Jamaica talismanic striker Khadijah Shaw found the back of the net in typically routine fashion as the national team registered a 2-0 win over Panama at the National Stadium on Sunday.

The match-up served as part of a final set of preparations ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June.  It was nonetheless, a closely contested affair in a blossoming rivalry between the teams.  Shaw, however, proved to be the early difference between the teams when she found the back of the net in the 29th minute.  The forward doubled the lead soon after the resumption, but Panama pulled one back through Natalia Mills in the 68th minute.  It proved to be a mere consolation, however, as Shakira Duncan rounded out a well-deserved win for the home team with a goal in the 80th minute.  The Jamaicans will open their campaign against Brazil on June 9, before facing Australia and Italy.

Even while revealing that he spending more time perfecting his 100m, 2018 European champion Zharnel Hughes said he is considering taking on the sprint double at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar at the end of September.

 Jamaica’s Head Coach Romeo Monteith has named several debutants in a 17-man squad to participate in the inaugural America’s 9s Championship in Toronto on Saturday, May 18.

Jamaica is expected to face Canada at 12:20 pm, the USA at 2:20 pm and Latin Heat (combined South American Team) at 4:15 pm.

The debutants –based locally and in Canada - include teenagers Kahil Green, Makhaya Anderson and Lawrence Drummond, a trio, who have been among Jamaica’s top high school players for the past three years.

Their progress has been rewarded with a call up to the senior Nines team.

Jerome Laird and Roland Grey have also been impressive for the Jamaica Defence Force team in recent seasons and are expected to add some speed in the squad.

Other local based debutants include Daniel Morrison and Chawn Henry, both of whom were former standout youth players at Calabar High and Edith Dalton High, respectively. They have transitioned well to the senior club competitions and will feature prominently in the halves.

Mohenjo Thompson and Uriah Martin are the two players based in Canada who will don the Reggae Warriors colours for the first time. Thompson has plenty of experience as he is one of the few remaining players who played in the first ever rugby league club competition on the island in 2005.

The familiar faces in the squad are Adrian Hall, Greg Hall, Antonio Baker, Demone McDougal, Orlando Jones, Nicholas Wright, Chevaughn Bailey and Tyronie Rowe.

The team is also travelling with a match official in Kemoy Whyte who is expected to take the middle in some of the games.

 In addition, Jamaica will look to put together a female representative team of players based in Canada to face Canada and Ontario Select teams in exhibition matches.

“The team is looking forward to a good tournament. We have deliberately gone out for some younger players as we have begun the revitalization of our program, the next generation of Jamaica rugby league stars is now, so young players such as Anderson, Drummond and Green are our future,” said Monteith.

“Our veterans will provide plenty of guidance and we are looking forward to a good tournament. We are also excited by the potential to field a female representative team in the tournament. It’s the ambition of all the nations involved to establish full international female teams in the next few months.”

Jamaica National 9s Squad - Chawn Henry (Caribbean Maritime Institute Spartans), Makhaya Anderson ( Calabar High School), Antonio Baker (Cedar Grove Cyclones), Kahil Green (Excelsior Community College), Chevaughn Bailey- (GC Foster Lions) Lawrence Drummond (Kingston College), Jerome Laird, Roland Gray (Jamaica Defence Force Warriors), Daniel Morrison, Demone McDougal , Mohenjo Thompson (Washington Blvd. Bulls), Greg Hall, Orlando Jones , Tyronie Rowe, Uriah Martin (Unattached).  Tremaine Garrison (Reserve)

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago continued their reign as kings of the quarter-mile after a narrow win in the men’s 4x400m final at the IAAF World Relays, in Yokohama, on Sunday.

A powerful final leg from Machel Cedenio, not only held off a late surge from perennial rivals Jamaica, who were anchored by Nathon Allen but also overhauled tiring USA anchor leg runner Paul Dedewo.  T&T claimed the event in a world-leading 3:00.81.  Initially Allen seemed to have stumbled across the line for second, but the USA were later disqualified.  The decision saw the Jamaicans claim the silver medal in 3:01:57 with Belgium third in 3:02.70.

