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Defence Force, Ma Pau Stars clash in First Citizens Cup

13 hours 23 min ago

Two-time winners Defence Force and two-time beaten finalist Ma Pau Stars, face off in the $130,000 2016 edition of the First Citizens Cup final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 8 pm this evening.

Prior to the match, Digicel T&T Pro League two-time reigning champions Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh meet in a league encounter from 6 pm.

But all eyes will be focus on the feature match of the night’s double-header where Defence Force, which has reached the final seven times in all, will be hoping to be come the second-winning club in the competition behind seven-time champions W Connection (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2015).

As it stands, San Juan Jabloteh (2000 & 2003), Defence Force (2002 & 2009), Morvant Caledonia United (2011 & 2012) and Central FC (2013 & 2014) a have all won the First Citizens Cup twice with the now defunct Joe Public (2010), the only other winner.

Speaking ahead of the final, Defence Force striker who netted a hat-trick in his team’s 3-0 semifinal defeat of Morvant Caledonia United after scoring a beaver-trick in the 4-2 quarterfinal win against St Ann’s Rangers said he envisions lifting the title from a team effort for the third time in team history, but first under coach Marvin Gordon.

Last season, Gordon celebrated his first title in charge of the team by winning the season-ending Digicel Pro Bowl title, a title it also won in 2012 under now Ma Pau Stars coach and former Defence Force coach as well Ross Russell, who also guided the Army/Coast Guard combination to the Digicel Pro League crown in 2010-11 and 2012-13.

On his goal-scoring exploits, Jorsling said he is always confident in his goal-scoring ability.

The 32-year-old former T&T international must now face in-form goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel, who has been brilliant throughout the 2016 First Citizens Cup for Ma Pau Stars, leading his team to three penalty-kicks win.

Both men squared off once before this season with Jorsling’s second half strike earning Defence Force a 1-0 win a in the league on November, 19.

But Samuel, a former T&T Under-17 and Under-20 Youth World Cup has been in impressive in the First Citizens Cup helping the Sangre Grande-based club overcome San Juan Jabloteh, W Connection and Police FC, all on kicks from the penalty mark to reach the final.

Ma Pau Stars has never won the First Citizens Cup, although reaching the final in 2006 and 2014 under past coaches and their previous name, North East Stars.

But in Russell, who ended Defence Force’s eight-year drought by leading the Teteron Men to the 2009 First Citizens Cup in his debut season as coach Stars has an experienced man at the helm and with former Soca Warriors and 2006 World Cup members Carlos Edwards and Jason Scotland, both for Defence Force employees in their line-up, another upset win could well be on the cards. The winners of tonight’s final will collect $110,00 while the runner-up gets $20,000.

Farrier offers overall cycling development

13 hours 27 min ago

Using the sport of cycling as a pillar of nation-building is one of the main things on incumbent president Robert Farrier’s mind as he makes another bid to be re-elected at the helm of the T&T Cycling Federation at tomorrow’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Election of Officers at the National Cycling Centre, Balmain, Couva.

Farrier will be challenged for the top spot by Rowena Williams, an ex president under whose leadership the construction of the National Cycling Centre took place.

But yesterday Farrier in a comprehensive manifesto, outlined his intentions for the sport and the country if he were to be returned as president. It included assisting athletes in achieve their goals of performing at the highest level locally and internationally and promote health and fitness to its members and thereby foster a healthier nation. The local cycling boss is also advocating the use of bikes as a preferred means of transport.

He believes the country is equipped with the potential to qualify more than one sprinter to the 2020 Olympic Games, saying the country has a great history of sprinters and currently the talent pool is extremely high. “The goal is to develop a pool of sprinters, both males and females, for the Olympics. Additionally, a provision should be made for athletes with the potential to get into the first tier.”

According to Farrier, the country is also filled with men and women track endurance cyclists who are just outside the top 10 at the Pan American level and gave the assurance that a pool of riders will be developed and development strategies will be implemented to achieve podium finishes in the future. Farrier pointed out that due to his good relationship with the COPACI as well as the UCI, that the country has the opportunity to host the 2017 Elite Pan Am Track Cycling Championship.

He also promised to pay particular attention to the junior enhancement programme, as he noted the country’s junior riders have been very competitive in the sprints at the Pan Am but said a gap existed in their endurance programme. He believes to close this gap their young riders must be exposed to more international competition. His team comprises Joseph Roberts (vice president, Racing), Ian Cole (vice president, Finance), Joseph Baptiste (vice president, Discipline), Jacqui Corbin (general secretary), Betty Daniel (assistant general secretary), Janelle Celestine (treasurer), Gary Acosta (Racing secretary), David Francis (assistant Racing secretary) and Rixanne Ramnath (PRO).

Organisers hail unprecedented viewership for T20 showpiece

13 hours 31 min ago

CASTRIES—Caribbean Premier League organisers announced yesterday that the Twenty20 showpiece had once again exceeded global viewership figures for the just concluded season, with a nearly 44 per cent increase over the previous year.

According to figures, this year’s tournament enjoyed an audience of 134 million, a significant rise over the 93 million viewers that tuned in for the 2015 edition.

Viewing numbers have steadily risen from 36 million in the inaugural year in 2013 and the 66 million recorded for the 2014 event.

“Today is a proud day and further evidence of the rising international stature of the Hero CPL not just in the Americas, but across the UK, India, Middle East and beyond,” said CPL’s chief executive, Damien O’Donohoe.

Record numbers tuned in to the 2016 Caribbean Premier League.

“The release of these global viewership figures are a tremendous boost, not just for the game of cricket in the Caribbean, but for each of the local tourism boards and our loyal sponsors who invest so much in the development and marketing of the game.”

