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 Pride of place http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Pride-of-place_90037 Barbados Pride, led by Shai Hope&rsquo;s classy ton, survived late batting heroics from Jamaica Scorpions&rsquo; all-rounder Rovman Powell to lift the 2017 Regional Super50 title yesterday after a 59-run win in the final at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.<br /> <br /> Batting first in the day/night encounter, Barbados Pride, who lost last season&rsquo;s final to Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, struggled for runs throughout the first part of their innings before recovering to score a healthy 271-9 off their allotted 50 overs.<br /> <br /> Man-of-the-Match Hope, who scored a century in the semi-final versus Leeward Islands Hurricanes, followed with a classy, 98-ball 101 yesterday.<br /> <br /> Captain Jason Holder spanked 69 off 47 deliveries.<br /> <br /> Jamaica were bowled out for 212 off 44 overs and three balls.<br /> <br /> Powell powered a 59-ball 65 against Pride&rsquo;s left-arm finger spinner Sulieman Benn, who snared 3-33 off 10 overs.<br /> <br /> Earlier, openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Kevin Stoute gave the Pride a decent 59-run start after they won the toss and elected to take first strike on a pitch that appeared a bit slow along with cases of inconsistent bounce.<br /> <br /> But after Brathwaite (22) was bowled by leg-spinner Damion Jacobs and Stoute was sent back by captain and left-arm finger spinner Nikita Miller, the Pride found the going tough.<br /> <br /> They slumped to 138-5 before Hope, who batted at number three and Holder, who stepped out at seven, blasted the Scorpions&rsquo; bowlers to all parts inside the final 15 overs.<br /> <br /> They added a whirlwind 127 runs for the sixth wicket to breathe life into the innings. Holder was dismissed by medium pacer Rovman Powell at the end of the 48th over. The tall all-rounder hammered five fours and four sixes.<br /> <br /> Powell, who was bizarrely introduced into the attack as late as the 46th over though he took five wickets in the semi-finals, was also responsible for the dismissal of Hope when he executed a run out off his own bowling. Hope, who also won the awards for best wicketkeeper and top all-rounder at the tournament, delighted fans with five sixes and as many fours.<br /> <br /> Powell finished with 2-27 off three overs, while part-time off-spinner John Campbell, who was instrumental in bogging down the Pride in the middle overs, grabbed 2-35 off 10.<br /> <br /> In reply, Jamaica Scorpions, who racked up a record 434-4 in the semi-final victory over Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, lost their way at the top of the innings, falling to 122-7 in the 31st over.<br /> <br /> However, a brisk 59-run eighth-wicket partnership between Powell, who batted down at number eight, and Jerome Taylor (23) worried the Pride before the latter was dismissed.<br /> <br /> Powell still managed to muster a few more lusty blows before Miller was sent back for six. Powell was last man out when he went for another big shot off Carlos Brathwaite and was caught by Holder. He thundered five fours and four sixes.<br /> <br /> Scoreboard <br /> <br /> PRIDE<br /> <br /> K Brathwaite b Jacobs 22<br /> <br /> K Stoute c Jacobs b Miller 41<br /> <br /> +S Hope run out 101<br /> <br /> J Carter c Powell b Campbell 8<br /> <br /> R Chase c Jacobs b Sewell 7<br /> <br /> S Dowrich c & b Campbell 6<br /> <br /> *J Holder c Blackwood b Powell 69<br /> <br /> C Brathwaite b Leveridge 0<br /> <br /> A Nurse not out 2<br /> <br /> S Benn b Powell 1<br /> <br /> K Roach not out 0<br /> <br /> Extras (b1, lb2, w10, nb1) 14<br /> <br /> TOTAL (9 wkts, 50 overs) 271<br /> <br /> Fall of wickets: 1-59 (K Brathwaite), 2-85 (Stoute), 3-102 (Carter), 4-120 (Chase), 5-138 (Dowrich), 6-265 (Holder), 7-267 (C Brathwaite), 8-269 (Hope), 9-271 (Benn)<br /> <br /> Bowling: Taylor 6-1-50-0- (w1, nb1), Leveridge 6-0-37-1 (w3), Campbell 10-0-35-2 (w3), Miller 9-0-48-1 (w1), Jacobs 6-0-31-1, Sewell 10-0-40-1 (w2), Powell 3-0-27-2.<br /> <br /> SCORPIONS<br /> <br /> +C Walton c K Brathwaite b Benn 26<br /> <br /> S Taylor c C Brathwaite b Roach 9<br /> <br /> J Blackwood b Roach 7<br /> <br /> A McCarthy lbw b Benn 30<br /> <br /> J Campbell c wkp Hope b Nurse 2<br /> <br /> D Sewell c Carter b Benn 6<br /> <br /> D Jacobs b C Brathwaite 28<br /> <br /> R Powell c Holder b C Brathwaite 65<br /> <br /> J Taylor c Carter b Holder 23<br /> <br /> *N Miller lbw b Holder 6<br /> <br /> R Leveridge not out 0<br /> <br /> Extras (lb1, w8, nb1) 10<br /> <br /> TOTAL (all out; 44.3 overs) 212<br /> <br /> Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Taylor), 2-26 (Blackwood), 3-69 (Walton), 4-74 (Campbell), 5-78 (McCarthy), 6-107 (Sewell), 7-122 (Jacobs), 8-181 (Taylor), 9-212 (Miller), 10-212 (Powell)<br /> <br /> Bowling: Roach 8-0-54-2 (w1, nb1), Holder 9-0-28-2 (w1), Benn 10-2-33-3, C Brathwaite 6.3-0-43-2, Nurse 10-1-42-1 (w4), K Brathwaite 1-0-11-0.<br /> <br /> Result: Pride won by 59 runs.<br /> <br /> Series: Pride win 2017 Regional Super50.<br /> <br /> Man-of-the-Match: Shai Hope.<br /> <br /> Toss: Pride.<br /> <br /> Umpires: Peter Nero, Nigel Duguid<br /> <br /> TV Umpire: Carl Tuckett<br /> <br /> &mdash; Sanjay Myers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654402/259374_86016_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Elaine clocks world-leading 6.98secs in Birmingham http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Elaine-clocks-world-leading-6-98secs-in-Birmingham_90021 BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) &mdash; Elaine Thompson, the reigning Olympic 100m and 200m champion, led a Jamaican sweep of the women&rsquo;s 60m at the Birmingham Grand Prix yesterday.<br /> <br /> For the win, Thompson clocked a personal best and world-leading 6.98 seconds, the eighth-fastest time ever. She was followed by compatriots Gayon Evans (7.12 secs) and Christania Williams (7.18).<br /> <br /> In the men&rsquo;s equivalent, the Jamaican pair of Everton Clarke (6.58 secs) and Julian Forte (6.59) could only manage fourth and fifth, respectively. The event was won by the American Robbie Baker (6.55), followed by St Kitts and Nevis&rsquo; Kim Collins (6.58) and Great Britain&rsquo;s Richard Kilty (6.58).<br /> <br /> Another Jamaican, Megan Simmons was eighth in the final of the women&rsquo;s 60m hurdles in 8.24 seconds. The race was won by the USA&rsquo;s Christina Manning (7.83 secs), with second going to her countrywoman Sharika Nelvis (7.94) and Australia&rsquo;s Sally Pearson (7.96).