedings prematurely.
Manchester, who recently won a maiden Headley Cup championship, had taken charge over the opening two days after racking up a first innings 230 and then dismissing Wolmer's Boys for a disappointing total of 92.
Scores: Manchester 230 (92 overs) & 186 (67.2 overs); Wolmer's Boys 92 (31 overs) & 117-9 (36 overs).
Manchester High's coach Barry Barnes, who saw his team miss out on the coveted treble after falling at the semi-final of the rural area Knockout competition, showered praise on the collective effort and explained that the first innings score put his outfit in a commanding position from day one.
"It is a big achievement for Manchester High School. It was hard work this season and it paid off for us. The entire school and the staff played a vital role and I have to pay tribute to them and also the most special one, the Almighty God," he said.
Coach of Wolmer's Boys Wayne Cuff said it was difficult motivating his players after winning the Grace Shield and JIIC KO titles. He added that there were challenges getting the team together for the match due to study commitments for impending examinations.
Earlier yesterday, Oshane Walters' 42 and Christopher Powell's 36 formed the backbone of Manchester's second innings 186.
Wolmer's Delbert Gayle led the bowling with 5-50 to finish with nine wickets in the match, while Denneil Griffiths chipped in 4-44 to go with his four victims in the first innings.
Chasing a mammoth 325 in a minimum of 75 overs, Wolmer's Boys were blown away by Francis, who took 5-41. Francis ended the schoolboy season with an impressive 50 wickets. He was supported by Nicholas Walters, who grabbed 2-25.
Suwayne Morrison was top scorer with 47.
Gayle, the team's most regarded batsman, failed for the second time in the match when he was dismissed for four.