Several broadcast markets also enjoyed a significant boost in viewing numbers. In India, there was a doubling of viewership from 44 million to 82 million while in the United Kingdom, numbers grew from 548 000 in 2015 to 2.5 million.

In the United States where matches were played for the first time in Florida, there was an increase from 694 000 to 743 000.

O’Donohoe pointed out that the figures were also a reflection of a successful year for West Indies cricket and said organisers would continue to build on the quality product for 2017.

“The profile of West Indies cricket has never been higher and 2016 was a memorable year with the men’s senior and Under-19 sides, as well as the women’s team, enjoying international success in the first half of the year,” he noted.

“From the tournament’s inception back in 2013, we were determined to showcase the very best of what the Caribbean has to offer, both on and off the field, and we believe that the growth of the biggest party in sport in 2016 has further enhanced this reputation.

“We are immensely proud of the huge steps that the tournament has made in just four short years. Furthermore, we believe that there is even more to come in 2017 as we continue to attract the biggest names to the Caribbean and shine a spotlight on the incredible and unique culture that continues to thrive across the region.”

Jamaica Tallawahs are the reigning CPL champions after defeating Guyana Amazon Warriors by nine wickets in the August final in St Kitts. (CMC)

Cooper reported for suspect action

13 hours 33 min ago

DHAKA—T&T’s all-rounder Kevon Cooper has found himself in trouble over his action again, after being reported for a suspect bowling action during the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.

The 27-year-old, who bowls right-arm seam, has a history of issues with his action and was also reported during the Pakistan Super League earlier this year and in the Indian Premier League two years ago.

In 2011, Cooper was also reported while playing in the Caribbean Twenty20.

Cooper joins left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny who was also reported for having a suspect action and the BPL technical committee chairman, Jalal Yunus, said the cases of both players were being dealt with.

All-rounder Kevon Cooper … reported for suspect action.

“Sunny was reported once, in their (Rangpur Riders) last game [on November 28],” Yunus said.

“The next step would be for the BCB’s bowling action review committee to analyse video footage of the delivery, which we will do soon after the end of the tournament. We have sent Cooper’s footage to the WICB.”

Cooper, who has played just two first class games for Trinidad and Tobago, has mainly plied his trade on the global T20 circuit.

He has played seven of Titans’ 10 games but has had little success with bat or ball.

Overall, he has taken 175 wickets in 148 T20s and scored just over 600 runs.

Yunus said in the future the BPL would be taking a closer look at foreign players who had a history of suspect actions.

“In the next BPL, we hope to do the video analysis of suspected bowling action during the tournament itself,” he noted.

“We will also have to be aware of foreign players who have been reported previously, so that we can inform our franchises beforehand. We don’t want to have such bowlers in future tournaments.”

Cooper is one of a plethora of West Indian players currently plying their trade in the BPL.

CMC

Bravo controversy typical of current WI culture—Sir Viv

13 hours 36 min ago

ST JOHN’S—Legendary captain, Sir Vivian Richards, believes the recent sending home of Darren Bravo from the Tri-Nations Series is another indicator of the lack of progress in West Indies cricket.

Speaking to the Observer newspaper here, the former master batsman said whenever there were positive strides made, there were always being undermined by controversy and this was a culture which needed to change.

“I think it’s about time that we just leave these things alone at this stage. I guess there are a lot of issues going on there,” Sir Viv said.

“All that I can say on the whole matter is that rather than moving on, we just keep moving back every time. Every time there is some grounds gained, we move yards back after that.”

Bravo was sent home ahead of the tournament in Zimbabwe after the West Indies Cricket Board cancelled his match/tour contract over a controversial tweet.

Responding to WICB president Dave Cameron’s criticism of his form which led to him earning only a Grade C retainer contract, Bravo tweeted: “You have been failing 4 d last 4yrs. Y don’t u resign and FYI I’ve neva been given an A contract. Big idiot @davec51.”

@davec51 is Cameron’s twitter handle.

The board subsequently informed Bravo that he had contravened the terms of his match/tour contract and that he would be withdrawn from the tour. He was also given a deadline to remove the offending tweet but failed to do so.

Sir Viv, who never lost a series as captain, said it was possible Bravo’s incident could be stemming from his older brother Dwayne’s wrangles with the board.

“I just believe that maybe, young Darren Bravo himself could be in that persecuting sort of a lane because of maybe, other stuff that was done with his brother (Dwayne) so it’s a long story,” he surmised.

West Indies failed to make the final of the Tri-Nations Series which was won by Sri Lanka.

WICB extends olive branch to Bravo

15 hours 6 min ago

Officials of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have taken a decision to reconcile their differences with T&T and West Indies batsman Darren Bravo. However, it will depend on the left-hander and if he’s willing to play his part.

A well-placed source close to the latest developments at the WICB has indicated to the Trinidad Guardian that the board’s officials are willing to provide counselling and career guidance for the player, who hails from Santa Cruz, in order to get his career back on track as quickly as possible.

According to the source: “The board has recognised that Bravo is a young man with immense cricketing talent but it believes he’s not dealing with issues in the right way at the moment. The source continued he (Bravo) has exhibited actions that are not in his best interests of his well-being and the sport. Imagine being sent home for disciplinary reasons and going ahead to post a tweet ‘home sweet home’.

The source added: “The WICB is willing to provide the counselling for him, but this must take place through his local club Queen’s Park CC, which shares a close relationship with him and the Board believes he will be more than comfortable in such environment.

“He is too much of a talent to be lost to West Indies cricket and the board is not saying that they are done with him.”

Bravo, 27, has sent a legal letter to the WICB, questioning the manner in which he was sent home from the regional team’s tour of Zimbabwe on November 9. The board, it is understood, has not met on the matter concerning his claim and as such no official response has come from them. They are expected to meet soon and formulate an official response.

