It was with great expectation that the 2010 Sarasota Heineken sponsored Village Greenies touring party boarded the specially chartered Cayman Airways jet at Owen Roberts International Airport.
Boasting two sides of varying ability and experience hopes were high that a 17 year drought in the tournament could be finally ended.
The Village Greenies captained by David McGrath had been weakened by the late withdraw of talismatic all rounder Frankie Hinds but on paper still boasted enough talent to challenge. The Evergreens captained by David Groves and with player coach, Ian Goodall at the helm also looked to have more than enough experience to be a force.
In the first game, the Greenies unfortunately capitulated against a strong Anzacs team and the Evergreens cruised through unscathed against the Mad Dogs led home by an unbeaten 25 from Matthew Walker.
Days two and three continued in a similar vein with the Greenies continuing to struggle and the Evergreens dominating the opposition. At the end of the group stages the Evergreens had comfortably booked their place in the Sunday final (4 wins 1 loss) whilst the Village Greenies would be taking the day off (1-4).
Finals day dawned and with some sore heads and tired legs in the camp the Evergreens would be taking on the Springboks. Having studied the pitch and the overhead conditions coach Goodall selected the team of Walker, Adams, Sawle-Thomas, Beck, Grover and Dreadsy to take the field. Groves lost the toss and the burly Springboks chose to bat. After the customary Jerry Beck first ball bumper and some lusty hitting from the South Africans, the Evergreens bowlers and fielders battled back from a poor start and the innings closed on 77-3 from their 5 overs, which looked to be a challenging total.
Openers Charlie Adams and Matthew Walker walked out to bat and took the game to the Springboks pacers with a mixture of boundaries and scrambled twos. Walker departed for a well crafted 25 and Dickie Thomas joined Adams at the crease.
Despite a few nervous moments these two guided the Evergreens home to a famous victory with two balls to spare and the crowd, already built up into a frenzy by the quality of the Evergreens cricket, went crazy. Groves accepted the trophy from an emotional Larry Parry and the shield will be taking pride of place in the soon to be constructed Village Greenies Little Cayman Hunting Lodge.
Top performers with the bat were tour MVP Matthew Walker with a total of 122 runs, Charlie Adams with 68 runs and Nick Sellars with 58 runs. Top bowlers were Walker again with 5 wickets, David Groves with 4, Matthew Glyde and Jerry Beck with 3. A special mention was reserved to Adams who has been attending the festival every year for the last 17 years and who finally tasted victory in a Sarasota final for the first time at the ripe young age of 67.