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Updated: 52 min 33 sec ago

Ramsundar heads to Women’s World Cup in Canada

11 hours 21 min ago

Asha Ramsundar is on her way to the Fifa Women’s Wold Cup Football 2015 semifinal scheduled to take place on June 30 at the Montreal Olympic Stadium, Montreal Canada.

She emerged the winner of the Kia Women’s World Cup grand prize draw held at the automotive dealership’s Phillip Street, Port-of-Spain, headquarters, last Thursday.

As the Kia promotion winner Ramsundar, a secretary at G&R Dealers Contracting, received an all-expense paid trip—inclusive of airfare and accommodation to the host country.

Ramsundar, a mother of two and grandmother of three from Fyzabad said her love of the sport guided her decision to take part in the contest and with the hope of accompanying the national senior female footballer to the championship in North America.   

But the women footballers went down to Ecuador 1-0 back in December at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Woodbrook, ending their Fifa World Cup campaign.

Declaring her unswerving support for the female footballers and knowing that they should have qualified for the World Cup, Ramsundar said witnessing the semi-final play-off had not diminished in value.

Shiraz Ahamad, Kia brand director, said the automobile brand’s commitment to sport world-wide was evident by its participation in many international sporting events.

He added, “Southern Sales and Service is proud of its association with football in T&T and more so with the promotion of women’s football and this promotion is evidence of same.”

Walking the talk for sport

11 hours 26 min ago

The key point hammered home by Simon Morton of UK Sport for the hosting of the London 2012 Summer Olympics was a clearly defined and workable strategic plan aimed at returns on investment. Morton was speaking on the opening day of the Shannon Airport Sport Tourism European Summit at Thomond Park, Limerick, Ireland May 14-15, 2015.  

His presentation was entitled “Hosting Major Sporting Events for Major Sporting Benefits.” He indicated that UK Sport became operational in the 1997 after miserable performances by Great Britain in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics where they placed 37th on the medals table. Although UK Sport is responsible to government, it is not a department of government. In other words, UK Sport which received a budget of 550 million pounds over a four–year period is free from government interference and therefore operates first and foremost like a business with clear targets and strategic plans. 

Strategically UK Sport was charged with the responsibility of developing a 10-year plan and working with national sporting associations. The focus is on High Performance Sport and hosting Major Events. 

For UK Sport funding from the government is viewed not as a grant but as an investment that will yield returns in many quarters–medals, infrastructure development, economic improvements of local communities, tourism and marketability of the city and country to the world. 

Morton indicated that UK Sport is very strategic when it comes to selecting events to hosts. He indicated that there a number of events from which to choose from:

• Short form Games–3 on 3 basketball, T20 cricket, beach volleyball

• Extreme Sports–extreme biking, free running, skate boarding etc

• Masters Events

• Youth–Youth Olympics

• Women Sports

• Disability games

Selection of any of these events must be based on knowledge and a return on investment. He warned that although an event may be attractive, it is only after careful cost benefit analysis is a decision made as to proposing bids to host events. 

The Investment and Scorecard Principles are used to guide the decision making process. In terms of Investment the following were identified as critical:

• How will the International events impact on the host status?

• Prioritise where the return on investments will be the highest

• Identify the long-term investment to host major events

• Ensure that there is a robust business plan and budget

The Scorecard Principles in terms of benefits for hosting were based on:

• Legacy 20 per cent 

• Performance 35 per cent 

• Engagement 35 per cent 

• Economic 10 per cent  

The sporting benefits in terms of Performance Investment was built upon:

• Medal returns (65 in 2012 which was above the target of 48 set by UK Sport)

• Talent outline–identification of the country’s talent

In terms of sport engagement, research on direct participation, spectator engagement and television viewers revealed that 60 per cent said the Summer Olympics was inspiring. There was a 28 per cent  per cent increase in participation especially in events where the Great Britain were domineering such as in cycling through the performances of Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins.

In recognising that inspiration in itself does not automatically lead to increase and sustained participation in sport, UK Sport has been working with Sport England through a Sport Engagement Fund of 2M pounds to stimulate participation across the country. 

The aforementioned points provide a broad framework for all stakeholders who are responsible for identifying and managing international sporting events in T&T.  A clear vision has to be identified and it must be incorporated in the overall development plan for sport. We have to start walking the talk in a strategic manner to reap desired rewards!

New path for T&T football

11 hours 30 min ago

President of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) Raymond Tim Kee was convinced that the organisation’s tainted past, under the brand T&T Football Federation (TTFF), is behind it.

Speaking at Thursday’s TTFA Awards (FA and Super League) held at the VIP Lounge at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Woodbrook, he said despite recent rumblings between his association and the Ministry of Sport over outstanding audited financial statements, the local governing body for football was on a new path.

Earlier this month Sport Minister Brent Sancho told the nation his ministry had discontinued releasing tax-payers funds to the TTFA, until the outfit was able to produce audited financial statements for 2008-2014.

Last week TTFA's management and the accounting firm KPMG explained the issues which caused the delay in the finalisation of the audited financial statements from 2008 to 2014. Minister Sancho was then presented with a copy of the draft audited financial statement for 2008-2009.  

Seemingly satisfied with the progress the TTFA had made so far, Sancho made it clear that the Tim Kee administration must submit audited financials for years which have not been accounted. Even so, the TTFA president was confident that under his leadership the new executive for football had been able to restore credibility to the sport.

“When I took that very bold and brave step to get back into football, I expected that there would have been some challenges and just some challenges, until I started to walk the road and then I recognised there were a lot of splinters and shape instruments that I had to walk through in order to get from point “A” to point “B”. We had taken on more than $36 million dollars in debt; (had a) skeletal staff–badly paid staff; (and) a very vexed and annoyed population. We lost our brand, a brand that took many years (to build) that climaxed in 2006. 

Those of you who were in Germany would recognise what football has done for our country. 

People who remained home and assembled by the various sports bars can tell you one the experience. That was a motivator,” he said.

Stay with Fast Dancer

11 hours 34 min ago

Yarrow, one of eight ‘decs’ for the Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over twelve furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Leicester today, represents the best chance of a winner, from four mounts, for ex-champion jockey Ryan Moore.

Significantly this thrice-raced Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sea The Stars three-year-old achieved her best time-handicap mark when upped to this trip at Salisbury three weeks ago, an excellent seasonal debut; if able to achieve similar or better Yarrow will surely be too strong for forecast-favourite Stubbins.

Moore has every chance of winning the newly-formatted jockeys’ championship because he’s prepared to travel and make the supreme effort; never forget ‘the harder you work, the luckier you become’ and his continued visits to winners’ enclosures, all over the world are testimony to dedication and preparation.

Consistency should gain reward and end a vexing sequence of four consecutive seconds for Fast Dancer in the Maiden Stakes over five furlongs at Windsor which is also forecast to ride ‘good to firm’ for another seven-race programme.

Clear ‘best-in’ and strongly-fancied Fast Dancer is the mount of James Doyle, one of our best jockeys whose rapid rise through the ranks has been impressive.

Our daily patent also includes Sharqeyih in the Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over an extended nine furlongs of Carlisle, trained by William Haggas.

It’s so important to obtain ‘winning brackets’ for well-bred fillies and absolutely imperative this Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned three-year-olds ‘does the  biz’ under dual-champion, Paul Hanagan, who knows the Northern circuit so well.

Haggas combs the entry book fastidiously for opportunities and is prepared to journey thoroughbreds far and wide to take advantage of them; a trainer to follow, without doubt.

Narine, Hosein take Parkites to title

11 hours 36 min ago

National players Akeal Hosein and Sunil Narine led Queen’s Park Cricket Club to the Sunday League 50-over title after defeating North rivals Merry Boys by 104 runs in the penultimate round at the Diego Martin Recreational Ground, yesterday.

