Meadowbrook, Tarrant hunt 'A' League glory
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Unbeaten Tarrant and Meadowbrook High will today and tomorrow contest the final of the urban area ISSA/First Global Bank 'A' League cricket competition at Melbourne Oval, which begins at 10 each morning.
The schools will seek not only to win the title, but also position themselves for the semi-final round of the top-tier ISSA/Grace Shield competition, which will also bowl off today with two matches.
Defending five-time champions Eltham will play St Catherine at Eltham, and last year's beaten finalist Innswood will entertain Excelsior High at Chedwin Park in the Grace Shield showdowns. Both matches are also scheduled for two days and two innings.
At Melbourne, Tarrant, with a record of six wins and a draw, will start slight favourites over Meadowbrook, which have a record of five wins and two draws.
Tarrant, the defending urban area Under-14 champions, will look to captain and all-rounder Odaine McKenzie, who is coming off back-to-back centuries, as well as Ryan Edwards and Omarie Williams, for inspiration.
Tarrant defeated Papine and Meadowbrook got the better of Pembroke Hall in the semi-finals.
"We will be looking to play two good days of cricket. Our aim from the start of the season was to win the title, as this is very important to the school and we are focused and we are ready," said Tarrant coach Recardo Bryan.
Meadowbrook, in the meanwhile, will be banking on national Under-19 fast bowler, Jermaine Cole, opener Abdul Kareem and captain Oshane Walker.
"We have been playing good cricket all season long, and if we continue playing how we have been, there is no reason why we should not come out on top," said Meadowbook's co-coach, Marvin Thompson.
At Eltham, the home team, which has been less than convincing as in former years, will go up against an in-form St Catherine High.
Eltham will be led by national Under-19 invitee, batting all-rounder Kieno-Paul Sailsman, and Joseph Dennie, while St Catherine will look to former national Under-15 representatives, wicketkeeper-batsman Amanjah Morris and left-arm spinner Coi Thompson.
"I think we have an equally good chance as Eltham as we have been playing with a lot of confidence and the team is clicking at the right time," said St Catherine coach, Wayne Morgan.
At Chedwin Park, unbeaten Innswood, which appears to be the team to beat this season, will face a feisty Excelsior, who will be led by national Under-19 batsman, Ramon Senior.
"It's just another game for us, but probably the most important game to confront us thus far," said Innswood coach, Kirk Gordon, who will look to Oshane Morgan, Kemar Foster and Pete Salmon, who have scored centuries this season.
"It is my responsibility as a coach to now make the players know that what we have done in the first round is behind us now and it is what we do now that matters," he added.