BY Joe ChapmanFORMER champions Ravens secured a semi-final berth with a 74-65 victory over Plaisance Guardians, while Amelia’s Ward Jets inflicted a 80-54 whipping of Half Mile Bulls, to also qualify for the final four showdown after day two of the 6th Brusches Classic Invitational basketball championships on Sunday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club hardcourt.Playing in the first game, Ravens returned to competitive basketball with an impressive display as they held a 18-17 first quarter edge, and while they shared a 14-14 second quarter exchange, they remained slightly ahead 32-31 at half time.Ryan Stephney stepped up his game in the second half and engineered his team’s somewhat surprise win after Guardians had reached the recent Open final in Georgetown.In the third quarter, the Ravens took away the game from their opponents with a 28-9 run and they were able to stave off the final surge by the Guardians who rebounded with a 25-9 run but were unable to catch their opponents who now face Colts in the first semifinals on Friday night.Raven’s captain Ryan Stephney had a game high 26 points, while good support was received from Jermain Slater who netted 13 points while Tyrone Hamid and Ryan Gullen each contributed nine for the winners.Nikkoli Smith was the best player for Guardians with 25 points as N. Yisrael added 11 and T. Woolford 10.In the other game, Jets made light work of Half Mile Bulls with a flying start as they ended the first quarter leading 24-8 and while Bulls were able to outscore the Jets 16-15, the first half ended with Jets in the lead 39-24.They then made a move to take the game out of the Bulls sight with a 25-16 run to head into the last quarter ahead 64-40 which proved too much for the Bulls and when the final whistle came, it was smooth sailing 80-54.Akeem Kanhai was the floor leader for the Jets as Adrian Webster played well inside to top score with 14 points with Kanhai notching up 13 while Joel Webster and Donnel Benjamin added 10 apiece.For the Bulls, who missed the inside presence of Travin Dryden, Michael Turner led them with 15 points with Terron Welch getting 13 and Vibert Benjamin 12 points.Semi-finals are set for Friday when Ravens face Colts and Royals take on Jets.
Red Force, Jaguars face off in top-of-the-table clash todayBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – The top-of-the-table clash between Guyana Jaguars and hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force will highlight the fourth round of the Regional Four-Day Championship which bowls off today.Denesh RamdinBoth teams are unbeaten so far and the day/night clash at the Brian Lara Stadium could prove decisive ahead of the first break of the fast-moving, 10-round season.Three-time champions Jaguars have won two of their first three matches to be top of the standings on 46.6 points, but faltered in their last outing against Leeward Islands Hurricanes and needed a massive effort on the final day at Warner Park to avoid defeat.Their key men have been West Indies-A left-hander Vishaul Singh who has gathered 258 runs at an average of 46, and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul whose 17 wickets have come at 15 runs apiece.However, their captain Leon Johnson’s lack of form has been worrying, with the left-hander managing only 124 runs from his six trips to the crease.His opposite number Denesh Ramdin has had no such worries with two hundreds already in an aggregate of 316 runs at an impressive average of 105.Red Force have been lifted by his form which has seemingly inspired the other batsmen, with Jason Mohammed, Tion Webster and Yannic Cariah all having scored hundreds so far.Leg-spinner Imran Khan, who tops the bowling aggregates with 18 wickets, will also be key as Red Force attempt to inflict Jaguars with a first defeat.Hurricanes, the only other unbeaten side in the tournament, will host Jamaica Scorpions at Warner Park and will be hoping to continue the form which has put them third in the table.Both their batting and bowling have clicked so far this season leaving them as formidable threats, and Scorpions will have their work cut out for them.While the hosts are unchanged for the encounter, Scorpions have been strengthened by the return of regular captain Nikita Miller, who missed the first three rounds recuperating from surgery last September.The leading wicket-taker last season with 58 scalps with 461 wickets from 90 first-class matches, Hurricanes will be wary of his ability to be a game-changer.In the other game at Arnos Vale, bottom-placed Windward Islands Volcanoes welcome Barbados Pride who have struggled and lie fourth in the standings.While Volcanoes have lost two of three, the big highlight for them has been veteran left-hander Devon Smith who has already reeled off two hundreds to top the batting charts with 337 runs at an average of 84.Volcanoes, who boast two Barbadians in Kyle Mayers and Kirk Edwards, are unchanged but Pride have gone for former Young West Indies speedster, Keon Harding, to give their bowling attack teeth.
