Village are Evening stars

North Village have won the Evening Cricket League Second Division at the second attempt. They have also earned an automatic place in the knockout finals in a fortnight’s time after their scheduled opponents BCB Academy — one of two teams to beat them this season — forfeited their semi-final at Shelly Bay today.

The Academy side withdrew yesterday because of a clash with their Summer League finals, which are being staged today at Somerset, leaving Village a step closer to completing the coveted league and knockout double.

Village, who have earned promotion to the ECL’s Premier Division next season, finished the league on 27 points, four clear of De Wicketest, with St George’s third a further point behind and BCB Academy fourth on 16.

“Our first year was an opportunity for us to recruit players who had not played cricket to come out,” said Allen Walker, captain of Village, who were stalwarts in the now defunct Commercial Cricket League. “It wasn’t so much about winning but more geared to everyone playing and having fun.

Walker, whose side lost both fixtures against St George’s in addition to going down to BCB Academy in one match added: “We have about 40 per cent of players remaining from the Commercial League. This year players have improved which has contributed to our good run in the league, winning the majority of our games.”

Walker said at the start of the season Village decided to impose penalties on players for poor performances — making ducks or dropping catches — and the scheme has paid off.

“The penalty was to be a social sponsor for the next game. During the first half of the season the same guys were sponsoring the next social. However, the penalties have since declined!”

Today’s remaining knockout semi-final pits De Wicketest against St George’s at 10am.

The Premier Division’s knockout semi-finals will take place next Saturday.

Tuff Dogs won the league’s Premier Division for the second season running, while PHC were relegated after finishing bottom.