Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

American Christian Coleman followed up his 9.83-second clocking in Xiamen with a similar performance at the Prefontaine Classic to claim the men’s 100m Diamond League crown in Eugene on Saturday.

It was always expected to be a breathtaking dash and despite Ackeem Blake’s false-start disqualification, the event lived up to its hype with Coleman’s time, like it did in China, again equalled the world lead of 9.83s, which was first set by Noah Lyles in August.

Lyles the World Champion, closed fast for second in 9.85s, while Kenya’s Omanyala Ferdinand was third with a similar time of 9.85s.

Jamaican Kishane Thompson, 22, in his first real competitive season got out well but faded into fourth in 9.87s. Another Jamaican Yohan Blake was sixth in 10.08s.

Reigning champions Jamaica College had their progress halted by bad weather conditions, as they were well on their way to a second-consecutive victory in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup on Friday.

Giovanni Taylor’s hat-trick had the “Dark Blues” 3-0 up against Cumberland High when the game was called off after 25 minutes due to rain and lightning. The fixture will be competed on a date to be decided.

That postponement resulted in Kingston Technical provisionally assuming pole position in Group B on six points, following their 4-0 beating of Meadowbrook High, who are current fifth on a point.

Meanwhile, third-placed Spanish Town High (two points) and fourth-placed Tivoli High (one point), played out a 2-2 stalemate in the other group b contest.

Despite the slight setback where their schedule is concerned, Jamaica College’s assistant coach Raymond “Stampie” Watson, pointed out that they remain on course to achieving their objective.  

“We are getting there. So far, we are looking positive, and the players are enjoying themselves, but this is the first round, and we are looking to be in it at the backend of the season where title contention is concerned so we continue to put in the work,” Watson told Sportsmax.tv.

Elsewhere in Group E, St Catherine High made it two-in-two with a 10-0 blanking of St Mary’s College, while last year’s semi-finalist Mona High, also secured a second win on the trot, with a 5-0 whipping of Innswood High.

Fourth-placed Norman Manley got their first points on the board, as they clipped Holy Trinity High 1-0.

Friday's results

Group B

Jamaica College 3, Cumberland 0 (Game called off due to inclement weather)

Tivoli High 2, Spanish Town 2

Kingston Technical 4, Meadowbrook 0

Group E

St Catherine 10, St Mary’s College 0

Mona High 5, Innswood High 0

Holy Trinity 0, Norman Manley 1

Saturday’s games

Group A

Penwood High vs Charlie Smith @ Maverley Football Field

Hydel High vs Camperdown @ Royal Lakes

Kingston College vs Calabar @ Stadium East

Group D

Clan Carthy vs STATHS @ Alpha Academy

Cedar Grove Academy vs Bridgeport @ Cedar Grove Academy

Excelsior High vs Tarrant @ Excelsior

Group F

Ardenne High vs Waterford @ Ardenne

Campion College vs St George’s College @ Campion College

Pembroke Hall vs Jose Marti @ Pembroke Hall

Group G

Donald Quarrie vs Ascot High @ Harbour View Mini Stadium

St Jago vs Wolmer’s Boys @ St Jago

Vauxhall High vs Papine High @ Vauxhall High

*All games are scheduled for 3:30pm.

 

 

Having had a successful run at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia, senior Reggae Girlz Head coach Lorne Donaldson says it comes as no surprise that a number of players recently landed contracts in top leagues, and hopes the experience gained so far will serve them well in their upcoming fixtures.

Donaldson, who maintained the majority of his World Cup squad for the two-leg Olympic Qualifying playoff fixtures against Canada on September 22 on home soil and September 26 in Toronto, pointed out that the aim is always to get players into contracts that not only benefit them, but also the women’s programme.

Subsequent to their history-making run to the Round of 16 at the global showpiece, standout defender Allyson Swaby, Trudi Carter, Tiernny Wiltshire, Konya Plummer and Deneisha Blackwood, all inked new deals.

Swaby, 26, signed with Italian club AC Milan until 2026, for what will be her second stint in the women’s Serie A, having previously represented AS Roma. Right-back Wiltshire signed with French Division one team Stade De Reims.

Carter, who also had a stint with AS Roma which was derailed by injury, joined Mexican club Atletico San Luis, while Blackwood and Plummer are also plying their trade in Mexico with Pumas Unam and Tigres Uanl, respectively.

“It’s a part of our objective to ensure that our players are playing in some of the best leagues around the world and it is important that the upcoming players see that Jamaicans can get contracts in top leagues, so we love to see that,” Donaldson told Sportsmax.tv.

“One of our main aims from we joined the programme is to get these Girlz in different parts of the world so they can make a living playing football and also help the programme and we have achieved that to an extent, so the coaching staff is very happy,” he added.

For the upcoming games, Donaldson have left out World Cup debutants Peyton McNamara and Kalyssa Van Zanten due to school obligations, while the experienced Havana Solaun is said to be unavailable.

As a result, Olufolasade Adamolekun, who has been in good knick in recent times and the versatile Sashana “Pete” Campbell, who was a World Cup alternate, comes in.

The 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz, who held France and Brazil to goalless stalemates and secured their first ever World Cup win with a 1-0 scoreline over Panama became the first Caribbean nation –male or female – to play in the knockouts of the World Cup, since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

Now they are on the hunt to rewrite the history books, as a victory and a draw against Canada would see the Jamaicans being the first Caribbean nation to qualify for women's football at the Olympic Games. It would also secure them the second automatic spot for the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, alongside United States.

The loser will drop into a women’s Gold Cup qualifying Group A, which includes Panama and Guatemala. They would play home and away games against these two teams starting October 25, with an away game in Panama.

