ST GEORGE, Grenada, (CMC) – Roland Cato failed to reach his maiden first-class hundred, as he led Windward Islands Volcanoes’ batting before Leeward Islands Hurricanes fought back with a cluster of late wickets in the Regional 4-Day Championship on Thursday.The former Windwards Under-19 captain hit 90 to anchor the Volcanoes to 220 for seven in their first innings at the close on the first day of the first round match at the National Cricket Stadium.Cato struck five fours and one six from 154 balls and shared two successive century stands that were at the heart of the home team’s batting.He shared 50 with discarded West Indies batsman Kirk Edwards for the third wicket, and followed up with a 105-run stand with Kavem Hodge for the fourth wicket before they were dismissed within four balls of each other.Familiarity bred success for Mervyn Matthew, the former Volcanoes fast-medium bowler, as he was the pick of the Hurricanes’ bowlers with 3-22 from 15 overs.Volcanoes suffered an early setback, when Devon Smith was caught behind of Jeremiah Louis for 16 inside the first hour.Just when it appeared they were inching to lunch without further loss, new Volcanoes captain Tyrone Theophile was run out for 23.After lunch, Matthew struck when he trapped Edwards lbw for 35, but Cato and Hodge brought stability to the innings, ensuring the Volcanoes did not lose another wicket before tea.After the break, Hodge and Cato carried the hosts past the 200-run mark before they were dismissed within quick succession.Gavin Tonge removed Hodge for 41, triggering a slide that also saw Cato, Gian Benjamin and Liam Sebastien dismissed cheaply, as the Volcanoes lost four wickets for five runs in the space off 26 balls.VOLCANOES 1st InningsD Smith c wkpr Thomas b Louis 16*T Theophile run out 23K Edwards lbw b Matthew 35R Cato c Carty b Matthew 90K Hodge c Taylor b Tonge 41L Sebastien lbw b Warde 3+G Benjamin c wkpr Thomas b Matthew 2S Shillingford not out 0A Alexander not out 2Extras (b3, lb2, nb3) 8TOTAL (7 wkts, 85 overs) 220S Lewis, D Johnson to batFall of wickets: 1-25, 2-58, 3-105, 4-213, 5-213, 6-217, 7-218Bowling: Matthew 15-5-22-3 (nb2); Louis 14-4-30-1 (nb1); Tonge 10-5-23-1; Campbell 15-3-35-0; Bonner 12-1-45-0; Taylor 11-0-35-0; Warde 8-1-24-1HURRICANES: N Bonner, J Campbell, K Carty, C Hughes, *+D Thomas, A Saunders, J Taylor, J Louis, M Matthew, G Tonge, T Warde
“Kieron Conway put up a great fight, he’s a tough boy, he has a great work rate, but I do believe I clearly won by four rounds,” he said after the fight. “But it is what it is. I’m gutted. I’m still champ but I deserved the win.”Conway can take a lot of positives from this draw. Expect him to challenge again for the British title. Also on the card:Otha Jones III def. Michael Horabin via a first-round TKO (referee stopped fight); lightweights.Craig Richards def. Andre Sterling via unanimous decision (117-111, 116-111, 115-112); British light heavyweight title final eliminator.Shannon Courtenay def. Valerija Sepetovska via second-round TKO (referee stopped fight; bantamweights.Charles Frankham def. Ilgvars Krauklis via first-round knockout; super featherweights.Recce Bellotti def. Josue Bendana via fourth-round knockout; featherweights.Anthony Fox def. Duane Sinclair. 79-73 on points; light heavyweights Conor Benn defended his WBA Continental welterweight title in empathic fashion Friday, defeating Jussi Koivula via second-round TKO at London’s York Hall.”The Destroyer” (15-0, 10 KOs) rallied after taking a lot of punishment in the opening round of his debut as a headliner. Koivula (24-7-1, nine KOs) caught him with a right hand early and looked determined to get the job done inside the first three minutes. The “Ice Man” continued to take the fight to the 22-year-old champ and eventually sent him stumbling back to the ropes with a left hand. Koivula easily won Round 1 and silenced the crowd, which began to grow nervous. Benn looked to match Koivula’s work rate in the second; finally, with 1:15 gone, he landed a short left hook that sent the Finnish fighter to the canvas. It wasn’t long before Koivula was down again after a flurry of punches. The referee stopped the fight with 53 seconds remaining in the round after Benn backed Koivula up against the ropes and landed a big right hook followed by a left hook.Join DAZN to watch 100+ fight nights a year”He came out firing, tried to throw me out (of) my game plan,” Benn said after the fight. “He thought I was a little boy. I knew he was going to come out like a 35-year-old man, and he thought he could bully me around, but I wasn’t having any of it.””I wanted to get the balance right, the old Conor Benn and the new and improved Conor Benn,” he added. “I think I showed a little bit of both today.”Said promoter Eddie Hearn: “Three of four fights ago I don’t think [Benn] would have of reacted like that.””Now we move into the danger zone, the likes of [Samuel] Vargas and Josh Kelly,” Hearn added. “That could end up being a huge domestic fight, Josh Kelly against Conor Benn.”Co-main event: Ted Cheeseman retains British super welterweight title after split draw with Kieron ConwayCheeseman (15-1-1, nine KOs) defended his Lord Lonsdale belt one fight after suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Sergio Garcia for the EBU European super welterweight title. The judges scored the bout 115-114 for Cheeseman, 116-113 for Conway and 114-114.”The Big Cheese” showed power and persistence against a game opponent.He started on the front foot and landed the better shots in the early rounds, working the body well before going upstairs. As the fight entered the middle rounds, however, Conway (12-1-1, three KOs) grew in confidence and started to land with hook after hook to the body. With blood coming from Cheeseman’s nose in the fifth, Conway continued to land the jab before setting up combos to the head and body. Cheeseman, with his head down and his hands up, walked into the shots before landing a few combos of his own when he backed up Conway against the ropes.With both men fighting on the inside and happy to trade blows, the bout turned into a test of who wanted it more. Cheeseman’s experience appeared to pay dividends in the final two rounds as he delivered well-placed body shots that slowed Conway. Cheeseman looked deflated by the decision.