Sat | Jul 20, 2019

Big Two meet today in Sandals JCA U19 final

Published:Friday | July 12, 2019 | 12:23 AM
(From left) Sandals Resorts Public Relations Manager – Sponsorships Crissano Dalley; Western Heat player Matthew Comrie; JCA CEO Courtney Francis; corporate sales manager at Rainforest Seafoods; Richard Coleman and Northern Lights player Romaine Bennett share a laugh at the launch of the 2019 Sandals U-19 Cricket Championships.
(From left) Sandals Resorts Public Relations Manager – Sponsorships Crissano Dalley; Western Heat player Matthew Comrie; JCA CEO Courtney Francis; corporate sales manager at Rainforest Seafoods; Richard Coleman and Northern Lights player Romaine Bennett share a laugh at the launch of the 2019 Sandals U-19 Cricket Championships.

After four weeks of intense competition and off-field learning and development activities, the 2019 Sandals- Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Under-19 Championship culminates with the final at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium today.

The competition, which bowled off on June 25 included more than 60 of the country’s best national Under-19 players being divided into four teams – Northern Lights, Western Heat, Southern Sparks and Eastern Flames – completing in a round-robin format at venues across the island.

The top two teams after five rounds will contest the final; they are the Southern Sparks and Eastern Flames coached by Burtram Barnes and Odean Brown respectively.

By all indications, this final should be a real humdinger as both teams have put in impressive performances. The Eastern Flames topped the tables with 16 points (four wins from five matches) and Southern Sparks finished second with three wins from five games. However, the Sparks will have revenge driving them because of a defeat to the flames in the lead-up to the final.

JCA CEO Courtney Francis is excited by the talent that will be on display in Trelawny.

“Young, promising batsmen like the right-handed Ricardo McIntosh, who represented the Jamaica Under-19s last year, will be out on the pitch. His next stop is the national senior team and a local club. We continue to see growth in another right-hand batsman, Lennox Simpson. He has matriculated from representing Jamaica at the Under-17 level,” he said.

Francis continued, “Our young bowlers are also impressing selectors. Pace bowler Andre Morgan continues to send stumps and bails flying along with off-spinner Roberto Simpson. These two very efficient bowlers represented the Jamaica Under-19s last year and I hope to see them impress regionally, too. These are the future of Jamaica’s competitiveness across the region. I want the nation to pay attention.”

The competition, which is in its third year of sponsorship from Sandals and Rainforest Seafoods, is used to select the national Under-19 team, which will participate in the Cricket West Indies Regional Under-19 Championships, which commences on July 25 in Guyana.

Following the final tomorrow, the national Under-19 coach and manager will be named and all the players in the competition will benefit from a weeklong series of personal development workshops at Sabina Park.