The victory kept the Parkites unbeaten after eight rounds, as it moved to 24 points, six ahead of Powergen Penal with only one round remaining.

Batting first Queen’s Park posted a competitive 265/7 as left-handed Hosein scored 69 from 80 balls. Hosein, who struck three fours and one six, was ably supported by Barbadian Javon Searles who slammed a quick 34 off 33 balls at the end of the innings.

Earlier in the innings, left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano contributed 34 from 50 balls. Aneil Kanhai (2/31) and Ryan Hinds (2/34) were the top bowlers for Merry Boys both snatching two wickets.  

In reply, Merry Boys failed to push on after getting a positive start. 

After the third wicket fell with the score on 91, the Diego Martin team slumped to 161 all out in 43.3 overs to hand Queen’s Park a comfortable win. 

Mario Belcon top scored for the hosts with 46 off 36 balls, which included ten fours. Hinds was the only other batsman to offer some resistance, finishing on an unbeaten 23.

Narine was again among the wickets taking 4/26 in 9.3 overs, while Hosein made it difficult to score grabbing 3/18 in ten overs. 

On Saturday Narine picked up 4/25 against Merry Boys in the Shanghai Construction Group National League.

At Inshan Ali Park, Preysal won its first match of the competition with a narrow ten-run win over Jenexcon Tableland. 

At Enterprise, Powergen Penal grabbed three points after Esmeralda forfeited the match due to unavailable players.


At Diego Martin Recreational: Queen’s Park 265/7 (Akeal Hosein 69, Javon Searles 34 not out, Jeremy Solozano 34, Aneil Kanhai 2/31, Ryan Hinds 2/34) vs Merry Boys 161 (43.3 overs) (Mario Belcon 46, Hinds 23 not out, Sunil Narine 4/26, Hosein 3/18) Queen’s Park won by 104 runs.

At Wilson Road: FC Clarke Road 162 (42.2 overs) (Antonio Greenidge 51, Kjorn Ottley 35, Fareel Jugmohan 3/39,  Garey Mathurin 2/14, Rajindra Dhanraj 2/17) vs Jailal Enterprise Victoria 118 (39.2 overs) (Romario Sheppard 43, Marcelle Jones 28, Mukesh Persad 5/17, Jyd Goolie 2/9) Clarke Road won by 44 runs.

At Inshan Ali Park: Preysal 158 (48 overs) (Amit Maraj 46, Videsh Sookhai 42, Daniel St Clair 3/21, Negus Carthy 2/27) vs Jenexcon Tableland 148 (31 overs) (Chanderpaul Hemraj 49, Philton Williams 4/52, Yohan Boxhil 4/62) Preysal won by ten runs.

At Gilbert Park: Alescon Comets 185 (Adrian Ali 95, Danza Hyatt 31, Jon Russ Jagessar 4/20) vs Caldrac 93 (N. McDavid 23, Anthony Simmons 5/32) Comets won by 92 runs.

At Enterprise: Esmeralda forfeited match against Powergen Penal.


Simmo stars as Mumbai take IPL crown

11 hours 38 min ago

Mumbai Indians completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the eight-year history of the Indian Premier League by transforming a terrible start to the tournament—they were at the bottom of the table for the first two weeks—into a title win, as they whipped Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs yesterday at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

The final, a repeat of their 2013 success at the same ground against the same opposition, turned out to be one of the easier outings after an unbridled early onslaught by Rohit Sharma and Lendl Simmons, both of whom hit half-centuries, stunned Chennai Super Kings  into submission. Super Kings were not even given a sniff.

MS Dhoni’s choice of bowling first on a patchy Eden Gardens pitch was interesting, not because he might have over-compensated for the presence of dew later on but because it was a departure from a strategy that had worked for Super Kings during their two previous title wins—bat first, score big, then apply the squeeze.

The start was perfect; Faf du Plessis ran out Parthiv Patel brilliantly and Ashish Nehra ensured only one came off the first over. But that was it, because once Rohit tore into the second over, picking 16 off Mohit Sharma, Super Kings were always chasing the ball.

R Ashwin was introduced in the fourth over, overstepped once and paid the price with a 12-run over. Jadeja was also bowled inside the Powerplay but Simmons smashed him for 14 runs to make it 61 runs off the first six. After seeing Rohit kick-start the innings with a flurry of boundaries in the first three overs, Simmons had played all but one ball in the next three and had overtaken Rohit.

The spreading of field was not going to have an effect on the tiny outfield. Simmons continued hogging majority of strike and continued finding boundaries to reach his sixth half-century of the season in the 10th over.

The run-rate showed no signs of stemming but Dhoni continued to hold back Dwayne Bravo, the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. 

As fate had it, it was Bravo who broke the dangerous stand in his first over—the 12th of the innings—by which time Rohit, too, had reached his half-century, of just 24 balls, and the run-rate was hovering around 10.

An animated speech by Dhoni in the team huddle at Rohit’s dismissal had a brief effect: Dwayne Smith sent Simmons back with his first ball of the tournament and 30 runs came off four overs. But on 150 after 16 overs with Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu warmed up, Mumbai Indians were waiting to explode.

Nehra bore the brunt—he was hit for three sixes and a four in the 17th by Pollard—and Mumbai Indians finished for only the second ever 200-plus total in an IPL final.

Super Kings’ chase needed early thrust but it never came. Smith, as had happened throughout the season, struggled to time the ball. He did reach a half-century—his second this season—but Super Kings needed more from him than a strike rate of 118. 

Harbhajan Singh dismissed Smith an over after he had removed Raina, Malinga struck too and Mitchell McClenaghan collected three. Super Kings’ wait for their third title entered its fifth year.


Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings  

Mumbai Indians inns

LMP Simmons b Smith     68

PA Patel run out    0

RG Sharma c Jadeja b Bravo     50

KA Pollard c Raina b Sharma     36

AT Rayudu  not out     36

HH Pandya  c Raina b Bravo    0

Harbhajan Singh  not out    6

Extras:  (b 1, lb 4, nb 1)    6

Total:  (5 wickets; 20 overs)     202

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Patel, 0.5 ov), 2-120 (Sharma, 11.6 ov), 3-120 (Simmons, 12.1 ov), 4-191 (Pollard, 18.5 ov), 5-191 (Pandya, 19.2 ov)

Bowling: Nehra  4 -0 -41 -0,  Sharma 4 -0 -38-1, Ashwin 2-0     -21 -0, Jadeja  2 -0 -26 -0, Negi  2-0-18 -0,  Bravo  4-0-36-2,  Smith 2 -0 -17 -1

Chennai Super Kings inns

DR Smith  lbw b Harbhajan Singh    57

MEK Hussey  c Suchith b McClenaghan     4

SK Raina st Patel b Harbhajan Singh    28

MS Dhoni b Malinga    18

DJ Bravo  c Simmons b McClenaghan    9

P Negi  c Pandya b Malinga     3

F du Plessis  c Sharma b Vinay Kumar     1

RA Jadeja  not out    11

R Ashwin  c Suchith b McClenaghan     2

MM Sharma  not out     21

Extras: (lb 2, w 3, nb 2)    7 

Total: (8 wickets; 20 overs)     161 

Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Hussey, 4.4 ov), 2-88 (Smith, 11.5 ov), 3-99 (Raina, 13.3 ov), 4-108 (Bravo, 14.3 ov), 5-124 (Dhoni, 15.5 ov), 6-125 (du Plessis, 16.2 ov), 7-134 (Negi, 17.3 ov), 8-137 (Ashwin, 18.2 ov)

Bowling: Malinga 4-0 -25 -2 McClenaghan  4 -0 -25 -3, Vinay Kumar  4 -0 -39 -1, Pandya 4 -0 -36 -0, Harbhajan 4-0 -34 -2


Windies women lose

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:28

COLOMBO—Sri Lanka Women beat West Indies Women by five runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method in the opening Twenty20 International of the three-match series at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.

