Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 &lsquo;Teddy&rsquo; rolls back the years with impressive displays for Tivoli Gardens http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Teddy--rolls-back-the-years-with-impressive-displays-for-Tivoli-Gardens_82744 By Howard Walker Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com Having watched 36-year-old Jermaine &ldquo;Teddy&rdquo; Johnson set the Red Stripe Premier League alight with some outstanding performances, Tivoli Gardens&rsquo; head coach Omar Edwards believes his star player is ready for a recall to the national team.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Based on how Teddy Johnson is playing he is showing that he is a cut above the Premier League and therefore in my opinion anything is possible,&rdquo; said Edwards, who is also the National Under-17 assistant coach.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s what we have here versus &lsquo;Teddy&rsquo; and if he is a better player, why not? He is really coming to training and giving it his all. He is one of the first players on the pitch and most of the times, the last player off the pitch,&rdquo; Edwards added. <br /> <br /> Johnson was instrumental in Tivoli Gardens&rsquo; 3-2 win over fierce rivals Arnett Gardens on Sunday, scoring a brilliant solo effort.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have managed to see Jermaine &lsquo;Teddy&rsquo; Johnson at his age, continue to run defenders to wreck, continue to give it his very best and he has scored a beauty this afternoon,&rdquo; Edwards beamed.<br /> <br /> Johnson, who made his debut for Jamaica in 2001 and played his last game in 2014 against Panama in a World Cup qualifier, said a recall is not on his mind but is willing to answer the call if selected. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;To be honest, I never really think about it. I never really put a thought to it and I am playing football in Jamaica and if they come for me, I will surely go because you never want to turn down your country,&rdquo; said Johnson, who has scored six goals this season to be joint third top scorer behind both Dino Williams and Shamar Nicholson on seven.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to go and help the country all the time. But I will just continue playing for Tivoli, keep fit and see how long I can go and be positive,&rdquo; said Johnson.<br /> <br /> The skilful player who spent a number of years in England playing for Bolton Wanderers, Oldham Athletics, Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday, had propelled Tivoli Gardens to four consecutive wins and up to third with 26 points. They are just five points adrift of the leaders Montego Bay United.<br /> <br /> Although not jumping the gun, Johnson is quietly confident that Tivoli Gardens can achieve great things this season.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You know Tivoli is up and down. But we will just take it one day at a time and keep positive and just go out there every day and try to get the win or a draw,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Johnson, one of the most skilful and speedy players of his generation, said at his age, his motivation is coming from the younger players around him.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the little young youth I am watching and I feel I just need to help them and work with them and see how far I can go with them because they really want to play some good football,&rdquo; said Johnson. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482829/245343_71840_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Cornwall College celebrate 12th lien on daCosta Cup title http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/CC-s-joy-_82750 BY PAUL A REID Observer writer MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; The joy of winning the ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup title for the first time in 15 years overflowed at the special devotion held at Cornwall College yesterday as the 120-year-old school celebrated a 12th lien.<br /> <br /> Members of the team that beat last year&rsquo;s champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) 2-1 in the final at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Saturday before a massive crowd to end the season with 18 straight daCosta Cup wins, were toasted by the school body, members of staff, the school board, old boys and parents.<br /> <br /> Vendors, hawking flags in the school&rsquo;s red and gold colours, badges with pictures of the players, and plastic horns were early on the scene, and by the look of things made good business.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What a gift,&rdquo; Patrick Reid, chairman of the school&rsquo;s board, said in his short speech. &ldquo;We are reclaiming Montego Bay as our own.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The school&rsquo;s principal, Dr Lennox Rowe, told the cheering students: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great day to be part of the Cornwall College body. You have done your best and we are proud of you.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A large contingent of students and teachers from Mt Alvernia High, the all-girls Catholic school next door, also joined in the celebration that could be heard from several hundred metres away.<br /> <br /> Stacey-Ann Reynolds, the principal at Mt Alvernia, said the schools have worked &ldquo;very well together and we are across the road from each other, and principal to principal this was my gesture of working with the school across the road&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Reynolds, who took over earlier this year, explained: &ldquo;I am from Kingston. I am coming from a football school (St George&rsquo;s College) and a system where schools extend to each other&hellip;we were here and we heard the noise and decided to join the celebrations. I had no second-guessing to send them across, as long as they were safe.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Heroy Clarke, president of the Cornwall College Old Boys-Montego Bay Chapter and Member of Parliament for Central St James, pledged the support of the past students to the team and to the school. &ldquo;The hard work has paid off and going forward we must practise what we did this year and maintain the discipline.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dr Dean Weatherly, who was celebrating his birthday, told the Jamaica Observer he was not surprised that the team went unbeaten in the daCosta Cup.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We did not exceed our expectations. I knew from the beginning and told everybody this is the year we are going to bring the glory back to Cornwall and this is the start of something new,&rdquo; said the coach who led Cornwall to his ninth title on Saturday.<br /> <br /> Dr Weatherly, who explained that as coaches, they set the bar a little higher than normal, &ldquo;to put pressure on ourselves&hellip;going undefeated was one of our goals, the first thing was trying to keep clean sheets, but that went against Green Pond (in the third game of the season) and since that was out of the way, we set a goal of being undefeated all season&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Cornwall College won all 18 games in the daCosta Cup, losing in the FLOW Super Cup final after three wins and also in the semi-finals of the Ben Francis knockout.<br /> <br /> Dr Weatherly lauded the support system at Cornwall College, which he said stepped up to the plate admirably. &ldquo;It was very refreshing to see the holistic approach this year; we had a team psychologist, proper nutrition and living together on campus this year was the right move and this augurs well as, in our analysis of what went wrong over the years, we saw where we came up short.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> It is not perfect yet, he hastened to add. &ldquo;There are things we can tweak here and there so we can maintain what is happening, but this is a good foundation and from here we can only look ahead.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> After a 15-year break in-between titles, he is not willing to wait that long again. &ldquo;This is not a one win and done programme, we can&rsquo;t wait another 10 or 15 years for another daCosta Cup, we have to make it an annual thing, not just compete but achieve and look to making it to finals. We need to make it a dynasty and recapture the Cornwall College spirit of the previous years, winning Olivier Shield as well.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Winning the daCosta Cup, he said, was the main aim. &ldquo;We have no regrets about how the season has gone, the Flow Cup and the Ben Francis are brawta, the daCosta Cup is the real deal and come next year we must make the necessary adjustments we had this year with the number of games we had in a short period of time.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dr Rowe said the daCosta Cup win and the outpouring from the community yesterday was what they hoped for. &ldquo;Our thrust is to unite the school family and to get back that Cornwall College pride and, as you can imagine, this event has helped to firm up what we are trying to accomplish here.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Even before the final, Dr Rowe said the old boys and other well-wishers had stepped up. &ldquo;Even leading up to the final, a lot of the old boys were coming together to support the school, and it will even get better now and the students have shown a certain pride and this will trickle down to the other areas of the school.