Crunch time for Stars, Somerset and Cleveland

  • Gibbons will be a key man for Cleveland in returning to Stars (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Three teams face must-win situations in Sunday’s two One Premier Division matches that will determine relegation and the play-off opponents for First Division side Flatts.

Cleveland are bottom of the standings and need a victory, plus bonus points, over third-from-bottom Western Stars at St John’s Field to have any chance of avoiding relegation. Cleveland are coming off two straight victories, but also need Southampton Rangers to beat Somerset away to have any chance of climbing off the bottom ahead of the West Enders who have 13 more points.

However, Cleveland will not get any favours from Stars, who are only seven points ahead of Somerset and would slip into the play-off spot if they lose and Somerset beat Rangers.

“This is definitely an important match, we don’t want to leave it in anybody else’s hands,” said Arnold Manders, the Stars coach, before the match that was rained out two weeks ago. “It’s a game that we need to win to avoid finishing in the play-off spot.”

It will be a homecoming for three former Stars players, Treadwell Gibbons, Temiko Wilson and Makai Young, but Manders insists that his team are only interested in the victory that will keep them out of the bottom two. In fact, they could finish ahead of Rangers, whom they trail by ten points.

St David’s and Bailey’s Bay, who finished first and second, have opted not to play their rescheduled match.

St George’s, who have clinched the automatic promotion spot, will play Willow Cuts in a rearranged match tomorrow at Wellington Oval. Sunday’s final round of matches will see Devonshire Rec taking on Willow Cuts, Flatts hosting Warwick at St David’s and PHC at home to Somerset Bridge.

n Dajon Carey of Flatts won the One Communications First Division Player of the Week award for his knock of 97 against Devonshire Rec last weekend, helping Flatts secure second place in the standings with a three-wicket victory.