Batting first the West Indies women struggled and made only 109 for six off thier 20 overs. Opener Stephanie Taylor and skipper Merissa Aguilliera were the only batters to show resistance against the Sri Lankans. Taylor, the Jamaican scored 40, while Aguilliera from T&T, scored 28 not out. They came together at 45 for four, at the fall of Stacy King’s wicket and took the total to 90 before Taylor fell. 

Bowling for Sri Lankan L Weerakkody took 2/13, while all the others were very disciplined with their lines and lengths. 

Set a revised target off 84 off 15.2 overs because of a rain interupption, Sri Lanka reached 88 for six off the very last ball of the innings. D Srurangika made 28, while S Siriwardene who brought home the victory with a boundary made 17 not out. Trinidadians King and Anisa Mohammed bowled very well but could not seal the win in the end. Mohammed had figures off 2/15 off 3.2 overs, while King took 2/16 off three overs.


Kycia A Knight  b Weerakkody    4
S Taylor c Kaushalya b Kumari     40
D Dottin c Hansika 
       b Weerakkody    4
B Cooper c Mendis 
       b Prabodhani    17
S King lbw b Kaushalya    1
*+M Aguilleira not out    28
C Henry c Mendis b Siriwardene    11
Extras   (lb1, w3)    4
TOTAL (6 wkts, 20 overs)    109
Did not bat: S Munroe, A Mohammed, T Smartt, A Fletcher
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Kycia Knight), 2-8 (Dottin), 3-40 (Cooper), 4-45 (King), 5-90 (Taylor), 6-109 (Henry)
Bowling: Weerakkody 3-0-13-2, Prabodhani 4-0-19-1, Samuddika 4-0-24-0 (w1), Kaushalya 2-0-11-1 (w1), Kumari 3-0-21-1 (w1), Siriwardene 4-0-20-1.
SRI LANKA (target: 84 off 15.2 overs)
C Jayangani c & b Mohammed    17
Y Mendis run out    0
+D Surangika lbw b Fletcher    28
N Hansika b King    0
S Siriwardene not out    17
H Perera c & b King    0
E Kaushalya c Henry
        b Mohammed    16
S Weerakkody  not out    3
Extras   (b1, w5, nb1)    7
TOTAL (6 wkts, 15.2 overs)    88
Did not bat: U Prabodhani, S Kumari, M Samuddika.
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Mendis), 2-52 (Jayangani), 3-52 (Surangika), 4-60 (Hansika), 5-60 (Perera), 6-81 (Kaushalya)
Bowling: Smartt 3-0-15-0 (nb1), Taylor 3-0-15-0, Munroe 1-0-12-0, Mohammed 3.2-0-15-2, Fletcher 2-0-14-1, King 3-0-16-2.
Result: Sri Lanka Women won by five runs (D/L method)

Series: Sri Lanka Women lead the three-match series 1-0.
Toss: Sri Lanka Women.
Umpires: P Udawatta, R Wimalasiri.

Narine returns to put Parkites on top

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:21

Spin bowler Sunil Narine made an immediate impact on his return to Queen’s Park Cricket Club, grabbing 4/25 to put the Parkites in command against Merry Boys after day one in round eight of the Shanghai Construction Group National League at the Diego Martin Recreational Ground, yesterday.

Narine, who recently returned to T&T after representing the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, helped dismiss Merry Boys for 113 batting first. Barbadian Javon Searles playing against his former club snatched 3/33, while Khary Pierre took 2/21. Samuel Felix and Aaron Alfred were the best batsmen for Merry Boys scoring 32 and 30 respectively. Top batsmen Jeetendra Sookdeo, Amir Jangoo and Ryan Hinds all fell for duck.

In reply, a 52-run unbroken partnership between national players Daron Cruickshank and Yannic Cariah took Queen’s Park to 138/3 at stumps. Both batsmen were patient at the crease, as Cruickshank faced 64 balls for his unbeaten 26, while Cariah was 21 not out off 75 deliveries.

Earlier in the innings, Jeremy Solozano (36), Petrock Nicholas (25) and Akeal Hosein (18) all failed to convert their starts into big scores. Aneil Kanhai was the pick of the bowlers for Merry Boys taking 2/52. With a win and enough bonus points Queen’s Park can clinch the league title at the end of the round.

At Inshan Ali Park, national opener Evin Lewis slammed another century to put Jenexcon Tableland in control over Preysal. Lewis struck six sixes and 11 fours in his knock of 140 off 121 balls to guide Tableland to 249 in the first innings. Preysal closed the day on 77/8 with national fast bowler Daniel St Clair snatching 3/21. In the last round Lewis slammed 139 against Queen’s Park.

At Enterprise, Esmeralda forfeited its match against Powergen Penal due to unavailability of players. The 50-over Sunday League match will not be played between the two teams today. Manager of Esmeralda Rafi Ali apologised for the inconvenience caused. The same fixtures will take place today in round eight of the Sunday League, before round eight of the National League concludes next weekend. Queen’s Park can seal the Sunday League title with a win over Merry Boys.

At Diego Martin Recreational: Merry Boys 113 (Samuel Felix 32, Aaron Alfred 30, Sunil Narine 4/25, Javon Searles 3/33, Khary Pierre 2/21) vs Queen’s Park 138/3 (Jeremy Solozano 36, Daron Cruickshank 26 not out, Aneil Kanhai 2/52)

At Wilson Road: Jailal Enterprise Victoria 228 (Lincoln Roberts 95, Garey Mathurin 38 not out, Derone Davis 3/44, Samuel Roopnarine 2/33, Kjorn Ottley 2/27) vs F.C Clarke Road

At Inshan Ali: Jenexcon Tableland 249 (Evin Lewis 140, William Perkins 46, Amit Maraj 5/30, Philton Williams 4/62) vs Preysal 77/8 (Daniel St Clair 3/21, Negus Carthy 3/22, Andre Brown 2/9)

At Gilbert Park: Alescon Comets 230 (Adrian Ali 89, Kissoondath Magram 43, Allen Laurent 4/60) vs Caldrac 55/2

At Enterprise: Powergen Penal vs Esmeralda - No play

Enzo takes feature

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:19

The John O’Brien-trained Enzo returned to form with a vengeance when taking the feature event,  the 1,600 metres turf for three-year-old and over horses rated 80-50 at Santa Rosa Park, yesterday. Confidently ridden by Brian Boodramsing, the favourite stalked the early pace before coming with a well-timed run in the straight to score from Golden Enchantment which was a neck ahead of Kodo at the line.

At the far turn, Kodo seized the inititaive with Golden Enchantment following but at the corner Kodo drifted off a trye line and the Enzo fairly bolted home by 3 3/4 lengths. The winner registered the time of 1:37.1 for the trip. Training honours for the day were shared between Rohit Dube and John O’Brien who both saddled two winners.

Ronald Ali had a spectacular return to form with a beaver-trick of victories. Racing continues next week.