Since returning home, Bravo has met with Queen’s Park officials and their “cricket captain” Colin Murray has been taking a lead role in trying to get the issues resolved in an amicable fashion.

Bravo was sent home from Zimbabwe after he allegedly tweeted against president of the WICB, Dave Cameron. He called him a “big idiot” in the tweet and was asked to apologise, which he has not up until now.

What ignited the situation is the fact that Bravo, as one of the premier batsmen in the West Indies, set up was offered a ‘C’ contract by the regional body for next year.

The board’s director Conde Riley explained later that they used a formula to come up with the grade which determined the contract level each player would get, but the left-hander was unhappy with the WICB offer. This was further aggravated by comments made by the WICB president Dave Cameron on SportsMax about Bravo’s performance.

Marcano seals come-back win for Central FC

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 02:09

Discarded T&T international Jason Marcano scored with seven minutes left as two-time defending Digicel T&T Pro League champions Central FC twice came from behind before earning a hard-fought 3-2 win against St Ann’s Rangers at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on Tuesday.

Central, although equipped with former English Premier League forward and under-fire current T&T captain Kenwyne Jones, now lead the table with 22 points from eight matches, three points clear of bitter Couva rivals W Connection, who had temporarily hurdled Couva Sharks on goal-difference after beating third placed San Juan Jabloteh 3-0 on Friday.

St Ann’s Rangers, led by ex-Club Sando coach Anthony “Prowler” Streete, took a 1-0 lead in the tenth minute through forward Josh Toussaint, after he broke the offside trap and fired past goalkeeper Javon Sample’s into the far corner of the goal.

But that lead was wiped out a minute later when Rangers defender Lester Durham launched the ball into his own net to make it 1-1 after a desperate clearance ahead of Central forward Marcus Joseph during a quick attack by the “Couva Sharks” on the restart.

Deservingly the St Ann’s club regained the lead again through a wonderful solo goal by Jomoul Francois in the 25th, with his third league goal of the season, for a 2-1 scoreline.

St Ann’s Rangers was denied another just over the hour mark by Sample who put over a Micah Lansiquot attempt.

However defender Jameel Antoine’s arm in the way of a powerful Joseph attempt provided Central another helping hand, and referee Keilon Bacchus pointed to the penalty spot.

Joseph shouldered the responsibility and levelled the scores at 2-2 five minutes before the break with a thunderous left-footed strike to beat a fully-sprawled Christopher Biggette in goal for Rangers.

Biggette then came up big for his team to deny Keron Cummings from putting Central FC ahead in the 53rd minute while Jones had an excellent scoring chance just over the hour mark on a perfectly-placed Mickaeel Jem Gordon cross, but he failed to put his effort on target.

Coach Dale Saunders’ side finally got the break-through in the 83rd minute thanks to the combined effort of substitutes Kishun Seecharan and Marcano.

Seecharan weaved himself into the right of the area before passing to Marcano, and the veteran attacker lifted his strike beyond Biggette and into the far netting to earn Central the 3-2 victory.

Seecharan then had a chance to make it 4-2 but Biggette, was equal to the task.

Club Sando win Point

Elsewhere, on Tuesday, a double from Akeem Roach gave Club Sando a much-needed 2-0 win over winless Pt Fortin Civic at Mahaica Oval.

Roach netted in the 41st and 64th minutes against the bottom-placed Pt Fortin Civic to lead all scorers with six goals, but more importantly moved the Angus Eve-coached club one spot up into sixth on ten points, one behind fifth-positioned Rangers, with only their third league win after eight games.

Tomorrow (Friday), Central FC returns to league play against Jabloteh at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo from 6pm. This match will be followed by the First Citizens Cup final at the same venue between Defence Force and Ma Pau Stars, from 8pm

TUESDAY’S RESULTS

• Central FC 3 (Lester Durham 12th o.g, Marcus Joseph 40th pen., Jason Marcano 83rd) vs St Ann’s Rangers 2 (Josh Toussaint 11th, Jomoul Francois 25th)

• Club Sando 2 (Akeem Roach 41st’ 64th’) vs Pt Fortin Civic 0

Latest T&T Pro League Standings

Teams P W D L F A Pts

1. Central FC 8 7 1 0 19 8 22

2. W Connection 8 6 1 1 24 6 19

3. Jabloteh 8 5 1 2 16 11 16

4. Ma Pau 8 4 1 3 12 10 13

5. Rangers 8 3 2 3 12 12 11

6. Club Sando 8 3 1 4 15 16 10

7. Police 8 2 2 4 15 14 8

8. Defence Force 8 2 1 5 7 15 7

9. M/C United 8 1 3 4 12 16 6

10. Pt Fortin Civic 8 0 1 7 5 29 1

T&T athlete Akili excels in academics too

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 02:07

Anya Akili of Bishops’ High School Tobago showed her all-round ability after she finished second in this year’s CXC’s examinations in the Physical Education and Sport discipline.

Akili obtained a grade one with A s in Paper One and Two to finish joint second with Jamie Colquhoun of Spot Valley High of Jamaica. Sidney John of Portmouth Secondary of Dominica was the top performer. Akili was the lone T&T student to finish in the top 10 in the subject.

The Mason Hall resident was successful in all eight subjects at this year’s CXC exams. She obtained grade ones in Physical Education and Sport, Biology, English Language, Mathematics, English Literature, Spanish and a Grade Two in Geography and Grade Three in Chemistry and is currently a sixth form student pursuing studies in Biology, Chemistry and Physical Education.