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482947/245380_71851_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482948/245381_71852_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482943/245382_71853_repro_w300.jpg Dacosta Cup Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Tears of joy for Jamario Hines as CC end long drought for daCosta Cup title http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Tears-of-joy-for-Jamario-Hines-as-CC-end-long-drought-for-daCosta-Cup-title_82747 BY PAUL A REID Observer writer MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Jamario Hines was one of the most relieved players on the field last Saturday as referee Valdin Ledgister blasted his whistle to end the ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup final at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, signalling Cornwall College&rsquo;s 2-1 win over St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).<br /> <br /> Hines, goalkeeper and captain of the Cornwall College team that won their 12th title and first in 15 years, admitted he shed &ldquo;tears of joy as it has been a long journey and a long season&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> By their own admission, Cornwall College underperformed in the last two seasons when they were expected to at least make it to the semi-final stages but fell short.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Yes, it makes up for the last two years, it does a lot,&rdquo; Hines told the Jamaica Observer yesterday as Cornwall College celebrated their victory. &ldquo;It gave us the push we needed to come together more and to be more disciplined and focused on the goals we set for ourselves.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &lsquo;Droopy&rsquo;, as he is nicknamed, added: &ldquo;Winning the daCosta Cup is a good feeling, as last year was tough, but we grew from that and this year we were stronger.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> After winning at the Under-14 and Under-16 levels, taking the all-island title in 2012 before losing to STETHS in the Rural Area Under-16 in 2013, a lot was expected of the Cornwall College team, but last season they were beaten 4-3 by Petersfield High in the inter-zone round at Frome and failed to advance; and in 2014 they were beaten 2-0 by Glenmuir High in the quarter-finals with a team that was ravaged by the viral disease ChikV.<br /> <br /> Interestingly, Hines was the goalkeeper in the 2013 Under-16 final against STETHS that lost and was blamed for his mistake late in extra time that saw STETHS win 1-0.<br /> <br /> On Saturday against a number of the same players he faced three years ago, Hines admitted to being &ldquo;a bit nervous&rdquo; at the start of the game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Coach (Dean Weatherly) told me that it was okay to be a little, it&rsquo;s a good thing as it helps us to remain focused and to think about the game,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But as a unit we were confident and stuck to the game plan.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Jourdaine Fletcher&rsquo;s opening goal in the 73rd minute, he said, &ldquo;was a big relief for me&rdquo; and the final whistle, &ldquo;tears of joy, it was unbelievable, but we finally did it&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He said they really wanted to win all four titles available to them this season, but after losing in the FLOW Super Cup final and the semi-finals of the Ben Francis KO, &ldquo;we went back to the drawing board and looked at mistakes we made and learned from them, and then put those games behind us and moved on&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Hines warned that they are not satisfied with just the daCosta Cup. &ldquo;This was the main cup we wanted but we know what the Olivier Shield means and we want that one as well.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482942/245364_71850_repro_w300.jpg Dacosta Cup Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Dent revels in victory after swapping Green Pond for CC http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Dent-revels-in-victory-after-swapping-Green-Pond-for-CC_82753 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; It&rsquo;s never an easy decision to leave the known for the unknown and when Howard Dent left Green Pond High and transferred to Cornwall College, it was maybe the biggest decision of his life.<br /> <br /> On Saturday, Dent played a solid role in the Cornwall College midfield as they beat St Elizabeth Technical High School 2-1 in the ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup final at the Montego Bay Sports Complex to complete a perfect 18-win season and lifted their 12th title, and their first in 15 years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has been an excellent experience for me,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday as the team celebrated at the Orange Street campus.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I always played against Cornwall and always watched them, but to be a part of this is unforgettable. It has been a long and hard season for all of us and it is unfortunate that we lost in the FLOW Cup (Super) and the Ben Francis, but right now we are celebrating.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The losses, back-to-back, to Wolmer&rsquo;s Boys&rsquo; School in the FLOW Super Cup and to Lennon High in the semi-finals of the Ben Francis knockout was the catalyst for their push to the daCosta Cup title, Dent said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Obviously yes, those losses would have pushed us, the players and the coaching staff, as we knew that not taking home a title this season would have been a disaster,&rdquo; explained Dent, who is one of two players who transferred to Cornwall this season and played mostly at right back before being shifted into the midfield late in the season.<br /> <br /> Dent, who attended Green Pond for six years, from first form to sixth form, said it was not an easy decision leaving the team which he said was like a family. &ldquo;It was a hard decision to leave, but right now I am happy.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &mdash; Paul Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482944/245362_71849_repro_w300.jpg Dacosta Cup Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM MBU train rolls on after late strike http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/MBU-train-rolls-on-after-late-strike_82743 BY PAUL A REID Observer writer TUCKER, St James &mdash; A maiden Red Stripe Premier League goal in time added at the end of the game, gave defending champions and leaders Montego Bay United a 1-0 win over promoted Maverley-Hughenden in a second round game at WesPow Park and extended their winning streak to six games.<br /> <br /> Johann Weatherly, the former Philadelphia Union Academy member, who replaced Jermaine Woozencroft at the start of the second half, buried a shot from close range after the Maverley-Hughenden defence had failed to clear it out of danger and saved his team some blushes.<br /> <br /> Montego Bay United finished the game with 10 players after Fabion McCarthy was red-carded in the 58th minute after he grabbed the legs of a player while lying on the round. That player was heading to goal just on the edge of the penalty area.<br /> <br /> Despite playing most of the second half short-handed, Montego Bay United avenged an opening day 1-2 loss to Maverley-Hughenden and assistant coach Dillon Thelwell admitted his team &ldquo;failed to play at the level we are used to&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Thelwell told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer. &ldquo;I think we came into the game flat as we underestimated them, to be honest, but we are happy for the win, an ugly win is better than a pretty loss.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Maverley-Hughenden&rsquo;s coach Lijyasu Simms was not pleased with the outcome and told the<br /> <br /> Observer. &ldquo;When you get chances and don&rsquo;t take them and when the other team take their chances this is what happens.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The breakdown, he said, came when his defence got the chance to clear the ball away and did not &ldquo;and it cost us&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Montego Bay United improved to 31 points at the top of the table, while Maverley-Hughenden stayed in 10th spot, just one point out of the drop zone.<br /> <br /> A double save by Maverley&rsquo;s goalkeeper Nicholas Campbell in the 10th minute kept MBU off the score sheet as the custodian blocked a header from point blank range then recovered in a split second to save the rebound also from close range.<br /> <br /> Campbell&rsquo;s agility and quick reflexes saved Maverley and captain Andrew Peddlar a lot of embarrassment when the defender inexplicably aimed a curling kick to the top left corner of his own goal in the 29th minute, but the goalkeeper luckily tipped it for a corner.<br /> <br /> MBU had two good scoring chances late in the half, both from good left footed shots &mdash; Zvezden Dordilovic&rsquo;s effort that stayed about six inches off the ground was just wide of the left post in the 38th minute, while Donovan Carey&rsquo;s chance three minutes later was even closer.<br /> <br /> MBU&rsquo;s goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett was called on in the 56th minute to make his first save when he went low to his right to block a header from Andrew Whyte for a corner.<br /> <br /> Maverley-Hughenden should have done better two minutes later as after McCarthy was expelled the resulting free kick was drilled into the wall and blocked for a corner.<br /> <br /> Weatherly made his first impact in the 61st minute when he ran past two defenders down the left flank but his cross was misplayed by Ronaldo Rodney.<br /> <br /> Later in the game in the 84th minute, the diminutive winger again got the better of the tired Maverley defence but his cross was headed wide by Dino Williams.<br /> <br /> Three minutes into the four added on, two MBU players failed to get a loose ball in to six-yard box past a sea of legs and the ball fell nicely to Weatherly to stroke it into the goal. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482881/245344_71830_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482882/245345_71831_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482880/245346_71832_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Boys&rsquo; Town stun Waterhouse 2-1 on Admiral&rsquo;s debut http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Boys--Town-stun-Waterhouse-2-1-on-Admiral-s-debut_82715 BY HURBUN WILLIAMS Observer writer Ten-man Waterhouse FC greeted new coach Glendon &ldquo;Admiral&rdquo; Bailey with another defeat in their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) campaign on Sunday. <br /> <br /> This was not just because of a lack of effort on their part that they went down 1-2 to fellow cellar dwellers Boys&rsquo; Town at Drewsland. It was the act of committing two blatant rudimentary defensive errors at the back that an alert Boys&rsquo; Town attack took advantage of.<br /> <br /> Trevin Garnett in the 13th minute and Andrew Allen in the 75th minute scored for Boys&rsquo; Town, while Andre McFarlane replied in minute 36 for Waterhouse.<br /> <br /> Despite the defeat, Waterhouse remained in 11th position on the RSPL standing on 11 points, while Boys&rsquo; Town moved up to 10 points with the third win of their campaign, but remain rooted at the foot of the pack.<br /> <br /> Bailey inherited a team with grave defensive weaknesses and this, Bailey said, he intends to get cracking on to correct with great immediacy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As you can see we have a good crop of players but my immediate concern is with the defence. Once I get this area of worry tidied up we should be fine. The biggest challenge at present is probably to get the players to understand their roles. And as you would realise it is my first week in charge and it will take some time to put certain measures in place.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is the first game with me in charge and it opened my eyes to a number of things that I will have to remedy. Coming in, I knew it was a challenge, but I really wanted to have this first game under my belt. We have some injuries, but I am not going to make that as an excuse as we have players to come in and fill the gap. But coming in at the middle of the season to get the players to play my type of football will not happen overnight. We will be working at it and we will get it right very soon,&rdquo; Bailey promised.<br /> <br /> Andrew Price, his Boys&rsquo; Town counterpart, lauded the victory: &ldquo;Good tonic for the team. We have not won in a while and we really wanted to go out there today and concentrate. Despite the fact that Waterhouse is where they are on this side of the table they are still a team with some quality.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That made it imperative for us to approach the game with a type of mindset that this will not be a pushover engagement as we are going to play a good team and it will be a dogfight for the entire evening. In our efforts, we showed a lot of character against a tough opponent.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of the things I keep telling the team before each game is that we must find ways to win our games. The players responded fittingly today (Sunday) by putting in the work and as it turned out we emerged victorious,&rdquo; Price said. <br /> <br /> Full points were at a premium for both teams and they duly began aggressively in the hunt for the precious commodity of three points. However, within 13 minutes of the opening whistle, it was Waterhouse who fell behind to a defence-aided Trevin Garnett opening goal while kicking down the slope at the southern end of the ground. Taking the lead was golden for the Collie Smith Drive visitors being a tad more industrious than their hosts in the opening salvo.<br /> <br /> Falling behind so early in a key second-round game shook the home team into remedial action with Andre McFarlane leading the way with his forward thrust and industry. It was therefore not surprising when the former Tivoli Gardens players brought the teams level nine minutes before the interval.<br /> <br /> Playing a high-pressed game, McFarlane met with aplomb, a ball headed firmly into his path by top striker Jermaine Anderson and from a difficult angle inside the area, he blasted the ball past a helpless Boys&rsquo; Town goalkeeper Leon Goffe.<br /> <br /> With everything still to play for, the teams returned for the second half with much grit and determination and Waterhouse showed much more urgency now kicking down the slope. However, nine minutes after the resumption both teams were reduced to 10 players as defenders Irvino English of Waterhouse and Wayne Ellis of Boys&rsquo; Town were given their marching orders for an early shower by the referee, Malica Reid.<br /> <br /> Following the expulsion of the players, the game settled down to better order and once again, Boys&rsquo; Town always on the lookout for goalscoring opportunities caught the Waterhouse defence napping with a fast break. In a one on one situation goalkeeper Rushane Patterson was beaten for the second time in the match to give Boys&rsquo; Town their third win of the campaign. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11470104/Screenshot_2015-02-01-22-18-43-1_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Perfect Neighbour just gets in http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Perfect-Neighbour-just-gets-in_82650 BY OBSERVER RACING WRITER When the final provisional list of runners for the second Diamond Mile race was released on Saturday evening by the promoting company, Caymanas Track Limited, the non-entry of three-year-old filly Pinelope created an opening for former Derby winner, Perfect Neighbour to participate.<br /> <br /> Before the final provisional list was made known on Saturday, Perfect Neighbour, who has not been at his best this season, was standing atop the &lsquo;also eligibles&rsquo;. With the departure of Pinelope,Perfect Neighbour is now in the Diamond Mile, with the Gary Subratie-trained Blue Dixie now topping the also eligible list.<br /> <br /> Following the publication of this last provisional list of runners for the Diamond Mile, nominations take place tomorrow when the final list will be compiled with the draw for post positions and the announcement of jockeys.<br /> <br /> The Diamond Mile is sponsored by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, Supreme Ventures Limited and Caymanas Track Limited. Main associate sponsors are ATL Automotive Limited, ISP Finance Limited and the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Horses are listed above in order of weight and then alphabetically. Note, there can be changes in jockeys&rsquo; assignments at the time of nomination.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482703/245223_71759_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482705/245221_71760_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482523/245226_71761_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482519/245224_71779_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Remembering the first Diamond Mile http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Remembering-the-first-Diamond-Mile_82664 BY OBSERVER RACING WRITER It came as a novelty. There were doubts, there were criticisms of its format, some simply did not believe it was possible. Yet the first staging of the Diamond Mile on December 5, 2015-sponsored by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), Supreme Ventures Limited and Caymanas Track Limited &mdash; was a resounding success.<br /> <br /> The brainchild of then chairman of the BGLC, Gary Peart, the Diamond Mile saw 14 races run on the day and, for the first time ever at Caymanas Park, the minimum purse for each race was $1 million, with the total purse for the Diamond Mile itself being just over $13 million.<br /> <br /> The build-up to the Diamond Mile was something else. All the stakeholders in racing, owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, and punters were filled with great excitement. Preparation and talk were heightened as the big day approached as everyone wanted to win the first-ever Diamond Mile.<br /> <br /> In less than two minutes, Seeking My Dream along with jockey Omar Walker, trainer Wayne DaCosta, owner Derrick Smith and groom Linval McFarlane, wrote themselves into history &mdash; they were the first, the very first winners of the Diamond Mile and nothing can change that fact. <br /> <br /> Then there was the spectacular infield, well-decorated to capture the essence of the day&rsquo;s proceedings. and, of course, the food and drink flowed freely, much to the liking of those who were presentto witness and record history.<br /> <br /> This year, many pundits believe that the Diamond Mile will be even more competitive, but we will just have to wait and see. Saturday, December 10 is the date. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482689/245245_71744_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM High hopes for Brawn http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/High-hopes-for-Brawn_82655 BY HURBUN WILLIAMS Observer writer Trainer Gary Subratie believes his American-bred charge Brawn has the right credentials to represent the stable well in the Diamond Mile at Caymanas Park on Saturday.<br /> <br /> The Diamond Mile, which carries a purse of US$115,000, is sponsored by Supreme Ventures Limited, Caymanas Track Limited, and the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission. Affiliate sponsors include ISP Finance Limited, ATL Automotive Limited and the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Brawn is one of three horses in the line-up secured automatic entry to the race after he was awarded first place in the Invitational Mile last month.<br /> <br /> Since then, Subratie said everything has been going well for his charge, which is ready for the big race.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Brawn has done everything we have asked of him. He is working well, he is physically fit, he looks happy. I am happy going into the race and we are looking for an excellent run from him. We hope that he runs likewise, as that will make his owner feel proud of his participation,&rdquo; Subratie told the Complete Racing Guide.