The name A Class Battery Bayley’s Primary will forever be etched in local cricketing history as the first school to capture four consecutive championship titles in the Guardian Group Herman Griffith 2019 Primary Schools’ Cricket Competition.
In the words of Stedson ‘Red Plastic Bag’ Wiltshire’s 2016 hit song ‘I Love It’, Bayley’s and their scores of St. Phillip supporters stormed the field of Empire Cricket Ground in Bank Hall, St. Michael, after claiming the historic feat by 60 runs against St. Stephen’s Primary today.
Led by captain and Man-of-the-Match, Damarko Wiggins, Zone C1 winners Bayley’s Primary won the toss and posted 138 for nine from their allotted 25 overs with a top score of 30 from Shawnico Sargeant, a contribution of 20 compliments Wiggins and 13 by fellow opener Javonte Norville.
In response St. Stephen’s were bowled out for 78 off 22.4 overs with Zachary Carrington and Jayden Chase accounting for two wickets each to hand Bayley’s a well-deserved victory in front of former Barbados and West Indies greats Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Wesley Hall.
Today’s unprecedented fourth straight title made it Bayley’s seventh overall championship trophy having had previous success against West Terrace Primary in 2016, Reynold Weekes Primary in 2017 and Good Shepherd Primary in 2018.
Victorious coach Winfield Forde was a happy man and told Barbados Today words could not describe how elated he felt to see that the hard work had paid off having worked with fellow coaches, Ronald Greenidge, Eric Bynoe and Andrew Best.
Forde explained that while the playoffs were tough because of the quality of teams that they came up against he was happy with the way the boys played, showing consistency to emerge victorious.
“Obviously the teams that went forward would have been the better teams, so we knew that we had to step up our game coming from the zones into the playoffs, but we stood out and I am very pleased about it. Sometimes words are very difficult to say but I am very pleased with the boys and we will be back next year for the fifth,” said Forde who also noted that he intends to go after Wesley Hall’s record of 11 overall titles won in the close to four-decade  long tournament.
St. Stephen’s Primary bowlers gifted 56 extras as Rakhio Paul and Ijae Ward both picked up three wickets each for 29 and 25 runs respectively from their allotted five overs on a hard wicket that suited the batsmen. Christon Skeete grabbed two wickets but was expensive with 34 runs off his five overs.
Bayley’s who received the winner’s cheque for $1, 000 were 99 for 4 off 16 overs and at that same stage St. Stephen’s were only 49 for four.
St. Stephen’s batsmen failed to communicate properly between the wickets which resulted in three run-outs including the last two wickets to fall.
Fast bowler Jayden Chase produced a maiden over for Bayley’s when he opened the bowling and that sent an early warning to St. Stephen’s openers Joshua Babb and captain Shaka Alleyne.
Despite the loss, St. Stephen’s all-rounder Rakhio Paul played well, snaring three wickets and also scoring 21, his team’s highest individual score. Emanie Stuart contributed 13 runs.
The going was so tough for St. Stephen’s Primary that their last three batsmen failed to trouble the score as Bayley’s bowlers offered only 28 extras.
Teacher and coach of St. Stephen’s Jeremy Browne told Barbados Today after trying for a number of years he was happy the school finally made it into a final.
“We were elated to finally be able to make it to our first final in cricket, we have been trying for a number of years. We have a programme that is growing and building, so we were happy to see the fruits of it this year. We played a strong consistent opposition, but we showed up well despite a little too many extras,” Browne said.
Kemar Dixon of Welches Primary captured the award for the Most Valuable Player and batsman with the most runs in the competition havinng scored 295 runs. Dixon was also named among five-century makers – Rajai Gibbons of Ignatius Byer Primary, Damarko Wiggins of Bayley’s and Charles F. Broome’s pair of Jovani Lovell and Thomas Armstrong.
Lovell recorded the highest individual score of 133 not out against Grantley Prescod.
Jordan Supermarket Good Shepherd captured two awards when Azary Benskin was named bowler with the most wicket of 20, and best wicketkeeper in Seth Smith. The best bowling performance of seven for seven went to Keron Forde of Selah Primary.
While for the school’s prizes, Charles F. Broome Memorial scored 282 without a loss for the highest team score against Grantley Prescod Primary while Wills Primary was named Most Improved.