Jamaica's Reggae Girlz lost 2-1 to Paraguay at the Kingston’s National Stadium on Sunday in what was the second of two international friendlies. The Reggae Girlz won the first encounter against their South American opponents in Montego Bay on Thursday, November 10.

First-half goals from Celsa Sandaoval and Ramona Martinez in the 16th and 35th minutes, respectively gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at half-time before Khadijah ‘Bunny’ Shaw pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 61st minute.

Glaring errors by the Jamaica’s gifted the Paraguayans their two goals against a wasteful Jamaican team that missed several opportunities to score.

Deneisha Blackwood’s errant back pass was seized upon by Sandaoval, who beat an advancing Rebecca Spencer in the Jamaican goal before shooting into the bottom right hand corner.

The second 19 minutes later resulted in a poor pass from Havana Solaun, which gave the Paraguayan forwards to spread the ball wide before a cross found Martinez free inside the box to smash home from close range.

Head Coach Lorne Donaldson said he was not surprised by the slow start. He said he saw it coming given that the girls were not sharp during their warm-ups and it showed in the opening 20 minutes of the game.

He explained, however, that the match was not all about trying to win as there were several players that the coaching staff wanted to take a look at before finalizing the squad for the World Cup still nine months away.

“Our camp is a little bit different from Paraguay. We are still looking at stuff. We are still looking at players, so obviously we want to win but it is not going to be at all cost for this camp because we have to give some players a look, so stuff is going to be a little bit off and that was evident in the first 20 minutes,” he said.

Among the things that we “off” was the Reggae Girlz shooting. Chances fell to Drew Spence and Shaw in the first half but were either blocked missed entirely.

Spence’s 13th minute shot was parried by goalkeeper Christine Ricalde while Shaw dragged one past the far post just two minutes later.

Siobhan Wilson’s cross fell to Paige Bailey-Paige, whose shot from inside the box was charged down by a defender. Allyson Swaby also had a shot from two yards blocked by Ricalde.

Three changes made at the resumption of play resulted in Jamaica being more organized and stable defensively. Vyan Sampson replaced an ineffective Solaun and Atlanta Primus came on to replace Kayla McCoy in midfield while fullback Tiernney Wiltshire replaced Malikae Dayes.

Bailey-Gayle and Wilson were substituted for wingers Cheyna Matthews and Rachel Jones in the 59th minute, the latter making an immediate impact.

Jones’ driving run down the left flank and resulting cross led to the handled ball from which a penalty was awarded allowing Jamaica back into the game.

The changes, Donaldson said, were a direct result of the team’s inability to control the game and limit the number of turnovers, which invariably but the defence under pressure.

“If you see, when we came out in the second half there were two changes in the midfield because we couldn’t control the game, we couldn’t anything. We were passing the ball to the next team, so that’s a part of saying this would never work or this is not going to work,” he said while lamenting the poor finishing that ultimately cost the team.

“Should we have knocked some goals in, maybe we should have but such is football. To us, it’s preparation and the end product is what we are looking at.”

Donaldson said this was the last window when the coaching staff would be looking at new players. He indicated that by the next camp they should have the 30 players from which the final squad will be selected for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

An excellent knock from Captain Shai Hope helped the Barbados Pride defeat the Leeward Islands Hurricanes by five wickets at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua on Sunday and advance to the semi-finals of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup.

The Hurricanes lost the toss and were sent in to bat by the Pride and, propelled by a third consecutive half-century from captain Jahmar Hamilton, they made a competitive 273-7 from their 50 overs. Hamilton made 51 off 71 balls including three fours and two sixes and was supported well by all-rounder Rakheem Cornwall (46), Kieran Powell (40), Keacy Carty (36), Hayden Walsh Jr (33) and Karima Gore (33 not out).

Leg-spinner Javed Leacock took 4-48 from 10 overs for the Pride.

The Pride’s target was then revised to 268 from 48 overs due to bad light halting the start to their reply.

That did not matter as Hope played a masterful innings to lead his team to victory.

The West Indies ODI vice-captain made 88 off just 67 balls including six fours and four sixes and was well supported by Zachary McCaskie (49) and Kyle Hope (36) as the Bajans reached 271-5 with an over to spare. Off-spinner Kofi James continued his good form with the ball by taking 3-48 off 10 overs for the Leewards.

Despite both teams finishing the group stage with 14 points and the Hurricanes having a better net run rate, the Pride will move on to the semi-finals because the first tiebreaker is the head-to-head record between the two teams. The first game between the two ended in a no result.