“I’m sure the players are going to come in confident that they have a chance to get a result, so it is for us now to just come in and see what everybody looks like fitness wise and then we go from there. We expect the players to come in with some enthusiasm, it’s not the World Cup, so it’s a different approach to ensure we give it our best to get a result,” Donaldson shared.

“Once I get the best out of the Girlz then I would be happy and proud and if qualification comes with it then even better, but I am not too concerned about the historic aspect of it. We just want to keep moving forward towards building a strong and sustainable women’s football programme. It makes no sense we talk about history if the necessary support isn’t behind it,” the tactician noted.

That said, Donaldson expressed optimism that the Girlz will get a good turnout to start what should be two tough assignments against the reigning Olympic Champions who are out to prove a point after their early World Cup exit.

“They (Canada) are the defending champion so we expect them to be competitive as they will want to defend their crown. They didn’t perform so well at the World Cup, so this will be there shot at redemption, and they will have a point to prove. As you can see the game in Canada is already sold out, so everybody is behind them and they have a lot of support,” Donaldson assessed.

“People in Jamaica aren’t necessarily behind football, but they like to talk football. At the World Cup we got the support from the Australian crowd but in Jamaica you can’t even get a percentage of that.

“I’m sure the players are hopeful that the fans show up because when they get to Canada it’s going to be a full stadium of over 40,000, so hopefully we can get some people in the stands and get some support that the Girlz deserve,” he ended.

Donaldson and his team will assemble in Jamaica on September 19.

Tickets for all the games came be purchased at www.caribtix.com or www.jff.football.

Squad: Sydney Schneider, Rebecca Spencer, Liya Brooks, Allyson Swaby, Chantelle Swaby, Konya Plummer, Deneisha Blackwood, Tiernny Wiltshire, Tiffany Cameron, Vyan Sampson, Drew Spence, Atlanta Primus, Khadija Shaw, Jody Brown, Solai Washington, Kameron Simmonds, Trudi Carter, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Cheyna Matthews, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Kayla McKenna, Sashana Campbell

 

There is something about the power of crowds, particularly when it comes to sporting events. Not only does spectator support at sports events impacts performance and enjoyment, but it also creates an atmosphere where a mutual sense of pride is felt by both players and supporters.

Crowd support provides a boost of confidence which can help players to make better decisions and even motivate them to play their best game.

If you don’t believe it, ask Reggae Boyz Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson and captain Andre Blake about the significance of spectator support at their two Concacaf Nations League games at the National Stadium.

Though the venue was nowhere close to being filled at capacity, the sizeable crowd that turned out was vocal enough to provide a much-needed impetus which saw the Boyz to a 1-0 win over Honduras on Friday, followed by a come-from-behind 2-2 stalemate with Haiti on Tuesday.

“Yeah, I mean, I did an interview earlier where I think we were talking about how important the fans are, you know, them being loud and supporting us, you know, give us that extra energy that extra motivation that we're always going to need. It also makes the away team uncomfortable, and they stayed with us the entire time and that kind of showed that, we were playing well, and we were giving them something to cheer for definitely because we have to do our job,” Blake told journalists in a post-game interview.

“So, we did our job, you know, they stayed with us. Unfortunately, we weren't able to give them three points tonight (Tuesday). But the point is always better none and again to really fight back from two-zero down, you have to give the guys some credit, and thanks to the fans for coming out and being loud tonight,” the Philadelphia Union shot stopper added.

Iceland-born tactician Hallgrimsson echoed similar sentiments.

“If I might add to that end, to have the support of the people, I know you're opinionated and even though we were two-zero down, we really felt the support from the people and we appreciate that. It was lovely for a foreigner to be here and feel the support from the people,” he said.

While the Boyz home fixtures are now done and dusted, the assertion of both Blake and Hallgrimsson has swung the door open on debates about whether or not the history-making Reggae Girlz will get a similar or even greater support when they engage Canada in their Olympic qualifying playoff fixture at the National Stadium on September 22.

In fact, the second-leg of the qualifying playoff scheduled for September 26 in Toronto, Canada, has already been sold out, prompting a rally cry from Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda for Jamaicans to make their presence felt.

Samuda pointed out that the now 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz, deserve every bit of support, as they seek to add to their exploits at the Fifa Women’s World Cup where they held France and Brazil to goalless stalemates and secured their first ever World Cup win with a 1-0 scoreline over Panama.

Though they lost their Round of 16 contest to Colombia, merely progressing to that stage was an overachievement by the Jamaicans, as they became the first Caribbean nation –male or female – to play in the knockouts of the World Cup, since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

Now they are on the hunt to rewrite the history books, as a victory and a draw against Canada would see the Jamaicans being the first Caribbean nation to qualify for women's football at the Olympic Games. It would also secure them the second automatic spot for the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, alongside United States.

With that in mind, Samuda urged spectators to turn out in their droves at the National Stadium and provide that feeling of over-stimulation and ripples of noise and colour to fuel the Girlz quest.

“History is at the feet of our Reggae Girlz in these Olympic Games qualifiers and we must give them every support and empower them to write another pioneering chapter in the sport,” Samuda told Sportsmax.tv.

“On the 22nd Jamaican massive must turn out to the National Stadium in our black, green and gold and make a statement that will electrify the Girlz to conquer and give them that confidence and inspiration to seal the deal in Toronto on the second leg.

“Already the second leg in Toronto is sold out, so the Kingston game must sell off in sending off the Girlz in royal style. Jamaica, let us grasp this moment in our nation’s life and live it to the fullest. Our Girlz are deserving and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, awaits their arrival,” he added.