R1: NOON - NATIVE BRED 3 YO MAIDENS - 1,500M (TURF) - $44,000
1    (5)    Bulletproof    W Galviz    54.5    
2    (11)    Electrify    R Ali    55.5    
3    (1)    Way To Go    P Badrie    54.5    
4    (13)    Mikeisback    N Patrick    57    
5    (6)    Don Pedro    B Boodramsing    55    
TIME: 1:33.0    DISTANCES: 1/2, 4, 1 1/2, 1 1/4.
$1PARI: (5) $4.10; $1.25 (11) $1.50 (1) $1.45
$1EXACTA: $15.60
TRIFECTA: $36.10
HI-5: $919.70
WINNER: 3 y.o. B colt – Maraahel/Lough Currane (Eagle Eyed)
OWNER: Shivam Maharaj TRAINER: H Gobin
BREEDER: Mrs. Eudora Chay
ALSO RAN: 6. Sweetmaninsouth R Angnoo 55; 7. Eatmydust J Stephen 57; 8. San Antonio J Boodramsing 52; 9. The Candidate D Khelawan 57; 10. Carlos L Keizer 57; 11. Eze Breezy D Boodram 57.
NON-RUNNERS:  Treasure Queen, Luminary.

R2: 12.40 PM - 3 YO & OVER HORSES RATED 20-0 OPTIONAL CLAIMING $6,000 - $4,000 - 1,150M - $25,000
1    (6)    Music Show    P Badrie    53    
2    (2)    On My Own    N Flavenney    57    
3    (7)    Third Time Lucky    J Stephen    53    
4    (4)    Eyes Of The Wolf    R Jadoo    53    
TIME: 1:14.1  DISTANCES: 1 1/4, 4 1/4, 5 3/4, Neck.
$1PARI: (6) $4.40; $1.40; (2)$1.05
$1EXACTA: $7.50
TRIFECTA: $29.50
WINNER: 6 y.o.CH mare – A Great Team/Angel Of Music  (Freshly Squeezed)
OWNER: Rohit A Dube  TRAINER: R A Dube
BREEDER: Neil Poon Tip & Wendell Kangaloo
ALSO RAN: 5. Stroke Of Love L Keizer 52; 6. Western Wish R Hernandez 52.5.
NON-RUNNER: Dazzling Diamond.

R3: 1.20 PM - 3 YO & OVER HORSES RATED 40-0 OPTIONAL CLAIMING $15,000 - $13,000 - 1,300M - $33,000
1    (15)    Lady Sage    L A Seecharan    53    
2    (11)    Al Kahina    R Angnoo    54    
3    (13)    Pearl Secret    N Flavenney    55    
4    (10)    Peppermint    J Boodramsing    53.5    
5    (5)    Fleet Admiral    P Badrie    55.5    
TIME: 1:21.3  DISTANCES: 1 1/4, 1/2, Nose, 3/4.
$1PARI: (15) $45.55; $5.80 (11) $2.15 (13) $3.10
$1EXACTA: $349.00
TRIFECTA: $9,734.99
HI-5: $24,854.40
WINNER: 9 y.o. CH mare – Wiseman's Ferry/Urn (Always A Rainbow)
OWNER: Jason Ali   TRAINER: A Gonzalez
BREEDER: Harry L. Landry & Irish Hill Century Farm (New York U.S.A)
ALSO RAN: 6. King Stand R Hernandez 52.5; 7. Ice'D'Gold L C Seecharan 52; 8. Little Otis B Boodramsing 57; 9. Bears And Bulls D Khelawan 54.5; 10. Uncle Max D Blackman 54; 11. Ready And Alert L Keizer 50.5; 12. Gold Bead N Patrick 57; 13 Super Easy J Stephen 53.5; 14. Cordell Walker W Galviz 56.5.
NON-RUNNER: My Giselle.

R4: 2 PM - WI BRED 4 YO & OVER MAIDENS - 1,200M - $32,000
1    (1)    Magnolia Lane    R Ali    50.5    
2    (7)    Poppy Love    R Angnoo    48    
3    (6)    Champagne Affair    P Badrie    54    
4    (4)    Dig Deep    L C Seecharan    45.5    
TIME: 1:15.3  DISTANCES: 2 1/2, 2, 4, 6 3/4.
$1PARI: (1) $9.75; $3.35 (7) $2.80
$1EXACTA: $68.90
TRIFECTA: $276.60
WINNER: 4 y.o. CH filly - Charismatic Cat/Latonia (Footloose)
OWNER: Caribbean Connection Stables   TRAINER: A Nunes
BREEDER: Elias Haloute
ALSO RAN: 5. Let It Ride R Jadoo 54; 6. Speedile L A Seecharan 46.5; 7. Half Price R Hernandez 54.

R5: 2.40 PM - 3 YO & OVER HORSES RATED 55-40 OPTIONAL CLAIMING $24,000 - $22,000 - 1,150M - $37,400
1    (13)    Desert Gold    R Ali    54.5    
2    (15)    Just Honest    L A Seecharan    51.5    
3    (1)    Afterthebooks    D Khelawan    53.5    
4    (10)    Naughty N Nice    N Patrick    53.5    
5    (12)    Be My Lover    N Flavenney    56.5    
TIME: 1:23.4  DISTANCES: Nose, 2, 1, Neck.
$1PARI: (13) $3.30; $2.35 (15) $11.55 (1) $4.50
$1EXACTA: $285.80
TRIFECTA: $8,659.70
HI-5: $53,281.20
WINNER: 4 y.o. B gelding – Gold Market/Alyce Glen (Gulf Storm)
OWNER: Errol Stables  TRAINER: G Mendez
BREEDER: Joseph Hadeed
ALSO RAN: 6. Drogbar N Samaroo 57; 7. Pacman L C Seecharan 50; 8. Loan Shark W Galviz 55.5; 9. Mike's Sugar J Boodramsing 54; 10. Director Dream N Mohammed 54.5; 11. Red Cloud D Blackman 53.5; 12. Glorify P Badrie 53; 13. It Is Alleged R Angnoo 53.5; 14. Farad J Stephen 54.5; 15. D'Sportsman R Hernandez 52.5; 16. Mambo Cat K Jadoo 53.5.
NON-RUNNERS: Potiphar's Wife.

R6: 3.20 PM - 3 YO & OVER HORSES RATED 45-0 OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000 - $27,000 - 1,150M - $33,000
1    (3)    Spectacular Return    R Ali    51.5    
2    (1)    Aztec Gold    R Angnoo    55    
3    (9)    Unguarded Moment    W Galviz    54.5    
4    (4)    Red River    J Boodramsing    53    
TIME: 1:32.3  DISTANCES: 3 3/4, Neck, 1 1/4, 2 3/4.
$1PARI: (3) $9.35; $2.25; (1)$1.80; (9) $2.00
$1EXACTA: $21.30
TRIFECTA: $184.00
WINNER: 6 y.o. CH horse– Sweet Return/Sammy Fox (Captain Bodgit)
OWNER: Ryan Lalla-Maharajh TRAINER: R A Dube
BREEDER: Gary Pierre
ALSO RAN: 5. Gold Coin B Boodramsing 51.5; 6. Surya D Khelawan 57; 7. Danzig's Day P Badrie 50.5; 8. Intangibility N Mohammed 52.5; 9. Lion's Portion N Flavenney 53.

R7: 4 PM - 3 YO & OVER HORSES RATED 60-45 OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000 - $27,000 - 1,700M - $41,000
1    (7)    Royal Empire    R Ali    56.5    
2    (12)    Wing Commander    N Abrego    56    
3    (10)    Big Man    P Badrie    57    
4    (9)    Blue Oracle    B Boodramsing    56.5    
5    (1)    Undulation    J Stephen    55.5    
TIME: 1:51.4  DISTANCES: 3/4, 1 13/4, Head, 1/2.
$1PARI: (7) $11.05 ;$2.05; (12) $2.05; (10) $2.30
EXACTA: $55.20
TRIFECTA: $910.80
HI-5: $83,977.80
WINNER: 4 y.o B gelding – Charismatic Cat/Spanish Fiesta (Siphon)
OWNER: Errol Stables   TRAINER: M Carew Jnr
BREEDER: Poon Tip Stud Farm Limited
ALSO RAN: 6. Cramers Rule R Hernandez 54; 7. Frankenstein R Angnoo 51.5; 8. Quick City D Blackman 54; 9. Red Howler N Flavenney 55; 10. Allied N Samaroo 57; 11. Convoy N Mohammed 57; 12. Jacob's Dream J Boodramsing 54.