<br /> <br /> However, Subratie raised concerns with the handicap of his horse, who is laden with top weight of 57.0 kilogrammes (126lbs).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think the handicap is a bad handicap. It should not be for imported American horses that run competitively here. Horses imported to run in the race, yes, but imported horses that run in local races on a daily basis and carry 51.0kg when competing against Grade One horses that carry top weight of 57.0kg, should not be handicapped for the Diamond Mile as a horse that is brought in to run in the race. It&rsquo;s a total turnaround&rdquo;, Subratie observed.<br /> <br /> The Complete Racing Guide also caught up with owner Michael Bernard, and he shared his thoughts.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are certainly happy to have made it into the race, being the richest race on the calendar for the year, and I believe our horse has an outstanding chance of winning. We are expecting the jockey to give of his best on that day and then we will see what the outcome will be.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our horse is in good shape and in good condition to perform and there are great expectations. Certainly, we are not satisfied that our horse is being given more weight than some others, even though there are other horses in the race that are higher rated than ours in terms of being top Grade One performers. Nonetheless, we are going to give it our best shot and see where it takes us.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Separate and apart from a few quirks, here and there, this is a very attractive race. It is certainly a race that, as stakeholders, we are happy that the promoters have decided to put on, and we certainly would like to see more of it as we would look forward to it. So, this is a good thing,&rdquo; Bernard said. <br /> <br /> Commenting on the chances of his other runner Awesome Destiny, Subratie said: &ldquo;If she runs like how she ran to win the United Racehorse Trainers&rsquo; Association of Jamaica over nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m), she is going to run a big race in the Diamond Mile. She is really a nice horse, a very special horse with a lot of talent.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482543/245232_71775_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482538/245231_71776_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482539/245230_71777_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482544/245229_71778_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482519/245224_71779_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM It&rsquo;s Pontius Pilate, but only just http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/It-s-Pontius-Pilate--but-only-just_82661 BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter The win by Pontius Pilate in the Andrew HB Aguilar Memorial Cup was anticipated, however, the manner of victory was far from what trainer Anthony Nunes was expecting from his chestnut colt.<br /> <br /> The well-bred Pontius Pilate (Forest Danger &ndash; Sea Treaty), under Dick Cardenas, after gaining the lead approaching the home stretch, drew away from the field somewhat and began to come back in the final stages of the race.<br /> <br /> Pontius Pilate, under strong urging, managed to hold off the challenge of Proud Of Nuclear (Aaron Chatrie) by three parts of a length in a time of 1:41.0 minutes over 1,600 metres.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am disappointed totally with his (Pontius Pilate) performance. He is capable of a whole lot more than we saw today (Saturday). I might just write this down as being young and green, and hopefully, with time, he will mature,&rdquo; Nunes said.<br /> <br /> When asked if his charge would be ready to compete in the Supreme Ventures Limited Two-Year-Old Stakes on Boxing Day, Nunes was emphatic in his response: &ldquo;No. I doubt that very much. I am just happy that he won for the owners, but the future is what we look forward to with these two-year-olds.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Cardenas expressed a similar view.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Pontius Pilate performed good in the race, but I think he can do much more than what he did. But he did what he had to do to win today (Saturday) and he will only get better from here on.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I got a good break, but when I saw that Radical was challenging for the lead, I held back my horse and took over the race at the half mile, and he just held on for the win in the end,&rdquo; Cardenas explained.<br /> <br /> Nunes has so far trained four of the five offspring of Sea Treaty and has so far logged Derby wins with Technomoto in Jamaica and with Academy Award, a colt by Performing Magic, in Trinidad, last year. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482525/245236_71790_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM St George&rsquo;s edge Ardenne 51-49 in ISSA High Schools U-19 basketball http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/St-George-s-edge-Ardenne-51-49-in-ISSA-High-Schools-U-19-basketball_82765 BY GERALD REID Observer writer ST GEORGE&rsquo;S College beat Ardenne High 51-49 as the 2016 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Southern Basketball Conference (SBC) High Schools Under-16 and Under-19 League got under way at St George&rsquo;s College yesterday.<br /> <br /> The North Street aggregation was led by a game-high 32 points from Samora Williams, which rallied them to victory. It was the second time St George&rsquo;s were beating Ardenne in the Under-19 competition.<br /> <br /> Winning coach Clifford Brown was pleased with St George&rsquo;s comeback in the fourth quarter after Ardenne had led throughout the entire game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a good game for St George&rsquo;s, as Ardenne had the better of play until the players came through with a late charge, especially through Williams&rsquo; scoring. The team has lost only two matches this season in the preliminary round to Calabar High and St Jago High, but that is now history,&rdquo; Brown said.<br /> <br /> He said this play-off series is what the team is concentrating on mostly as they look towards reaching the semi-finals. &ldquo;The team has two remaining matches to play against defending champions St Catherine High and Kingston College, and we are looking forward to winning both games.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, losing coach Basil Barrett said the players just stopped playing in the final quarter and allowed St George&rsquo;s College to come back into the game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The players now will have to win their other two remaining matches if they want to qualify for the semi-finals. We have Kingston College and St Catherine as our next two opponents,&rdquo; Barrett said.<br /> <br /> Ardenne gained a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and held a narrow two-point lead at the half-time break, 22-20. The third quarter was evenly contested between both teams with Ardenne holding a 43-38 lead at that break.<br /> <br /> The fourth quarter became more crucial for the teams as they went hustling for baskets, with St George&rsquo;s College closing in at 43-44 before taking the lead for the first time of the match at 45-44.<br /> <br /> A ding-dong tussle then ensured with Williams being the outstanding player for St George&rsquo;s College with his accurate shooting. Ardenne led 49-48 with 38 seconds remaining, but Williams managed to score his two free-throw shots at the line to put his team in the lead 50-49 before going on to win an exciting game by two points.<br /> <br /> The top scorers for Ardenne were D&rsquo;Andre Forbes with 23 points and Matthew Lee with 15 points.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Under-16 match was not played as there was only one official present for the start.<br /> <br /> Zone A in the Under-16 comprises Campion College, Calabar High, St Jago High, and Camperdown High, while Zone B is made up of defending champions St Catherine High, St George&rsquo;s College, Kingston College, and Ardenne High.<br /> <br /> In the Under-19 category, Zone A features defending champions Calabar High, Camperdown High, St Jago High, and Campion College, while Zone B is made up of St George&rsquo;s College, Ardenne High, Kingston College, and St Catherine High.<br /> <br /> The Zone winners and runners-up will advance into the semi-finals in the Under-16 and Under-19 competitions. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482919/245397_71856_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Racing photos - December 6, 2016 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Racing-photos---December-6--2016_82647 Exercise rider Shane Richardson (fourth right) with family and friends after winning on-board Williston last Saturday at Caymanas Park.<br /> <br /> A family affair at the track. <br /> <br /> Getting into the thick of things at the racetrack.