St Catherine dispatch St Jago to qualify for semis
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Year-to-year title contenders St Catherine High became the second team to qualify for the semi-final round of the urban area ISSA/Grace Shield Premier League cricket competition, after registering a 74-run win over St Jago at St John's Road on Saturday.
A Group B encounter, St Catherine batted first and made 302-7 declared, with former national Under-15 representatives, wicketkeeper/batsman Amanjah Morris, making 144, and left-arm spinner Coi Thompson, 58, against Richard Miller 2-48 and Odane Lewis 2-56.
St Jago, in reply, were bundled out for 128 with off-spinners Akeino Gayle and Jermaine Ennis taking 4-17 and 3-15, respectively, and Thompson 2-22.
"It feels good to qualify. We just have to plan and get more organised heading into the second round. We want more of our batsmen to convert their 20s and 30s in 50s and 100s," said St Catherine High's coach, Wayne Morgan, whose charges joined last year's beaten finalist and group leaders, Innswood, as early qualifiers.
"We have a quality team and it was always just a matter time before we hit our stride," he added.
St Catherine had lost their first match against Innswood, before recovering to win five straight.
Innswood, in the meantime, extended their unbeaten streak to six matches after recording a comfortable 96-run win over Wolmer's at Chedwin Park.
Batting first, Innswood piled up 323-7, with Oshane Morgan scoring 101 not out, Dwayne Bennett 51, Terrence Brown 56, Kemar Foster 35 and Pete Salmon 34. National Under-15 representative, Delbert Gayle, took 4-26.
Wolmer's, in their turn at the crease, were dismissed for 127 with Gayle stroking 60 against off-spinner, Salmon, 5-18.
"After seeing the margin of victory in our last match against St Jago and now winning by even a bigger margin, I feel elated," said Innswood coach, Kirk Gordon.
"As per our policy since the start of the season, we again rotated three players for this game and it didn't affect the result," he added.
Another scheduled group match, Spanish Town versus Bridgeport, was not played due to the former's home ground being unavailable for the game. The game will be played today.
Meanwhile, there are still no qualifiers from Group A as the two feature games, Norman Manley versus Jamaica College at Maxfield Park, and Eltham versus Excelsior, were both postponed on Saturday. Those matches have been rescheduled for today and tomorrow, respectively.
The top-three teams from each group will qualify for the semi-final round, which will be completed by the winner and runners-up in the Grace Shield "A" League.