R8: 4.40 PM - 3 YO & OVER HORSES RATED 80-50 - 1,600M (TURF) - $48,500
1    (4)    Enzo    B Boodramsing    54    
2    (7)    Golden Enchantment    D Khelawan    53    
3    (1)    Kodo    W Galviz    55.5    
4    (5)    Wild Shuffle    J Boodramsing    54    
5    (2)    Absolutely Chrome    R Angnoo    49.5    
TIME: 1:37.1  DISTANCES: 3 3/4, Neck, 1/2, 2 2 3/4.
$1PARI: (4) $3.10; $1.65; (7) $2.15
EXACTA: $15.80
TRIFECTA: $37.30
WINNER: 4 y.o CH gelding - Dunkirk/Hulamore (Livermore)
OWNER: Michael Scott TRAINER: J O'Brien
BREEDER: Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds (Kentucky U.S.A)
ALSO RAN: 6. Away Johannesburg R Hernandez 52.5; 7. Uncle Norman N Samaroo 55.5.

R9: 5.20 PM - IMPORTED 3 YO & OVER WI BRED 3 YO & OVER HORSES RATED 75-50 - 1,350M - $49,500
1    (6)    Masterpiece    B Boodramsing    53.5    
2    (9)    Soca Rhapsody    R Angnoo    55    
3    (7)    Big Five 0    N Abrego    56.5    
4    (4)    Thays    R Hernandez    53    
5    (1)    A Great Moment    L A Seecharan    49    
TIME: 1:22.4  DISTANCES: 1 1/4, 4 1/4, 4 3/4, 2 3/4.
$1PARI: (6) $2.80; $1.25; (9) $1.65 (7) $1.60
EXACTA: $8.50
TRIFECTA: $26.50
HI-5: $7,263.50
WINNER: 4 y.o B colt - Maraahel/Igotaspellonu (Grand Slam)
OWNER: Chevan Maharaj   TRAINER: J O'Brien
BREEDER: Ruthven R. Smith
ALSO RAN: 6. King Of Siberia J Boodramsing 51.5; 7. Precise Moment N Flavenney 55; 8. Diamond Flirt P Badrie 55.5; 9. Guilty As Sin K Jadoo 53.5.

‘Out with the old, in with the new!’

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:18

With odds only slightly in his favor, dynamism of the two men markedly different, Guyana’s new President David Granger should still be feeling like USA’s President Barack Obama did six years ago when he assumed the Oval Office after “younger” Bush; George Walker. “Congratulations, President Granger.  We all hope that you and your government would try hard to make true Guyana’s national motto, forgotten by so many—‘One People; One Nation; One Destiny.’”  Let all renew hopes and aspirations!  

Since 1992, some of those aspects did not obtain at all in Guyana.  Like President Obama had to do; and is still trying to finish in his final term; President Granger will have to achieve many excavations too, but the “Golden Arrowhead” should be unfurled with pride. One hopes that Guyana’s new President does not, as new leaders in the Third World seem to do, break down good things brought about by previous administrations.  

Just get rid of the bad stuff and people, as new American administrations try to achieve.  Total retooling would take two sets of elections to be complete.  Guyana does not have time to waste. But as we are on “Our dear land of rivers and plains,” why is there so much talk and many deliberations about my home-boy; “ahwe bhay”; from Unity-Lancaster, West Indies’ senior cricketing statesman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Because he deserves much leeway for services rendered, even though he failed against England recently, Shiv should simply have already been told by WICB’s Chief Selector Clive Lloyd, Head Coach Phil Simmons and ultimately, by WICB President Dave Cameron.

Let Shiv keep batting
“Shiv, you have two Test matches to break whatever records you need to, get whatever runs you require.  After efforts against Australia next month, your career as a WI Test cricketer is over!” That should be the end of that story but not the end of Shiv.  It would be unrealistic to select Shiv for tours later this year to Australia etc, but he should somehow be allowed to be involved in our cricket going forward.  His experiences are too precious to be lost! 

Ideally, with tweaks, Shiv could be groomed as a Sporting Ambassador for Guyana, as repayment for 20-plus years as a Guyana and WI cricketer. Anyway, why is there such a noise because Shiv is about to break the all-encompassing record of the Prince of Port-of-Spain, Brian Lara?  So what if the Prince loses his WI total runs record?

So Lara made 11,953 runs from 131 Tests and was magnificent getting them.  Even if Chanderpaul is allowed to get past that record, his now at 11,867 from 164 Tests, there is no-one in the world who would select Chanderpaul ahead of Lara in any all-world team! Selfish Lara But where were those noises when Lara, as captain, and WI, were 3-0 down against England in Antigua in 2004, desperately needing to win that last Test of that series to save embarrassment?

Instead of declaring at day two’s end, WI 595-5, to give his team a chance at winning, Lara, 313 no, selfishly decided that he wanted to repossess his previous record, regardless.  So, he got to 400 no, England won the series 3-0, but by batting well into that third day, WI’s chances of winning No 4 were gone.  It ended in a draw. Nothing else happened afterwards either, so let’s get on here, records or whatever!

Guyana’s adopted newest fast bowling hope, from Montserrat, Ronsford Beaton should not be allowed to captain his region, Essequibo, in any cricket at all right now.  If no-one noticed, he was excluded, rightfully so, from WI President’s XI squad to play against Australia next week.

Instead of being burdened by captaincy, if he wants to be compared to other faster men selected for President XI Barbadians Miguel Cummins and Carlos Brathwaite, Jamaicans Jason Dawes and Marquino Mindley, Beaton must first focus on improving his own cricketing abilities and frailties. As seen against England earlier, WI needs fast bowlers desperately, as Kemar Roach, for West Indies, like Beaton for Guyana, has been struggling terribly.  Considering that Jerome Taylor is already nearing 31, several new faster bowlers should be knocking at WI’s Test door.

Revival of WI President’s XI
For Beaton to be a continuing WI aspirant, he must first work diligently on his total fitness and elasticity, then his longevity in spells, then bowling abilities; how he uses the ball; hopefully all in tandem.  If not, in that order.  Thrusting captaincy responsibilities on Beaton now is just foolish!

But WI selectors Lloyd, Courtney Browne, Eldine Baptiste and Courtney Walsh mush be tremendously lauded for renewing that real cause and focus of WI President’s XI.  In the past, many a player, including yours truly, made their names in President’s XI’s for further WI honors. And Coach Simmons new approach has made him go up too in everyone’s estimation, with him trying to field WI’s best team.

By endeavoring to make bee-lines to re-inclusions of Dwayne Bravo, his nephew Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, perhaps even Chris Gayle, coach Simmons it checking out most of the old while trying to bring on the new WI too!

Ali, Faria cop Scotia golf titles

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:15

Amjad Ali and Derek Faria, competing under the Team Serta banner, emerged winners of the 16th Annual Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer Charity Golf Tournament held at St Andrews Golf Course in Moka Maraval on May 15. Second place saw a tie between Marlyn Jackson and Jacqueline Niles of team DirecTV and Anthony Hosang and Adrian Sampson of Janoura’s Customs Designs Limited scoring 47 points.