Akili was the top female athlete at this year’s T&T Secondary Schools’ Track and Field Championships in April. She won gold in the girls Under-18 100 metres hurdles, 400m hurdles, high jump and long jump. At last year’s championships she won three gold medals.

The 17 year old also captured bronze in the girls’ open heptathlon at the Carifta Games in Grenada in March. In addition, she won gold in the Girls U-18 heptathlon at the Pan American Combined Cup in Toronto, Canada in June in national junior record score. A days before leaving for Canada she secured four gold medals at the National Junior Championships.

“It is challenging but you have to know your priorities. Some days you focus on your school work more and other days track and field. You have to know when to stop and when to rest,” said Akili on how she has been able to balance academics and track and field.

“I cut back on my training, not a lot to impact but I know that exams are really important. Even with a good track and field career I would still need my subjects.”

Despite focusing on preparing for exams, Akili is rating this year as her most successful.

She credits her background in sports and the support of her parents Nalini and Kamau, sister Aliyah, friends and coach Arlon Morrison for her success.

“Because of the backbone (of support), it makes everything easier,” said the young star, who also participated in netball, cricket, football, basketball and ballroom dancing.

Looking ahead to next year, she is seeking to establish new records in the girls U-20 100m hurdles and heptathlon events.

Akili’s younger sister Aliyah plays football for Bishops’ High. Akili helps her sister with balancing sports and studies.

Moruga youngsters get taste of chess

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 02:07

Godfrey Lee Sing’s dream is to produce a national chess champion from among the school children of Moruga, the rural area where he was born.

Since he returned to his family home after his schooling at St Mary’s College and a brief stay in Port-of-Spain, Lee Sing has virtually dedicated the rest of his life to teaching and advancing the sport among the pupils of Moruga’s eight primary schools.

His love for chess blossomed at St Mary’s where he became the school’s champion. Afterwards he honed his youthful skills as a member of the prestigious RVI Chess Club learning from such giants as Fred Brassington, Carl Brown and the Sabga brothers.

Now the Moruga businessman contributes to development of the mind game by his secretarial duties at the Moruga Chess Club and the teaching and coaching of dozens of primary school children in his home district. “The task is a difficult one,” he says, “as there are eight schools in the area but only five working days in the week.” Also, Lee Sing remains unperturbed by the fact that he receives no payment whatever for his efforts as chess tutor. His reward instead comes from the contribution he makes to the mental and social development of the region’s youngsters through their indulgence in the globe-girdling mind game.

While his chess coaching is largely a solo effort, Lee Sing is also grateful for the contribution of the club’s PRO Nancy Allard who was instrumental in obtaining 30 chess sets from the Ministry of Community Development. These sets are now being distributed among the eight schools of the district. In addition, Lee Sing gratefully credits librarian Vidya Singh for her idea of organising a public chess exhibition by Moruga players as part of the Men’s International Day observance.

A measure of the progress Lee Sing’s dedicated efforts have achieved may be seen in the results of this year’s Primary Schools Championship event. Of the 19 schools taking part, two from Moruga produced winners; Chelsea Joefield of Rock River RC topping the girls category and Darien Mollineau of Basse Terre RC excelling among the boys. Another mark of progress was made by Kelvin Dover, the first player from Moruga to earn a FIDE rating.

Whether Lee Sing will realise his dream of producing the first national chess champion from among the primary school children of Moruga is left to be seen. There seems little doubt however that love for the world wide mind-enhancing game that he inspires among them will make a positive difference in their lives.

The schools of Moruga: St Mary’s Government; Rock River RC; Basse Terre RC; Santa Maria RC; Holy Trinity Anglican; Moruga RC; La Lune RC; Marac Baptist; Moruga Secondary.

Jagroop new Comets president

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 02:01

Dayanand Jagroop is the new president of Alescon Comets Cricket Club which campaigns in the top-flight T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) League competition.

He was elected unopposed at the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Election of Officers on Sunday at Pierre Road Charlieville, Chaguanas after Dinanath Ramnarine, the previous president decided against seeking re-election after two years at the helm of the 88-year old club.

Jagroop is a long-standing member of the club who has been considered the most successful captain and a prolific batsman, who has led the Club from the Central Zone to the National League.

Jagroop also managed and coached various teams for Comets for a number of years, and is the last of four brothers who represented the Club with distinction over the years.

After being elected Jagroop said “It is an honour and privilege to lead the Alescon Comets Sports Club for the upcoming year and I look forward to working with the other executive members who were also elected at the AGM on Sunday.”

He expressed his thanks to Ramnarine, the outgoing president for leading the club through what he described as “difficult” times.

According to Jagroop, the club is now back among the most respected and professional sporting organisations in the country, and under Ramnarine’s guidance, was able to reach two finals and placed in the top half of the league.

Jagroop praised Ramnarine for his selflessness, as well as strong and vibrant leadership over the last two years, saying while all the members would have liked Ramnarine to continue, they respected his decision to hand over the club’s leadership so that he could concentrate on the good of cricket nationally.

Ramnarine will continue as an ordinary member of the executive so that his vast experience would be available.

The former T&T and West Indies cricketer who successfully led the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) for ten years was selected by members at the club’s 75thAnniversary function as the club’s best cricketer over the years.

He was also responsible for developing, implementing and getting the funding for the KFC Youth Coaching program which is in its 16th year and continues to be an important initiative by the organisation.

Meanwhile a few recommendations were made at the AGM that are expected to guide the club into the future. They include increasing the terms from one year to three years; term limits for the president of no more than two consecutive terms; Strengthening the disciplinary procedures at the club and increasing the club`s membership with a special focus on youth and women.

The members approved the audited financial statement and thanked the executive for the prudent management of the club’s finances given difficult economic times. They also expressed their satisfaction with the club’s healthy financial position.

