Wolmer’s Boys claim Grace Shield title
It has been a decade since Wolmer’s Boys got their hands on the urban area schoolboy cricket trophy, and the Heroes Circle-based school needed just two of the three days to secure the 2023 title following an innings and 192-run win over St Jago High in the ISSA Grace Shield final at Melbourne Oval yesterday.
Resuming the day on 146 for five with a 35-run lead from day one, overnight batsmen Justin Beckford and Alex Hinds made sure the game was out of reach of St Jago following a masterful 204-run sixth-wicket partnership in Wolmer’s first-innings reply of 372 for nine declared.
Beckford, the Wolmer’s captain, who resumed on 43, went on to stroke a brilliant 166, with his overnight partner Hinds moving from 21 not out to fall agonisingly close to a century on 97.
That partnership knocked the stuffing out of the St Jago attack, with leg-spinner Milton Luckain the only real threat with his three wickets for 96 runs.
With a healthy 261-run lead, it was no surprise that Wolmer’s went in for the kill, and their bowlers responded admirably to skittle out St Jago for a mere 69 runs in their second time at the crease.
The Spanish Town-based boys were no match for off-spinner Matthew Aljoe, who bagged four for 13, with only Luckain showing any real fight during his knock of 41.
The title was the first for coach Jerraine Williams, who was pleased with the team’s overall performance.
“We played some good Wolmer’s brand of cricket, from the partnership between our captain and Alex Hinds and it was good to see the depth coming through. I wasn’t worried about their batting too long because we have good-quality bowling,” Williams said.
Losing assistant coach Shane Cole lamented the team’s poor showing and also the unfortunate incident where player Jehlen Trotz had to be hospitalised due to injury.
“I must say congrats to Wolmer’s who played the best cricket by winning most of the sessions. Our players were a bit deflated after one of their teammates had to be taken to hospital due to a foot injury. However, we will learn from this and come back stronger next year as we will only be losing about three players,” Cole said.