High five: Kevin Fubler left, celebrates with nephew Dexter Basden after claiming another wicket. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
High five: Kevin Fubler left, celebrates with nephew Dexter Basden after claiming another wicket. *Photo by Ras Mykkal

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13: Teenaged seamer Antonio Darrell emerged as the unlikely hero for cup holders Willow Cuts during last weekend’s Western Counties third round nail biter.

With challengers Somerset Bridge on the cusp of an improbable victory, the 15-year-old Berkeley Institute student sealed his team’s narrow one-run win by claiming the prized wicket of tailender Marlon Rojas.

Prior to Darrell’s intervention Bridge threatened to run away with the match, with Ro jas (seven) and Clarence Trott (31 not out) adding 34 runs for the last wicket.

But after conceding three runs in the over, Darrell, who plays for Cuts’ Under- 17 youth team, trapped former Trinidad international footballer Rojas leg before to spark wild celebrations at Somerset Cricket Club.

Cuts coach Rodney Fubler said he never doubted the teenager’s ability to deliver under pressure.

He said: “I had confidence in Antonio because he bowls a good line.

“Antonio did a fantastic job and at his age if he stays in the game he can go far.”

With Trott and Rojas chipping away at Cuts’ shallow target, Fubler began to fear the worst.

He said: “I personally thought the game was over when Bridge put on that 34 -run partnership.

“But I still had confidence in Antonio and what he showed me was brilliant.”

Bridge eventually folded for 154 all out, with Tristan Smith top scoring with 37.

Veteran off-spinner Kevin Fubler (three for ten) led the Cuts’ bowling attack.

Earlier the cup holders, who dethroned PHC in the second round, were skittled out for 155 after electing to bat.

All-rounder Deunte Darrell, a cousin of bowling hero Antonio, led the champions’ batting with 40 while Sheroy Fubler added 27.

That Bridge managed to restrict Cuts under 200 runs owed more to “poor” batting than anything else.

Fubler said: “We batted poorly. I told my players all week that Bridge is a dangerous team when it comes to Western Counties.

“They play their best against us and it’s always game on when we play them in the Western Counties.”

Donnie Charles, Derek Hill, Shawn Riley and Trott were the pick of the Bridge bowling with two wickets each.

Bridge all-rounder and PLP MP, Marc Bean, took defeat with a dash of salt.

He said: “It was just one of those things, it was close.”

Bean was drafted into the team at the 11th hour after Bridge showed up to play without a full complement.

Cuts will now defend their crown in the final round against Southampton Rangers, who look set to play despite threatening to boycott in protest of new changes to the competition, including the decision to stage the series at Somerset. Fubler reckons his team will be up for the challenge on August 6.

He said: “If we play to our best on the day we can beat anybody.”