THE Guyana Teachers Union/Ministry of Education’s National School Cycling Championships will wheel off from 10:00hrs today around the inner circuit of the National Park with track races.According to coordinator of the event, Guyana Cycling Federation’s (GCF) Assistant Racing Secretary, Joseph Britton, several track events will be held today and another day during the week of activities that will see school athletes vying for top honours in cycling, swimming and track and field.Today’s cycling championships will see some of Guyana’s top junior and juvenile cyclists battling against each other for supremacy.While there are 16 Districts in the school system, it is unlikely that all 16 will be represented in the cycling aspect of the championships.It is however clear that District 11 (North Georgetown),District 10 (Upper Demerara /Kwakwani) and District 16 (Corentyne) will be fielding the largest teams that include Guyana’s best youth cyclists, something that they have been doing over the years.The top cyclists from these Districts are seasoned cyclists and are sure to dominate.Raphael Leung who hails from District 11, Curtis Dey of District Six and Christopher Griffith of District 10 are sure to share the spoils during the two days of track competition.The male and female road races are scheduled for Friday and will be staged in the West Demerara area.The males will battle for 40km while the females will contest a -25km race.Both male and female races are expected to wheel off from Vreed-en-Hoop and the males will proceed to Bushy park before turning back to finish outside the Leonora Synthetic Track facility, but this is to be confirmed sometime today after officials of the GTU and the GCF discuss the issue.
THE two finalists for the 2019 MILO schools football tournament crown will be decided today when semi-final action kicks off.Set for the Ministry of Education ground on Carifesta Avenue, the double-header will begin at 14:00hrs.In the first game, Annandale will go toe-to-toe with Linden’s Christianburg/Wismar Secondary.Both sides had runaway wins in their previous matches and their meeting at the semi-final stage is expected to provide fireworksThe second game of the afternoon pits President’s College against Lodge Secondary – a feisty affair which will see a no-holds-barred kind of footballThe final is billed for next weekend. The tournament is sponsored by the Ministry of Public Health under the ‘Stop Gender-based Violence’ campaign.
THE Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Championship will invade the community of Bartica tomorrow when the 3rd edition of the Street Football competition commences at the Bartica Community Centre.The zone will feature 16 teams battling for the coveted title and a place in the grand finale on June 16. The opening night features elimination matches, with the respective winners advancing to the group stage pegged for June 15.The top two finishers from the two groups will progress to the semi-final round. The subsequent winners will then progress to the final, with the losers facing off in the third-place playoff.Similarly, the four teams that fail to make the semi-final stage will battle in the Guinness Plate Championship. This will be played on the final night.The eight teams who have earned berths to the opening night are defending champions Disconnection Crew, Goal Raiders, Almanac Kings, former champions Rivers View, Jones Avenue, Falmouth, Potaro Strikers and Mighty Ruler.According to coordinator Alden Marslowe, “All systems are in place for a wonderful tournament. The teams have really caught on with the street football and everyone has really gotten into it. This is the third year and we have seen tremendous growth. We have had three privately-run street football tournaments earlier and the teams are definitely catching onto the format.”He further disclosed that the tournament has witnessed a record number of entries which supports the belief that the tournament is growing in popularity and overall interest.“We have had more teams enter than in previous editions especially from the outlying communities – which is great for the event. The anticipation is there from the public, Bartica is a football community and I expect another great tournament with quality action”, he added.Similarly, Lee Baptiste, Guinness Brand Executive stated that everything is geared and ready for another great edition to the phenomenon that is the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Championship.He anticipates three nights of exciting action, as teams battle for bragging rights and the chance to represent their zone at the coveted National Championship.The winner of the championship will pocket $400 000 and the winners’ trophy. They will also earn the right to represent the Zone at the National Championship.On the other hand, the runners-up will collect $150 000 and a trophy. Meanwhile, the third- and fourth-place finishers will walk away with $100 000 and $75 000 respectively and the corresponding accolade. Winners of the Guinness Plate Championship will receive $60 000.Up to press time, several play-off round matches were underway. The other major sponsor of the event is Colours Boutique.Play-off round fixtures:Makouria vs ItaballiAgatash vs Prison OfficersCourtney Benn Boys vs Potaro UnitedWalking Boys vs Bad CompanyBeacons vs Banks BoysBallers vs KarrauPolice vs Skill KingsLotto Blast vs Man United
