Jamaica and Oregon sprinter, Kemba Nelson, picked up where she left off last season with a narrow win in the women’s 60m at the Cougar Classic Invitational in Spokane.

The reigning NCAA champion only narrowly got the better of Double Pillar Athletics sprinter Destiny Smith-Barnett.  In fact, both athletes were given the same time of 7.19 after crossing the line but it was Nelson who had the better time when the photo finish was used.  Oregon’s Jadyn Mays was third in 7.27. 

Elsewhere jumper Lamara Distin, a sophomore at Texas A&M, cleared an indoor personal-best 1.88m to win the women’s high jump at the two-day Ted Nelson Invitational.  Nissi Kabongo of Stephen Austin recorded the second-best mark with 1.85m, while Texas’ Allyson Andress was third with 1.73.

Former DJ Benjamin Alexander will become the first man to represent Jamaica, in skiing, at the Winter Olympics after qualifying for the Games last week.

Alexander will make his debut in the men’s giant slalom and qualified for the event after finishing seventh at the Cape Verde National Ski Championships on January 12.

Born to a Jamaican father and English mother, the athlete, now 38, did not take up the sport until 5 years ago while on a visit to Canada.  Now he will number among a handful of Jamaicans, 14 to be exact, that have made an appearance at the Games.  The journey was anything but simple.

"The biggest emotion I have right now is relief. I have put my entire life into this, my savings, my reputation, absolutely everything. It's taken 200% of my all to get here,” Alexander said.

Like so many, Alexander admits to being a fan of cult classic Cool Runnings, the now immortal story that paid tribute to the appearance of the Jamaica team at the 1988 Calgary Games.

"Had it not been for that movie and my friends making jokes about me being like Cool Runnings I don't think this plan would have been concocted,” Alexander said.

He hopes at the very least to be an inspiration.

"I don't want to take anything away from the people who started from the age of two.

"My story is all about participation and hopefully inspiring the next generation of Jamaican children to start earlier than 32."

Jamaica Reggae Boy Liam Moore has been stripped of the club captaincy by struggling Championship outfit Reading who have taken exception to the player’s ambitions of moving away from the club.

Reading made the announcement via its official website, making it clear it had become frustrated with the player in recent months.

 “Over the course of the last few months, centre-back Liam Moore has spoken with manager Veljko Paunovic and directors of the club to state his clear desire to leave Reading Football Club and pursue his career elsewhere,” the statement read.

“Obviously we are disappointed that Liam, a player awarded one of the club’s most significant contracts, has now stated his intention to move on. Whilst we have patiently waited for his representatives to provide us with options for us to consider in helping him fulfil that request, no offer or opportunity has been presented to the club to date,” it added.

Moore, who joined the club in 2016, following a loan spell at Bristol City, has gone on to make 216 appearances for the club.  Future appearances could be harder to come by.

“Although we have undeniably experienced a very difficult first half to our season, due in part to an unimaginable injury crisis which has most recently left us devoid of almost all our fit or available defensive options, we still demand loyalty, focus, and committed performances from every individual who pulls on a Reading shirt in front of our fans. And we expect our players, particularly our new captain, to wear the crest with pride and dedicate their total focus to the club on behalf of its loyal fanbase.”

Moore has since expressed surprise at the club’s decision via his social media account.

“Incredible shocked by the statement released tonight.  The player said via his IG handle.”

In 2019, Clarendon College suffered a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Kingston College in the final of the ISSA Champions Cup.

Three years later, the Chapleton-based school have gone one better after scoring a 1-0 win over Dinthill Technical at Stadium East to win the ISSA Champions Cup.

In a back-and-forth affair, both teams traded chances throughout the first half before the deadlock was finally broken in the second half when a deflected shot from Jaheim Rose found its way to the feet of Kaheem Dixon who slotted home the decisive goal in the 53rd minute.

Clarendon College are now the second rural-area school to win the Champions Cup joining Cornwall College who won the title in 2018.

 

The key to the West Indies winning their CG Insurance One-Day International series against Ireland will be the ability to maintain wickets in hand in order to launch at the back-end of the innings, according to opening batsman and vice-captain Shai Hope.

The West Indies top-order batsmen have experienced difficulties with the moisture on the Sabina Park pitch, in the first two games of the series, after losing the toss and being asked to bat by Ireland on both occasions.

“We all know that in the morning time, there’s a lot of moisture in the pitch and it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t get to win the toss in the first two games,” he said.