Faced with the challenge of establishing a winning culture, Reggae Boyz Head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson insists that he is trying to do so in ways large and small. Though his plans, where delivering according to expectations are yet to really take flight, the Icelandic coach remains adamant that his brand is becoming increasingly evident on the Boyz since he took the reins late last year.

 For Hallgrimsson, the manner in which the Boyz have started their Concacaf Nations League campaign, is an extension of their Gold Cup semi-final run, and that, he believes represents a step in the right direction.

The 58th-ranked Boyz currently head Group B on four points in League A competition, as they registered a 1-0 win over Honduras last Friday, followed by a come-from-behind 2-2 stalemate with Haiti at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

“Everybody has their opinion, and I cannot control what people feel about the team. The only thing I can say is that we will continue to work, and we will try to improve. We all see football in a different way, with different eyes how we want football to be played, but we are trying to develop our game and that's the only thing we can do. We will continue to do what we have been trying to do,” Hallgrimsson declared.

Having stressed that his is a culture that is about improvement, Hallgrimsson expressed pleasure with the Boyz display against Haiti when compared to that against Honduras.

In that opener against Honduras, the Boyz looked scrappy when in possession, as their passing and, by extension, movements off the ball was woefully lacking and it took Demarai Gray’s solitary goal to spare their blushes.

While the Boyz looked much better in their attacking transition against Haiti, they were sloppy defensively and that resulted in the opponents taking and early two goal lead courtesy of Don Louicius, who struck in the 12th and 15th minutes. However, Hallgrimsson’s side rescued a point through a 51st-minute own-goal and Bobby Reid’s 81st minute penalty.

“If we compare these two performances, we did much better this game than against Honduras, so we need to be pleased that we are going at least in the right direction, even though we didn't win today (Tuesday). I thought we had a much better game, even though we won against Honduras,” Hallgrimsson shared during a post-game press conference.

He continued: “If we look at the results, I think it is good that we did not lose this game, and performance wise, I would say, even at two-zero, I felt that we were better team in that moment. So, it (falling behind) was kind of a slap in the face and if we take away those two, three mistakes, we didn't give them chances. I think we played a really a good game.

“But a coach is always most pleased with the character and togetherness that they showed to win this game. They fought until the end, we wanted to win…I think everybody saw that we wanted to win, we pushed for the win. So, I'm mostly pleased with the character in the team, we stood our ground and I like that we played in a high tempo like that as well and we should build on this performance in my opinion.”

That said, Hallgrimsson pointed out that with the core of his team now identified, the expectation is that the Boyz hustle and competitiveness will remain on the upgrade, especially as they hunt qualification for next year’s 48th edition of the prestigious Copa America to be staged in the United States.

Their next assignments will be away to Grenada on October 12, before visiting Haiti in the Dominican Republic on October 15.

To get to the Copa America, the Jamaicans are required to finish in the top six, as such, they will need to secure one of two spots from their group to progress to quarter-finals.

Should they do so and go on to win their quarter-finals fixture, the Boyz would automatically secure berth to Copa America. However, if not, then they would take the playoff route for a second shot at qualification.

“We're always looking to improve, I said it in the last press conference, we're happy with what we have, but we're always looking out for improvements in every area of our game for players but also how we play, or we work together etc.

“So, we just have to improve how we do things and do as much as we can. We try to analyze the opponent where the weakness is, and I felt we had a chance to punish them better than we did. But the only way you can improve your conversion rate is to train it day after day,” the tactician ended.

Jamaica...2
Ade (51st OG), Reid (81st)
 
Haiti...2
Louicius(12th, 15th)
 
Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz maintained their positive start to the Concacaf Nations League, but did so the hard way, as they had to come from behind to secure a 2-2 stalemate with Haiti at the National Stadium on Tuesday. 
 
A 51st-minute own-goal by Ricardo Ade and Bobby Reid's 81st-minute penalty, rescued a point for the Reggae Boyz, after Don Louicius's first half brace in the 12th and 15th minutes.
 
With the point, the Jamaicans remain in pole position to complete a top two finish in Group B of League A, as they sit on four points, same as Cuba, who edged Suriname 1-0 in their contest. Haiti inched up to two points in third followed Grenada and Suriname on one point each, but that was expected to change at the end of the game day, as Honduras were leading Grenada 1-0 in the late group fixture.
 
Following their win against Honduras last week, Heimir Hallgrimsson's side would have been confident of securing another three points and they started more purposefully which all but signalled their intent.
 
They fired a warning shot in the second minute through Kasey Palmer, whose left-footed shot was parried by Jhony Placide who got down well to his right in goal for Haiti. The resulting corner presented another opportunity, but Shemar Nicholson steered his header wide of the target.
 
However, the Jamaicans had the wind knock from them as it was the Haitians that broke the deadlock against the run of play, courtesy of Louicius with his first senior goal. The player sporting the number 11 jersey, shook a challenge from Damion Lowe and later fired past Andre Blake. 
 
Before the Boyz could recover, they found themselves further behind when Mondy Prunier orchestrated a counterattack and played a pass on a platter for Louicius to capitalise on some lacklustre defending by the Jamaicans as he fired home beating Blake all ends up.
 
Jamaicans continued to press and created a few openings from which they should have at least pulled on back, but faulty shooting and a lack of composure proved their undoing.
 
The best of those chances came on the stroke of half-time when Nicholson found himself in on goal but drove his right-footer wide of the target, as Haiti remained 2-0 up at the break.
 