<br /> <br /> These ladies are enjoying their time in the winners&rsquo; enclosure. <br /> <br /> A sprinter in the making (Photos: Naphtali Junior) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482876/245213_71767_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482875/245214_71766_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482873/245216_71764_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482874/245212_71768_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482872/245215_71765_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Hyde brilliance propels Towers Hybrid to Sagicor UWI Guild Champions League title http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Hyde-brilliance-propels-Towers-Hybrid-to-Sagicor-UWI-Guild-Champions-League-title_82546 A brilliant treble from Olympic 400-metre hurdler Jaheel Hyde propelled Towers Hybrid to an emphatic 5-2 win over the Dragons, to win the Sagicor Bank UWI Guild Champions League 2016 title last Friday at the Mona Bowl. <br /> <br /> Hyde also walked away with the league MVP and Golden Boot awards as his team claimed the $150,000 cash prize and Sagicor Champions League trophy for the first time. Dragons walked away with the runner-up cash prize of $50,000. Earlier Block Che came from behind to earn a 2-1 victory over Stallion Republic in the third-place game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I could have scored only one goal today, it really doesn&rsquo;t matter as long as my team came away with the win,&rdquo; said Hyde. <br /> <br /> Coming off a rampant four-goal semi-finals performance, it took the Rio Olympics 400m hurdles semi-finalist only six minutes to get on the scoresheet as he powered a 20-yard freekick into the top left of the net. <br /> <br /> That only lasted a minute, as Dragons equalised through Matthew Walker who capitalised on some dodgy goalkeeping and pounced on a loose ball to tap home from three yards. Hybrid then regained the lead on minute 38 as Hyde showcased his Olympian speed and latched onto a through pass before finishing sharply with a hard, low strike, to the keeper&rsquo;s right.<br /> <br /> Dominic Smikle then put Hybrid 3-1 ahead in the 53rd minute as he was the first to react to a shot blocked by Dragon&rsquo;s goalkeeper, Ledon Evans, and slotted the ball into the goal. Hyde continued to plague the Dragon&rsquo;s defence and completed his hat-trick after robbing a defender of the ball and firing a low shot into the goal to score his seventh goal in two games. He then turned provider as his freekick from the right was directed in by D&rsquo;Antonio Morris for a 5-1 lead. Dragons managed to pull one back through Captain Justin Gordon-Martin, who scored from the penalty spot in the 65th minute for a final score of 5-2.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a wonderful tournament from start to finish. We were treated to some exciting matches with a lot of quality on display and you can see the camaraderie and excitement on and off the field. This captures the vision we had, to have a student body engaged in competition that benefits their physical health and holistic development while offering an exciting experience,&rdquo; said Terron Dewar, brand manager Sagicor Bank, title sponsors of the league. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482854/245351_71839_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482857/245350_71838_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Coach Peart lauds impact of UWI&rsquo;s subs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Coach-Peart-lauds-impact-of-UWI-s-subs_82734 BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver.com Not very often are football enthusiasts treated to an entertaining Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) encounter where all three substitutes from one team positively impact the outcome.<br /> <br /> The University of the West Indies (UWI) had such fortune on Sunday when three of only five players on their bench inspired a 4-1 victory over 10-man Portmore United at Spanish Town Prison Oval.<br /> <br /> Despite the numerical advantage, UWI FC were briefly made to toil before second half goals from Davion Garrison (61st), substitutes Andrae Bernal (72nd), Jerondy Henry (78th) and Dawyne Smith (83rd), propelled them to a third-consecutive win and continue their rich vein of form.<br /> <br /> Jovan East got the consolation for last year&rsquo;s beaten finalist in the 84th minute.<br /> <br /> Andrew Peart, assistant coach, lauded his team for a stellar performance, in particular the substitutes who played a vital role in ensuring that UWI comfortably made amends for a 0-1 loss when hosting the same opponents on last.<br /> <br /> Bernal, who replaced Jamie Robinson in the attack on the resumption, supplied a weighted cross for Garrison to break the deadlock, before etching his name on the scoresheet with a delicate effort from the edge of the 18-yard area which left the custodian beaten at his far post.<br /> <br /> The lanky centre forward, sporting the number 16 jersey, was pulled from the attack shortly after due to an injury and made way for the deceptive Henry, who notched his first goal for the club when he drove home a right-footer from deep inside the area five minutes upon his entry.<br /> <br /> Another substitute in Kemar Cummings took over duties from Garrison and though not getting on the scoresheet was critical in assisting Smith to cap off the emphatic victory.<br /> <br /> Peart, the tactician who is also the assistant to Miguel Coley at Jamaica College, believes the productivity and effectiveness of the substitutes augur well for the competitiveness of the team going forward.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a creditable performance from the team to get all three points away to a team like Portmore United, particularly the performances of the players that came on and impacted the game. That is the best result any coach could ask for in making substitutions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So going forward those players will have a little bit more confidence to try and push for a starting place and to create an even more competitive team so that should do well for us going forward,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer in a post-game interview on Sunday.<br /> <br /> Even though it is still early days yet with the season being 14 games old, the Marcel Gayle-conditioned UWI FC have already asserted themselves as a main contender for a semi-final spot in this their second season in the nation&rsquo;s top flight league.<br /> <br /> After improving their away record to five wins from seven games, they held firm in second position on the 12-team standing with 29 points, two points behind champions Montego Bay United on 31.<br /> <br /> Their statistics of nine wins, two draws and three losses so far this season represent a significant improvement from a fairly poor start at the same point last season where they had five wins, four draws and five losses. They eventually ended that debut season in fifth position, one point shy of a semi-final spot.<br /> <br /> Peart attributed a high level of determination and desire to excel on the part of the players as the main formula for their success rate thus far.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Being second at this point is a good look for us, but we will continue to take it game by game. Most people didn&rsquo;t expect us last year to make the run that we did and this year to have the start that we are now having.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So it is game by game for us; we are not thinking about an end result as yet, we just take it in strides. So for now we are focusing on recovering and preparing for the next game,&rdquo; Peart noted.<br /> <br /> He continued: &ldquo;We have a bunch of guys who want to do well personally and they want to make an impact for the university seeing that we are a fairly new team in the league despite this being our second season.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So it is the desire and the ambition from the players that really propel us. Yes, we have other contributing factors, but once you have motivated players it all spells well for the team.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482828/245338_71842_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482832/245342_71841_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Cardenas prepares for Diamond Mile in style http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Cardenas-prepares-for-Diamond-Mile-in-style_82652 BY HURBUN WILLIAMS OBSERVER WRITER Currently based at Turfway Park in Kentucky, Panamanian-born Dick Cardenas, a former Jamaica champion jockey who rode Mark My Word to Triple Crown glory for trainer Richard Azan in 2010, returned to his happy hunting ground to post two winners on the 10-race card for trainer Anthony Nunes at Caymanas Park last Saturday.<br /> <br /> While riding in Jamaica between 2008 and 2014, Cardenas rode for leading trainers Anthony Nunes, Richard Azan and Wayne DaCosta. He went by the winning post in front nearly 600 times. <br /> <br /> During his stay, he won the jockeys&rsquo; championship in 2011 and returned to the island recently to fulfil a short riding engagement with the Nunes stables. He will pilot Bigdaddykool in the ultra-rich Diamond Mile, which is scheduled to be run on Saturday, December 10 at Caymanas Park.<br /> <br /> Cardenas will leave the island shortly afterwards to complete his riding engagements at Turfway Park.<br /> <br /> The Complete Racing Guide caught up with Cardenas following his impressive win aboard the Nunes-trained Mesmerize to open the 10-race card.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s nice to be back home and renew acquaintances with racing fans by winning with my first mount. It was, after all, not a difficult ride. I just followed the instructions of my trainer to keep in front. I did that and got the job done.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The feeling is great, it always pleases me to ride here in front of my home crowd. I love riding in Jamaica, however, I cannot say whether I will come back to ride in Jamaica very soon as I am engaged elsewhere, but any little chance I get to ride in Jamaica, I will not hesitate to accept the invitation,&rdquo; Cardenas said.<br /> <br /> Cardenas completed the double aboard Pontius Pilate in the Andrew HG Aguilar Memorial Cup feature over 1,600 metres. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482701/245227_71763_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Just being in the race means I have a chance &ndash; jockey Orlando Foster http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Just-being-in-the-race-means-I-have-a-chance---jockey-Orlando-Foster_82666 BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter When the gates open on Saturday at Caymanas Park, jockey Orlando &ldquo;Chucky&rdquo;Foster will be riding in his second Diamond Mile.