The Hurricanes still have hope of advancing to the last four. If the West Indies Academy manage to defeat the Jamaica Scorpions for a second time in the tournament’s final preliminary game on Monday, the Hurricanes will advance. On the other hand, the Scorpions would advance as Zone B winners with a win.

 

Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are to participate on a bilateral regional U13 cricket tournament set to run from December 10-17, 2022, the Guyana Cricket Board has announced.

According to the GCB, the tournament to be held in Guyana complements Cricket West Indies’ plans of two-year incremental development programs.

Consequently, it is expected that the Under-13 players will be adequately exposed to competitive cricket which is hoped will facilitate their growth and development for future GCB’s two-year incremental development programs such as the National Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19 training programmes.

The GCB has established structured cricket development programmes for their Under-11, Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, and Senior levels.

The Under-11s are being prepared through the Republic Bank Five for Fun Cricket Development programme.

Additionally, the GCB and Republic Bank are in the planning stages of initiating a national Under-23 Inter-Club Tournament.

President of the GCB Bissoondyal Singh expressed delight at being able to positively engage the President of the TTCB Azim Bassarath.

“Both territorial boards are keen on exposing our future professional cricketers at an early age to the highest competitive standards possible. We recognize the need for children to develop their art, bowling, batting, and fielding in a fun-related manner,” he said.

“However, we strongly believe that players in the Under-13 age group can begin to challenge their minds a bit more than is currently being done. Learning cricket techniques is good but executing the respective skills in competitive environments will set the players on a greater path to success.”

President Singh added that the U13 initiative paves the way for a regional Under-13 tournament.

“We believe in promoting the training aspects of cricket so that players can inculcate the recommended practices for the game as well as a person,” he said.

“Our planned cricket academy which will cater to the needs of players ages seven to 17, is geared at making our players rounded cricketers. In addition to technical and skill development, our academy focuses on areas of cricket laws, scoring, match referee and umpire duties and etiquette including personal communication, interviewing as a priority activity, and psychology.”

Nicholas Pooran just missed out on a century but helped Trinidad and Tobago Red Force defeat Windward Islands Volcanoes by seven wickets with six balls to spare at Tarouba on Saturday. The win means the Red Force have advanced to the semi-finals of the CG Insurance Super 50 competition.

In match reduced by rain to 40 overs, Pooran scored an unbeaten 99 and Darren Bravo 67 not out sharing in an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership of 155 as TT Red Force cruised to 249-3 (D/L). The West Indies white-ball captain scored his runs from just 71 balls and hit 11 fours and two sixes along the way. Bravo hit nine fours in his 63-ball knock.

Opener Kjorn Ottley made 43 for the Trinidad franchise while partnering in a 49-run second-wicket stand with Jason Mohammed, who made 25. Ottley was eventually dismissed after putting on 13 for the third partnership of 13 with Bravo, who would find a match-winning partner in Pooran.

Justin Greaves was the best of the Windward bowlers with 2-55. Preston McSween took 1-57.

Earlier, the Windwards recovered from a precarious 36-4 in the seventh over after Akeal Hosein 2-37 and Shannon Gabriel 1-36 did the early damage.

The owed their recovery to an unbeaten knocks of 90 from Sunil Ambris and 68 from Andre Fletcher, who shared in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 165 that took the team to 201-4 from their 40 overs.

Unfortunately, thanks to Pooran and company it proved not to be enough.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has insisted the cricket-loving fans of the region deserved more from the team in light of a disappointing World Cup campaign.

On Sunday, at the end of the 2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup final, either Pakistan or England will join the West Indies as two-time winners of the tournament.

The Caribbean team, however, once the standard bearers in the world’s shortest format, were nowhere close to hitting those heights in this edition as they crashed out of the tournament in the first round following losses to Scotland and Ireland.

Richards, who once thrilled as part of an all-conquering squad, insists such results are difficult for fans in the region to take, particularly given the team’s once proud legacy.

“There is a legacy where this whole thing is concerned and maybe that’s why some of these players are currently on show,” Richards told the Good Morning Jojo Radio program.

“So, there are a lot of things to represent and I just think that’s lacking. The West Indian fans deserve much more because we have had so many issues like the pandemic and we needed something to uplift us and there are times when we look to our sportsmen and women to do that and presently, the West Indies team is basically lacking where that is concerned.”

The former captain, however, also believes the issue of player availability must be addressed.

The Guyana Harpy Eagles became the first team to advance to the semi-finals of the 2022 CG Insurance Super50 Cup when they defeated the Combined Campuses and Colleges by 129 runs at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday.

 The Harpy Eagles were bowled out for a formidable 266 in 47.3 overs thanks to an 88-ball 75 from Tevin Imlach including only one four and two sixes.

