By Dervon Wallace
Villagers Pacesetters Sports Athletic Club will put its unbeaten run on the line when the bottle lines are drawn in the much anticipated rematch against Metropolitan Cricket League (MCL) rival Westbury Cricket Club when they renew their rivalry contesting the Roy Sweeney Challenge Cup final on Sunday September 15, at the Floyd Bennett Cricket Field in Southeast Brooklyn.
Both teams are very strong on paper and have been enjoying a healthy run up to the final. Westbury are the defending champion of this competition, however Villagers enter the game as favorite having already dethrone Westbury as Round Robin champion a few weeks ago and is the only team to humble Westbury having beaten them twice, on one occasion dismissing them for 88 and posted over 300 runs when batted first. With that said the team based in Nassau County has been one of the most dominant in MCL and will no doubt be travelling the highway on route to Southeast Brooklyn aiming to gain revenge of some sort by trying to stop a high flying Villagers team that aims to equal the record for the most consecutive win in MCL held by the 1998 Mid-Island and if victorious will create history as the first team to win an unprecedented double unbeaten.
Westbury seeking their 6th hold on the 14 season old Challenge Cup will look to West Indies test player Jermaine Lawson, West Indies B first-class player Calito Lopez along with Linden St. Louis to spearhead the bowling supported by Cheddie Gayle, Captain Ballister McLeish and Clinton Lewis. The batting should be led by former Windward Island first-class player Dennison Thomas, USA middle order batsman the prolific Barrington Bartley who made a brilliant ton the last time both teams met, Kevin Baugh, Darren Ferguson, the talented Javein Thomas and the reliable veteran duo of Paul Salmon and Devon Campbell and if require Lawson, Lopez and USA cricket hall of famer McLeish can provide some fireworks.
Villagers seeking their first Challenge Cup trophy boast a strong line-up led by former Westbury representative Cliff Roye and should include former Jamaica first-class player and USA captain Richard “Master” Staple, current USA captain and arguable the country’s best batsman Steve Massiah, USA batsman the hard hitting Rashard Marshall, Melroy Kingston along with Marvin Simpson and Raldo Mowatt. The bowling department will be led by USA paceman George Adams; Talisman Gordon along with veteran leg spinner Ewart Gayle supported by Cuthbert Mendonca and Andre Hooper, one player that will defiantly be there is the elder statesman Charles “Give Thanks” Walker and as evident Adams is more than just the spare head of the bowling attack as he demonstrated the last time both teams met taking the Westbury bowlers to the cleaners in a show of power hitting.
Game time for this 35 over affair is 11am!!!
Note: The MCL Challenge Cup is name in honor of cricket visionary the late Roy Sweeney and fittingly a team he co-founded (Westbury Cricket Club) will contest the final hosted at no better venue than at a ground he was upon to his dying bed fighting to keep as a cricket ground. They will be tribute throughout the day to the great man who sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 78.
New York Metropolitan Cricket League Challenge Cup Winners
Years Winners Runners up
2000 Progressive Pakistan
2001 Pakistan Westbury
2002 Progressive Westbury
2003 Westbury Spice Island
2004 Progressive Westbury
2005 Cosmos Progressive
2007 Westbury Cosmos
2008 Westbury Lions
2009 Westbury Villagers
2010 Progressive Cosmos
2011 Progressive Westbury
2012 Westbury Villagers