<br /> <br /> This year&rsquo;s Diamond Mile Race is sponsored by Supreme Ventures Limited, Caymanas Track Limited and the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, with associate sponsors ISP Finance Limited, ATL Automotive Limited and the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> In the inaugural running of the US$115,000 Diamond Mile Race, Foster rode the Wayne DaCosta-trained Fortuneonehundred to a seventh-place finish behind Seeking My Dream.<br /> <br /> But when Foster takes a leg up on Hover Craft &mdash;also trained by DaCosta &mdash; in the 1,600-metre event, he feels he has an outside chance of upsetting the more fancied rivals in the race.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;First of all, I am very grateful for the second chance of riding in the Diamond Mile. It is a very wonderful and amazing feeling and I must thank the trainer for giving me the opportunity to represent his stables again. And by just being in the race, you know you have a chance,&rdquo; Foster said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Diamond Mile itself is a very wonderful and competitive race as everyone is going for the win. All owners, trainers, jockeys and grooms want to win this race and so they are coming fully loaded to perform well.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This race is also good for the racing industry, as it will attract more and new faces to the track due to the competitiveness and well-presented race day,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Foster, based on the training of his mount, believes that once the race day plan goes according to script, he will have an outside shot of taking home a piece of the pie and maybe even winning.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He (Hover Craft) has been training really well going into the Diamond Mile. He worked Sunday morning in 1:02.0 minutes very easily; he is ready to give his best. I do not doubt myself, I am a very good rider and I can do my thing. All I need is the rides to show my real talent. I have shown time and again that I am capable of getting the job done.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Hover Craft is a stretch- running horse who will be coming at them in the final stages of the race. The headline is going to be fast and I am just hoping that I am close enough to land a blow when it matters the most,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482691/245244_71740_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482523/245226_71761_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482692/245225_71742_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482519/245224_71779_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Will the &lsquo;Dream&rsquo; come true for Steven Todd? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Will-the--Dream--come-true-for-Steven-Todd-_82657 BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter Trainer Steven Todd is having an incredible season on the track this year.<br /> <br /> He has already saddled 28 winners to be in third position behind champion trainer Wayne DaCosta and Anthony Nunes, based on the number of winners.<br /> <br /> To make things even better, Todd will have a horse competing in the Supreme Ventures Limited and Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission-sponsored Diamond Mile now that his charge, Dreamcometrue has been added to the field based on the graded earnings list of contenders.<br /> <br /> The Diamond Mile, co-sponsored by ISP Finance Limited, ATL Automotive Limited and the Jamaica Observer, takes place at Caymanas Park this Saturday, December 10.<br /> <br /> Todd said that he is honoured to have a chance to run in the most prestigious horse race in the country.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The feeling to have a horse participating in the Diamond Mile is good, it is a great feeling.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We were anticipating a much better performance from her (Dreamcometrue ) than in the Caribbean Sprint Championship on Superstkaes Day, but instead we got a poor run.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She didn&rsquo;t show any signs of stress though, and so we are still preparing her for the Diamond Mile,&rdquo; Todd told the<br /> <br /> Complete Racing Guide.<br /> <br /> Todd said training has been going well for his charge, and he expects a much better showing from her as the journey of a mile is not of much concern.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She has been doing well at exercise. Since the Caribbean Sprint Championship, she has been training light to recover from the race.<br /> <br /> She has raced this long already but didn&rsquo;t run well; however, the owner says he wants her to try the Diamond Mile, so we are going to try the Diamond Mile and we are just hoping that she gives us a good run,&rdquo; Todd explained.<br /> <br /> Dreamcometrue has been the star in Todd&rsquo;s barn this season, winning four races from 15 starts, including a victory over<br /> <br /> Mom&rsquo;s Student,Force De Jour and Brawn in the Open Allowance Betting,Gaming and Lotteries Commission Trophy over five and a half furlongs (1,100m) on August 1.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She has won the most races for me this season and she is also the best horse that I have trained so far in my career.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Ability-wise, Dreamcometrue is far superior to the other horses that I have in the stables. She is easy to train and she always gives her best each time she races, plus she is consistent as well,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Dreamcometrue will be ridden in the Diamond Mile by Jemar Jackson. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482522/245234_71786_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482524/245233_71787_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482519/245224_71779_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482523/245226_71761_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Racing news&hellip;Racing news&hellip;Racing news... Racing news&hellip;Racing news http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Racing-news-Racing-news-Racing-news----Racing-news-Racing-news_82659 TEN HORSES CLAIMED ON SATURDAY <br /> <br /> Ten horses were claimed on the 10-race programme at Caymanas Park last Saturday. <br /> <br /> Mesmerize was claimed from Anthony Nunes by Gary Griffiths for Dennis Williams for $210,000; Stormonthesea was claimed from Michael McIntosh by Winchester McIntosh for Warrington McLean for $250,000; Twilight Citizen was taken from Donovan Plummer by Gary Crawford for Ian Parsard for $250,000, and St Bernard was claimed from Lawrence Freemantle by Robert Darby Snr for Raphael Gordon for $250,000 from the first race.<br /> <br /> Fiftyonestorm was claimed by Oniel Markland for Michael Howard for $350,000 from Albert Chong, while Frankenstorm was claimed from Paul Smith by Johnny Wilmot for Carlton Watson, also for $350,000 from the third race.<br /> <br /> In the fourth race, Scoop Jordyne was taken from Lawrence Freemantle by Johnny Wilmot for Sydney Roman, and<br /> <br /> Dinner By Seven was claimed from Steven Todd by Lorne Kirlew for Carl Blake. Both horses were claimed for $550,000.<br /> <br /> Ryan Darby claimed Moneyneversleeps for Raphael Gordon for $180,000 from Neive Graham, and Maurice Crooks claimed<br /> <br /> Meet Justin for himself from Johnny Wilmot for $180,000 from the seventh race.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> THREE-TIMER FOR ANTHONY NUNES<br /> <br /> In-form trainer Anthony Nunes continued to demonstrate his conditioning skills when he saddled three winners on Saturday&rsquo;s 10-race programme.<br /> <br /> Nunes got things going after Mesmerize (Dick Cardenas) made all the running to win the first race over 1,200 metres by 14 lengths in a quick 1:12.2 minutes.<br /> <br /> Nunes got his second in the very next race when Linton Steadman steered Hey Champ to victory ahead of stable companion<br /> <br /> Ruby Rose over 1,600 metres.<br /> <br /> The cap came in the ninth race, the Andrew HB Aguilar Memorial Cup, when Pontius Pilate, ridden by Cardenas, just hung on by three-quarters of a length from Proud Of Nuclear in the 1,600-metre event.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> WILLINSTON, GRANDE MARQUE WIN STABLE RIDERS&rsquo; RACE<br /> <br /> Willinston and Grande Marque won both sections of the 800-metre Caymanas Track Limited Stable Riders&rsquo; Race at Caymanas Park last Saturday.<br /> <br /> Owned and trained by Winchester McIntosh and ridden by Shane Richardson, Willinston made all to win section one by seven lengths.<br /> <br /> With Oshane Nugent riding for Andrew McDonald, Grande Marque got the better of Lovetta Jones (J Steadman) by a head in a driving finish. Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Lara set to headline Festival of Cricket again http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Lara-set-to-headline-Festival-of-Cricket-again_82718 PERTH, Australia (CMC) &mdash; Former West Indies captain Brian Lara will headline Western Australia&rsquo;s Festival of Cricket for a third-straight year when he turns out in the Twenty20 exhibition match on December 13.<br /> <br /> The iconic left-hander will line up alongside several former stars like Australians Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting, in the game against Perth Scorchers.<br /> <br /> Former South Africa stroke-maker Herschelle Gibbs is also expected to fly in for the event.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Festival of Cricket presents the public and corporates with a unique opportunity to not only watch a high-quality T20 match in a relaxed, social environment, but also to mix and mingle with many current and past greats of the game,&rdquo; Gilchrist said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The chance to run around with a bunch of old mates and pit ourselves against the Scorchers is exciting and sure to be entertaining for all.