Opener Kemol Savory also got a half-century with 69 and Kevin Sinclair contributed 27.

Matthew Forde (2-41 from nine overs), Amari Goodridge (2-55 from 9.3 overs), Romario Greaves (2-65 from 10 overs) and Isaiah Ali (2-39 from nine overs) were the wicket-takers for the CCC.

In reply, only former West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin (32 not out) and opener Kirstan Kallicharan (32) were able to provide any resistance for the CCC as they were bowled out for 137 in just 36.1 overs.

Kevin Sinclair completed a solid all-round performance with 3-26 from his 10 overs while Nial Smith took 3-21 from 6.1. Gudakesh Motie and Romario Shepherd took two wickets each.

Guyana finished Zone A with 16 points from their six outings and will be joined in the last four by the winner of the ongoing game between the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

Jonathan Carter took his second five-wicket haul in List A cricket to help the Barbados Pride to an 82-run victory over the West Indies Academy at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday.

The Academy won the toss and bowled first and that decision turned out to be the wrong one as the Pride amassed 279-6 off their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from openers Kyle Hope (69), Zachary McCaskie (51) and captain Shai Hope (50).

Shamar Springer provides some late fireworks with a 17-ball 41 including three fours and two sixes. Joshua James took 2-61 from 10 overs for the Academy.

Then, despite a well-made 50 from opener Keagan Simmons and 36 from Kevlon Anderson, the Academy were bowled out for just 197 in 44 overs as Carter starred with 5-30 off nine overs. Leg-spinner Javed Leacock provided good support as well with 3-63 from his 10 overs.

Barbados are now third in Zone B on 10 points and will need to beat the Leeward Islands Hurricanes on Sunday and hope that the Jamaica Scorpions lose to the West Indies Academy on Monday to have a chance of advancing to the semifinals.

 Jamaica and Bournemouth forward Jamal Lowe believes a convincing defeat over Everton, in the third round of the EFL Cup earlier this week, should give the team a psychological advantage heading into Saturday’s Premier League rematch.

On Tuesday, Lowe scored the first of 4 goals in a 4-1 demolition of the Toffees at Vitality Stadium and is feeling confident with the teams set up for a quick repeat of the fixture in league competition.  With both teams struggling just above the relegation zone and Bournemouth winless in their last 5 games Lowe is eager to drive home any possible advantage.

"I think it will give us a slight physiological edge on Everton, I feel like they'll have a little bit of doubt in their mind, and we'll go into the game confidently,” Lowe said of the upcoming fixture.

The 26-year-old has made just one appearance, from the bench, so far this Premier League season but could be in contention for Saturday’s matchday squad after a creditable performance on Tuesday.

“I think it shows how hard we work during the week that players who haven't played that much were able to put out a performance like that today (Tuesday)."

 

West Indies batsman Brandon King starred with 87 as the Jamaica Scorpions moved one step closer to the semi-finals by beating the Leeward Islands Hurricanes by four wickets in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Friday.

Captain and wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton top-scored with 54 as the Hurricanes were bowled out for 207 in 48.5 overs after winning the toss and batting first.

The Leewards also got contributions from Terrence Ward (32) and Jeremiah Louis (31) as Dennis Bulli continued his excellent wicket-taking form with 3-46 from his 10 overs. Sheldon Cottrell, Peat Salmon and Nicholson Gordon took two wickets each for the Scorpions.

The Scorpions successful chase was then led by a 102-run opening partnership between King and Chadwick Walton who made 41. Captain Rovman Powell also made 27 not out as the Scorpions reached 182-6 from 36.5 overs. Jamaica’s target was adjusted to 179 off 40 overs after a rain delay during their reply. Left-arm spinner Daniel Doram took 2-16 off eight overs while left-arm quick Colin Archibald took 2-30 from the same amount.

The Leeward Islands still lead Zone B with 14 points from five games while the Scorpions now have 12, six more than the Barbados Pride and 10 more then the West Indies Academy. The Scorpions can book a place in the semi-finals with a win over the West Indies Academy on Monday.

 

A Leeds fan who was accused of racially abusing Jamaica and West Ham forward Michail Antonio has been banned from football events for 4 years.

The incident occurred during the teams defeat to West Ham at Elland Road in 2021.  On that occasion Antonio scored a 90th minute winner to give the Hammers a 2-1 win.

Following the goal, Gary Hawkins, a 52-year-old male, was found to not have only abused Antonio from his seat but also threatened another fan who challenged him regarding the language. 

Hawkins was found guilty of two offences after a trial at Leeds Magistrates' Court and given an eight-week sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The West Yorkshire Police were quick to condemn the action.