Demish Gaye began the relay for the Jamaicans before handing off to Akeem Bloomfield, with the third leg run by Rusheen McDonald.  Cedenio received the baton from Asa Guevara, with Deon Lendore handing off to Jereem Richards prior to that.

In the women’s equivalent, the Jamaicans faded away badly on the stretch to finish in 5th place.  The event was surprisingly won by Poland (3:27:49) who held off a late surge down the stretch from the United States who finished second in 3:27.65.  Italy finished in third place in 3:27.74.

 

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts has offered congratulatory messages to members of the World-Cup bound Reggae Girlz squad who graduated from university this week.

Khadija Shaw (Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee), Deneisha Blackwood (Bachelor of  Science, Sports Management from the University of West Florida) and Chanel Hudson-Marks (Bachelor of Science, Marketing Management from the University of Memphis), attended graduation ceremonies on Thursday.

Ricketts was full of praise and pride for the recent graduates who, incidentally are among the 24-member squad named to play against Panama at the National Stadium in Kingston on May 19.

"On behalf of the people of Jamaica and football fans, in particular, I wish to extend the most sincere congratulations to Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw, Deneisha Blackwood and Chanel Hudson-Marks,” Ricketts said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“These degrees by members of the senior Reggae Girlz were achieved in four years in the main alongside a period of excellence in football as they played for college, club and country whilst studying.

"If there is any doubt in the minds of any young Jamaican girl that you cannot successfully combine playing sports at the highest level and achieving your best academically, you can look at the lives of these Senior Reggae Girlz who will in less than a month participate on the highest stage of world football."

Ricketts said the JFF offers its congratulations to these women as shining examples of hard work, discipline, achievement and excellence.  The JFF, he said, is confident that all the others in school will rise to the occasion and accomplish their dreams.

He encouraged football fans to show their real pride in the Reggae Girlz by turning out in their thousands on Sunday, May 19 at 6:00 pm at the National Stadium when the team plays Panama in their last international friendly on home soil before the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fancies Jamaica’s chances in the 4x200m relay at this weekend’s IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan.

Jamaica honoured its successful Special Olympics team to the World Summer Games at a special reception at Jamaica House on Friday, May 3.

Jamaica’s young Reggae Boyz secured their first win of the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, following a 4-2 win over Bermuda at the IMG Academy on Sunday.

On the back of losses to Mexico and perennial rivals Trinidad and Tobago, the Jamaicans were powered to their first points of the season courtesy of a hat-trick from Rajay Wright.  It was, however, his strike partner Revaldo Mitchell who got the ball after hitting the back of the net in the 4th minute.  Wright scored the first of his three goals five minutes later, before adding another on the 15-minute mark.

Bermuda, however, showed signs of life after getting on the scoresheet two minutes after the teams resumed play for the second half.  It was Jayce Basden who found the back of the net on that occasion, but much to the team’s disappointment Wright completed his hat-trick four minutes later.  The team captain Arnezha Astwood pulled another goal back for the Bermudans from the spot in the 64th minute, but it proved to be a consolation effort.

The Trinidad and Tobago U-17s received a blot on their perfect start to the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, following a 5-0 loss to Mexico, at the IMG Academy on Sunday.

Following wins over Bermuda and perennials rivals Jamaica, the young twin-island republic players eyed moving to the top of Group E with a potential win over Mexico.  El Tri, however, had other ideas. 

Midfielder Bryan Gonzales gave Mexico the lead with an 8th-minute header, with Santiago Munoz doubling the lead with another goal 20 minutes later. 

The goal was one of three for Munoz who scored again in the 35th minute before completing his hat-trick in the 88th.  Efran Alvarez added the team’s other goal in the 59th minute.