By Frank PingueNEW YORK (Reuters) – Serena Williams survived a second-round scare at the U.S. Open on Wednesday with a 5-7 6-3 6-1 win over American wildcard Catherine McNally to keep alive her hopes of securing a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.World number eight Williams, who captured the first of her six U.S. Open titles two years before her 17-year-old opponent was born, spent the first half of the match trying to find her rhythm but when she did she was off to the races.“She really came out and played really well, she showed no fear,” said Williams. “She had absolutely nothing to lose and she played like it.” McNally, competing in only her sixth tour-level event of her career and against the highest-ranked player she has ever faced, used an old-school serve-and-volley approach along with a lethal slice backhand to unsettle Williams.So effective was McNally, who has tried to model parts of her game after Swiss great Roger Federer, that at one point in the match Williams screamed at her racquet “why are you missing?”. But Williams, whose earliest U.S. Open exit came in her 1997 debut when she lost in the third round, turned the match around when she finally broke McNally’s serve and then consolidated in a tight service game for a 5-2 lead in the second set.Williams looked more like herself in the decider – both serving and returning better – as she went up a double break for a quick 3-0 lead before storming home and sealing the match when she broke to love.“I survived tonight,” said Williams. “I am not too pleased with the way I played at all,” said Williams, whose 28 unforced errors were two fewer than McNally. “But it’s OK, I’m alive, I’m still here and happy to be on this court. I’ll do better. I promise.”Williams dropped only one point through her first three service games but it took her some time to make any inroads on the McNally serve as the American was hitting her targets with pinpoint precision.The match proved a far more gruelling affair for Williams than she had in her opener, where she dismantled Maria Sharapova with one of her most dominant performances since returning from maternity leave in 2018.McNally said she did not feel intimated walking onto the biggest stage in tennis to face one of the game’s all-time best players and left the match feeling beyond proud of what she accomplished. “I got a set off Serena Williams. Had her close in the second set, too. Had some chances,” said McNally.“For me, it just gives me a lot of confidence, shows me that I can compete out on the biggest stages. Just keep my head down, I’m ready to go back to work.”Up next for Williams will be either Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei or Czech Karolina Muchova, who were unable to get their match in earlier due to rainy conditions.
By Richard MartinLONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette inspired a stirring comeback against rivals Tottenham Hotspur to salvage a 2-2 draw in a thrilling north London Premier League derby on Sunday.Spurs were looking to bounce back from a shock 1-0 home loss to Newcastle United and went ahead through Christian Eriksen and a Harry Kane penalty before Lacazette struck before the break and Aubameyang got a 71st minute equaliser.Arsenal, who were beaten 3-1 at Liverpool last week, are in fifth place with seven points while Spurs are ninth on five after four games.The visitors took a 10th minute lead when Eriksen knocked the ball into an empty net on the rebound, capitalising on some sloppy goalkeeping from Arsenal’s Bernd Leno, who could only parry Erik Lamela’s weak shot into the path of the Dane.Arsenal had most of the ball on a sun-soaked afternoon at the Emirates Stadium but Tottenham were far more threatening on the break and Leno was forced to keep out stinging efforts from Kane and Eriksen in the first half.“We played with our heart sometimes more than our head, we needed more balance, we needed to have clearer heads,” said Arsenal coach Unai Emery of his side’s first-half mistakes.Tottenham were then awarded a penalty for a clumsy foul by Granit Xhaka on the lively Son Heung-min and Kane converted in the 40th minute to put Spurs on track for a first league win on enemy territory in nine years.However, Arsenal’s France striker Lacazette halved the deficit right before halftime with an emphatic strike after controlling an exquisite pass from the club’s record signing Nicolas Pepe.Kane came close to sealing the points for Tottenham when he struck the post but Arsenal became galvanized when Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos came off the bench and hit a shot which keeper Hugo Lloris did well to tip over.An equaliser looked ever likelier and duly arrived when Gabon striker Aubameyang prodded a lofted pass from Matteo Guendouzi into the net in the 71st minute, scoring a third goal in four Premier League games this season.AMAZING MATCH “It was an amazing match. We are proud of our work and our supporters,” added Emery.“The key was the first goal to give us confidence and give us more chances in the second half. We deserved it.”Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino also felt Lacazette’s timely goal was pivotal.“Conceding with the last action of the first half gave relief to Arsenal and was an emotional hit to us, we were very down, before our emotions were very high and football is all about emotion,” he said.Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos later had a goal ruled out for offside while Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko spurned a last-gasp chance in a thrilling finale by blasting over the bar after Kane was denied a penalty when he tangled with Sokratis.Tottenham striker Kane said his side were disappointed to have let their lead slip.“I feel like we’re coming off disappointed, we expected to see the game out,” he told reporters.“The (Lacazette) goal hurt us with momentum just before the break. It was an end-to-end game, especially the last 10-15 minutes, but the players left everything on the pitch.”The England international also felt he should have been awarded a second penalty.“As a striker, if it is on halfway (line) it is a definite foul. In the box you don’t always get them,” he added.Aubameyang, meanwhile, said Arsenal should have come away with more than a point.“I think in the first half we deserved to score two goals,” he said. “It was a tough game and I think we deserved more.”