With the lead in their favour, the Haitians came out spiritedly on the resumption and Louicius tested Blake with a left-footed strike from a distance, but the custodian got down well to gather.
 
The Jamaicans needing a saviour  gradually came to life in attack and like it was in their opening contest against Honduras, Gray came to their rescue, albeit fortuitously, as his soft effort along the ground was deflected in by Ade.
 
Nicholson should have pulled the Boyz level in the 54th from a break. However, he was hesitant in getting the shot off from close range and was later dispossessed by a recovering defender.
 
Though on the backfoot, the Haitians didn't just merely absorb pressure, they continued the probe to add to their tally and almost did so on the hour mark when Prunier again played provider, this time to Danley Jean, whose firm eft-footer from just inside the 18-yard box, rattled the crossbar.
 
The Jamaicans responded two minutes later and almost pulled level when Kasey Palmer's shot from the top of the 18-yard box and was just kept out by Placide.
 
It was an intriguing end-to-end battle at that point as Haiti went on the counter a minute later, Prunier dismissed his marker, but couldn't get beyond Blake, who left his line well in a one-on-one situation. 
 
After applying consistent pressure coupled with a few timely substitutions, the Jamaicans eventually pulled level when Reid fired home from the penalty spot, after one of those substitutes, Romario Williams's shit was handled inside the danger area.
 
The Jamaicans thought they had all three points in the bag in the dying moments of the contest when Reid's well-struck shot from a distance had goal written all over it, but for a well-timed dive from Placide, who ensured Gabriel Pellegrino's team held on for a share of the spoils.
 
The teams will now head into the break before the return leg fixtures in October. 
 
Teams: Jamaica -Andre Blake, Damion Lowe (Dishon Bernard 74th), Amari'i Bell, Ethan Pinnock, Javain Brown, Leon Bailey, Bobby Reid, Demarai Gray (Dujuan Richards 74th), Joel Latibeaudiere (Daniel Johnson 74th), Kasey Palmer, Shemar Nicholson (Romario Williams 79th)
 
Subs not used: Jahmali Waite, Coniah Boyce-Clarke, Kevon Lambert, Demario Phillips, Adrian Mariappa, Renaldo Cephas, Gregory Leigh, Tayvon Gray, Kevon Lambert
 
Booked: Bernard (83rd), Johnson (90+3)
 
Haiti -Jhony Placide, Ricardo Ade, Djimy-Alexis, Garven-Michee Metusala, Alex Christian, Jeppe Friborg, Danley Jean (Francois Dulysse 87th), Carl Sainte, Don Louicius (Shaynder Borgelain 70th), Steven Seance, Mondy Prunier
 
Subs not used: Alexandre Pierre, Garrisone Innocent, Derrick Etienne Jr, Jayro Jean
 
Booked: Sainte (30th), Djimy-Alexis (63rd, 90th(red), Jean (80th), Ade (80th)
 
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant referees: Alberto Morin (MEX); Marco Bisguerra (MEX)
Fourth official: Enrique Santander (MEX)
Match Commissary: Egbert Lacle (ARU)

Though the FIA Karting World Championships victory in the KZ2 (shifter kart) category slipped his grasp, young sensation Alex Powell still had much to celebrate, as he again etched his name in the annals of Jamaica’s sporting history.

Powell, who has been endured a series of mixed results throughout the season, placed second in the coveted championships in Wackersdorf, Germany on Sunday in what was another solid demonstration of his immense potential to rise to the occasion when it matters most.

While the American-born driver would have loved to top the podium and become the first Jamaican or Caribbean driver to win a World Championships title, the runner-up position sufficed for Powell, who knows that in a competitive category of this nature boasting over 125 drivers, the chances of winning fluctuate.

It was his first time finishing on the podium at the illustrious championships, as Germany’s Niels Troger finished tops, while Romania’s Daniel Vasile was third in the 26-lap final.

“The aim is always to ensure the Jamaican flag is displayed during the presentation ceremony and we made that happen. It's something that not many people are able to experience, but I am fortunate enough to have accomplished that and I am very grateful and proud that I am able to represent Jamaica and the Caribbean on this big stage,” Powell said as he reflected on the grueling weekend.

“I am just hoping that it inspires other kids coming up, not only from Jamaica, so they know, they too can do it because at the end of the day you know, I started from where they're starting now and I'm very proud of what I have been able to achieve. Sure, I still have a long way to go still, but I hope that I've been able to open a few doors for the kids coming up behind me,” he told Sportsmax.tv from his base in Italy.

The 15-year-old, who started his driving career in a parking lot in Trinidad and Tobago and his now a Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 protégé, also took into account the fact that this was his first, and possibly, only season competing in the shifter karts category.

As such, he welcomed the lessons as part of his growth process in a budding career that could see him transition to the Formula 4 ranks next year.

“This was my third FIA event in KZ2 this year and I was on the podium twice, so it is great that I was always a contender, challenging for victories in highly competitive category. Because at the end of the day, I'm racing experienced guys that are double my age, so even being around them, you know, I learnt a lot and I'm able to take away so much you know, sort of nibbling at their experience,” Powell shared.

“So, to finish runner-up in the World Championship was nice as you can imagine, it's probably a bit sour as well because you're so close, but then you know start to put it into perspective. So, I'm proud of the way that we were able to progress, not only from the weekend, but also from the beginning of this year, so like I said, hopefully next time, we can go one step higher,” he added.

This performance coupled with his third-place finish overall in the FIA European Championships, has boosted Powell’s confidence significantly, as he heads into the business end of the season in pole position in the five-race Champions of the Future (COTF) series, and still has the World Championships OK category to contest.

