TOP AWARDS Eurotrend, with a goal from Kemar Bygrave in the 12th minute, defeated Miles to win the third annual Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce six-a-side football competition, which is held at 451 Spanish Town Road in her native Waterhouse community. Earlier, Varma Rangers defeated defending champions Darkside 9-8 on penalties to claim third place, after playing to a 0-0 scoreline in regulation time. Bygrave, showing good dribbling skills, picked up a clearance from defence, then went by one Miles defender in their half before powering a low, hard shot to beat the other Miles defender at his far left post. For their effort, Eurotrend earned the winners’ prize of $180,000, while second-place Miles earned $80,000. Varma Rangers earned $50,000, while Darkside got $30,000 for fourth place. Choppas earned $10,000 for being the Most Disciplined team and Angola Strikers were presented 15,000 for winning the dress parade at the start of the competition. Bygrave won the leading goalscorer award with four goals, while his teammate Fernando Hunt was voted the competition’s Most Valuable Player. Both players were awarded phones courtesy of Digicel. “It brings me so much joy to see these young men relating to each other on and off the field, especially when former schoolmates talk about the old days, parents and kids sharing family time as the atmosphere fosters friendship,” said Fraser-Pryce, the Olympic and World 100m champion. “The response from the players and the community has been great and I will continue to help them.” Digicel, for whom Fraser-Pryce is an ambassador, is the competition’s title sponsor, while GraceKennedy; Wisynco, through their product Wata; Tank-Weld Metals; Sagicor Bank; and the National Commercial Bank Foundation were the other sponsors.
He added: “The next step will be CPL. I’m looking forward to that.” Pooran has played just three first-class games but has already shown sparks of promise with a half-century against Jamaica Scorpions and 47 against Guyana Jagaurs, which came in his last innings. The former West Indies Under-19 player said his return to cricket was a gradual one, but after initial struggles, he now felt back to his old self. “I started back playing some wind ball cricket, with some T20, T10, minor league cricket,” he noted. “It was good for me. I still had my batting intact. Nothing had changed. It’s just the wicket-keeping was a bit difficult at the start, but now I’m back to keeping as normal.” Pooran said that his time away from the game was a trying experience but pointed out that he had come to appreciate cricket even more as a result. “I have to thank God for life because it was a difficult period for me. Every day I looked at cricket, I kept missing it more and more, and when I started back playing, I was really eager to start back playing,” he said. “At a point in time, I wanted to rush to play, but that wasn’t good for me. Every time I saw cricket, I missed it a lot. I would be sitting down and watching other players batting, bowling, keeping or whatever, and I would say, ‘I know I can do better than that. I can do this and I can do that.” Pooran came to the fore when he lashed a superb 100 for West Indies at the Under-19 World Cup two years ago against Australia. PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC): Attacking batsman Nicholas Pooran is anxious to resume his first-class career after making a full recovery from injuries sustained in a vehicular accident last year. The 20-year-old was preparing to turn out for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the 2015 Regional Super50 when he was involved in a car crash when returning home from training in January. He sustained leg and knee injuries, which kept him out of action for a protracted period, but has worked his way back steadily, and he played his first competitive match last Sunday for Queen’s Park Club in the domestic 50-overs competition. “I really thought I could have played in the [Regional Super50] but I didn’t get the chance to prove myself,” he told TV6 Sports here. “I didn’t have many trial games, and that was a bit unfortunate, so now I guess it’s back to club cricket, and when I make runs, hopefully, everything goes good and I get picked in one of the four-day games.” NEXT STEP read more
ASTON VILLA VSNORWICH CITYAston Villa have won only one of their past 23 Barclays Premier League games and will be aware that no team with 13 points – Villa’s total – or fewer from 24 games (based on three points for a win) have avoided relegation. However, Norwich last won at Villa Park in the inaugural season of the Premier League, in November 1992. Since that 3-2 victory, Norwich have drawn three and lost three at Villa.LIVERPOOL VSSUNDERLANDLiverpool are unbeaten in their last seven league games against Sunderland, who have gone 284 minutes since scoring against the Reds. The Black Cats have lost five and drawn two since they last won against Liverpool, at the Stadium of Light, in March 2012. Sunderland, are still without Younes Kaboul but Sebastian Larsson undergoes a test after a month out.NEWCASTLE VSWEST BROMNewcastle have lost just once at home to Albion, in December 2011. Overall, the Magpies have won six and drawn two of their nine home Premier League games against the Baggies. Albion have lost only one of their last six league games but three of those were draws. Their goal in the 1-1 draw with Swansea on Tuesday night was their first in three league games.SOUTHAMPTONVS WEST HAMSouthampton held Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, their four successive clean sheet, their best sequence since November 2014. Saints have now gone 388 minutes without conceding. West Ham have lost only one of their last 11 Premier League games, a run extended by the 2-0 midweek win over Aston Villa. However, six of those games were draws.STOKE CITY VSEVERTONStoke City are going through a difficult time. In the space of a week they have gone out of the Capital One Cup – at the semi-final stage – and the FA Cup and, on Tuesday they lost 3-0 at Manchester United, their third game without a win and third without a goal. Everton have a poor Premier League record at Stoke; they last won there in September 2008, while drawing four and losing two of their other six games at the Britannia Stadium.SWANSEA CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACESwansea are unbeaten in their last three games in the Barclays Premier League, winning seven points from a possible nine. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, lost 2-1 at home to Bournemouth on Tuesday, the club’s fifth defeat in a row and seventh game in the league without a win. It is Palace’s worst sequence of defeats since they lost seven in a row between September and November 2013. read more
Western Bureau:Montego Bay United’s (MBU) speed merchant Alan Ottey returned to form, after scoring the opener in his team’s 2-1 win over western rivals FC Reno on Wednesday night, a victory that lifted the club back to the summit of the Red Stripe Premier League.Ottey, who has been out of action since late last year because of injuries, was back in his familiar marauding role up front for MBU, and looked at his dazzling best all night against a Reno defence line that had trouble keeping the speedy forward in check.MBU’s win, their 13th in 25 matches, also snapped Reno’s modest win streak at two, inside the Montego Bay Sports Complex.With 48 points, MBU overtook defending champions Arnett Gardens (46), for leadership of a rather tight Premier League contest so far this season, while Reno remain stuck in eighth place on 30 points, the same as seventh place team Boys’ Town.Ottey, meanwhile, wasted little time to score against an old foe on Wednesday, when he fired home in the eighth minute against a scrambling Reno defence.own goalMercurial midfielder Jermaine Woozencroft scored MBU’s second on the stroke of half-time to make the score 2-0 at the break, but an own goal from John Barrett in injury time gifted Reno a consolation.Reno had little going for them up front, and looked a shadow of the team that had put together a two-match win streak.Rushane Sharpe was clearly not at his best, neither was Afiba Chambers, and that played into MBU’s hands.It was a welcome return to form for Ottey, and the tricky forward’s fifth goal of the season should help improve his confidence.Ottey, who has seen his form for the club dip primarily because of niggling leg injuries recently, has only played a few games this season, but is always a dangerous player when fully fit, as his blistering pace on and off the ball is a constant problem for defenders. read more
The Manchester police recorded its first incident today after a man clad in green stabbed another in the cheek, after a feud developed in Huntley in the constituency of North East Manchester. According to police, the feud allegedly developed after the two met in a minor vehicular accident. The police do not believe it was politically motivated. With no charges yet laid against the accused, the police are awaiting a report from the victim, who had to seek medical attention at the hospital, to ascertain the true cause of the incident. read more