By Morissa Lindsay
Bayley’s Primary Captain and Man of the Match, Shaquan Mason, top-scored with 14 runs as he led his team to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Eden Lodge Primary this afternoon in the Herman Griffith Primary Schools Six Fa Six softball cricket competition.
Played at Briar Hall in Christ Church, Bayley’s won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision that worked well in their favour as Eden Lodge only managed to score 31 for two from their allotted six overs. In response Bayley’s made light work of the target scoring 34 for one from 3.5 overs to capture the inaugural Six Fa Six trophy.
During a post-match interview with Barbados Today, Bayley’s Primary School teacher and coach Elvis Goodman said winning the title was not unexpected and he was pleased with the effort of his players who contested eight matches in total undefeated.
“I am glad for the boys, they have been practicing hard in preparation for the cricket tournament and we had to transition from hard ball in preparation for the soft ball tournament. It was not unexpected, they played well throughout the tournament and they defended really well. They got a deserved victory,” Goodman explained.
No stranger to winning cricket competitions at this level, Goodman shared what it was like for Bayley’s, the reigning five-time champions of the Herman Griffith hard ball competition to transition into the soft ball six a side cricket, which is not the traditional cricket competition for primary schools. However, the physical education teachers agreed to have this particular tournament this year after being on lockdown for two years because of COVID-19.
“When playing on a wicket that is rolled, the hard ball will bounce at an even pace but with soft ball, what you have to take into consideration is that once the ball hits the surface it is going to come up slower and therefore the batsmen have to readjust to that slow pace. Some of them were able to while others struggled a bit but given the practice that they put in, the boys were able to play their way around it,” Goodman said.
As it relates to Six Fa Six, Goodman noted that while it was a good tournament he personally enjoys the hard ball cricket and hopes to see it return next year saying, “The six a side is not necessarily the best thing for the children. I understand why some of my colleagues would want to play six a side but at the same time it encourages them (players) to swipe. It is not the best thing if you are looking to develop skills and techniques among the children.”
During today’s final, Eden Lodge sent in to bat by Bayley’s lost their first wicket when opener Nathan Boyce was bowled for one run by medium pacer Stefano Springer. Nasri Herbert came in at number three and joined top order batsman Shaquan Parris who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player with most runs of 340 and captured 13 wickets, which was the highest total in the competition.
Parris tried his best to get bat on ball but was eventually bowled for a mere two runs by Samuel Smith who was credited as Bayley’s best bowler for the tournament. Bayley’s bowlers placed the balls full length in an effort to frustrate the Eden Lodge star player who enjoyed pulling. In fact, Parris did just that in the semi-final when he top-scored with 33 runs and led his side to a 56 run victory against Blackman and Gollop Primary.
Eden Lodge were 22 for two from three overs when Parris was sent back to the pavilion. Number three and four batsmen Nasri Herbert and Neymar Holder were both fresh at the crease. Herbert ended on six not out and Holder one as Bayley’s were guilty of bowling 18 extras coming onto the end as the ball kept low oftentimes.
In response, Bayley’s lost one wicket when opener Kymani Inniss was bowled by none other than Parris for three runs off the fifth ball of the first over. Shakir Alleyne with the second highest score of nine and Shaquan Mason at position number three saw the innings through for Bayley’s as Mason top scoring with 14 runs finished the game in style with a leg side boundary for four. Bayley’s defeated A DaCosta Edwards Primary in the semi-finals.