Gisele Marfleet, chairman of the Scotiabank of T&T Foundation, lauded the 41 teams that shared the organisation vision to use sports as a catalyst for creating a greater awareness of the illness. “Annually”, she said, “the Foundation was heartened by the number of men that participate in the tournament which originally fielded female golfers”.

“The Scotiabank Foundation seeks to create a brighter future for T&T by supporting activities and initiatives that focus on our youth, education, arts, sports and women’s health. Scotia Foundation has also been pivotal in the development and funding of Scotia Kiddy Cricket in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Sports and the T&T Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board of Control,” she said.

Marfleet added, “Coming up on October 17, we will be having another of our signature events: The Women Against Breast Cancer 5k race and fund raiser, which is held annually and simultaneously in Tobago, San Fernando and Port-of-Spain. 

UTC celebrates first CariFin All Fours win

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:11

Team captain Darin Ramroop led Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) to a comeback win over JMMB in the final of the CariFin Games All Fours Tournament at the Guardian Group Building in Westmoorings on May 16.

After the hard fought final Ramroop was happy about his team’s success. “It felt great to win after overcoming all the odds in the finals. Being four nil down in a best-of-nine series is a very difficult task to overturn. I am very proud of the overall performance of my team and we are looking forward to defending our title at the next CariFin All Fours Tournament.” 

Ramroop added the win showed team competitive spirit, sense of purpose and leadership to be able to rebound from an apparent loss and turn it into victory. The UTC team included Jamila Phillip-Charles, Crystal Noel, Sheldon Fields, Anton Manswell Bashiri De Graff, Calvin Felician and Jomo Wilson.

JMMB team captain Rajiv Soomarie said, “My team was pleased with the day, it was a fine outing and we played unbeaten until we were conquered in the final round by UTC.” This year’s format as well as the venue came up for praise from the teams; the eight teams were divided into two groups, that way they were able to play more matches than the traditional knockout format. The tournament started at 2 pm and concluded at 10.30 pm.

Luces earns Checkers a point

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:06

Former national forward Yesenia Luces earned Harvard Checkers a share of the points when she netted in a 1-1 draw with Shandy Carib Magnolias in the T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship Division at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, on Friday night. Magnolias had taken a 1-0 lead in the first quarter through ex-national captain Stacey Siu Butt which it managed to hold onto until Luces, in her first season with Checkers after transfering from Ventures, converted the equaliser.

With the drawn result, Checkers, remained unbeaten and improved to nine points from five matches, four behind leaders Georgetown Cricket Club while defending champion Paragon is second with 11. Magnolias is fourth with seven points, one ahead of Notre Dame followed by Courts Malvern with four.

And in the Men’s Championship Division, another former national captain Nicholas Wren got both goals to help Defence Force to a 2-2 draw with Queen’s Park Cricket Club. Damion Bright and Raphael Govia were on target for the Parkites but Wren came to his team’s rescue each time. The draw left Defence Force third with nine points, six behind unbeaten leaders Petrotrin while  Notre Dame is second with 11 points from seven matches and Queen’s Park, fourth with eight.

Women’s Championship
SC Magnolias 1 vs Harvard Checkers 1

Men’s Championship
QPCC 2 (Damion Bright, Raphael Govia) vs Defence Force 2 (Nicholas Wren 2)

Mixed Veterans 
Carib 2 (Narda Coker 2nd, Kevin Adams 41st) vs Fatima 2 (Brian Garcia 44th, 51st)

Mixed Veterans
Courts Malvern 4 (Peter Edwards 37th, 46th, Shaun Alexander 6th, Damian Gordon 69th) vs Police 0 

Today’s matches
Trinity Women: Paragon vs Raiders, 11 am
Under-19 Boys: Raiders vs Paragon, 12.30 pm
Men’s Championship: Paradise vs Defence Force, 2 pm
Women’s Championship: SC Magnolias vs Ventures, 3.30 pm
Trinity Men: Paradise vs Carib, 5 pm
Trinity Men: Notre Dame vs Courts Malvern, 6.30 pm

Carnival mentality good for success says US expert

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:03

T&T has what it takes to produce more champion athletes with greater consistency on the world stage, but the people in the spotlight just don’t realise the way to achieve these feats, rest in their way of life. That’s the view of Drew Cuffie, performance specialist at the US-based Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) Centre.

Cuffie, who specialises in regeneration and recovery at MJP, said while local athletes habitually look externally for sources of inspiration to ultimately achieve victory there were cultural dynamics that would infuse them to be world beaters. In a T&T Guardian interview at the T&T Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) office on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, on Monday, Cuffie said MJP coaches have worked in Brazil, Puerto Rico and China and offered advice on ways to improve athlete performance, rather than try to impose US culture on their international associates.

“It’s about revamping the culture, enhancing it…not necessarily changing it. Ideally, if we are talking about T&T and the Carnival that’s approaching, you can see there is a high performance mentally towards getting ready for Carnival. So if we could use some of that same mentality to train and drive that into sport, I think that will help reach our goal of ten (Olympic) gold medals by 2024,” he said.

Cuffie was on local shores to work both with athletes and coaches for one month in keeping with an agreement reached between MJP and the TTOC. It followed a two-day bpTT/TTOC MJP High Performance workshop. The terms of that deal between TTOC and MJP required a specialist from that facility travel to T&T twice a year for the specified period to impart knowledge.  

Coaching professionally over the past four years–two of which was at the Michael Johnson Performance Centre–Cuffie has been MJP’s ambassador to this country for the past year. He conducted workshops back in May and October in 2014. Double Olympic medallist Richard Thompson, Olympic medallist Emmanuel Callender, IAAF World champion 400m hurdler Jehue Gordon and Jarrin Solomon, another Olympic medal achiever, were among eight local athletes that have benefitted from the expertise of the centre’s faculty, so far.

Para Pan gold medallist Shantol Ince, hurdler Mikel Thomas, sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye and cyclist Njisane Phillip completed the elite list. Apart from T&T athletes, young coach Shane Cooper was reputed to be the only national to date, to have studied at the centre. Cuffie said the MJP team hoped to receive more national coaches.

“We are still in the infancy of this project. Even though 2016 is around the corner, the overall goal is 2024. We have to keep that in mind and continue to work on it,” said Cuffie.

“Since I have been here, I have seen coaches that kind of do it all, where you have other professionals who specialise in different areas. Why not pool and use those resources? Hopefully the goals of the workshop will expose a systematic approach to training and then overall athleticism. While I’m here, I’m to show athletes, the coaches a way to help them improve athleticism.”

TTOC president Brian Lewis, left, chats with Drew Cuffie, regeneration and recovery specialist at the MJP Centre, trainee athletics coach Shane Cooper and volleyball coach Sean Morrison. PHOTO: SEAN NERO
Cuffie is from Arlington, Texas, USA, where he played cornerback for Abilene Christian University (ACU) Football Team. During his college career ACU won two Lone Star Conference Championships. He received his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and his master’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Kinesiology. Drew has been the assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Abilene Christian Football, softball, baseball, and soccer, golf and cross country teams.

Browne has hopes for last hurrah

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 05:00

Celebrated T&T men’s hockey player Kwandwane Browne has his eyes set on fulfilling a lifelong dream of qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. And with the upcoming Pan American Games, being his last chance to do so Browne who has played more than 300 times for T&T, is ever optimistic about his team’s chances.

At the Pan American Games to be held in Canada in July, the “Calypso Stickmen” ranked 29th in the world will compete in a very tough Pool A with Argentina, Cuba and USA while Pool B comprises Brazil, Canada, Chile and Mexico. It will be the first tournament for T&T since it participated in the FIH World League Round Two qualifiers in San Diego, California in March.