NEW ALESCON COMETS EXECUTIVE

Dayanand Jagroop - President

Ricky Persad - Vice President

Greg Yacoob - Secretary

Jairam Ramnarine - Treasurer

Faizal Isahak - Assistant Secretary

Davindra Rohit

Rasheed Mohammed

Dinanath Ramnarine

Tara Bansi

Nutrition help for T&T marathoners

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 01:59

In an effort to assist participants in next year’s T&T International Marathon (TTIM) a “Nutrition and Distance Running” seminar will be held on Saturday the House of Angostura Recreation Room, starting at 8.15 am.

The event will be used to help in the preparation of all runners and interested persons , who intend to compete in the marathon which is cared for January 29 at 5.30 am at the usual starting point at St Mary’s Junction, Freeport.

There will be two very distinguished facilitators Dr Nailah Adams and Tony Hatt. Dr Adams is a doctor of sports medicine and will be talking on nutrition for the distance runner. Hatt is a Canada-based, T&T born athletic coach who will discuss “Strategies for managing and maximising performance”.

Participants will be invited to ask questions at the seminar; there is no admission charge and light refreshments will be available.

Slow runners and walkers (those expected to take at least five hours to complete the course) will start at 3.30 am. The six leg marathon relay will be held at the same time and the 5K will run off at 4 pm the day before on January 28. The 5K will start near to Queen’s Royal College and all races will end at Whitehall.

Online registration at ttmarathon.com has been available for some months and many local and overseas competitors have already entered. In addition offline registration is now open. Fees can be paid at RBC Banks (TTMC account number 100011012257855); after paying the fee and obtaining a receipt, runners should visit the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) office at 121 Abercromby Street in Port of Spain, where they can collect a promo code and be guided through the registration process. Persons registering on or before November 30 will get the early bird discounted rate.

More information can be obtained by calling 757- 7772 or the TTOC Office at 625-1285.

Harvards crowned Big 4 champs

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 23:52

The T&T Rugby Football Union wrapped up the 2016 season with Police Women adding the Knock-Out title to their winnings this year and Harvard Men copping the Big Four crown.

After securing the prestigious League title, the Police women stepped on to the field at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain on Sunday to clobber Royalians in a keenly contested final 57-17 and position themselves for the Team of the Year Award at the end of year function.

On Saturday, however, Harvards men prevailed in the Big Four Final, beating close rivals Northerns 17-10. The League for the men was won by seasoned campaigners Caribs.

Meanwhile Harvards Under-18s could not duplicate the performances of their seniors in their knock out final, as they were beaten by Exile at the Savannah.

The Harvard youths went down 26-17 to hand Exile their second title of the season, which comes on the heels of them copping the League title with a dominant performance all season long.

Like the Police Women’s, Exile will be strong contenders for the Team of the Year award.

Meanwhile, the curtains will come down on the 2016 rugby season when Harvards hold their 7s tournament on Sunday at St Mary’s College Ground.

Coach Thompson schools ‘em

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 23:43

Richard Thompson was in his comfort zone on Saturday, talking about what he knows best, track and field, to an all too enthusiastic group of young athletes at the Atlantic’s Track and Field Clinic held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo.

The three-time Olympic silver medallist shared his knowledge on sprinting and representing T&T, to athletes selected from the eight educational districts including Tobago, Victoria, St Patrick, South Eastern, North Eastern, St George East, Caroni, Port-of-Spain and environs.

“It was a success. The kids who came out learned a lot. They had fun. We wanted to put into their heads that it is important for them to understand that everything is a process, even in the camp itself, they were very eager to get into the racing, which was at the end of the camp,” said a smiling Thompson, who is for the second straight year, conducting the clinic.

He was joined by T&T Olympian sprinter Marcus Duncan and Shayne Cooper, a performance specialist, at the clinic, giving the promising 50 primary school students tips on training and other valuable information that will assist them throughout their athletic career and life as well.

Similar to last year’s edition when Thompson guided a group of talented youngsters through a series of exercises and sessions in proper sprinting technique.

“I took them through drills, stretches and strength exercises. I think that is important for them to understand it. Professional athletes even athletes that are at the collegiate levels or high school levels...you don’t just go into it. What they do is warm up first and they train every single day.

“It’s an entire process and that is some of the things, Shayne, Marcus and myself try to instil into them. They had fun and that’s the most important.”

The five-time national 100 metres champion gave the youngsters a peek into his life as an athlete, doing his part to in helping them to one day fulfil their dreams of representing T&T in the future.

“At that age kids should be trying just about every sport. When I was between the ages of 8-12 that was my thing. I was into football, into track and field, into basketball, cricket, you name it, I played it,” said the Atlantic ambassador.

“It’s my responsibility, it’s our responsibility as professionals to give back to the young kids and allow them to at least have the chance to experience some of these things we did at that age and some of the things we didn’t experience at that age too.

“I think that was the whole objective of the programme, to not just teach them and for them to have fun, but to impart knowledge in a way they wouldn’t have been exposed to anywhere else before.”

On behalf of Atlantic, all the participants received certificates at the end of the day’s session.

“Atlantic has an amazing ambassador programme. The main objective of Atlantic to having people like myself , George Bovell, Andrew Lewis, the cricketers as well, is to give back to the people of T&T and the respective communities in particular the young kids of T&T.

“Camps like this isn’t only being done in track and field, its being done in sailing. Andrew Lewis recently had a camp as well. Joel Charles had camps over the years with Atlantic. The cricketers as well including Merissa (Aguillera).

“The Atlantic programme is just amazing and I’m honoured to be a part of it to put on events like today (Saturday),” said Thompson. “Makes me feel good knowing that we were able to impart our knowledge in a fun way.”

