Metropolitan Cricket League
By Dervon Wallace
A bumper crowd is expected to descend at the Floyd Bennett Cricket Field in South East Brooklyn when the battle lines are drawn as Villagers Pacesetters Social Athletic Club and Westbury Cricket Club renew their rivalry in a repeat of last year’s Metropolitan Cricket League  Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier League 40 overs final. In a grudge match of sort Westbury will be looking to rustle back the trophy that they lost to Villagers in last year’s showpiece event.  The Pacesetters on the other hand will look to continue their recent dominance over their old nemesis after soundly defeating them in the preliminary round.

Steve Massiah of Villagers. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

In four previous meetings at this stage in the league’s premiere competition, Westbury hold the upper hand with three triumphs in 2001, 2002 and 2007 to Villagers one in 2013, Villagers only other win against Westbury in playoffs in this format came in the 2011 semifinal. Both teams got through to the final in contrasting fashion, Villagers made light work of Progressive winning by 216 runs while Westbury held their nerves to see off the challenge of Sheffield by 27 runs.

It must be noted that at one stage in the earlier rounds Westbury seems in danger of not reaching the playoffs for the first time in over 20 years, however they prove that they can’t be taken lightly as they fight their way back even though it required some help from ironically Sheffield who they defeated in the semi and Villagers who they will face in what promises to be an epic affair.

Despite Villagers being labeled as favorite, cricket fans should be in for a treat as both teams should feature a host of past and present national players.

Villagers who will be seeking their third hold on the trophy will once again be led by former Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) law man Cliff Roye who will be able to choose from; former USA captain Richard Staple, current USA captain Steve Massiah, former Jamaica opening batsman Delroy Morgan, USA middle order batsman Rashard Marshall, West Indies Under-19 top-order batsman Tristann Coleman and USA representative George Adams. Also available for selection are the ever reliable Melroy Kingston, Talisman Gordon, Sashane Anderson, Marvin Simpson, Raldo Mowatt and Romoy Rickets along with the veteran pair of Ewart Gayle and Charles “Give Thanks” Walker.

Westbury who has being the most dominate in this format since the turn of the century will be seeking their ninth title and will be led by a former army man of their own in Clinton Lewis who also has a strong contingent to choose from. At his disposal are; Former Windward Island first-class player Dennison Thomas, USA middle-order batsman Barrington Bartley, Kevin Baugh, Javein Thomas, Devon Campbell, Larry Charlery, Linden St Louis, Horace Porter, Cheddie Gayle, Darren Ferguson and Hall of Famer Ballister McLeish.

This 40 over per side spectacular will bowl off at 12 noon.

Barrington Bartley of Westbury.

Fact File: Metropolitan Cricket League 40 overs competition winners’ since 1980.

Years              CHAMPIONS                       RUNNERS UP

2013               Villagers                                Westbury

2012               Westbury                               Progressive

2011               Villagers                                Progressive

2010               Progressive                           Westbury

2009               Cosmos                                 Progressive

2008               Cosmos                                 Progressive

2007               Westbury                               Villagers

2006               Cosmos                                 Mid Island

2005               Westbury                               Cosmos

2004               Westbury                               Progressive

2003               Westbury                               Spice Island

2002               Westbury                               Villagers A

2001               Westbury                               Villagers A

2000               Progressive                           Pakistan

1999               Cosmos                                 Progressive

1998               Mid Island                              Cosmos

1997               JSAC                                      Mid Island

1996               Sportsman                             Excelsior

1995               Sims New York                     Sportsman

1994               Sportsman                             Westbury

1993               Sims New York                     Mid Island

1992               Westbury                               Sims New York

1991               Sims New York                     unknown

1990               Sims New York                     unknown

1989               Sims New York                     unknown

1988               Sims New York                     ACS

1987               ACS                                        unknown

1986               ACS                                        unknown

1985               ACS                                        unknown

1984               ACS                                        unknown

1983               ACS                                        unknown

1982               JSAC                                      ACS

1981               JSAC                                      unknown

1980               JSAC                                      unknown

ACS: American Cricket Society
JSAC: Jamaica Social Athletic Club