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Lara has proven the star of the event in the two previous fixtures, showing he had lost little of his touch by carving out half-centuries on each occasion.<br /> <br /> He is regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his era, amassing 11,953 runs from 131 Tests to be the West Indies all-time leading run-scorer.<br /> <br /> The game, carded for Aquinas College Ground, also serves as a warm-up for Scorchers ahead of their Big Bash League campaign. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11956534/Lara_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM BOJ, Scotiabank dominate Business House 3-on-3 Basketball Awards http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/BOJ--Scotiabank-dominate-Business-House-3-on-3-Basketball-Awards_82717 BY GERALD REID Observer writer BANK of Jamaica (BOJ) and Scotiabank dominated the 2016 Business House Basketball Association (BHBA) 3-on-3 Division One and Two Leagues, respectively, at the awards ceremony held at the National Housing Trust (NHT) last Saturday night.<br /> <br /> Kwame Lawrence of BOJ was named the most valuable player (MVP) in the Division One League best-of-five finals, where they dethroned NHT 3-1 to capture the title.<br /> <br /> Omari Green was named the most valuable player (MVP) in the Division Two League best-of-five finals in which his team defeated Cari-Med Limited 3-1 to win the title.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in the Division One League awards, Christopher Jennings of NHT and Lawrence of BOJ were joint MVPs for the season.<br /> <br /> Keneil Allen of the Gleaner Company was the top scorer of the competition for the season, while Allen again won the award for being the top three-point shooter.<br /> <br /> Jennings and Jermaine Garricks of Grace Food Processors (Cannings) were named joint MVP in the Division One League best-of-three play-offs, with both receiving trophies.<br /> <br /> Garricks and Cordell Grant of Sagicor Life &lsquo;A&rsquo; were joint top scorers in the best-of-three play-offs, while Michael Blake of NHT was the top three-point shooter. Anthony White of BOJ was the top rebounder.<br /> <br /> Rohan Robinson was named the top coach in the Division One League, while Claudine Harriott-Smith of BOJ was named top manager.<br /> <br /> The Division One League Trophy was retired to four-time champions Grace (Cannings) Food Processors Limited as former Jamaica National representative Michael Minto, who is based in the United States, has donated two new championship trophies to the BHBA which were presented to the champions at the presentation ceremony.<br /> <br /> In the Division Two League awards, Omari Green of Scotiabank was named the MVP, while Garvin Reid of Cari-Med Limited took the award for being the top scorer in the best-of-five series finals.<br /> <br /> Reid and Kevin Lamey of Scotiabank were joint top three-point shooters, while the top rebounder award was shared between Green and Michael Jackson of Cari-Med Limited.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in the Division Two League season, Brent Johnson of JMMB Merchant Bank took the award for being the MVP.<br /> <br /> Deano Hibbert of Urban Development Corporation (UDC) was the top scorer, while the top three-point shooter was Jamion Shreeves of Financial Services Commission of Jamaica.<br /> <br /> In the Division Two League best-of-three play-offs, Johnson was awarded the MVP trophy, with Gerville Bruce of Cari-Med the top scorer, and Lamey winning the top three-point shooter trophy.<br /> <br /> Omar Barnes of Scotiabank was named the top coach in the Division Two League season, while Sonia Webhy of UDC was the top manager.<br /> <br /> Earlier in the season, BOJ won the opening rally from Seprod Limited and Guardsman Group Limited. They took home the Dress Parade Trophy ahead of Jamaica National Building Society and National Commercial Bank.<br /> <br /> BOJ won the Division One League from National Housing Trust, with third place going to Grace Food Processors (Cannings) Limited.<br /> <br /> The Division Two League title was won by Scotiabank Group Limited from Cari-Med Limited and third place going to UDC.<br /> <br /> Major Clifton Lumsden, president of the BHBA, said it was a very successful season, despite not playing matches on a good basketball surface.<br /> <br /> He congratulated the league champions and also all 25 teams that participated in the competition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was really pleased with the level of discipline from the players, as no report was received by the BHBA executive committee and no decisive action was taken against any player,&rdquo; Major Lumsden said.<br /> <br /> The BHBA said there are times when players and coaches complain about the quality of referees, but added that they will always have these complaints about the interpretation of the rules.<br /> <br /> He hoped that more business house private companies would come on board next season.<br /> <br /> Certificates were presented to all the participating teams in both divisions. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482851/245334_71836_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482848/245336_71837_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Dottin confident of better season for Heat http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Dottin-confident-of-better-season-for-Heat_82720 BRISBANE, Australia (CMC) &mdash; West Indies Women&rsquo;s star Deandra Dottin is backing herself to hit the straps for Brisbane Heat in the Women&rsquo;s Big Bash League starting later this month.<br /> <br /> The all-rounder turned out for Perth Scorchers in the inaugural season last year, but failed to make an impression in six outings, scoring just 75 runs and taking five wickets.<br /> <br /> However, Dottin believes she can be a major asset in all departments for the Heat in the upcoming campaign, which runs from December 10 until January 28, next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to be way better than last year. I can&rsquo;t really say much about last season because it was a rush,&rdquo; said the 25-year-old.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve come to do my best as usual &hellip; batting and bowling and helping the team to get as far as (they) can.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dottin is already in camp with the Heat and has been impressing management with her energy in the nets.<br /> <br /> She will campaign alongside the likes of Australia internationals Beth Mooney, Delissa Kimmince and Jessica Jonassen.<br /> <br /> Barbadian Dottin has been in decent form of late, managing a half-century against India women in a three-match, one-day series in Vijayawada last month, while also picking up a few wickets.<br /> <br /> She was a key member of the Caribbean side that won the Twenty20 (T20)World Cup in India last April, scoring 129 runs from six games and taking nine wickets with her medium pace.<br /> <br /> Overall, Dottin has scored 1,805 runs and taken 39 wickets in 91 T20 Internationals (T20I).<br /> <br /> She shot to stardom six years ago when she became the first woman cricketer to score a century in the Twenty20 World Cup.<br /> <br /> The right-hander still holds the record for the fastest T20I hundred off just 38 balls. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12649057/Cricket-3_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Pacer Joseph in line for first game of new season http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Pacer-Joseph-in-line-for-first-game-of-new-season_82719 BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) &mdash; Test fast bowler Alzarri Joseph is set to make his first appearance in the Regional Four-Day championship, after being named in the Leeward Islands Hurricanes&rsquo; 13-man squad for next weekend&rsquo;s fourth-round game against Windward Islands Volcanoes.<br /> <br /> The 20-year-old has replaced seamer Quinton Boatswain and is the only change to the squad from the last round against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.<br /> <br /> Joseph, who has played two Tests and two One-Day Internationals, has been unavailable ever since returning home from the tour against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.<br /> <br /> His presence, however, will be a boost to the Hurricanes bowling attack, which has so far revolved around off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.<br /> <br /> Hurricanes, who have struggled badly in recent campaigns, have made a strong start to the season and lie third on 29.4 points, behind leaders Guyana Jaguars on 33.6 points and the second-placed Barbados Pride on 33.4.<br /> <br /> They are one of two unbeaten teams along with Pride.<br /> <br /> Out-of-favour West Indies opener Kieran Powell will continue to lead the side with Cornwall as his deputy.<br /> <br /> Hurricanes take on Volcanoes at Windsor Park in Dominica.<br /> <br /> SQUAD &ndash; Kieran Powell (captain), Rahkeem Cornwall (vice-captain), Keacy Carty, Montcin Hodge, Chesney Hughes, Nkrumah Bonner, Jahmar Hamilton, Hayden Walsh Jr, Jacques Taylor, Akeem Saunders, Alzarri Joseph, Gavin Tonge, Jeremiah Louis. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10677419/cricket-ball_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Blatter suffers one last defeat over FIFA http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Blatter-suffers-one-last-defeat-over-FIFA_82724 Lausanne, Switzerland (AFP) &mdash; Sport&rsquo;s highest court yesterday rejected the appeal of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter against a six-year ban signalling the end of his efforts to clear his name.<br /> <br /> The 80-year-old former football powerbroker was ousted over a two million Swiss franc (US$2-million/1.8- million euro) payment to UEFA boss Michel Platini which the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) called an &ldquo;undue gift&rdquo; that could not be justified.