CAPTAIN Keon Hall, of Bakewell Topp XX, with two crucial strikes, the first in the semi-final which saved the game for Topp XX against Haynes and Lewis Winners Connection, and the other, which was the winner in the final versus Coomacka, was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Jermine and Family Linden MASH Cup football championship Friday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground.Hall, for his efforts, collected the Alwin Bynoe MVP Trophy, a king or queen size bed from McRae’s Hardware and General Store and a football boot from Jerry Faucett.The Most Goals Award of a football boot from former National player, Rickland ‘Tallo’ Hutson, was won by another Topp XX player, Travis Waterton, of Bakewell with four goals, beating three other players to the award who netted three each.Coomacka’s custodian, Kellon Major, was voted the Best Goalkeeper for his acrobatic and brilliant showing and he got a smart-phone which was donated by Melville’s Variety Store of Wisrock. The best defender was Delroy Conteh of Coomacka; he won a trophy.Shamyah Samuels was named the youngest player and received a bicycle from Snooks Variety Store.The four coaches from champions Bakewell Topp XX, Coomacka, Botafago and Haynes and Lewis Winners Connection each received a food hamper compliments of Edward B Beharry.
By Stephan ShemiltUSA Cricket hopes the United States’ success in hosting the football World Cup in 1994 can help its bid to stage the T20 World Cup.The U,S, has joined forces with West Indies in an attempt to stage an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament from 2023 onwards.More than 3.5 million fans attended matches at USA 94, a World Cup record.“If you played in the USA, every venue would be sold out,” said USA Cricket chief executive Iain Higgins.“Other sports have used their major events as catalysts for growth in non-traditional markets.”The U.S. gained one-day international status at the beginning of 2019 and beat Scotland in December.Higgins said the U.S. wants to gain Test status within the next decade.“It’s our objective to have a team that’s competing with full members of the ICC in the short term, and it’s our objective to become a full member of the ICC in the next 10 years,” he said.“On-field performance, as we saw with Ireland and Afghanistan, is going to be a real critical part of the assessment as to whether we’re ready to play a role at that level.”Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida, has hosted six one-day internationals and 10 Twenty20s, and is scheduled to stage two T20s between West Indies and South Africa in August.Higgins has identified several other areas where the U.S. can prove itself worthy of a place at cricket’s top table.“One would be to persuade the ICC to be brave enough to bring a T20 World Cup to the USA,” he said.“I am confident that we will have great quality venues that are capable of scaling up and scaling down for ICC events.”Those venues form part of plans for the introduction of a T20 league in the U.S.“The plan is to have at least six venues in this country that are capable of hosting international matches,” said Higgins.“When you look at the number of travelling fans from the US to the last two World Cups, it shows an enormous appetite for cricket.“Imagine India playing Pakistan in a T20 World Cup in the US – you could not build a venue big enough.“When we eventually get to present to the ICC, they will be pleased and we will be able to satisfy that they should be ready to entrust us with one of their significant world events.” (BBC Sport)
Duro IkhazuagbeNigeria’s greatest ever tennis player, Nduka Odizor, was in tears wednesday at the Sports Reform Committee Retreat in Abuja while recalling how administrators denied the country the opportunity of reaching the World Group stage of the Davis Cup because of greed and selfishness.Odizor who achieved a world ranking of 52 in 1983 and reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon the previous year insisted that tennis officials at the time were “not straight forward” in dealing with players. The former tennis professional whose paper was titled: “Recognition of Athletes” said for any country to excel in sports, athletes and coaches have to be accorded maximum recognition and respect.“Recognition and appreciation will ensure that athletes are assured that they will get their allowances and entitlements as at when due.“This will lead to younger ones emulating and striving to achieve like those ahead of them and bring up sports men and women who can create wealth for the nation,” he said.Odizor stressed that the matter of graft in the running of sports has been there all along.“My biggest disappointment was when I was approached by some government officials to give them some money so they can recommend me for a national award.“That was unthinkable and absurd. My achievements (in tennis) speak for themselves and I do not have to have a national award to be recognised around the world,” the tennis star reasoned.Before Odizor’s presentation at the retreat, one of Nigeria’s most achieved football coaches, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, in his paper said that there was an urgent need to reform the process that throws up incompetent and self-seeking persons as sports federation presidents and board members.The gaffer who led the Green Eagles to a second place finish at the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations said that football clubs currently run as government parastatals can be financially viable if they instituted a membership plan and worked out partnerships with companies.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram