White River into SDC/Wray and Nephew semis
The Garden parish of St Ann will be represented in the 2019 edition of the SDC/Wray & Nephew National T20 community cricket competition, as White River secured one of the automatic semi-final spots, following a victory over neighbours Links United.
The Three Hills community centre was the location for the second set of quarter-final matches on Sunday and it was White River who won the toss and asked Links United to take the first strike.
That move seemed to be the correct one, as Links United were struggling at one stage at 64 for five in the 11th over. It took a brilliant unbeaten knock of 59 not out from number seven batsman Marlon Johnson to spruce up the Links United total, which ended on 152 all out in 20 overs.
Venroy Laing chipped in with 27, while Stephen Gallimore got 24 against Andre Clarke, 4 for 35, and Junior Carr, 2 for 23.
Knowing that a comprehensive win would take them straight into the semi-finals, White River went about the run chase in frantic style. The opening pair of Emekes Jones and Duran Whyte put on 63 runs in just seven overs before Jones was bowled by Laing for 18.
Whyte and Damani Sewell continued scoring quickly, putting on 79 runs for the second wicket before Sewell went caught in the deep for 28.
All this time Whyte continued to hit the bowling to all parts of the small Three Hills ground as he posted a well-played 79 runs from just 47 balls with 10 fours and three sixes.
In the end, it was Gifton Wray who finished off the match with a four and a six to post 154 for 3 in just 16 overs to send White River Rebels into the semi-finals.
"I believe our experience took us through today, we really wanted to bowl out this Links United team for 120, they got a bit more than that. Hats off to my senior batters for getting the runs and getting them quickly, which helped us to get into that automatic semi-final spot," said Olanzo Harris, captain of White River.
Meanwhile, the second quarter-final encounter saw hot favourites Junction Ballards Valley of St Elizabeth taking on Gayle of St Mary.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Junction posted a respectable total of 170 for 9 of their allotted 20 overs thanks largely to a knock of 55 from opener Dave Dythe.
Dythe got good support from Bryan Gayle who made 40, while Trace Powell chipped in with 24.
There were two wickets each for Jermaine Chisholm, Jevaugh Hinds, Sheldon Clarke and Sheldon Pryce.
In reply, Gayle could only manage 158 for 9 off 20 overs, despite a brilliant knock of 79 from opener Anthony Walters. Medium-pacer Damion Ebanks bagged 4 for 17, while Roberto Simpson took 3 for 14.
The win enabled Junction Ballards Valley to advance to next weekend's play-off, where they will take on Orange Hill of Westmoreland in the opening match of a doubleheader in Manchester.
The other play-off match will feature Fairfield of Manchester against Gayle of St Mary.