On that European Championships standing, Powell 191 points, behind Dutch driver Rene Lammers (278 points) and Italy’s Gabriel Gomez (213 points).

Meanwhile, he heads the COTF standings on 196 points heading into the final round in France. Great Britain’s Kean Nakamura-Berta (184 points) and Gomez (155 points) are his closest pursuers.

“I think that for the upcoming two races, we're in much better shape than we were before, so I'm quite confident, I have proven to myself that I can deal with the pressure and also produce strong results. So, to be honest, I think mentally, I'm in a strong place going into these last two events. So hopefully everything goes as well as it did this past weekend, but I'll be I'll be fighting hard,” Powell declared.

“Especially given the fact that this might be the last season in go-karts for me, so I would like to finish on the high and I'll be giving it my all. After so many years of trying and failing, to finally get on the podium of a FIA World Championship has taken off a lot of pressure and shows that we're moving in the right direction,” the cousin to former 100m World record holder and sub-10 sprint king Asafa Powell, ended.

Jamaica College began their hunt to extend their rich schoolboy football history, as they opened their ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup account with a 2-0 win over Tivoli High at the National Stadium on Saturday.
 
The defending champions who are aiming to secure a 32nd hold on the prestigious urban area title, didnt have things all their way, but golas from Thierry Garrick (45+1) and Javaun Mills (80th) made the difference in a lively contest against a mature-looking Tivoli outfit.
 
Such was the competitive nature of the game that Jamaica College's head coach Davion Ferguson couldn't have asked for a better way to kick start their season.
 
"Tivoli is a quality team, we knew that we saw what they offered last season, but for the first game, you kind of really want to blow off the cobwebs so to speak. We had a lot of young players out there today because we wanted to whet their feet in the competition and I think Tivoli made it a little difficult for them," he told SportsMax.tv.
 
"We are the school of champions, and we always try to raise our level. What we did last year was remarkable and we are trying to do even better this year, not only in the sense of silverware but better at our game model and style of play and we have a few players coming in who will really nail our ambitions solidly on the ground," Ferguson added.
 
It was a spirited start by both teams as they looked threatening in open play, Jamaica College in particular, should more attacking prowess in the early exchanges and created a few chances from which they should have broken the deadlock.
 
One such opportunity came in the 17th minute when Amarlie King went on an eye-catching solo run but lacked the composure to apply the finish touch in the final third.
 
Four minutes later Dyllan John found himself in a in a good position deep inside the 18-yard box and failed to beat Tivoli's goalkeeper Shakur Adair, who kept out the delayed shot at his near post.
 
Though Tivoli showed fluency as well as individual flair in their build ups, they failed to create any real meaningful chance that caused Tawayne Lynch, in goal for Jamaica College to really sweat.
 
Instead, it was the Old Hope Road-based boys who again went close just past the half-hour mark when Giovanni Taylor found Jabari Howell in space at the top of the 18-yard box, and the latter struck a delightful left-footed effort that had Adair beaten all ends up, but unfortunately came back off the crossbar. 
 
The "Dark Blues" inevitably found the go-ahead goal when Garrick turned his marker and released a firm right-footed shot that gave Adair no chance at a save to put Jamaica College 1-0 up at the break.
 
It was end-to-end action for most of the second half, but Jamaica College again enjoyed the better passage of play, as they consistently applied pressure but their hunt to extend the lead proved fruitless at that point.
 
Tivoli played their game with some colourful build ups in patches but came up empty in their bid to find the elusive equaliser.
 
And they would have felt hard done as it wasn't until the 80th minute that Jamaica College found another when Renson Sawyers delivered a perfectly weighted freekick which was expertly headed in by Mills to make the three points safe.
 
Despite being disappointed with the outcome, Tivoli's assistant coach Lance DaCosta is expecting his team to bounce back.
 
"It's a part of the game, if you don't score you can't win so we will just go back to training fix what we need to fix and get ready for the next game on Friday," DaCosta said.
 

Jamaica...1

Gray (64th)
 
Honduras...0
 
Demarai Gray ensured Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz opened their 2023 Concacaf Nations League account on a winning note, as his all-important strike edged Honduras 1-0 in a lukewarm affair that fell way below expectations at the National Stadium on Friday.
 
Gray, who recently completed a move from English Premier League (EPL) outfit Everton to Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League, fired home his third international goal in the 64th minute to secure all three points for the Reggae Boyz, putting them in pole position to complete a top two finish in Group B of League A.
 
The win has Heimir Hallgrimsson's side on three points, two ahead of Cuba, Haiti, Grenada and Suriname, who all have one point each after playing out stalemates in their respective opening encounters.
 
Cuba and Haiti were goalless in their contest played in the Dominican Republic, while Grenada and Suriname were 1-1 in St George’s.
 
At the National Stadium in Jamaica, the Reggae Boyz started positively and threatened with their first build up, but Dujuan "Whisper" Richards couldn't find space to get a shot off. 
 
Honduras followed up with a quick response, as Luis Palma fired a warning shot from just over 18 yards out, which went straight in the arms of Jahmali Waite, who was given starting duties in place of front-line goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake, out sick.
 
The Jamaicans thought they had the breakthrough in the fifth minute, but Bobby Reid's goal was from an offside position.
 
From there, the tempo of the game dropped with both teams looking scrappy when in possession, the Jamaicans in particular, as their passing and, by extension, movements off the ball was woefully lacking.
 
That disconnect between Jamaica's defence and attack allowed Honduras some semblance of ascendancy and the visitors almost made it count in the 20th when Palma again tried his luck from a distance, but again found Waite in the way as the young goalkeeper took flight to tip over the crossbar. 
 