<br /> <br /> Blatter called the verdict &ldquo;incomprehensible&rdquo; but also acknowledged that he has come to the end of the road in his fight to clear his name.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I will not be appealing in a Swiss court,&rdquo; he told AFP, turning his back on what would have been his last legal recourse.<br /> <br /> Earlier, however, he maintained that guilt had not been proven.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is difficult to follow it, because the principle of jurisdiction &mdash; culpability has to be proven by prosecution &mdash; was not applied,&rdquo; Blatter said in a statement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nevertheless I look back with gratitude to all the years in which I was able to realise my ideals for football and serve FIFA,&rdquo; added the Swiss official widely condemned by critics during his 18 years as head of the world football body.<br /> <br /> The payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried out a decade earlier without any contract led to the downfall of both men. Platini had been expected to take over from Blatter, but has also seen multiple appeals rejected by tribunals and courts.<br /> <br /> Blatter could face more trouble as he remains under investigation by Swiss prosecutors over the payment and for the way in which the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.<br /> <br /> Blatter and Platini said they had an &ldquo;oral contract&rdquo; for the payment. This was firmly dismissed by the CAS, which also said Blatter must pay a 50,000 Swiss franc fine.<br /> <br /> The tribunal ruled that a written employment contract established between Platini and FIFA in 1999 voided any oral agreement concluded between Blatter and Platini in 1998 allowing for a one-million Swiss franc a year salary.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Accordingly, by approving a payment of two million Swiss francs to Mr Platini in 2011 for the balance of work carried out under the alleged oral agreement, Mr Blatter breached the FIFA code of ethics.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> It said &ldquo;the payment amounted to an undue gift as it had no contractual basis.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The panel further found that Mr Blatter unlawfully awarded contributions to Mr Platini under the FIFA executive committee retirement scheme which also amounted to an undue gift.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Blatter, who still uses his FIFA limousine, and Platini have now both had all appeals rejected by FIFA&rsquo;s ethics court and CAS. Blatter&rsquo;s suspension has been reduced from eight years to six and Platini from eight to four years.<br /> <br /> French football legend Platini has taken a case to the Swiss courts and Blatter could have done the same. But the civil courts are reluctant to get involved in international disputes, according to experts, and Blatter has decided against that option.<br /> <br /> FIFA and UEFA meanwhile have launched campaigns to cleanse their tainted images under new leaders who have promised reform.<br /> <br /> FIFA is now led by Gianni Infantino who has embarked on major changes at the world football body including replacing many staff employed in the Blatter era.<br /> <br /> FIFA said only that it had &ldquo;taken note&rdquo; of the CAS verdict. <br /> <br /> Aleksander Ceferin has taken over at UEFA also promising a new era of transparency.<br /> <br /> The air of corruption has not completely cleared however.<br /> <br /> More details of the commercial underbelly of sport are expected when US courts start sentencing 39 football and marketing officials accused of involvement in more than $200 million of bribes for television and other commercial contracts.<br /> <br /> Blatter&rsquo;s air of invincibility ended when Swiss police raided a Zurich hotel in May 2015 to detain seven FIFA officials who are now among the defendants in the United States. The arrests came on the eve of his re-election as FIFA president and he was suspended months later. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11045157/fifa_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, December 06, 2016 12:00 AM Roses wither as Sunshine Girls cop series http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Roses-wither-as-Sunshine-Girls-cop-series_82630 The Jamaica Sunshine Girls beat the England Roses 64-57 in the final and deciding Test of the three-Test Vitality International Netball series to cap an impressive 2-1 series victory.<br /> <br /> In the third Test, Jamaica led at the half, 33-29. however, England, with the support of the home crowd, roared back to level the scores 46-46 at the end of the third quarter.<br /> <br /> After lively exchanges at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the England Roses crumbled under pressure towards the end of the quarter. The Sunshine Girls showed extreme composure and surged ahead emphatically to win 64-57.<br /> <br /> The Sunshine Girls won the first Test 66-49 in London, but went down in the second Test 63-50 in Manchester to set up the thrilling decider in Coventry at the Ricoh Arena.<br /> <br /> Jamaica&rsquo;s goal attack Shanice Beckford copped the Player of the Match honours in the third Test, while Jamaica&rsquo;s goal shooter Jhanelle Fowler-Reid was awarded the Player of the Series title. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Zaheer Clarke http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13480458/245168_71717_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, December 05, 2016 12:00 AM &lsquo;Teddy&rsquo; inspires TG to win over Arnett http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Teddy--inspires-TG-to-win-over-Arnett_82644 Two goals in four minutes propelled Tivoli Gardens to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Arnett Gardens in their Red Stripe Premier League game at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday. <br /> <br /> Once again, former national player Jermaine &lsquo;Teddy&rsquo; Johnson was unstoppable, assisting in two goals before capping off a fine evening with a brilliant solo effort in the 59th minute that sealed the victory.<br /> <br /> The towering Newton Sterling gave the visiting Arnett Gardens a third-minute lead turning in a Steve Clarke cross. But Tivoli struck back with goals from Mitchily Waul and Barrington Pryce in the 27th and 31st minutes, respectively. <br /> <br /> With Arnett Gardens pressing for the equalising goal, Johnson collected a long clearance on the halfway line on his chest, and with two defenders on him, he went on a brilliant solo run, turned the diminutive Shawn McKoy inside out before firing across goalkeeper Damian Hyatt.<br /> <br /> Sterling then returned in the closing minutes, firing home in the 80th minute after his initial header rebounded kindly to him and setting the stage for a tense final few minutes.<br /> <br /> Arnett Gardens did come close on a few occasions, and when former Tivoli Gardens defender Ranike Anderson somehow headed wide from close range, the home team held on for a deserved victory.<br /> <br /> It was the fourth-consecutive win for Tivoli Gardens and their eighth overall as they jumped into third spot with 26 points.<br /> <br /> Head Coach Omar Edwards had high praises for Johnson and his relatively young guns. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a spirited display. We went down early in the game by not marking properly and I considered that a gift to Newton Sterling. However, we managed to pick ourselves up, especially in the first half, and scored two goal,&rdquo; said Edwards, who is also the National Under-17 assistant coach.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Arnett Gardens, who were losing for the third time in their last four games, remained in sixth position with 19 points. <br /> <br /> Head Coach Jerome Waite was clearly disappointed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We started out with a little more urgency than the Tivoli team and scored, but after that we surrendered the midfield and gave the opponent the opportunity to come back in the game,&rdquo; said Waite, who is the assistant head coach of Jamaica senior team.<br /> <br /> In other games on Sunday, Boys&rsquo; Town clipped Waterhouse 2-1 at Drewsland, which saw Irvino English of Waterhouse and Wayne Ellis of Boys&rsquo; Town both red-carded in the 54th minute. <br /> <br /> Champions Montego Bay United edged Maverley Hughenden 1-0 and maintained their lead atop of the table with 31 points. There were 0-0 draws between Jamalco FC and Humble Lion, and Reno FC and Harbour View.<br /> <br /> Teams:<br /> <br /> Tivoli Gardens &mdash; Davin Watkins, Shavar Campbell, Barrington Pryce, Romaine Breakenridge, Nicholas Smith, Rohan Reid (Nickoy Christian 70th), Tevin Shaw, Ajuma Johnson, Jermaine Johnson (Miguel Ricketts 75th), Elton Thompson, Mitchily Waul (Marvin Stewart 56th).<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Nicholas Clarke, Junior McGregor, Rushane Facey, Kemar Seivwright.<br /> <br /> Booked: Johnson (52nd), Smith (82nd).<br /> <br /> Arnett Gardens &mdash; Damian Hyatt, O&rsquo;Neil Thompson, Jamar Martin, Ranike Anderson, Jason Moore, Marvin Morgan, Shawn McKoy, Fabian Reid (Leon Strickland 57th), Lennox Russell (Kemal Malcolm 68th), Steve Ckarke (Michaelos Martin 68th), Newton Sterling.<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Carlloyd Walters, Neicko Williams, Jabeur Johnson, Damari Deacon.<br /> <br /> Booked: McKoy (38th), Anderson (52nd).<br /> <br /> Referee: Oshane Nation<br /> <br /> Assistant Referees: Stacey-Ann Greyson,<br /> <br /> Princess Brown.<br /> <br /> Fourth Official: Odette Hamilton<br /> <br /> Match Commissary: Fitzroy Reid.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Walker http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13480376/245178_71725_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13480311/245183_71724_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, December 05, 2016 12:00 AM