<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, four-time Olympic champion Britain&rsquo;s Mo Farah marked his final race indoors by winning the 5,000 metres in a new European record time of 13 minutes 9.16 seconds.<br /> <br /> The 33-year-old distance great, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, plans to retire from all track events to concentrate on road-racing after the World Championships in London in August.<br /> <br /> In Birmingham, he was run close by Bahrain&rsquo;s Albert Rop, who managed to stay with Farah after he burst clear from the rest of the field before being beaten in a sprint finish. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had amazing support from the crowd today and I can&rsquo;t quite believe it&rsquo;s my last indoor race,&rdquo; Farah told the<br /> <br /> BBC after improving his own record for the event. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had a great career indoors and particularly on this track,&rdquo; added Farah, who finished a disappointing seventh at last month&rsquo;s Edinburgh cross-country.<br /> <br /> In other events, Britain&rsquo;s Andrew Pozzi ran a new personal best and world-leading time of 7.43 seconds in the 60m hurdles, with the United States&rsquo; Aries Merritt, the 110m hurdles word record-holder third.<br /> <br /> The women&rsquo;s 1,000 metres saw Britain&rsquo;s Laura Muir just miss out on a world record as she won in two minutes 31.93 seconds.<br /> <br /> Muir&rsquo;s time was just a second off Maria Mutola&rsquo;s world indoor record of 2:30.94.<br /> <br /> However, the 23-year-old Scot&rsquo;s time was a new British record, beating a mark set by Kelly Holmes in 2004 &mdash; the same year Holmes won gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the Olympic Games in Athens. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654181/259349_85989_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Holmwood, Calabar dominant as records tumble at SW Isaac-Henry meet http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Holmwood--Calabar-dominant-as-records-tumble-at-SW-Isaac-Henry-meet_90033 Holmwood Technical girls and Calabar High were in dominant form as 14 records were broken up to press time at the SW Isaac-Henry Invitational at the National Stadium yesterday.<br /> <br /> Holmwood Technical, in the absence of powerhouse Edwin Allen girls, won 10 events and established five records in the process.<br /> <br /> Holmwood&rsquo;s Nicole Foster kicked off the records, capturing the girls&rsquo; 400m hurdles in 58.36 seconds before Megan Thompson took more than three seconds off the 200m steeplechase open, clocking 7:15.4 minutes.<br /> <br /> All three finishers in the Class Three 400m dipped below Britney Brown&rsquo;s previous record of 47.44 set in 2015. Holmwood&rsquo;s Daniel Deer won in 56.44 ahead of her teammate Nattesha Palmer in 57.24. Third went to Camperdown High&rsquo;s Monief Bennett in 57.30 seconds.<br /> <br /> Delverna Bromfield and Faithlyn Irving were the other two record breakers for Holmwood in the 1500m open, with 4:50.71 and the Class Two high jump with 1.70m, respectively. <br /> <br /> Janielle Josephs of St Andrew High lowered the Class Two 400m record of 56.49 to 56.33 seconds, while Ackera Nugent of Excelsior broke the Class Three 80m hurdles, clocking 11.64 running into a headwind of (-2.7).<br /> <br /> Jodean Williams of the University of the West Indies (UWI) clocked 54.06 for a new record in the women&rsquo;s 400m open. <br /> <br /> Defending boys, champion Calabar High won five events, inclusive of one record, while their fierce rivals Kingston College (KC) captured three events, all in record fashion.<br /> <br /> Young Tajay Roberts clocked 51.73 and lowered the Class Three 400m, while KC&rsquo;s Bjorn Clarke also dipped below the previous record of 52.33 established last year, with 51.86 seconds. Rayon Campbell of KC was third-quickest with 52.78.<br /> <br /> Calabar&rsquo;s Nicholloyd Brown took the Class Three long jump with a leap of 6.23m (3.0). However, the record went to his teammate in third place, Luke Brown with 5.95 (1.2). Calabar&rsquo;s Jordon Turner was second with 6.03, but also had illegal wind of (2.1 mps) which also ruled him out of the record books.<br /> <br /> KC&rsquo;s Shaquille Lowe leapt a record 6.87m (1.9) to win the Class Two long jump ahead of his teammate Wayne Pinnock with 6.65m (2.0); the previous record was 6.50m held by Alex Robinson since 2015. <br /> <br /> KC&rsquo;s Scott McLeod continued his good form, capturing the Class Three high jump in 1.80m and equalling the record held by Vanderleer Palmer since 2015. His teammate Blaine Byam was second with 1.70m, ahead of Calabar&rsquo;s Bebetto Boyd, also with 1.70m.<br /> <br /> Nicholas Elliott, in the Class One 1500m, clocked 4:04.19 minutes to set KC&rsquo;s third record. Kristoff Darby, also of KC, was second overall with 4:09.60 minutes. <br /> <br /> Kyle Mitchell of Calabar took the Class One discus throw with 49.87m, ahead of Howard Beckford of St Jago High with 44.99, and Balvin Richards of Jamaica College with 44.49m. Calabar would sweep the Class One 400m hurdles as Lavaughn Douglas won with 53.32 seconds. His teammates Damiane Dixon and Malik-James King were second and third with 53.33 and 54.13, respectively.<br /> <br /> Jeremy Farr of Wolmer&rsquo;s Boys&rsquo; took the Class Two 400m hurdles with 54.81, ahead of Treziquet James of JC with 56.64 and Calabar&rsquo;s Andre Leslie with 57.16. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654333/259360_86003_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Rusea&rsquo;s, STETHS in charge at Western Championships http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Rusea-s--STETHS-in-charge-at-Western-Championships_90029 CATHERINE HALL, St James &mdash; Rusea&rsquo;s High were well on their way to a historic girls&rsquo; title at the County of Cornwall Athletics Association&rsquo;s (COCAA) Digicel Western Championships at press time last night at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, leading by over 70 points after 35 finals with the relays to go.<br /> <br /> Rusea&rsquo;s, who led from Thursday&rsquo;s eliminations, were on 292.50 points, followed by defending champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) on 217.50 with Petersfield High (161.50), Mt Alvernia High (150) and Mannings School (121) in the top five. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, defending champions STETHS had a firm grip on the boys&rsquo; section with 310 points after 42 finals, followed by Munro College (218), Petersfield High (217.33), Cornwall College (194.33) and Herbert Morrison Technical (106). <br /> <br /> Three records were broken on the day and two established in events that were being contested for the first time in the competition&rsquo;s history, while there were three sprint double champions.<br /> <br /> Cornwall College&rsquo;s Rashawn Campbell won the boys&rsquo; Class Four 200/400m double as well.<br /> <br /> Rusea&rsquo;s High&rsquo;s Myesha Nott continued her impressive run with her second record, smashing the triple jump Open mark with 12.63m, well past the 11.80m held jointly by Andrea Linton of Mt Alvernia in 2002 and STETHS&rsquo; Opal James 10 years later.<br /> <br /> Nott, who broke a 15-year-old long jump record on Thursday, went past the old record on all three attempts in the first round with 12.54m, 12.63m and 11.87m.<br /> <br /> STETHS&rsquo; Winsome Harris ran 13.90 seconds (1.2m/s) to win the Class Two girls&rsquo; 100m hurdles, faster than the 13.92 seconds set by Cherifa Bartlett in 2012.<br /> <br /> Munro College&rsquo;s Tajay Gardener broke the Class Three 800m record of 2:04.59 minutes set in 2014 by STETHS&rsquo; Jauavney James with a smart 2:03.19.<br /> <br /> The two new records came in the Class Four boys&rsquo; 80m hurdles where STETHS&rsquo; Alicke Cranston won with 12.49 seconds (1.3m/s), while Rusea&rsquo;s High Brithon Senior won the Boys&rsquo; Class Two 400m hurdles in 55.54 seconds.<br /> <br /> The Mt Alvernia pair of Kemba Nelson and Soyinne Grenyion won the girls; Class Two and Three sprint doubles, while Green Island&rsquo;s Kalani Cooke took the Class Three boys&rsquo; double.<br /> <br /> Nelson took the Class Two double in 11.88 seconds (-1.1m/s) and 24.36 seconds (-0.4m/s), both times beating Petersfield High&rsquo;s Ockera Myrie, while STETHS&rsquo; Winsome Barnes was third in the 100m and Avagay Morris of Rusea&rsquo;s took the bronze in the 200m.<br /> <br /> Grenyion clocked 12.09 seconds (0.4m/s) to win the 100m and 24.79 seconds (1.1m/s) for the 200m.<br /> <br /> Cooke won the 100m with 11.32 seconds (0.2m/s) and the 200m with 22.57 seconds (0.1m/s), while Cornwall College&rsquo;s Campbell won the boys&rsquo; Class Four 200m in 23.94 seconds and the 400m in 51.06 seconds.<br /> <br /> Cornwall College&rsquo;s Mathew Brown won the Class One boys&rsquo; 100m in a personal best 10.58 seconds (1.4m/s), beating Munro College&rsquo;s Rushane Edwards (10.63 seconds) with Cornwall College&rsquo;s Washington Brown, who led for the first 60m, finishing third in 10.65 seconds.<br /> <br /> Edwards, however, returned the favour, winning the 200m in 21.34 seconds (0.2m/s), with Petersfield&rsquo;s Kevon Stone second in 21.45 seconds and Rusea&rsquo;s High&rsquo;s Leon Gordon third with 21.83 seconds.<br /> <br /> Kimone Hines of Green Island, who was second last year, won the Class One girls&rsquo; 100m in a new personal best 11.95 seconds (0.5m/s), beating her teammate Angielee Jackson (12.14 seconds) and Herbert Morrison&rsquo;s Debra Wallace third in 22.23 seconds.<br /> <br /> Wallace turned the tables in the 200m, catching Hines on the line to win with 24.52 seconds to Hines&rsquo; 24.59 seconds and Rusea&rsquo;s High&rsquo;s Amoy Mairs third in 25.09 seconds. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654383/259370_86012_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Campesino glides to victory in Eileen Cliggott Mem Cup http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Campesino-glides-to-victory-in-Eileen-Cliggott-Mem-Cup_90031 Despite a three-timer from trainer Fitzroy Glispie, it was the Philip Feanny-conditioned Campesino who stole the spotlight on the 11-race programme at Caymanas Park yesterday.<br /> <br /> The seven-year-old bay gelding by Compadre-Yaella, in another electrifying run, crippled rivals to win the $1.2- million Eileen Cliggott Memorial Cup (1,300 metres) feature by over three lengths, in a quick 1:17.3 minutes.<br /> <br /> With Robert Halledeen sporting the popular colours of owner Hamark Farms, Campesino tracked the speedy Sir Budget (Anthony Thomas) from second position, chasing splits of 23.2 and 46.3 seconds.<br /> <br /> When Halledeen let loose the notch, Campesino drew alongside Sir Budget just about to enter the stretch drive and, although losing his inside the final furlong, Halledeen was able to drive his mount, who responded well and powered away to score by three-and-three-quarter lengths, emphatically.<br /> <br /> Brawn (Aaron Chatrie), who was outpaced from the get-go, came with his usual late run on the inside rails to finish in second spot ahead of Franfield (Bebeto Harvey), who was prominent throughout the race.<br /> <br /> It was the second winner for Halledeen as he earlier rode Ictus, trained by Anthony Nunes, to victory in the fourth race.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Glispie gave racing fans a glimpse of his conditioning skills when he saddled a well-earned three-timer.<br /> <br /> Glispie winners were Bird Catcher (Odeen Edwards), who won the first race over 1,600 metres; Francia&rsquo;s Pride (Anthony Thomas), who won the second race over 1,820 metres; and Timeforarms (Anthony Thomas), who won the ninth race over 1,500 metres.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I did it [won three races] before, but today (yesterday) is special. I am elated and I am also happy for my horses as well as they did what they had to do to win. All wins were expected,&rdquo; Glispie told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Racing continues with a midweek programme on Wednesday. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654331/259362_86005_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Reno take aim at Arnett in mid-table battle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Reno-take-aim-at-Arnett-in-mid-table-battle_90026 Reno FC will try to pull level with Arnett Gardens FC when the teams meet in today&rsquo;s Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) match at St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) football field.<br /> <br /> The contest is scheduled to start at 3:30 pm.<br /> <br /> The Westmoreland-based Reno, who are using the venue in Santa Cruz while their home field at Frome is rehabilitated, are seventh in the 12-team RSPL table with 28 points from 22 matches.