At that tournament, the “Calypso stickmen” who were without some of their top players due to injury and work commitments were beaten in all six matches they contested. T&T went under to Russia (6-1), USA (7-1) and Canada (3-0) in Pool B round-robin player before losing to Ireland (12-2) in the quarterfinal, 2-1 to Italy in the fifth to eighth semifinal, and 5-3 to USA in the seventh place playoff.

But despite the tough draw, Browne through his own hockey pedigree and coaching excellence having a huge influence on his team, believes there is no doubt that T&T will be mixing it with the bigger teams right to the final whistle. Currently, the England Under-21 assistant coach and coach for National League Premier Division’s Canterbury, Browne in 2012/13 won the award for England Hockey High Performance Coach of the season.

He has also been the mainstay of the national team for more than 18 years, playing in four Commonwealth Games as well as four Pan American Games and three Pan American Cup competitions and this year’s event in Canada, will no doubt be his last. 

However, his coaching commitments in the United Kingdom has meant he needs to plan his time carefully between representing his club and country. 

“Because our international tournaments are normally in the summer, it doesn’t regularly affect my club commitments, but the last year has been challenging as I have been working as the assistant coach for England U-21 Men and the England Senior Men Development squad and we have quite a few camps and tournaments during the year. Early planning has been crucial so I will arrange to go back to T&T where possible and do intensive camps over ten days.” 

The fact that Browne is working with another national team has had added benefits for the T&T team as Browne explains: “I am able to keep up to date with the new developments and when we have the intensive camps I am able to pass on the things I have learnt. “Occasionally the T&T national coach will come over to England for three to four months and spend time looking at the Premier League and gathering information from some of the coaches.”

The biggest hurdle that T&T faces is the inconsistency of government funding, which makes it difficult to do any long term planning. “When we had consistent funding our ranking jumped to 18th, we were doing really well and were hoping to get into the top 15. With funding, players can receive a stipend and have some of their travelling expenses covered. While the players did not earn money, this was enough to play and train hard,” says Browne.

“However, now that the funding is a bit ad hoc, players are forced to get full time jobs, so getting time off is a massive problem. We haven’t got thousands of players to choose from, so if a few key players are missing from a tournament it has a massive impact on our quality. “The Pan Am Games in July will be the first time in about eight years we will have all our players available, so we are all quite excited.” ended Browne, who is expected to return to T&T next week to conduct a ten-day camp.

Central, W Connection set up CFU final

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 04:57

Digicel T&T Pro League duo, Central FC and DirecTV W Connection, will lock horns one more time this season, when they face off in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship final at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 6 pm today.  This after both teams won their semifinal encounters at the same venue on Friday night to also secure their places in the 2015/2016 Concacaf Champions League group stages which kick off in August.

Two hours earlier, beaten semifinal, Don Bosco of Haiti and Jamaica Red Stripe Premier Division champions, Montego Bay United will meet for third spot, with the winner earning the remaining CFU spot to the Concacaf Champions League. 

On Friday, tournament debutants and newly crowned Pro League champions, Central FC, which played the final 30-minutes of regulation-time with ten men after striker Willis Plaza was red carded, battled past Don Bosco 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw with Soca Warriors goalkeeper, Jan-Michael Williams pulling off three saves in the shoot-out. 

The 27-year-old Plaza was sent off in the 67th minute for a second yellow card in a space of five minutes after he struck left-back Massigno Joseph in the face during his attempt to attack the Don Bosco box. Jamaican referee Karl Tyrell, who booked the forward earlier for a foul on right-back Jean Junior Brenus, spared no mercy when he reduced the “Couva Sharks” to ten men.

But despite being a man down, Central FC held firm defensively over the final 23 minutes of regulation time and 20 minutes of extra-time against the Haitians who were the highest scoring team in the previous round, netting 16 goals in three matches. And in the penalty shoot-out, Williams denied Don Bosco’s Benchy Estama, Porky Thermidor and Jean Schwetzer Saint-Hubert with their team’s first, third and fourth penalty attempts.

On the other hand, Central FC’s Elton John, Leston Paul and Uriah Bentick were clinical from the spot to advance to its first in club history. Defender Akeem Benjamin had the only miss for Central while Junior Delva scored Don Bosco’s only goal from the spot. 

Central, winners of the League, First Citizens Cup and the Rawle Fletcher, Akeem Adams and Kevon Carter trophies for winning each round of the league, now has a chance at a fifth trophy this season while it will also face Caledonia AIA in the Digicel Pro Bowl final at Couva on Friday. W Connection, three-time (2002, 2006 & 2009) Caribbean Club champions, avoided extra time and penalty kicks thanks to a second half goal from Hashim Arcia, to edge top Jamaica side Montego Bay United 1-0 to set up an all-T&T final.

The Stuart Charles-Fevrier-coached W Connection created a few early chances with forward Jerrel Britto and midfielder Jomal Williams coming close against a very strong, fast and very physical Montego line-up.

The decisive moment in the match came in the 69th minute when Arcia, who netted back-to-back hat-tricks in the previous round against Guyana Defence Force and SAP FC of Antigua & Barbuda after latching onto a careless pass from Montego’s Ronaldo Rodney to goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett.

Ten minutes later W Connection goalkeeper Julani Archibald produced a superb one-handed save to keep out a half volley by Owayne Gordon to maintain his team’s lead and book a place in the final for his team which were joint tournament winners in 2001, 2002 and 2013, when no final rounds were played. 

Today’s decider between the T&T clubs will be the seventh all-Pro League final since 1997, with W Connection featuring in four of them, the last of which was 2012 against Caledonia AIA, which the latter won 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw.

2015 CFU Club Championship 
Friday semifinals
Don Bosco FC 0 vs Central FC 0—Central FC won the match 3-1 on penalty kick
W Connection 1 (Hashim Arcia 69th) vs Montego Bay United 0 

Today’s matches
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva

Third place: Don Bosco FC vs Montego Bay United, 4 pm
Final: Central FC vs W Connection—6 pm


King claims women’s prize

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 06:36

Orlando City midfielder and senior national player Kevin Molino, 24, has been named the men’s senior International Player of the Year at the T&T Football Association (TTFA) hosted its awards ceremony for 2014/2015 at the VIP Lounge at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Woodbrook on Thursday night. He was bestowed with the T&T men’s football Goal of the Year, too.

Molino, who was unable to attend the ceremony as he was recovering from surgery he underwent due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, received 56 per cent of the votes cast by coaches, fans and media.

Fans saluted him with the Goal of the Year awards for the memorable goal against Curacao at the 2014 Caribbean Cup Finals with 59 per cent of the votes.

 The International Player of the Year Award was Molino’s first honour on the night. During the season under review, the talented footballer was called up for  national duty in the Caribbean Cup at which the team emerged runner-up. He also appeared in international friendly against Argentina and Iran prior to the 2014 World Cup finals. Molino was also outstanding for his club Orlando City in the United States Soccer League. 

Meanwhile, Arin King was named the women’s International Player of the Year, with 87 per cent of the votes. She played in all of this country’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2014, delivering performances which have been described as outstanding.

 North East Stars centre-midfielder and national U-20 player Neveal Hackshaw, 19, was adjudged Male Youth International Player of the Year, while Amaya Ellis emerged as the Female Youth International Player of the Year. Ellis who played for FFC Frankfurt in Germany represented the national U-15, U-17 and U-20 Women’s team with distinction in 2014. 

The Senior Women’s Team was named International Team of the Year, while Randy Waldrum emerged as Coach of the Year.

 Lauryn Hutchinson, meanwhile, was bestowed with the award with the Goal of the Year–Women. The goal that put her in the spotlight was an equaliser during the fixture against Costa Rica during the Concacaf Women’s Final Round of World Cup qualification last year. She received 40 per cent of the votes, while Kennya Cordner’s first half goal against Guatemala came in second with 33 per cent of the votes. 

