Royal leads Innswood to Grace title
An outstanding all-round performance from West Indies Under-19 batsman Jeavor Royal lifted Innswood High to a fourth hold on the ISSA/Grace Shield title following a 36-run win over Excelsior High in the final at Melbourne Oval yesterday.
Captain Royal who claimed five for 56 on the opening day, and scored 109 on day two, returned to pick up five for 114 on the third and final day. Excelsior, chasing a difficult second innings target of 368, fell for 331.
The run chase came after Innswood, resuming on 336 for nine, were dismissed for 337 in their second innings.
"The is the closest final of the four championships that we have won," said Innswood coach Kirk Gordon, who guided the Spanish Town-based institution to honours in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
"With 367 runs on the board, we thought we would have gone home from 3 p.m., but it was not to be.
"Excelsior fought us all the way, but our bowlers were disciplined for the most part, and, as the saying goes, 'an ugly win is better than a pretty loss'."
National Under-19 batsman and captain Ramon Senior, who topscored with 67 in the first innings was again Excelsior's leading player. He got a topscore of 91 and was supported by Danvil Walliston, 57, and Kirk McKenzie, 36.
"It was a match that was deserving of a final. It's just unfortunate that we came out on the losing end," said Excelsior's coach Kirkland Bailey.
"I am nonetheless proud of my guys, the effort they showed."
Innswood will next face rural area Grace Headley Cup champions St Elizabeth Technical in the national play-offs next week.