<br /> <br /> Reno, most recently the national champions in the 1994-95 campaign, showed how dangerous they can be on the STETHS strip by spanking reigning champions Montego Bay United 2-0 last week. Their last five games have included three wins, one loss and a draw.<br /> <br /> Arnett Gardens, the 2014-15 winners, are sixth with 31 points. They gave an indication of their attacking potency with a 4-1 thumping of Jamalco FC last time out. Arnett have recorded three victories and two defeats in their previous five.<br /> <br /> Both teams are vying for the crucial sixth spot which offers a shot at a semi-finals berth.<br /> <br /> The top two teams at the end of 33 preliminary games will automatically advance to the league semi-finals. The next four teams finishing between third and sixth will battle for the remaining two places.<br /> <br /> The 11th- and 12th-placed teams will be relegated.<br /> <br /> Also at 3:30 pm, 10th-placed Waterhouse FC entertain second-placed University of the West Indies (UWI) FC at Drewsland Stadium. Waterhouse have 22 points, while UWI, who only trail leaders Tivoli Gardens FC because of an inferior goal difference, have 42 points.<br /> <br /> At Constant Spring field, 11th-placed Maverley-Hughenden FC (21 points) welcome third-placed Montego Bay United (42 points) in a 3:30 pm clash. <br /> <br /> At 3:00 pm, ninth-placed Jamalco FC (23 points) take on fifth-placed Portmore United (37 points) at Wembley Centre of Excellence.<br /> <br /> RSPL fans will be treated to a scheduled double-header tomorrow at the National Stadium in the first Monday evening action of the season.<br /> <br /> Organisers have pitted last-placed Boys&rsquo; Town FC (16 points) against fourth-placed Humble Lion FC (39 points) at 5:30 pm.<br /> <br /> At 8:00 pm, frontrunners Tivoli Gardens FC (42 points) battle eighth-placed Harbour View FC (24 points).<br /> <br /> Today&rsquo;s games<br /> <br /> 3:00 pm &ndash; Jamalco vs Portmore @ Wembley Centre<br /> <br /> 3:30 pm &ndash; Maverley-Hughenden vs Montego Bay @ Constant Spring<br /> <br /> 3:30 pm &ndash; Reno vs Arnett Gardens @ STETHS<br /> <br /> 3:30 pm &ndash; Waterhouse vs UWI @ Drewsland Stadium<br /> <br /> Tomorrow&rsquo;s games<br /> <br /> 5:30 pm &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town vs Humble Lion @ National Stadium<br /> <br /> 8:00 pm &ndash; Tivoli Gardens vs Harbour View @ National Stadium<br /> <br /> &mdash; Sanjay Myers<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13463193/243825_70417_repro_w300.jpg National Premier League Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Seba move five points clear in Senior League http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Seba-move-five-points-clear-in-Senior-League_90014 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Seba FC moved five points clear at the top of the table in Zone Two of the St James Football Association Sandals International Senior League after thumping Lilliput Rovers 3-0 on Friday.<br /> <br /> The three goals doubled Seba FC&rsquo;s output from their previous three games and handed Lilliput Rovers their first loss of the season and kept them in second place on five points, well behind Seba FC&rsquo;s 10 points.<br /> <br /> At the UDC Field, Melbourne Mind Games scored their first goal of the season and their first win, edging MoBay City FC 1-0.<br /> <br /> At Spot Valley, Seba FC led 2-0 at half-time, thanks to goals from Steven Forrester in the 15th minute and Luwayne Sharpe in the 29th, with Ricardo Malcolm putting the game out of the reach of Lilliput Rovers in the 69th minute.<br /> <br /> Dwayne Harding scored in the 15th minute for Melbourne Mind Game as they moved two places up to third in the points tables on four points.<br /> <br /> On Tuesday, Catherine Hall moved three points clear at the top of Zone One after a big 4-0 whipping of Marl Road FC at the UDC field.<br /> <br /> Javern Palmer scored twice in the second half for Catherine Hall, who doubled their goals output for the season and improved to 10 points from four games, three more than second-placed Heights FC, who were held 1-1 by Club Stars at Spot Valley High and finished the game with just nine players.<br /> <br /> Junior Morgan scored in the 41st minute for Catherine Hall and Kemario Murdock added a second in the 56th minute before Javern Palmer took his brace, scoring in the 60th and 89th minutes as his team completed a league-high third victory.<br /> <br /> At Spot Valley, Heights went down to 10 men after just three minutes when Zanhue Woliston was sent off and were down 1-0 in the 20th when Terrick Dixon shot Club Star into the lead.<br /> <br /> Things got from bad to worse for Heights FC in the 67th minute when Omar Hall was also sent off, but they managed to salvage a point when Wade Daley scored the equaliser in the 81st minute.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Paul Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10938806/ball_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Irwin take over sole leadership of Sandals Division One http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Irwin-take-over-sole-leadership-of-Sandals-Division-One_90013 GREEN POND, St James &mdash; Irwin United took over sole leadership of Zone One of the St James Football Association Sandals International Division One after a big 7-1 thrashing of Paradise FC at Green Pond High on Thursday.<br /> <br /> Three players scored two goals each to lead Irwin United to the biggest win of the season so far as they improved to 10 points, three more than second-placed Violet Kickers.<br /> <br /> Irwin lead 1-0 at half-time before the teams combined for seven goals in the second half.<br /> <br /> Christopher Roach scored the only goal of the first half when he gave Irwin United the lead after five minutes, but they had to wait until the second half in the 48th minute to get a second when Odane Ellis got the first of his two.<br /> <br /> Tevin Bennett made it 3-0 in the 50th minute before Andre Allen pulled one goal back for Paradise.<br /> <br /> It was all Irwin United after that with four more goals in 15 minutes. Reid got his second in the 75th minute, Bennett completed his double a minute later, Damair Roach scored in the 80th, while Ellis got his second in the 90th minute. <br /> <br /> In another game on Thursday, Firehouse SC edged to the top of Zone Two on goal-difference over Lane FC after drawing 0-0 with Copperwood FC at the UDC field. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Paul Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10948363/manning_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Reggae Youths on verge of mid-season final berth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Reggae-Youths-on-verge-of-mid-season-final-berth_90016 TUCKER, St James &mdash; Reggae Youths of St James are on the verge of their first-ever qualification for the mid-season final of the Jamaica Football Federation Western Confederation Charlie&rsquo;s JB Rum Super League when they end the second round at home against Hopewell United at WesPow Park today at 3:00 pm.<br /> <br /> Reggae Youths lead Zone One with 18 points, three more than second-placed Clark&rsquo;s Town, and anything but a big loss to Hopewell United and big win for Clark&rsquo;s Town against Beaches Negril, would see them into the consolation play-offs against Sandals South Coast next weekend.<br /> <br /> Reggae Youths, with a superior goal difference over Clark&rsquo;s Town (nine to two), will also be seeking to avenge their only loss this season when they were edged 1-0 away to Hopewell United at Orchard in the first round.<br /> <br /> They are coming off a big 4-0 win over Three Miles River on Tuesday, while Hopewell United are unbeaten in their last three games and are expected to make Reggae Youths work hard today.<br /> <br /> O&rsquo;Carey Spence, who scored twice on Tuesday to improve his league-leading goalscoring tally to eight, will lead the Reggae Youths attack today. <br /> <br /> Clark&rsquo;s Town, the losing mid-season finalists last year, still have a lot to play for as they are only three points ahead of Beaches Negril and a second win over the hotel men this season would give them some breathing room in second place.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Paul Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10564323/FOOTBALL-FIELD_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Bale back with a bang as Real extend lead http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Bale-back-with-a-bang-as-Real-extend-lead_90018 MADRID, Spain (AFP) &mdash; Gareth Bale made an instant impact on his return from injury as Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga to four points with a 2-0 win over Espanyol yesterday.<br /> <br /> Bale had only been on the pitch 13 minutes after three months on the sidelines due to ankle ligament damage when he swept home into the far corner to round off a rapid Real counter-attack.<br /> <br /> Alvaro Morata had opened the scoring when he bulleted home Isco's cross 12 minutes before half-time.<br /> <br /> Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane made seven changes to the side that started Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League last 16, first-leg win against Napoli with difficult La Liga trips to Valencia and Villarreal to come in the next week in mind.<br /> <br /> Morata was one of those handed a rare chance to start up front with Karim Benzema left out of the squad altogether.<br /> <br /> The Spanish international hadn't started any of Real's previous five league games, but made his case for more minutes as he powered home Isco's fine in-swinging cross for his 11th goal of the season.<br /> <br /> Bale's much-anticipated return since injuring ankle ligaments away at Sporting Lisbon on November 22 came 20 minutes from time when he replaced Morata.<br /> <br /> And the Welshman showed the home fans what they have been missing for the past three months as he finished off a lightning quick Real counter-attack by firing into the far corner.<br /> <br /> Earlier, substitute Kevin Gameiro hit a five-minute hat-trick as Atletico Madrid maintained their grip on fourth with a 4-1 win at Sporting Gijon.<br /> <br /> Gameiro was seconds away from making history as he just missed out on beating David Villa's record for the fastest hat-trick in La Liga history.<br /> <br /> Gameiro was only introduced 28 minutes from time but struck in the 80th, 81st and 85th minutes and dedicated the hat-trick to his recently deceased grandmother.<br /> <br /> The visitors got a break right at the start of the second period when Yannick Carrasco was allowed to bear down on goal despite Antoine Griezmann standing in an offside position and tapped home at the second attempt after Ivan Cuellar had saved his first effort.<br /> <br /> The lead lasted just three minutes as Atletico's once solid defence was breached by Sergio Alvarez as his effort evaded the attempts of Stefan Savic to clear off the line.<br /> <br /> Atletico have now conceded more goals in La Liga so far this season than all of last season.<br /> <br /> Gameiro was summoned from the bench just after the hour mark as Atletico upped the pressure in search of a winner.<br /> <br /> Griezmann was harshly denied by the offside flag 15 minutes from time.<br /> <br /> However, the French international did have a vital role to play in Gameiro's first as it was his through ball from which Gameiro rounded Cuellar to slot home.<br /> <br /> Thomas Partey teed up Gameiro to thrash home seconds later and Gameiro completed his hat-trick with another composed finish on the counter-attack.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654272/259347_85985_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Chelsea&rsquo;s Pedro, Costa muzzle Wolves in FA Cup http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Chelsea-s-Pedro--Costa-muzzle-Wolves-in-FA-Cup_90017 WOLVERHAMPTON, United Kingdom (AFP) &mdash; Second-half goals from Pedro and Diego Costa earned Premier League leaders Chelsea a 2-0 win in a difficult FA Cup fifth-round tie at second-tier Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday.<br /> <br /> Pedro headed in after 65 minutes following an intricate build-up involving Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Willian.<br /> <br /> Costa sealed a place in the quarter-finals in the 89th minute after defender Matt Doherty inadvertently deflected a pass into his path.<br /> <br /> The prolific Chelsea striker had the time and space to easily stroke the ball into the Wolves goal, finally killing off the Championship side&rsquo;s brave resistance.<br /> <br /> Having accounted for the Premier League scalps of Stoke City and Liverpool in previous rounds, Wolves looked in the mood to add the division&rsquo;s leaders to that list.<br /> <br /> In front of Molineux&rsquo;s biggest crowd for 36 years, the home side made an electrifying start.<br /> <br /> Asmir Begovic had already been required to tip a dangerous Conor Coady cross over his bar in the opening exchanges when former Chelsea youngster George Saville found the ball at his feet 15 yards out.<br /> <br /> The unmarked midfielder unleashed a powerful left-foot shot that thundered against the left-hand post, with Andreas Weimann blasting a follow-up effort over.<br /> <br /> That was the start of an absorbing cup tie, with the Championship side putting their league troubles behind them and going toe-to-toe with a Chelsea team who made seven changes from their least league game.<br /> <br /> Chelsea Manager Antonio Conte had still fielded a strong line-up, however, with former England international John Terry continuing his ever-present status in the FA Cup and Fabregas handed a start.<br /> <br /> Fabregas looked capable of picking a hole in the home defence and did precisely that after 12 minutes when his lofted pass sent Willian sprinting into the area.<br /> <br /> The Brazilian attempted to chip over Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who did well to put a touch on the shot and steer it over his net.<br /> <br /> The tie had plenty of aggression and a raucous atmosphere, especially when the home supporters claimed Weimann had been brought down by Willian in the area midway through the first half.<br /> <br /> That appeal was turned down by referee Jonathan Moss, but Wolves maintained the pressure when Helder Costa turned neatly and unleashed a low shot that Begovic smothered well.<br /> <br /> But Chelsea still posed a serious threat as Fabregas and Willian attempted to find the pass that would play in Costa over the Wolves back four.<br /> <br /> A number of times the tactic came close to working and in first-half injury time a cross from the right by wing-back Victor Moses was met by Costa, back to goal, who hooked an effort wide.<br /> <br /> Wolves opened the second half in similar threatening fashion, with Pedro the first Chelsea player cautioned for a crude trip on the dangerous Helder Costa.<br /> <br /> But it was Chelsea&rsquo;s Nathaniel Chalobah who was presented with the first shot of the half, a low strike from the edge of the area that went directly at the goalkeeper.<br /> <br /> Chelsea&rsquo;s Costa also received yet another neat pass from Hazard and almost set up Chalobah for an attempt on goal, only to be denied by more committed Wolves defending.<br /> <br /> Wolves&rsquo; Costa eased the pressure momentarily with a high free kick that Danny Batth headed into the arms of Begovic.<br /> <br /> But soon after his namesake was played in by yet another Fabregas pass and left Batth on the floor before shooting into the side-netting.<br /> <br /> The opening goal was not long in coming, although Dave Edwards looked like he might head in an equaliser minutes later, only to be denied by an important defensive header from Kurt Zouma.<br /> <br /> In the closing stages, Fabregas should have doubled their advantage when he shot wide from Eden Hazard&rsquo;s pass, before Costa&rsquo;s strike &mdash; his 16th of the season &mdash; put the game to bed.<br /> <br /> In other results yesterday, Burnley went down 0-1 to Lincoln, Huddersfield and Manchester City drew 0-0, Middlesbrough clipped Oxford 3-2, while Millwall edged Premier League champions Leicester 1-0. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654309/259345_85984_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM Scorpions&rsquo; Powell energised for Pride clash http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Scorpions--Powell-energised-for-Pride-clash_89963 ST JOHN&rsquo;S, Antigua (CMC) &mdash; Exciting all-rounder Rovman Powell has given the assurance Jamaica Scorpions will be ready for their clash with Barbados Pride in today&rsquo;s final of the Regional Super50 at Coolidge Cricket Ground.<br /> <br /> The day/night encounter is set to begin 12:30 pm Jamaica time.<br /> <br /> The 23-year-old was one of the stars for his side as they clobbered two-time reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Wednesday&rsquo;s first semi-final by 292 runs, to surge into the championship game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are focusing on what we have control over and how we as a team play and once we play good enough cricket &ndash; each and everyone in the team come to the party &ndash; I think Jamaica Scorpions have a very good chance of lifting the title,&rdquo; the West Indies player said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just for us now to regroup and come again. There&rsquo;s not a lot a time before the final so it&rsquo;s always important to keep that competitive edge about us going into the finals.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Powell produced a Man-of-the-Match performance, slamming a scintillating 95 to help Scorpions amass a regional record 434 for four off their 50 overs at Coolidge Cricket Ground.<br /> <br /> Though opener Chadwick Walton (117) and Jermaine Blackwood (108 not out) struck maiden centuries, it was Powell&rsquo;s astonishing exhibition of hitting that took Scorpions past 400.<br /> <br /> He faced just 45 deliveries and belted six fours and nine sixes, in an entertaining 163-run third wicket partnership with Blackwood.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t ask for a better game. I think the team played well and the team gave me the [support] to come out and execute what I did so all kudos go to the team,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t easy. We came up against a lot of experienced bowlers in the Trinidad unit but the platform was laid for a person like me with a little bit of power and I think I did my talent and my team justice.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What I did was take a few balls first [before] I got going and after I got going, I could expand and go big.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Powell then returned with his varied medium pacer to snatch five for 36 and complete a brilliant all-round performance, as Red Force crashed for just 142.<br /> <br /> The haul was his maiden five-wicket effort in 50-overs competition and he said he had made use of a wicket which played to his strengths.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To be honest, the wicket suited me,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was not the fastest wicket and once the wicket isn&rsquo;t fast, medium pacers who bowl a lot of cutters and use their fingers on the ball can get a lot of assistance because it&rsquo;s not a fast wicket so some of the balls will grip and some will slide through.