This one is on our ‘Terms’

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 23:35

‘Terms’ and conditions seem favourable for the 2-y-o Maiden Stakes over six furlongs of Chelmsford polytrack today and ‘local’ Newmarket trainer appears to have found a gilt-edged opportunity.

Conditions include a 5lbs filles’ allowance for Her Terms, which equates to about two lengths for juveniles over this distance; also by Pivotal underfoot conditions should be ideal for her easy-flowing action.

Significantly Her Terms, a model of consistency with time-handicap marks, achieved a ‘career-best’ over an extended five furlongs at York where the newly-constructed course contains a sandy base.

Her Terms has raced over six, back in June when beaten a short-head at Lingfield; you can bet Haggas is desperate to achieve ‘winning brackets’ because breeding is a serious option.

There are thousands of maidens world-wide but ‘winners’ read so much better on ‘Sales’ books ultimately.

Her Terms has an excellent opportunity of making it seventh time lucky and we presume William has ‘spelled’ her for 55 days with a view to freshening up. Thoroughbreds get stale, like us!

Over the same course and distance another filly ready to win is Roger Charlton-trained Magique Touch, one of thirteen ‘decs’ for the nursery handicap; her fourth and last run was her best.

Progressive fillies are popular with serious punters and with talented apprentice, Kevin Shoemark, claiming 3lbs allowance on our ‘best-in’ selection we’ll be opening up an eight-race programme with a view to hitting a couple of boundaries.

Richard Fahey continues to fire in winners with that magical ‘200’ in mind and in-form Billy Bond could ‘carve another notch’ in the ‘aged’ handicap over a mile; fifteen runners and so don’t both to play each-way for only three places.

Fahey is determined, a true professional.

Serrette off to IAAF congress

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 23:30

Recently re-elected National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette left for Monaco, France yesterday for the special IAAF congress set for Saturday. Serrette got the nod to lead the local track and field body for the next four years at its annual general meeting (AGM) at the Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain last Saturday.

He won by 65-32 over his challenger Paul Voisin, the former Fourth vice president. Since his re-election Serrette was scheduled to meet with his new executive on Tuesday before his departure to Monaco. He is set to return home Tuesday.

The special congress will focus on governance structure and reform proposals.

While in Monaco Serrette is expected to attend the IAAF Athletes Awards set for tomorrow where the men’s and women’s “Athletes of the Year” will be announced.

Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica heads a trio of men vying for the men’s honours. Quadruple Olympic men’s 5,000/10,000 metres gold medallist Mo Farah of Great Britain and South African Wayde Van Niekerk, who won the men’s 400m title in Rio in a world record, are the other finalists.

Another Jamaican, Olympic women’s 100m and 200m winner, Elaine Thompson is in contention for the women’s award. Thompson is up against fellow Olympic champions Almaz Ayana of Ethopia and Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland. Ayana captured the women’s 10,000m crown in world record while Wlodarczyk took the women hammer gold in a world record which she improved later in the season.

Sportscore

Lewis, Samuels half-centuries clinch wins for Dynamites, Victorians

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 23:29

DHAKA—West Indies players Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels both stroked half-centuries to power their respective franchises to victories in the Bangladesh Premier League yesterday.

In the first game of a doubleheader at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, the left-handed Lewis carved out a typically stroke-filled 75 as Dhaka Dynamites defeated Rangpur Riders by 42 runs.

And in the nightcap encounter, Samuels hit a controlled unbeaten 55 to lead a successful Comilla Victorians run chase as they beat Darren Sammy’s Rajshahi Kings by eight wickets.

However, while the victory put Dynamites top of the standings with 14 points, Victorians moved off the bottom of the tables with only their third win of the campaign. They have six points.

Lewis took centre stage, hammering three fours and eight sixes off just 34 balls as Dynamites, opting to bat first, rallied to 188 for seven off their 20 overs.

The 24-year-old, who reached his half-century off 21 balls with a straight six off leg-spinner Shahid Afridi in the seventh over which cost 21 runs, put on 103 for the first wicket with Mehedi Maruf who made 44 from 31 deliveries.

Lewis was eventually third out at 122 in the 12th over, holing out in the deep off seamer Soumya Sarkar.

All-rounder Andre Russell, in his second game of the tournament, made just eight while Dwayne Bravo got 16.

In reply, Riders were limited to 146 for eight off their allotted overs, despite Ziaur Rahman’s 60 off 43 balls.

Samuels then followed Lewis’s cue, stroking two fours and four sixes in a 41-ball innings as Victorians, set a paltry 125 for victory, coasted to victory with eight balls remaining.

Imrul Kayes fell cheaply for nine but Samuels put on 90 for the second wicket with Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad (46) to pull the innings around.

Earlier, Sammy suffered the indignity of a one-ball ‘duck’ as Kings, choosing to bat, could only muster 124 for seven. CMC

Boyce beaver fires San Juan into final

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 23:19

Striker Renaldo Boyce scored a somewhat controversial beaver-trick as San Juan North Secondary booked a spot in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) National Inter-Col final with a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Trinity College of Moka, yesterday.

With the win at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, the Jerry Moe-coached San Juan North advanced to the national final set for Tuesday against the winner of tomorrow’s other semifinal between Presentation College of San Fernando and Signal Hill Secondary, which takes place at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, from 3.30pm.

At Mucurapo, Trinity Moka was first to strike when a right footed free-kick taken by the lively Saleem Henry on the left side of the San Juan North 18-yard box was turned past his own own goalkeeper Shawndell Byer, by national Under-17 defender Kerdell Sween in the tenth minute.