The Boyz looked their best in the latter stages of the first half and almost found the go-ahead goal in 44th when Richards's stinging left-footer from just outside the 18-yard box came back off the right upright, as they went into the break goalless.
 
It was more of the same on the resumption with the Jamaicans struggling to find cohesion, while Honduras tried to play their game. 
 
The Central Americans should have gone ahead in the 57th when Palma found himself in one-on-one situation with Waite, but his delicate chip shot just went over the crossbar.
 
That missed opportunity later proved costly, as Gray who was playing his first game on home soil, gave the Jamaicans something to celebrate.
 
A tidy build up from the back orchestrated by Ethan Pinnock, found Reid, who played off a one-time pass that sent Gray on his way and the fleet-footed player left his marker before firing past Edrick Menjivar in goal for Honduras.
 
Though they tried, Honduras couldn't find the elusive equaliser, as the Jamaicans held firm defensively for the win.
 
Gray, in a post-game press conference admitted that it wasn't the most polished performance by the team but welcomed the three points. 
 
"It's good to get the winning goal my first time back home. It wasn't the best performance, but we got the three points which was important," he said.
 
Teams: Jamaica -Jahmali Waite, Damion Lowe, Amari'i Bell, Ethan Pinnock, Javain Brown (Tayvon Gray 66th), Leon Bailey, Bobby Reid (Kevon Lambert 77th), Demarai Gray (Renaldo Cephas 82nd), Dujuan Richards (Shemar Nicholson 66th), Joel Latibeaudiere, Kasey Palmer (Daniel Johnson 66th)
 
Subs not used: Coniah Boyce-Clarke, Kevon Lambert, Dishon Bernard, Daniel Johnson, Demario Phillips, Romario Williams, Adrian Mariappa, Renaldo Cephas, Gregory Leigh
 
Booked: Latibeaudiere (68th), Reid (68th), T Gray (90+2)
 
Honduras -Edrick Menjivar, Devron Garcia, Luis Vega (Riky Zapata 65th), Bryan Acosta (Jorge Benguche 77th), Joseph Rosales (Alexander Lopez 89th), Antony Lozano, Maylor Nunez, Andy Najar (65th), Denil Maldonado, Luis Palma, Deybi Flores
 
Subs not used: Juergen Garcia, Marlon Licona, Raul Santos, Jorge Alvarez, David Ruiz-Ochoa, Carlos Pineda, Daniel Carter, Franklin Flores
 
Booked: Acosta (29th), Vega (38th), Maldonado (39th), Rodriguez (73rd), Zapata (74th)
 
Referee: Daniel Quintero (MEX)
Assistant referees: Ibrahim Martinez (MEX); Pablo Hernandez (MEX)
Fourth official: Victor Carcores (MEX)
Match Commissary: Egbert Lacle (ARU)

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts registered a new lifetime best of 15.01 metres to win the women’s triple jump, while Dominica’s Thea Lafond was third at the Diamond League meet in Brussels on Friday.

With World Champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela absent, silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine and Ricketts were both heavily favoured to battle for top spot on this occasion and the manner in which they started, justified that much.

Both cut the sand at 14.30m on their first attempts, but Ricketts improved to 14.70m on her second attempt in a negative 0.2 metres per second wind reading, while Bekh-Romanchuk failed to register a mark.

Ricketts maintained her rhythm in the series and with it came the big personal best of 15.01m on her third attempt, as she bettered her previous best of 14.98m which was set in Doha in 2021.

Though she skipped the fourth and fifth attempts and fouled on the sixth and final jump, the 31-year-old Ricketts, who was fourth at the World Championships in Hungary, had done enough to top the podium, as Bekh-Romanchuk’s next best efforts of 14.56m and 14.57m, came on her last two attempts.

Lafond’s best effort of 14.49m which came on her third attempt, secured her the third-place finish, while Kimberly Williams, the other Jamaican in the event, placed fifth with a best mark of 13.96m.

She may not have achieved the elusive World Record, but Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson had a Meet Record as consolation, as she demolished a field to win the women’s 200 metres at the Diamond League meet in Brussels on Friday.

Jackson running from lane six, was not as smooth as she would have liked in the early stages of the race but recovered well in the straight and sprinted away to stop the clock in 21.48s in a slight tailwind of 0.2 metres per second.

She bettered the previous Meet Record of 21.64s set by another Jamaican stalwart Merlene Ottey back in 1991 and will now turn her focus to Eugene which represents her final shot at the World Record of 21.34s held by American Florence Griffith-Joyner since 1988, this season.

Bahamian Anthonique Strachan closed fast to take second in 22.31s, with American Jenna Prandini (22.47s) taking third.

While admitting that things are far from perfect in certain regards, General Secretary Dennis Chung insists that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has made significant strides in an attempt to get its house in order to move away from the negativity that often overshadowed the country’s footballing success.

Chung’s assertions came as he provided the latest update of the governing football body’s finances, delivering on a promise to increase transparency and accountability at an organisation plagued by allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

“I've been here for a few months now, so I think it's timely to give an update as to where we are, what challenges we are still faced with and what progress has been made in relation to some of the things that I committed to at the start of my tenure here because I think that accountability is very important,” Chung told journalists during a press conference at the JFF’s St Lucia Avenue base.

On that note, Chung, revealed that the JFF finances, for the first time in a long time, reflected an $11 million surplus at the end of July, which he believes is testament to progress made.

“When we come in November one of the things, I said is that we need to recognize that changing and developing our product doesn't happen overnight, we're going to have hiccups. We've had some hiccups, but what we have attempted to do, which I think we have been successful in some respects, is to fix the brand,” Chung shared.