Still, Hope emphasized the importance of trying to battle through the conditions, regardless of the result of the toss.

“Whether we win the toss or not, we have to do whatever we do, first, to the best of our ability. The key is to make sure we do it better this game because we know it is a series decider,” Hope added.

When asked about the average batting performance in the series so far, Hope once again pointed to difficult conditions.

“I think anyone who understands cricket can see that conditions aren’t conducive to stroke-play. It’s not a free-flowing wicket, especially in the morning at Sabina Park. It’s just important for us as batters to adapt to that as fast as we can. It’s not easy but we still have to find a way,” Hope added.

Finally, he offered possible solutions for the West Indies' batting woes.

“It’s just important for us to find a way, whether it’s putting the bowlers under more pressure or trying to run more singles in the middle period. I also think it’s important for us to maintain wickets in the middle so we can launch at the back-end because, at the end of the innings, the wicket tends to get a lot better,” Hope said.

The third and final CG Insurance ODI between The West Indies and Ireland takes place on Sunday at Sabina Park at 9:15 am Jamaica Time.

The series is currently locked at 1-1.

 

St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) secured their spot in the semifinal of the ISSA Ben Francis Cup following after cruising to a 2-0 win over Vere Technical.

After enterprising play early on Negus Daley gave STETHS the lead when he slipped by his defender at the area and fired the ball past Vere goalkeeper Michael Panton. 

With Vere finding it tough to create legitimate goal-scoring opportunities, Michael Jerman made the result safe for STETHS in the 56th minute.  After rapidly closing down defender Nevaughn Myrie, the industrious player sprinter away from the rest of the backline before lofting the ball over the advancing Panton and into the net.

Elsewhere, Frome got the better of Munro on the back of a goal from Javel Clarke.  The hard-sprinting Clarke finished with geometric precision after being played through on goal from a perfectly weighted pass from Fabian Forbes.

In other matches, a Shaquille Campbell double led Manchester High to a 3-0 win over Christiana and Edwin Allen also moved into the semifinals after a 2-1 win over Cornwall College.

 

Ireland secured a five-wicket win via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to tie their 3-match One-Day International series with the West Indies 1-1 at Sabina Park on Thursday.

Ireland’s opening pair of William Porterfield and Paul Stirling got off to a strong start reaching 37 off 4.5 overs before Stirling was dismissed for 21 by Akeal Hosein.

Ireland brought up their 50 in the eighth over with Porterfield on 22 and Andy McBrine yet to score.

Roston Chase removed Porterfield with the final ball of the 10th over for 26 to leave the Irish on 60-2.

McBrine and Harry Tector formed a decent partnership and brought Ireland’s score past 100 before McBrine was dismissed by Romario Shepherd to become the third wicket to fall for a well-played 35, in the 20th over, to leave Ireland at 104-3.

Tector (46) and Curtis Campher (11) were the batsmen at the crease when Ireland brought up their 150 in the 29th over.

Tector brought up his sixth ODI 50 and second in the series off 69 balls in the 31st over but in the same over was bowled by Hosein.  Curtis Campher was dismissed for 12 to leave the score on 157-4 with Ireland needing 73 more runs to win from 115 balls.

A long rain delay during the 32nd over meant that upon the resumption of the game, Ireland only needed 11 more runs to win off 28 balls after the overs were reduced from 50 to 36 by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

Kieron Pollard removed George Dockrell in the 33rd over for five, with the Irish needing just three more runs to win before Gareth Delaney hit the winning runs off Pollard to close the innings at 168-5.

Harry Tector finished 54 not out for the Irish against Akeal Hosein’s 2-51 off eight overs.

Earlier, the West Indies recovered from being 111-7 to be bowled out for 229 in 48 overs thanks to a well-made 50 from Romario Shepherd and an aggressive 46 off 19 balls from Odean Smith against a four-wicket haul from Andy McBrine, who was voted man of the match, and a three-wicket haul from Craig Young.

The third and final ODI will take place on Sunday at 9:15 AM Jamaica time at the same venue.

The West Indies have set Ireland 230 to win the second ODI at Sabina Park thanks to crucial late knocks from Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith.

West Indies played the same eleven as the first ODI for the second match, while Ireland made two changes with Paul Stirling and Neil Rock coming in for regular captain Andrew Balbirnie and wicketkeeper/batsman Lorcan Tucker who both returned positive COVID-19 tests on Tuesday.