However, six minutes later, the first bit of strange officiating arosed when Boyce, who appeared to be in an offside position tapped the ball into an open net at the far post, after a long throw-in from Kyle Thomas into the area. The ball fell to a teammate who shot at goal, but Jerome Cyrus fell into his path.

Boyce then had a chance to make it 2-1 in the 29th minute, but after being put through on the left flank, he failed to beat Trinity Moka goalkeeper Desean Bowen with a weak effort.

San Juan North was then reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute when captain Lukeman Brooks was shown a straight red card by referee Cecile Hinds for a two-footed studs-up sliding challenge on a Trinity Moka player near the midfield area.

Despite the man advantage, Trinity Moka failed to take any of the other chances that fell its way in the first-half as both teams went into the dressing room evenly matched at 1-1.

Five minutes after the re-start, Trinity Moka was presented with a golden chance to regain the lead from the penalty-spot by referee Hinds after stand-in captain Thomas was whistled for a handled ball in the area.

However, it was not to be as Henry stepped up and side-footed his attempt wide of the mark to let San Juan North off the hook.

Boyce then had a chance to put San Juan North ahead for the first time in the match in the 52nd, but after robbing goalkeeper Bowen of the ball inside the 18-yard box, he himself was relieved of the ball by the lucky goalkeeper.

But three minutes later Boyce made amends as he latched onto a clever through pass from in his own half, and with Bowen way off his line, he smartly lobbed the ball into an open net for a 2-1 San Juan North lead.

The burly Boyce then completed his hat-trick in the 61st minute, from what looked another clear missed off-side call, after team-mate, Cyrus’ right footed blast ricocheted into play off the cross-bar into his path.

And to put the icing on the victory, Boyce then completed his beaver-trick with another lob finish past an advancing Bowen to seal a well deserved vctory for San Juan North and with it a chance at a second ever National Inter-Col crown.

In yesterday’s other match, Tobago Zone champions, Signal Hill Secondary battled past Central Zone winners, Carapichaima East Secondary 4-2 on penalty-kick after a 1-1 draw at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet.

YESTERDAY’S RESULTS

Quarterfinal

Signal Hill Sec 1 vs Carapichaima East Sec 1 – Signal Hill won 4-2 on penalty-kicks

Semifinals

San Juan North Sec (Renaldo Boyce 16th, 55th, 61st, 87th) vs Trinity College Moka (Kerdell Sween o.g 10th)

USA All Stars bag UST20 title

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 07:58

A number of West Indies T20 stars visited Fort Lauderdale, Miami, USA, on the weekend but all ended up on the losing side, as the USAll Stars took the 2016 USOpen T20 Cricket title with a narrow two-run victory over Al Masafi of Afghanistan at the Central Broward Regional Park.

World T20 stars Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin both lined up with the Indian Lions but they were defeated in the semifinals by the USAll Stars.

Samuel Badree played for the Houston Lions but they could not get past the Al Masafi in the other semis.

Other Caribbean players taking part in the tournament were Mervyn Dillon, Ricardo Powell, Navin Stewart, William Perkins and Ganganand Singh.

In the finals, the USAll Stars batted first scoring 181/3 of their 20 overs with Singh getting 15, Jashkaran Malothra 37, Hassan Raza the former Pakistani batting star 37 not out and Sri Lanka all rounder Dilhara Lokuhettige 54 not out. The right-hander scored his runs of 26 balls with six fours and three sixes.

Al Masafi, with nine of the Afghanistani national players on board, lost wickets at regular intervals in the chase but skipper Javed Ahmadi kept them in the hunt with a 31-ball 53.

He struck nine fours and a six. After his dismissal, the USAll Stars looked set for a comfortable win but Gul Badin Naib 23 and Najibullah Zadran 25 not out brought them right back into the contest. They took it down to the last over with 16 runs needed and USAll Stars bowler Herlando Johnson held his nerves to give his team the victory and US$50,000 first prize. Al Masafi reached 179/9.

President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron was on hand for the tournament and said it showed just how well T20 cricket has caught on in America.

He said: “This was a wonderful tournament staged here and I was really impressed with the quality of cricket played. The organisation of the tournament was excellent and Cricket Council USA did a great job in showcasing cricket, which is on the way up in these parts.”

SCORES

USAll Stars 181/3 (Jashkaran Malothra 37, Hassan Raza 37 not out, Dilhara Lokuhettige 54 not out) vs Al Masafi 179/9 (20)(Javed Ahmadi 53, Hashmatullah Shaidi 30, Gul Badin Naib 23, Najibullah Zadran 25 not out, Herlando Johnson 3/35, Junaid Sidique 2/31)—USAll Stars won by 2 runs.

Defence Force lifts Mayaro b-ball title

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 07:52

Duo Ivan Williams and Kyeon Joseph had no intention of letting the Premier Division title slipped through their team’s grasp and did enough to guide Defence Force to a convincing 105-80 win over Detour Shak Attack in the bpTT Mayaro Basketball League.

Action in the deciding match of the best-in-two series final unfolded at the Mayaro Indoor Sports Arena on Saturday, along with two other title matches in the Community and Under-19 Divisions, earlier.

“The guys came together and did well,” said Defence Force coach Gerald Nate Toney, who was assisted by former player Kevin “Hutches” Robertson. “They listened and responded to what we told them to do, but we also gave them a little freedom to play to the skills level and it worked out well.”

Williams led with a match-high 16 points and Joseph assisted with 11 in an exciting encounter, which ensured that the army/coastguard combination unit swept the series, 2-0 in its debut in the south competition. Defence Force, which had the likes of star player for many seasons Steven “Lighter” Lewis and experienced centre in Kievan Bacquain, won the opener, 82-69, the previous weekend.