Super League honour saw Club Sando goalkeeper Alexi Julian named as the season’s Most Valuable Player, while his team lifted the league trophy and took home the Club Sando TT $200,000 cash prize.

Muamba, Yankey inspire Flow Legends programme

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 06:29

Rachel Yankey, Arsenal Ladies stand-out and record holder of England national team appearances, along with former Bolton Wanderers and England youth team midfielder Fabrice Muamba kicked off the Flow Legends Community Outreach Programme, last weekend, making separate visits to T&T where they visited various schools and communities. 

The programme is part of the BA Legends Tobago Football Challenge, an event which will feature some 64 legendary former players from around the Caribbean and England’s Premier League. 

The six-a-side tournament will run from June 20-21 at the Dwight Yorke Stadium. Many of the players will offer clinics to young local footballers and visit communities.

During Muamba and Yakey’s visits to the two islands, they held football sessions and gave inspiring talks at a number of schools.

Muamba, whose career was cut short in 2012 when he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch while playing for Bolton offered strong advice to aspiring footballers, urging them to pursue a proper education, whether or not they become professional athletes.

Last weekend clinics were held at Carnbee/Mt Pleasant with St Clair Coaching School at Scarborough Secondary School and at Canaan/Bon Accord with 1975 Phoenix, a Tobago club that competes in the National Super League.

They also spent time with students of the St Augustine Secondary School and Flow staff at the company’s Cunupia Operations Centre, on Monday.

Coaches who attended the sessions were grateful for the pointers provided by the experienced players and were excited, particularly for the support of Yankey who shared a special time with the female footballers present.

Yankey said: “We’re happy to spend some time with the kids of T&T and share our experiences with them. We know and we’re inspired by Dwight Yorke in particular so it’s exciting to come and see where he lived and developed his talent and passion.”

Over the three-day period, the programme touched approximately 130 kids mostly in Tobago but also in Trinidad.

The Flow Legends Community Legacy Outreach Programme will continue next weekend in Tobago with local coaches visiting other communities paired with the Legends teams. 

The programme will culminate from June 16-17 when all 64 legends arrive in Tobago and visit the communities for extended clinics.

The teams, which bear names of the Premier League clubs and two all-star teams, are paired with towns in Tobago. They are: Manchester United (Canaan/Bon Accord); Aston Villa (Buccoo/Mt Pleasant/Bethel/Carnbee); Liverpool (Les Coteaux/Plymouth/Black Rock); Tottenham Hotspur (Patience Hill/Signal Hill/Lambeau); Caribbean All Stars (Mason Hall/Moriah/Castara); Arsenal (Roxborough/Argyle/Goodwood); Chelsea (Charlotteville/Speyside/Delaford); and PFA All Stars (Whim/Mt Grace/Calderhall).

Tickets are available in Trinidad at Cleve’s One Stop Music Shop, Crosby’s in St James and at Flow Payment Centres in Port of Spain, Tacarigua, Arima, Chaguanas and San Fernando. In Tobago tickets are available at Penny Savers Supermarket, and Milford 24 Gas Station.

WICB needs to bring back Regional T20

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 06:25

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) needs to bring back the WICB Regional T20 cricket series to the people of the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 team is fantastic and has brought the crowds out but this number could double if they bring back the Regional T20 tournament.

This would not be duplication because one has to understand that the CPL is “franchise” cricket. What I have noticed whilst travelling around covering West Indies cricket and CPL cricket, is that the people of the Caribbean is finding it very hard to come to terms with “franchise” cricket. 

The rivalry between territories in the Caribbean that has been built up over years remains and fans want more of that. 

They want to see Sunil Narine playing for T&T and not Guyana, they want Keiron Pollard to play as part of the Red Force. T&T fans have felt the most disappointment because they lost the most players to other teams in the Caribbean. 

When the CPL was conceptualised in an effort to make the tournament competitive, they had to dismantle the powerful Red Force. 

The team who had seen four out of the first five Champions League, was scattered around the Caribbean and two of their players were actually made captains of other teams. Pollard went to the Barbados Tridents, while Denesh Ramdin went to Guyana to be their captain.

I am aware of the fact that under the present arrangement between the WICB and CPL, the former would have to seek permission from the latter to host T20 matches involving more than two teams in the Caribbean.

So I can’t see CPL giving permission for the WICB to host a Regional T20 tournament. However, it is worth a try because it could bring serious interest back to cricket and I think the advertising dollar would come in. 

Let’s hope that this idea can be toyed with in the not too distant future. I want to make it clear that I am not calling for the demise of the CPL, what I am saying is that there is a place for both tournaments. The Regional T20 tournament can be played in January over two weeks and the CPL can remain in their window which is June and July.

Meanwhile, shifting the topic a bit, I would like to ask the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) to take a look at the timing of their domestic T20 tournament.  

I am looking at what is happening in Barbados and I totally agree with their thinking. They started their domestic T20 cricket last weekend and it is being played just before the CPL. 

There local players are getting a chance to play T20 cricket before going to CPL and the fans are getting a taste of what is to come. What they are doing is building up the hype for T20 cricket at this point in time and this would auger well when matches come to Barbados.

In Trinidad, our T20 tournament is done and dusted and the league is currently being played. 

We are playing league cricket going into the CPL and this cannot be the best preparation. I know that the president of the TTCB, Azim Bassarath has stated the structure and timing of domestic cricket is very fluid and the board is looking for ways to better the league. This is good news and this is why I decided to throw in my two cents.

Finally on the column today, I would like to continue my call for people with selfish agendas to keep away from the administration of cricket. 

I have seen enough to know that there are people moving around local cricket, trying to get on board and they are hurting the game in the process. Please! Please! Please! keep away cricket does not need you.

Windies Women gunning for clean sweep of T20s

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 06:22

COLOMBO—After clinching the One-Day International series convincingly, West Indies Women have now set their sights on sweeping the three-match Twenty20 series which bowls off at the R Premadasa Stadium in Sri Lanka yesterday.

The touring side suffered just one defeat en route to taking the four-match ODI series, 3-1, and captain Merissa Aguilleira said they had resolved to play unbeaten for the remainder of the tour.

“The place is very humid down here but after all, we know what we came to do even though we came to win all of our matches,” she said.

“We fell short in one so … we’ve said to ourselves that we’re not going to lose any more matches. We’re going into the T20s with full fire and hopefully we can bring it home for the people of the Caribbean.”

All three matches have been scheduled for the R Premadasa Stadium, with the second game carded for Monday and the final one on Tuesday.

Despite playing inconsistently, West Indies Women still managed to outplay the Sri Lankans in the ODIs and will now take that momentum into the T20 series.

They opened the series with a five-wicket victory, slumped to a six-wicket loss in the second game before rebounding to win the last two encounters.

In the last game, they managed just 156 but defended it superbly to come away with an important 31-run verdict.

“I felt really good to know that we have actually crossed that hurdle because after going out there and scoring 156 we knew that we had to step up to the plate,” Aguilleira explained.

“It was really a team effort, we went out there as a team and organised ourselves in a way where we just had to stay focussed and maintain our focus, and I think that’s exactly what we did. I think it was a really tremendous job and well done to the team.”

The last three games of the ODI series counted as ICC Championship games, and Aguilleira pointed out that winning two of these matches had been vital.

“Winning was important because we really wanted to get the six points but we fell short in the first [championship] game but we’re really thankful to God that we got the last four points,” she said. “Hopefully going [forward] in the championship we can get more points.”

The ICC Women’s Championship is a multi-year, bilateral competition between the top eight sides, which earns points towards qualification for the 2017 Women’s World Cup. CMC