"Race hate crime such as this is truly abhorrent and can never be tolerated,” said Supt Russ Hughes.

"As we have seen with this incident, other fans will rightly take exception to this type of behaviour.”

 

 

 India head coach Rahul Dravid has insisted the country does not want to end up in the same position as West Indies cricket following an unceremonious exit from the T20 World Cup, at the hands of England, on Wednesday.

The 2019 champions managed to muster very little resistance in the semi-final, where England cruised to a 10-wicket win after the East Asian team made 168 for 6.  The West Indies were themselves meekly dumped out of the tournament but after losing to two associate teams sotland and Ireland in the first round.

Performances at the tournament were not, however, what the former batting star was referring to, but instead the issue of India players potentially facing a disadvantage from not being allowed to play in other T20 league’s around the world.

For his part, the coach conceded that it might be a disadvantageous but believes it is a necessity to protect the quality of India’s cricket.

“There is no doubt that England players have come and played in this tournament(Big Bash T20).  It’s tough, it’s very difficult vor Indian cricket because a lot of these tournaments happen right at the peak of our season.  I think it’s a huge challenge for us.  A lot of our boys do miss out on the opportunity of playing in these leagues, but its up to the BCCI to make that decision,” Dravid said.

“And with the kind of demand there would be for Indian players… if you allowed them to play in these leagues, we won't have domestic cricket. Our domestic cricket, our Ranji Trophy would be finished, and that would mean Test cricket would be finished. We have to be very careful; we have to understand that Indian cricket faces or BCCI faces in a situation like this," he added.

“A lot of boys are asked to play leagues in the middle of our season, we have seen what it has done to West Indian cricket, and I definitely don't want Indian cricket to go that way. It would affect Ranji Trophy and Test cricket and Indian boys playing Test cricket is pretty important for the Test game as well, I would think,” Dravid said.

Lisa Smith has a vision that Antigua and Barbuda netball can one day be a force to be reckoned with in the Caribbean and by extension, the world.

However, it will require massive investment and patience if the tiny Caribbean island famous for its white-sand beaches and iconic cricketers is to achieve its goal of producing world-class netball players.

Smith, an experienced Level 2 United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) netball coach, volunteered to lead the Antigua netball programme in August and nine weeks later took a team to the Americas Netball Qualifier in Jamaica in October.,

With only a few weeks to prepare, the team lost all seven matches it played but Smith came away feeling optimistic about the future, at least from the perspective of available talent.

“I keep trying to remind myself that I arrived in Antigua nine weeks ago and put a team together with people that had played on some international stages at the OECS but not necessarily this level,” she said after the team had suffered its third loss, a 62-29 defeat against Grenada.

“This is a whole new level for Antigua netball. I am seeing so much about that team that is potential for the future. I always knew there was going to be an immense amount of work. That’s the exciting part. That’s the part that I love.”

Subsequent losses to Jamaica (80-29), Cayman (47-42), St Lucia (54-32) and Barbados (68-29), along with opening-day losses to Trinidad and Tobago (55-24) and the United States (34-22) meant that Antigua will be looking to the future fully aware of the significant work that lay ahead.

Smith provided a frank assessment of the team’s performance afterwards.

“The Antigua team by their own admittance were grossly under-prepared when I arrived to coach them in August,” she told Sportsmax. TV

“However, all we could do is set some plans, carry them out and make the first steps to encourage the players involved to see themselves and treat themselves as national athletes.

“The creation of a squad and effective working units were paramount to the coaching team having achieved any of the targets we set for ourselves.

“The standard was expected to be high and it didn’t surprise me to see losses but we stuck to regular quarter-by-quarter, match-by-match plans.”

Notwithstanding the challenges, Smith revealed some positives that she took from the tournament, the building blocks for a foundation to build on for the future.

 “(We) achieved defence targets by holding off goals and managed to in some cases exceed our goal targets,” she said.

“We suffered early losses but learnt how to fight through third and fourth quarters with resolve and physical strength. Rotations were tough due to several mid-week injuries and the frequency of matches with zero recovery took a heavy toll on players.

“We used all our reserves and saw advantages for using our younger players proving we no longer need to worry about the loss of seasoned players from the team but use their experience to develop and encourage the next generation.”

For that development to become reality, many changes are necessary for Antigua’s netball to grow. For one, there is a desperate need for even more funding.

Netball on the islands does not get enough support and is almost entirely dependent on fundraising efforts and the generosity of benefactors.  However, some financial backing is provided by the Antigua Olympic Committee and other sponsors, for which Smith has expressed her gratitude.