“It was basically a fresh team. Lighter and Bacquain were the most senior players on the squad and they combined well with the younger players,” said Toney. “Their confidence was high going into the final match and they did well to win.”

For the defending champion Shak Attack, centre Miguel Williams scored 12 and forward Kurt Christian was good for ten.

Toney also noted that Lewis is the only player to win back-to-back titles playing with two different teams. Last year, Lewis suited up with Shak Attack and helped them to victory.

The soldier/sailor unit will have an unusual celebration later on this week.

“We celebrated after the win but the guys have planned to go to the football team’s match on Friday to support them in the First Citizen Cup final,” said Toney. Defence Force plays Ma Pau Stars in the final.

Similarly in the Community Division, Isotech Rio Raptors team swept its series against RLRA Ambassadors, 2-0, after winning the decider 89-67, thanks to the offensive effort of Christopher Lares and Nathan Lewis.

The pair was key in Raptors opening victory of 110-70 and did not miss a beat in the second affair. Lares notched 26 points and Lewis was close behind with 24 in another lopsided match.

The Ambassadors unit did give a better account of itself and had applauding performances from Keon Powton and Jesse Hamilton for the second straight match with the former connecting a team-high 24 and his teammate supporting with 14 but it was in a losing effort.

The U-19 match-up also had the fans at the edge of their seats and in the end it was Maloney Stories of Success (SOS), emerging with a 76-61 victory and a 2-0 series triumph against Laventille Hawks. SOS won the opening match, 87-71.

Mohammed Elise topscored with 24 for the winner.

19 Brazilian footballers, 21 journalists die in plane crash

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 07:42

Players and officials from one of Brazil’s leading football clubs were among the 75 people that died on Monday night after their chartered plane crashed in Colombia while on their way to the Copa Sudamericana final.

The jet carrying the Chapecoense team, along with club officials and journalists, came down late at night, officials from the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport in Medellin announced.

There were 72 passengers and nine crew on board the charter plane, which was carrying the team to Medellin for their match against Atletico Nacional. The first leg of the final in the prestigious South American club competition had been due to be played this evening.

Colombia’s civil aviation authority—Aeronautica Civil—stated in a Twitter update: “Aerocivil confirms six survivors, two crew members, three players and one of the 22 journalists that were on board.”

A conflicting report from newspaper El Colombiano said local police in the Valle de Aburra region had confirmed 76 deaths from 81 on board.

Aeronautica Civil said in a statement that the plane had been carrying “22 footballers, 28 companions and technical staff, 22 journalists and nine crew members”.

The plane had taken off from Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia and declared an emergency due to power failure before losing contact with the control tower, the airport said in a separate statement.

Colombia has been hit by heavy storms which hampered rescue efforts.

“The site of the accident is only accessible by land due to climatic conditions and low visibility,” an early statement from the airport said. “The Colombian Air Force deployed a search and rescue helicopter which had to cancel the mission due to the adverse conditions.”

The crash site was eventually reached by land by emergency services, with pictures in the Colombian media showing the wreckage.

Chapecoense had reached the finals of the Copa Sudamericana by beating Argentina’s San Lorenzo over two legs in the semi-finals, which concluded last week.

Atletico Nacional said the club “deeply regret and sympathise” with Chapecoense.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said in a statement: “The CONMEBOL family greatly regrets what happened. All activities of the confederation are suspended until further notice. President Alejandro Dominguez is on his way to Medellin.”

A statement from Chapecoense said the club were waiting for full details of the accident.

The statement noted that different information was emerging through various sources, and said: “Chapecoense Football Club, through its vice-president Ivan Tozzo, reserves the right to wait for the official announcement from the Colombian air authority, in order to issue any official note about the accident.

“God be with our athletes, management, journalists and other guests who are with the delegation.”

In a further statement, Aeronautica Civil named survivors as footballers Alan Luciano Ruschel, Jackson Ragnar Follmann and Marcos Danilo Padilha, crew members Ximena Suarez and Erwin Timuri and journalist Rafael Hensel.

It said all were taken to hospital.

The crash reportedly occurred at around 10pm local time on Monday (3 am GMT Tuesday).

Brazil’s president Michel Temer declared three days of mourning, and said: “In this sad hour as tragedy falls on dozens of Brazilian families, I express my solidarity.

“We are doing all we can to help family and give all possible assistance.

“The government will do all it can to alleviate the pain of friends and family in sport and national journalism.”

Pictures of the team as they prepared for take-off showed players in high spirits, with staff wearing club colours of green and white ready for the flight.

Earlier this month, the plane involved in the crash transported Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and the national team from Brazil to Colombia between World Cup qualifier matches. The airliner also appears to have transported the national squads of Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela over the last three months, according to a log of recent activity provided by Flightradar24.com.

On the club’s Facebook page, a video was posted of buoyant players and officials at check-in.

Authorities in Medellin dispatched emergency teams to the scene of the crash.

A statement from the Medellin mayor’s office said: “The mayor of Medellin, Federico Gutierrez Zuluaga, regrets the tragedy that occurred on the night of Monday, November 28, when the aircraft from Bolivia of the company Lamia with registration LMI 2933 RJ 80 crashed in El Cerro El Gordo, near the municipality of La Union, Antioquia with 72 passengers and nine crew on board, members of the Chapecoense team in Brazil.

“Once the air accident was reported, emergency care protocols were activated and fire and ambulance units from the Medellin hospital network were sent to the scene to support the search and rescue efforts of the victims.

“What has happened tonight is a true tragedy. We are sorry for this great loss of human life and express our solidarity with the families, friends and fans of the Chapecoense team.”

Marking the darkest day in the club’s 43-year history, Chapecoense changed the colours of their green and white club badge to black and white on social media accounts.

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