Eltham, Innswood make positive starts
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
After two rounds of matches in the urban-area ISSA Grace Shield cricket competition, the script is pretty much the same as it ended last season with defending champions Eltham High and last year's beaten finalists Innswood on top of Groups A and B, respectively.
Eltham, after beating Jonathan Grant in their first match, maintained their lead in the group after dispatching Waterford by seven wickets last Friday, while Innswood, who were also beaten in the knockout final by Eltham last season, got the better of Spanish Town.
At Waterford: Eltham, led by national Under-19 invitee, batting all-rounder Kieno-Paul Sailsman, 7-28, and Joseph Dennie, 2-19, routed the home team for 45 and in reply cruised to 46-3.
"It has been a good start. It's a fairly young team but there are number of positives in four senior players, who are adding a lot of experience and guidance," said Eltham captain, Sailsman.
"We play Norman Manley next and plan to do the same thing as the first two matches - follow the coach's instructions and play positive," he added.
Elsewhere, Jamaica College (JC) moved to second in Group A behind Eltham after recording a 97-run win over Calabar, while Norman Manley moved into joint third with Excelsior following a 35-run win over Jonathan Grant.
At Calabar: JC batted first and made 145, with Travis Reid getting 66. Calabar then replied with 48 as Reid, bowling medium pace, claimed 4-11 to follow up on his hat-trick in their opening game.
Mature and disciplined
"It's a young team, but they are playing mature and disciplined and we are taking it one game at a time," said JC's David Robertson, whose troops for the first time in eight years failed to make it beyond the first round last season.
At Spanish Town Prison Oval: Norman Manley, put in to bat on a damp wicket, struggled to 107, with Kerron Edwards getting 54 against pacers Jasaini Douglas, 6-32, and Kemar Brown, 3-20.
Jonathan Grant, in reply, could only manage 72, with Brown notching 34 against off-spinner Joseph Bucknor, 5-21, and left-arm spinner Curtis Blair, 3-12.
"It was a fighting victory, as at one stage our back was against the wall at 8-4 and 50-7, due to a wet wicket. But we opened with two spinners when we bowled and it worked," said Norman Manley's coach, Karl Stephens.
In other results, St Jago and Wolmer's played to a draw at the former's grounds at Monk Street to move their record to one win and one loss and into joint second position in Group B.
St Catherine and Kingston College, which both lost their first matches, also recovered with victories over Campion at St John's Road, and Bridgeport at Upper Elletson Road.
Campion were dismissed for 97, with off-spinner Akieno Gayle claiming 4-18, and left-arm spinner Coi Thompson, 2-16. St Catherine achieved their target at 98-5 with national wicketkeeper batsman Amanjah Morris making 33.
Excelsior vs Waterford
Calabar vs Jonathan Grant
Eltham vs Norman Manley
Campion vs Bridgeport
St Jago vs Spanish Town
Wolmer's vs St Catherine
KC vs Innswood
All matches begin at 10 a.m.