"We’re grateful to all our sponsors, in particular the NOC in Antigua, who have shown continuous support to our programme," she said.

But more is needed.

Shortly after Smith arrived in Antigua in August, she launched a GoFundMe account to raise £1000 to assist with getting the team to Jamaica. Each player on the squad was also tasked with raising US$450 to fund the trip.

Somehow, they managed to raise the estimated EC$100,000 needed but going forward things will have to change.

“We have pencilled together a 10-year plan but obviously it takes a lot of funding and I am listening to the Jamaican head of netball and the president of netball telling me how difficult it is,” Smith said.

“Times that by a million because it’s me that’s been able to be out there getting sponsorship in the last nine weeks. We didn’t know we were coming until (the week before the Americas Netball Qualifier) and we physically did not have the funds in order to get here until we got the last few sponsors on board by begging, stealing and borrowing. I am going to be dead honest about that, that shouldn’t be the case.”

The islands also do not have a structured grassroots programme, something that Smith hopes to correct.

“That needs putting into place hugely,” she declared.

“There’s a schools’ netball programme which, from my point of view, should therefore be feeding into a higher programme of performance so that we could take those best players from those teams in the village leagues and the schools and be producing more of a performance academy of those players from U14, U16, U18, and start to develop that so that they’re feeding the national team and that is where my focus will be next year.”

It will take years for Antigua and Barbuda to raise the level of play to the desired standards but the goal is to become the next ‘Jamaica’ in the Caribbean.

 “The comparison is huge but it’s where we want to get to. I always enjoy watching the Jamaica Senior team when they come over to the UK. I have watched all of their matches and been courtside watching them. I absolutely love watching them play,” she said.

Smith was very impressed with the Sunshine Girls and how well they performed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in August.

“Their style of play is what is so attractive to me and that’s why I like being out here coaching because of the style and flair that Caribbean netball brings. Then the structure that we then put in place from a lot of the UK and Australian netball, I love the blend of that.

“Jamaica has got it right. They took the Commonwealth by storm and I think they came out with a bit of a hard match on that last one but we were all rooting for them.”

Referring to the young Jamaican team that went unbeaten in their exhibition games in the Qualifier, Smith said: “They put so much athleticism into everything. Those girls there out on the court look world-class. To have that as your next generation brings goosebumps and I would love to be in that position one day.”

 

Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts is hopeful that the Reggae Girlz will make it out of the first round at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“I personally want us to go beyond the first round,” said Ricketts when speaking to SportsMax.TV.

It will be a tough task for the girls who were drawn in Group F alongside powerhouses France and Brazil as well as either Chinese Taipei, Panama, Papua New Guinea or Paraguay. They kick-off their World Cup campaign against the French in Sydney on July 23.

Jamaica will host the Paraguayans for two friendlies in Montego Bay on Thursday and Kingston on Sunday. Ricketts says these games are designed to prepare the girls for the type of opposition they will have to overcome if they are to make noise in Australia and New Zealand.

“We play two games against Paraguay. One in Montego Bay and one in Kingston. It’s a part of our preparation process,” he said.

“We just want some good results. It’s not all about winning but the coaches certainly want to establish a philosophy and a style of play that would make them competitive when they go to the World Cup,” he added.

Ricketts also said that we can expect more friendlies to be scheduled for the girls in the new year.

“We will have discussions with the coaches when we get to Montego Bay just to get an idea of exactly who they would want to play or which teams they would want to engage and then we’ll be having discussions with teams coming up for the February FIFA window.”

The Catherine Hall Sports Complex will play host to the first Paraguay friendly at 8:00pm local time while the second game kicks off at 6:00pm on Sunday at the National Stadium.

 

 

 

Kingston College and Mona High will join Jamaica College and STATHS in the semi-finals of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup after wins in a double-header at Stadium East on Wednesday.

Defending champions Kingston College were first up and followed their 4-0 win over St. Georges College in their first game Saturday with a 5-0 win over Charlie Smith to move to six points from two games.

The second game saw Mona High get their second win in as many games with a 1-0 victory over St. George’s to book their spot in the last four for the first time in the school’s history. KC and Mona will meet on Saturday to determine who will progress as Group A winners while St. George’s College will play Charlie Smith at Jamaica College.

In the Tuesday Group B double-header at the same venue, Jamaica College beat Haile Selassie 2-0 to secure their spot in the last four before STATHS beat Wolmer’s Boys 1-0 to also advance. JC and STATHS will meet on Friday at Stadium East to determine the winners of Group B while Wolmer’s will tackle Haile Selassie at Jamaica College.

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