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a matter of coming out here and executing.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13649627/258976_85407_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Nedrick aims for successful final school season http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Nedrick-aims-for-successful-final-school-season_89981 Despite three gold medals and a big record in the shot put at Tuesday&rsquo;s eliminations of the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA/Digicel Western Championships at the St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) Sports Complex, Petersfield High&rsquo;s Kevin Nedrick says he has a lot left to do if he is to leave his mark on high school track and field.<br /> <br /> Nedrick, who is in his final season of high school athletics, set a new record in the shot put with 18.94m, shattering the 18.25m set by his teammate Sanjae Lawrence last year. He won the discus throw with a season&rsquo;s best 56.39m, then completed the treble by retaining the javelin throw with 53.79m after he had thrown 59.96m last year.<br /> <br /> The Youth Olympics Games double gold medallist now owns the two best throws in the world in the Under-20 shot put. He threw 19.05m at the Grace/STETHS Invitational last month.<br /> <br /> Despite his outstanding day and after taking third in both the shot and discus last year, Nedrick who also represented Jamaica at both events at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in July last year, said he is happy for the gold medals but wants more.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was not that happy with the performances, especially in the shot put; I wanted to put that mark a bit further. I went after all three records at Western Champs to leave my mark.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Additional gold medals at the ISSA Boys&rsquo; Champs, gold medals at CARIFTA Games, and ultimately the National Junior Record in the shot put, he says are his ultimate goals this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Champs is big, very big, and I am working very hard. My expectations are to get all three gold medals and two records: the shot put and javelin,&rdquo; he told the Observer, &ldquo;I want the discus but that (mark) is far, so I am focusing on the others,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Former Calabar High standout Traves Smikle owns the discus record of 66.88m set in 2011, and if Nedrick wins he would be the second-straight Petersfield athlete to take the gold following his teammate Lawrence last year.<br /> <br /> Demar Gayle, formerly of Edwin Allen High, set the shot put record of 19.52m two years ago, while former St Elizabeth Technical multi-sport athlete Devon Spencer set the javelin record 64.08m in 2014.<br /> <br /> Ashinia Miller, formerly of Calabar High, set the National Junior Record 20.11m in the shot put in January 2012, while Jamaican Warren Barrett Jr set the CARIFTA Under-20 record of 19.97m last year in Grenada.<br /> <br /> Nedrick says he knows exactly what he needs to do to achieve his goals.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would have to go further than I have ever before. I would need to step up my training and my technique, would have to be spot on but I will sit with my coaches and we will work it out,&rdquo; he told the Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is my final year and I want to leave my mark on Champs and CARIFTA Games,&rdquo; he said, even while aware that he will not be on his own. &ldquo;I have some good competition to look out for but I know who they are and will be ready.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &mdash; Paul A Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652433/259310_85910_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Coach Whitmore buoyed by Boyz victory http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Coach-Whitmore-buoyed-by-Boyz-victory_89969 HOUSTON, United States &mdash; A passing grade!<br /> <br /> That&rsquo;s the final assessment of head coach Theodore Whitmore on his Reggae Boyz in the 1-0 triumph over Honduras in their friendly international inside the BBVA Compass Stadium here in Houston on Thursday night.<br /> <br /> Whitmore, the France 1998 World Cup hero who scored both goals in Jamaica&rsquo;s 2-1 victory over Japan, made six changes to the team which suffered a 0-1 loss to the United States of America in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on February 3, including seven players based in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would give them a passing grade tonight,&rdquo; Whitmore told the Jamaica Observer as the team enjoyed dinner at Terron Henry&rsquo;s Cool Runnings Jamaican Bar & Grill.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They went out there and showed the hunger and commitment and the attitude, so definitely a passing mark,&rdquo; reiterated Whitmore.<br /> <br /> Second-generation defender Damion Lowe, son of former Reggae Boy Onandi Lowe, notched his first senior goal for Jamaica in the 71st minute when he tapped into an empty net from close range after Honduran goalkeeper Luis Lopez had palmed Romario Williams strike off the right upright.<br /> <br /> Whitmore thought his charges displayed encouraging consistency following on the game against the US.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What I really liked tonight was the consistency from the last game we played against the US. I think it was very pleasing, they showed a lot of guts and a lot of commitment.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think the first half of the game, we found it a bit difficult, but the second half we went out there, made a few substitutions and it paid off in the end, so at the end of the day I believe it was a good showing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Central American champions started like a house on fire, forcing Jamaican Ryan Thompson to block behind for a corner within seconds of the first whistle, and by and large they dominated the first half without creating too many anxious moments for Thompson.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We took a bit long to get settled &mdash; we had young (Shamar) Nicholson and (Jourdain) Fletcher up front, and (Kevon) Lambert in the middle and you could see the nervousness in them, but as the game progressed I think they got into their own,&rdquo; explained Whitmore.