Ireland won the toss and chose to field and the West Indies opening pair of Shai Hope and Justin Greaves battled difficult conditions on the Sabina Park pitch to still be at the crease in the 10th over before Hope was dismissed by Craig Young for 17 to leave the Windies at 38-1.

After the first powerplay, the West Indies were 39-1 with Greaves not out on eight and Nicholas Pooran yet to score.

Young got his second wicket in the 12th over with a beauty to remove Justin Greaves for 10 to leave the score on 42-2 off 11.2 overs.

The West Indies troubles escalated when Pooran became Young’s third victim in the 14th over, for one, to leave the home team on 43-3 off 13.5 overs.

After 20 overs, the West Indies were 58-3 with Roston Chase (6) and Shamarh Brooks (10) attempting to rebuild the innings.

Chase was next to go for 13 after a brilliant catch by acting captain Paul Stirling off the bowling of Andy McBrine to leave the West Indies on 91-4 after 26 overs.

The West Indies lost their fifth wicket soon after as captain Kieron Pollard was dismissed for one by McBrine to leave the score at 93-5 after 27.1 overs.

Shamarh Brooks (36) and Jason Holder (2) were the batsmen at the crease when the West Indies brought up their hundred in the 30th over, ending that over on 103-5.

Jason Holder became the sixth wicket to fall for three off the bowling of Josh Little in the 31st over to leave the score 104-6.

Brooks followed up his 93 from the first ODI with a well-played 43 before he was dismissed in the 34th over by George Dockrell, to leave the West Indies struggling at 111-7.

Akeal Hosein was the eighth wicket to fall, going caught on the boundary off the bowling of McBrine for 11 to leave the West Indies on 143-8 after 39.4 overs.

Smith came to the crease and hit back-to-back sixes off McBrine to help the West Indies get to 155-8 after 40 overs with Smith on 12 and Shepherd on 22.

A brilliant partnership from Smith (46) and Shepherd (28) allowed West Indies to bring up their 200 in the 44th over.

Smith’s innings came to an end at the start of the 45th over when he was dismissed by Josh Little for 46 off just 19 balls to leave the West Indies 201-9.

Shepherd brought up a wonderful 50 off 40 balls in the 48th over before he was dismissed off the very next ball to end the innings with the West Indies being bowled out for 229 in 48 overs.

Andy McBrine was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 4-36 off his 10 overs and he was well supported by Craig Young who took 3-42 off eight overs.

 

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Michael Ricketts, has been ordered to pay $9m in a default judgment handed down by the Supreme Court.

The ruling, issued on Wednesday, found Ricketts to have acted with malice when he made comments, which amounted to a homophobic slur, against Sporting Central CEO Ainsley Lowe on local radio in 2016.

The JFF president did not contest the charging when the case was brought against him in May 2017 and has now found out the price tag on the judgment.  Ricketts has been ordered to pay general damages in the amount of $8m and aggregated damages of $1m.  In addition, Ricketts will have to issue a public apology via the same radio station the offense was made and issue an apology, approved by the claimant's attorneys, in a Jamaica Gleaner publication before January 22.

Ricketts' derogatory comment came after Lowe challenged him for the post of Clarendon FA president in 2016. Lowe claimed the election was run unconstitutionally and should have been declared null and void.

Garvey Maceo and Mannings will contest the final of the 2022 ISSA daCosta Cup after dramatic semifinal wins at the STETHS Sports Complex.

In the doubleheader, Garvey Maceo stunned a more heavily favoured Clarendon College 3-2, while Mannings battled to a hard-fought penalty shootout win against highflying Dinthill.

In the opening match, Mannings seemed well on the way to a win in regular time after Jahmaleek Porter's 55th-minute header remained buttressed by a stubborn defense line with less than 10 minutes remaining.

In the 83rd minute, however, Shamair Hutchinson pulled the teams level after firing wide of Mannings goalkeeper Ashwani Campbell, who had a stubborn display between the sticks all game.

Mikhail Romans who replaced Campbell heading into the penalty shootout came up with heroics of his own in a 4-2 shootout win, after stopping the shot of Hutchinson, to push Mannings to their first-ever final.

In the second match, Clarendon College proved to be their own worst enemy early on, after a defensive mix-up gifted Gregory Cousins with an open net one minute into first-half stoppage time.  The underdogs doubled their lead soon after the resumption after Cleo Clarke slammed a low fierce shot into the net in the 46th minute.