“You can’t drive the car until the car is fixed. The engine has to be fixed and, therefore, over the past few months we’ve been looking at the strategies for fixing the product because you can’t sell a product unless it’s fixed. So, recently, we’ve been getting in sponsors and the reason why we’ve been able to get sponsors is because we fixed the product that’s there,” he added.

That said, Chung addressed two widely circulated issues that he said were a misrepresentation of the facts aimed at condemning the Michael Ricketts-led administration. One of those issues involves a $107 million debt to the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), while the other surrounds another $30 million missing from the JFF coffers.

“The JFF unlike many organisations, have a Tax Compliant Certificate and we not only got it, but we updated and renewed it. That $107 million owed to TAJ is related to penalties and interest coming from as far back as before 2017.

“Last year we went into negotiations with the tax authority, and we paid off all the principals outstanding. The discussion at the time was, ‘show us that you’re keeping up to date with your payments’, which we did, and then by March we were able to apply for a write-off of the penalties and interest,” Chung, who is also an accountant explained.

He continued: “The other thing I saw people saying that $30 million is missing that was classified as miscellaneous, but that $30 million came up because when the audit was done, and the issue was that $30 million was not classified properly to the line item.

“I am an accountant, I know that many companies have that issue with their auditors, so we reclassified it and everything was classified successfully and we got the audit issued by the auditors. So that implication that there is money missing, there is no money missing, it was just how it was accounted for and then it was classified, so for me, where we are coming from is significant in terms of the accomplishment.

Finally, Chung is cognizant that they still have much more to do to achieve the level of comfort where trust in the JFF and, by extension, sustainable development of the country’s football is concerned.

“We would not have got the sponsorships if we did not fix the product. Now we are not at the level that we want yet, because we still have not finished fixing the product. But we've gone a far away in making inroads,” the general secretary ended.

Trinbago Knight Riders improved their playoff hopes, as they secured a valuable 42-run win over Barbados Royals in the 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) at Queen’s Park Oval on Wednesday.

After Rovman Powell again won the toss and opted to field first, the Royals bowlers were fairly steady up front, but later found Nicholas Pooran in defiant mode, as the left-hander literally batted them out of the game with a superb unbeaten century.

Pooran’s 53-ball 102, which included 10 sixes and five fours, propelled Knight Riders to a daunting 208-6 from their allotment, before skilled bowling from Waqar Salamkheil (2-18) and Akeal Hosein (2-21), coupled with some poor shot selections from Royals batsmen at times, sealed the deal.

Despite a well-played 45-ball 70 by Kyle Mayers, his best score so far this season, the Royals were restricted to 166. Mayers hammered four sixes and seven fours in his knock.

Scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 208-6 (20 overs); Barbados Royals 166-7 (20 overs)

Sent to bat in front a pack stadium bursting at its seams with a sea of red, the vociferous Knight Riders crowd faced early disappointment when Roelof van der Merwe took a brilliant catch on the boundary ropes to remove Mark Deyal (six) off Mayers bowling.

From 20-1, Pooran and Martin Guptill added 56 for the second wicket, which was inevitably gifted to the Royals, as the New Zealander advanced but failed to get bat on an arm ball from Rahkeem Cornwall and was stumped for 37.

It quickly became 78-3 as a mix-up between Pooran and captain Kieron Pollard resulted in the latter being run out by Mayers.

However, Pooran soldiered on and took the score past the 100-run mark with Lorcan Tucker (eight), before being joined by Andre Russell for an 82-run fifth-wicket partnership.

The two frustrated the Royals bowling with Russell smashing four sixes and two fours in his 22-ball knock, which unfortunately came to an end when he was given out on review for a faint edge.

Pooran eventually pushed past the century milestone, his second in this format, and with it, placed the Knight Riders in the driver’s seat for the two points.

In response, Barbados Royals lost their previous match winner Cornwall (four) cheaply on this occasion, as he went caught by Sunil Narine off Hosein in the third over.

Mayers and Laurie Evans (20) gradually restored the innings, as they added 41 for the second wicket and when the latter fell, it brought captain Powell to the middle.

But Powell’s stay was brief, as he went for nine and Mayers and Alick Athanaze (seven) followed soon after, and from there, the Royals never recovered.

 Jason Holder, who was given a reprieve off a Narine no-ball, failed to capitalise on the second chance and only mustered 19, while Van der Merwe’s quick-fire unbeaten 20 off nine balls, including a massive six and two fours, was not enough.

The win means Trinbago Knight Riders inched up to second on nine points, same as leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors, but the four-time champions have played two games more.

St Lucia Kings (eight points), Barbados Royals (seven points), Jamaica Tallawahs (five points) and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (two points), complete the table.

The battle for the playoff spots will be intensified when action resumes on Saturday. At that time, Patriots will oppose Kings and Knight Riders against Tallawahs, with a contest between Guyana Amazon Warriors women and Trinbago Knight Riders women, smacked in between.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda welcomes discussions to possibly include cricket in the Olympic Games for a second time in its history, as he believes it will provide the much-need shot in the arm required to move the sport forward, financially and otherwise, from a Jamaica and Caribbean perspective.

With the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) set to deliberate new sports to be welcomed into the fold, cricket is said to be among those being strongly considered for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

According to reports, men’s and women’s Twenty20 cricket is heavily favoured to make the cut to become an Olympic sport for just the second time since the 1900 Paris Games, as IOC president Thomas Bach is reportedly a big fan of bringing the sport on board, given its mass appeal in countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Those three nations are by no means world-beaters in other Olympic sports, but if cricket was included for 2028, the tournament would no doubt command the attention of sports enthusiasts, especially with England, Australia and New Zealand, expected to be involved.