Prior to the defeat, Trinidad and Tobago scored a 3-1 win over Bermuda and a 3-2 win over Jamaica.  The performances brought a deserving win for the Stern John-coached outfit who secured their place in the second-round knockout phase.

Jamaica lost their second straight game at the  2019 Concacaf Under-17 Championship at the IMG Academy in  Bradenton, Florida on Friday, going down 3-2 to Trinidad and Tobago. 

They're destined to be teammates at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in around a months’ time but New York Red Bulls left back Kemar Lawrence insists that the battle with Cincinnati FC forward Darren Mattocks will be a fierce one for pride when the two meet in Saturday’s MLS encounter.

The 26-year-old defender, formerly a staple in the Red Bulls line-up, has been eased back into action after suffering an MCL injury.  The defender also missed the last two games with an illness.  Having moved to Cincinnati from DC United in the summer Mattocks has begun life slowly at his new club, coming off the substitute’s bench in FC Cincy’s first three games - picking up an assist, but failing to register a start in those combined 106 minutes.  Since making his first start in March, however, Mattocks has scored one goal.

 “When we meet, it’s something more personal. It’s kind of a bragging rights thing,” Lawrence said.

 “When we get to national team camp, you want to say you beat that Darren Mattocks, Alvas Powell, [Andre] Blake, whoever it is you’re facing on the day. You need those bragging rights before you get to camp,” he added.

 “You’re going to get that guy who is going to try his best to score, he’s going to always be running, always be pressuring the defenders.”

 

 The Social Development Commission (SDC), Wray & Nephew National Community T20 Cricket Competition, endorsed by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), bowls off on Saturday, May 4, promising to bring communities closer together while sharing the spirit of Cricket.

Portmore United coach Shavar Thomas believes the team’s ability to enforce their will on challengers Waterhouse was a crucial component of successfully defending the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) on Monday night.

Portmore emerged the victors from a tempestuous affair courtesy of a 51st-minute strike from Ricardo Morrison.  The title holders had, however, dominated the proceedings before then and were perhaps good value for the eventual lead.

“We came here to enforce our will, bossing the game and keeping possession and that’s not Waterhouse’s style and it forced them to think,” Thomas said.

“It was important we kept that momentum heading into the second half and that’s what brought us the goal.  We kept possession, lulled them to sleep and waited for the right time and it was the right time,” he added.

“We practised and trained for every eventuality and everything they threw at us we were able to deal with.”    

The victory saw the defending champions add the title to claiming the league, which they won by four points.  Waterhouse were also the second-place team on that occasion.

The Jamaica International Invitational, the local meet where retired sprint king Usain Bolt once thrilled fans with outstanding performances, will not be held this year.

The meet, which has been held every year since 2004, often brought some of track and field’s biggest names to Jamaica soil.  In addition to Bolt, who set the meet’s respectable 100m record of 9.76 seconds in 2008 and 19.56 in the 200m two years later, Americans Jasmin Stowers, Carmelita Jeter and Kerron Clement have set some eye-popping marks.  In 2011 Jeter stopped the clock at 10.86 in the women’s 100m, Clement thrilled fans with his brisk 47.79 400m hurdles run in 2008 and Stowers set the mark of 12.39 in the women’s 100m hurdles in 2015.

Despite those glowing performances, the meet which was upgraded to an IAAF World Challenge event had struggled to secure funding in recent years.  According to organizers, the issue has led to the cancellation of the 2019 edition of the event, which was originally scheduled to take place at the National Stadium on May 4.  A message posted on jainvite.com the official page of the event confirmed its cancellation.  At this stage, the future of the Invitational remains unclear.

 

Jamaica’s team of Shericka Jackson, Janieve Russell, Christine day and Stephenie McPherson only had their compatriots for company as they easily claimed 4x400 women’s honours at the 125th staging of the Penn Relays at the Franklin Field Stadium. 

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