Jaheim Rose gave Clarendon College a lifeline in the 51st minute with a goal from the penalty spot, but Clarke scored again in the 80th to put the game out of reach.  Damion Abrahams corner went straight into the with five minutes left to give the defending champions faint hope but the goal proved to be a mere consolation.

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Ireland (CI) have confirmed changes to the match schedule for the ongoing CG Insurance One-Day International Series.

The second CG Insurance ODI will now be played on Thursday, January 13 with the third and final CG Insurance ODI on Sunday 16 January at Sabina Park.

Both matches will begin 9:30 am Jamaica time.

The rescheduling occurred following five COVID-19 positive cases, as well as injuries in the Ireland camp leaving the Ireland squad depleted ahead of the 2nd CG Insurance ODI which was originally was scheduled for Tuesday, January 11.

As a consequence, the one-off CG Insurance T20 International has been cancelled to allow for this revised schedule and to avoid impact on the teams’ travel plans and subsequent fixtures.

These ODI matches form part of the ICC ODI Super League with both teams having the opportunity to win points and become one of the top seven teams, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

In the standings, last updated on September 13, 2021, Ireland sit fourth with 50 points while the West Indies are eight with 40 points.

West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0 following their 24-run victory in the first CG Insurance ODI on Saturday.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Ireland (CI) issued a joint statement today announcing the postponement of the second CG Insurance One-Day International scheduled for January 11 between the two teams.

They came to the decision after two further positive COVID-19 cases were reported in the Ireland camp following recent testing, as well as two players being ruled out due to injury, resulting in Ireland having a severely depleted squad.

CWI and CI are in discussions to review the match schedule and are working to explore all possibilities for the series to be completed.

The five members of the Ireland team who have returned positive COVID-19 results remain in isolation under the care and supervision of the medical teams.

Further updates will be provided by CWI and CI as soon as possible.

West Indies are 1-0 up in the series after winning the first ODI by 24 runs on Saturday.

 

 

The West Indies secured a 24-run win over Ireland in the first of their three ODIs at Sabina Park today.

In pursuit of 270 for victory, captain Andrew Balbirnie and William Porterfield strode to the crease to begin Ireland’s reply.

Their chase got off to the worst possible start as experienced opener Porterfield was dismissed for a duck by Akeal Hosein in the second over to leave them at 1-1.

Andrew McBrine joined Balbirnie at the crease and the pair carefully carried the score to 30-1 after 10 overs.

McBrine, unfortunately, had to leave the field at the end of the 17th over, on 34 from 50 balls, after being struck on the helmet by Odean Smith with the score on 62-1.

Harry Tector came to the crease to join Balbirnie and the two brought the score to 74-1 at the end of 20 overs with Balbirnie on 31 and Tector on three.

Ireland brought up their hundred with only one wicket down in the 25th over with Balbirnie and Tector on 46 and 12, respectively.

Balbirnie brought up his 13th ODI 50 off 74 balls in the 27th over.

After 30 overs, Ireland was cruising at 134-1 with Balbirnie on 60 and Tector on 32.

Balbirnie (66) and Tector (42) continued scoring freely to bring up Ireland’s 150 in the 33rd over.

Tector brought up his fifth ODI 50 off 62 balls in the 35th over.

At the start of the 36th over, Balbirnie and Tector brought up their 100-partnership.

The West Indies finally got the breakthrough they were looking for when Romario Shepherd removed Balbirnie for 71 off 94 balls in the 37th over to leave Ireland 165-2.

Odean Smith got his first ODI wicket in the 38th over by removing Harry Tector for 53 to leave the tourists 173-3 needing 97 more to win from 75 balls.

Curtis Campher then became Shepherd’s second wicket when he was dismissed for six in the 39th over to leave Ireland 173-4.

After 40 overs, Ireland was 178-4 needing 92 from 60 balls to win with Lorcan Tucker on 3 and George Dockrell on 2.

Tucker was next to go, bowled by Alzarri Joseph for 9 in the 42nd over, to leave the score at 186-5.

Joseph then bowled a perfect yorker to dismiss Gareth Delaney in the 44th over for his second wicket to leave Ireland on 194-6 needing 76 from 37 balls to win.

Neil Rock came in as a concussion substitute for McBrine and helped Ireland bring up their 200 in the 45th over with four wickets in hand.

After a promising partnership with Dockrell, Rock was dismissed by Jason Holder in the 47th over for five to leave Ireland 222-7 needing 48 from 20 balls to win.