However, it is understood that organisers would only allow cricket at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles under the condition that flag football –a non-contact version of American football –would also be added to the Games.

Still, Samuda believes cricket being considered is a win, in and of itself for the sport, and if it does in fact get included in the 2028 multi-sport showpiece, the move could have a far-reaching impact on Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, especially at a time when there are overwhelming concerns about the failure of West Indies cricket.

“The JOA welcomes discussions on the inclusion of cricket on the agenda for the LA 2028 Olympic Games as an expression, not only of inclusivity, but also of global sport maturing in response to diversity and imperative of engaging a fraternity which has, as others, become highly commercial,” Samuda said.

“A sporting, but also, a cultural institution in the lives of West Indians, a name historically inherited with colonialism which geopolitical historians now show a preference for the Caribbean.

“Cricket’s inclusion will give the sport in Jamaica and the Caribbean a well needed fillip and an opportunity for capital to commercialize the sport for its own sustainability without compromising Olympic values, for at the JOA, we celebrate character and merit as pre-requisite to rewarding monetarily,” he told Sportsmax.tv.

The number of sports contested at the Olympic Games has rapid increased in recent times.

With the addition of golf, some 38 sports were played at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, but that number jumped to 46 at the Tokyo Games, as 3x3 basketball, BMX, karate, rugby sevens, baseball, softball, skateboarding, surfing and speed climbing were all added.

The number will drop to 45 for next year’s Paris Games with the culling of baseball/softball and karate, while breakdancing has been included for the first time.

Twenty20 cricket already enjoyed somewhat of a test run at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with an eight-team women’s tournament.

Barbados was a part of that historic tournament which saw Australia, India, and New Zealand, winning the medals.

On that note, Samuda weighed in on the views of whether Jamaica and other Caribbean islands would compete individually or collectively under the West Indies umbrella.

“The debate as to whether the Caribbean should compete as individual countries, as obtained in the Olympic movement, or collectively as the West Indies, should consider that independence encourages the development of talent and accentuates a national identity and pride which are priceless qualities of nationhood,” Samuda shared.

“As small as we are in the Caribbean with bigger countries having an unfair numerical advantage, our instincts at surviving and our ability to do so admirably, has been demonstrated in other sport such as football and track and field,” he added.

In any case, Samuda pointed out that once the business model of the sport is properly aligned with the prospects, then the potential exists for positive spinoffs, financial and otherwise, from a qualifying tournament alone.

“Cricket still has the ability of mass appeal and its inclusion in the Olympic Games will serve to deepen its capital, and the playing of qualifying tournaments, if the sport’s business model is right, will heighten interest across generations and gender and attract investment,” he reasoned.

“Sport is a qualitative investment in the human capital and there are many social and cultural values that can be learnt at the crease over and above the boundaries of sport,” the JOA president noted.

Outsider Essential Quality burst the bubbles of her more favoured rivals, as she turned the third running of the Winston “Fanna” Griffiths Classic into a procession at Caymanas Park on Saturday.

Another levelheaded ride by jockey Raddesh Roman saw the Oral Hayden-owned and trained chestnut filly, proving the class of the three-year-old Graded Stakes contest in a gate-to-wire performance over 9-1/2 furlongs (1,900m) at long odds of 30-1.

With not much pace present in the race, the indication was that Fitzroy Glispie’s overwhelming 4-5 favourite Money Miser (Shamaree Muir) or stablemate Princess Sharon (Paul Francis) would have dictated terms on the headline, but the connections of Essential Quality had other ideas.

From the one draw in the nine-horse field, the Sensational Slam-Texas Missy progeny, was sent straight to the lead by Roman, with Princess Sharon and Burlap (Javaniel Patterson) in tow, as the flashed past the clubhouse turn and hit the backstretch.

At that point Money Miser, though more than five lengths behind, seemed fairly comfortable and poised to make a late strike when the leaders falter.

But that was not to be as Roman and Essential Quality quickened past the five-furlong mark and later opened up a gap on Burlap, who tried but failed to apply pressure on the leader leaving the half-mile.

From there, it was Essential Quality against the clock as the filly barely look winded when she straightened in the homestretch and even found when asked by Roman, who later eased up and stood tall in the saddle for the rest of the way.

She completed the distance in 2:03.0, after splits of 25.1, 49.4, 1:14.2 and 1:40.1.

Princess Sharon stayed on for second nine lengths behind, while Richie Rich (Reyan Lewis) and Money Miser (Shamaree Muir), both inevitably hit top stride but were a long way off the winner in third and fourth respectively.

The Ham Stables-bred Essential Quality in landing the lion’s share of the $3.75 million purse, registered her third career win in eight starts.

Meanwhile, trainer Peter-John Parsard and jockeys Tevin Foster, Phillip Parchment, and Reyan Lewis each had two winners on the 10-race card.

Parsard saddled Sunshine Cat (Oneil Mullings) in the seventh race and Rojorn Di Pilot (Omar Walker) in the 10th event.

Foster’s winners were the Michael Marlowe-conditioned Jack of Spades in the second race and Anthony Nunes’s Captain Calico in the fifth. Parchment won aboard Steven Todd’s Magical Mood in the third race and Traditional Boy for trainer Gordon Lewis in the sixth.

Lewis won the fourth race aboard Sensational Satin for trainer Byron Davis, and the eighth with Jason DaCosta’s Lion of Ekati.

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