Dockrell gave the West Indies something to think about late on with some big shots but was eventually dismissed by Joseph in the 48th over for 30 from 25 balls to leave Ireland on 237-8, needing 33 from 14 to win.

Shepherd then got his third wicket of the innings, removing Craig Young for a duck in the 49th over to leave the score at 239-9.

The win was secured when Nicholas Pooran took a brilliant diving catch on the boundary off Odean Smith to dismiss Josh Little and secure a 24-run victory.

Alzarri Joseph and Romario Shepherd took three wickets each for the West Indies and they were supported by debutant Odean Smith who got two.

Earlier, Ireland won the toss and put the West Indies in to bat.

Shamarh Brooks (93) and captain Kieron Pollard (69) were the chief destroyers as the West Indies finished 269 all out off 48.5 overs, against three-wicket hauls from Mark Adair and Craig Young.

Brooks was voted Player of the Match.

 

 

Well-compiled half-centuries from captain Kieron Pollard and debutant Shamarh Brooks propelled the West Indies to 269 all out from 48.5 overs in the first ODI at Sabina Park today.

After Ireland won the toss and chose to field, vice-captain Shai Hope and debutant Justin Greaves were tasked to open the innings for the home side.

The pair battled to 18-0 from 5.4 overs before Greaves was removed caught off the bowling of pacer Mark Adair for 7.

Nicholas Pooran joined Hope and the pair brought the score to 36-1 after 10 overs with Hope on 17 and Pooran on five.

They reached 59-1 in the 17th over before Pooran was dismissed, caught on the boundary off the bowling of off-spinner Andrew McBrine for 13.

Shai Hope was the next batsman to go, caught by wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker off the bowling of medium-pacer Curtis Campher for 29 to leave the West Indies 59-3 early in the 18th over.

Roston Chase replaced Hope at the crease and didn’t last long, becoming McBrine’s second victim, for one, leaving the West Indies 62-4 after 19 overs with captain Pollard joining Brooks at the crease.

After 20 overs, the Caribbean side were 66-4 with Brooks on five and Pollard on one.

The same pair were at the crease when the West Indies brought up their 100 in the 27th over with Pollard on 20 and Brooks on 17.

After 30 overs, West Indies were 121-4 with Pollard on 26 and Brooks on 27.

Brooks brought up a debut ODI 50 off 61 balls in the 36th over to move the score along to 159-4.

Pollard followed suit in the 37th over, hitting consecutive sixes off McBrine to bring up his 13th ODI 50 off 51 balls.

With 10 overs remaining, the West Indies were 204-4 with Brooks and Pollard looking comfortable on 70 and 66, respectively.

Pollard finally went for 69 off 66 balls in the 42nd over to leave the Windies 217-5.

Brooks was dismissed narrowly short of a debut hundred in the 45th over, going off the bowling of Mark Adair for 93 from 89 balls to leave the West Indies 238-6 with five overs remaining.

Romario Shepherd was the seventh wicket to fall, caught off the bowling of Craig Young in the 47th over for two to leave the score at 246-7.

More misery followed as Jason Holder went off the very next ball for 13 to leave the Windies 246-8 off 46.5 overs.

Alzarri Joseph was next to go in the 48th over for a duck to leave the score 253-9.

Mark Adair was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 3-38 from his 8.5 overs and he was supported by Craig Young who recovered from an expensive start to his spell to finish with 3-56 from nine overs.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica international Leon Bailey could be closing in on a return to action for EPL club Aston Villa having stepped up his rehabilitation from injury in recent weeks.

The 24-year-old has been out of action since pulling up injured against Manchester City in early December.  On that occasion, the visibly disappointed player left the pitch holding his thigh after sprinting in the first half-hour of that game.

The player has had a stop-start kind of season since joining Aston Villa in the summer from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.  Bailey also spent several weeks out of action after a sensation cameo against Everton where he damaged the same muscle after scoring a spectacular goal.

Aston Villa coach Steven Gerrard gave the latest update on the player ahead of the team’s FA Cup clash against Manchester United on Monday.

"We’re [with Leon Bailey] four and a bit weeks post-injury and he’s progressing well, stepping up his rehab — he's focused. It was an injury in a similar area to the first one, so we have to be careful and respect that,” Gerrard said.

Aston Villa will, however, have Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings available for selection ahead of the match at Old Trafford.

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