<br /> <br /> He further explained that it was always a part of his plan to give the local-based players as much time on the pitch as necessary.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a part of the plan to give these youngsters at least an hour and I believe they put in a good shift tonight. I think they gave it their all and I figured they couldn&rsquo;t go anymore, so we had to put in two experienced players in Williams (Romario) and Burke (Corey).&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Boyz made their intentions known immediately upon the resumption when Owayne Gordon tested Lopez with a torrid shot which was pushed behind for a corner.<br /> <br /> And they kept up the momentum, forcing runs behind the Honduran defence and on one occasion Fletcher fought off his marker midway Honduras&rsquo;s half and he raced to the edge of the penalty box where his attempt with his weaker right foot sailed wide of the mark.<br /> <br /> Corey Burke had two glorious chances to make the game safe in time added, but fluffed his lines badly with only goalkeeper Lopez to beat.<br /> <br /> For Whitmore, there were a lot of positives to take from the game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The positives for me were that we kept and very compact and disciplined defensive unit and the long and short of it is that we created a number of scoring opportunities and could have easily won the game 4-0 tonight, but again it is a work in progress and we still have work to do going forward.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Whitmore also thought that his front men used their speed to telling effect.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The speed we used it well. Vin (Blaine, director of football) had seen the Hondurans in action and he relayed the information, so what we did was to try to play behind their wing backs because we have enough speed going forward in Gordon, Binns, Nicholson and Fletcher up front. I think that was a positive, and from defence to attack and attack to defence.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;On the negative side, I thought we indulged in too many individual plays, and our marking at times, I believe, was rushed too much instead of holding space at all times with the aim of winning back the football. I don&rsquo;t think we were in the best shape to play such a game, but as we go along we just have to improve on these things.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The coach now hopes to keep these players together in camp and for him to sit and discuss with the Jamaica Football Federation the matter. Hopefully, we get a game in March and we keep pressing the federation to get us games, even Caribbean tours because we need games for these players and these are the sort of games we need to see the Boyz in action and they will improve,&rdquo; the coach said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Oneil Fisher, who played at left back, was struck in the head by a fierce left-footed free kick seven minutes upon the resumption, and he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was assessed and released.<br /> <br /> The teams used the game as preparation for more important fixtures, with Honduras set to continue their Russia World Cup qualifying campaign next month against the US and Costa Rica, while Jamaica will look to the Caribbean Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this summer.<br /> <br /> Teams:<br /> <br /> Jamaica &ndash; Ryan Thompson, Damion Lowe, Ladale Richie, Rosario Harriott, Oneil Fisher Kemar Lawrence (52nd), SHamar Nicholson (Romario Williams 71st), Jourdain Fletcher (Corey Burke 71st), Kevon Lambert (Andre Lewis 75th), Michael Binns, Je-Vaughn Watson, Owayne Gordon (Ewan Grandison 90th).<br /> <br /> Booked: Lowe (17th), Fisher (35th), Binns (48th).<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Andre Blake, Sergio Campbell, Dwayne Ambusley, Fabian Grant.<br /> <br /> Honduras &ndash; Luis Lopez, Felix Crisanto (Allans Vargas 79th), Ever Alvarado, Henry Figueroa, Oliver Morazan, Jorge Claros Bryan Acosta 70th), Marcelo Canales, Oscar Salas (Michael Chirinos 63rd), Rubilio Cstillo (Angel Tejeda 63rd), Eric Andino (Cristian Altamirano 79th).<br /> <br /> Referee: Jair Marrufo<br /> <br /> Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Mariscal<br /> <br /> Assistant Referee 2: Ian Anderson<br /> <br /> Fourth Official: Baldomero Toleda http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13608900/255500_82288_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Ben Francis meet gets underway today http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Ben-Francis-meet-gets-underway-today_89952 The seventh staging of the Ben Francis Invitational and the third edition of the SW Isaac-Henry track and field meets are on today at the Vere Technical High School and the National Stadium, respectively.<br /> <br /> Approximately $200,000 in cash prizes will be up for grabs at the Ben Francis Invitational in Hayes, Clarendon where there will be four championship events in which the winners will pocket $40,000 each. <br /> <br /> The races are the female Class One 100m; the 400m for Class One males; the girls Class One 4x100m and 4x400m relays. In addition, the top coach will receive $30,000. Action is to start at 8:00 am and scheduled to finish at 5:30 pm.<br /> <br /> Vere past student and Olympian Ethlyn Tate, who represented Jamaica at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, will be this year&rsquo;s honoree.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the girls 1,500m open will kick-start proceedings at the SW Isaac-Henry track and field inside the National Stadium at 8:15 am and concludes with the 4x400m relay open at 5:45 pm.<br /> <br /> The meet, named in honour of former principal of St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), the late Isaac-Henry will include the 400m and 400m hurdles; 3,000m Women Open; 5,000m Men Open; 70m hurdles; 80m hurdles; 100m hurdles; 110m hurdles; 800m and 200m,<br /> <br /> The field events to be contested are the long jump, shot put, high jump, pole vault and javelin. <br /> <br /> This year&rsquo;s honourees are Everad Samuels, Alrick Wright, Raymond Vassell and Stafford Gaynor. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652315/256429_85886_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Rusea&rsquo;s girls set to sparkle at Western Champs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Rusea-s-girls-set-to-sparkle-at-Western-Champs_89976 ST JAMES, Jamaica &mdash; Rusea&rsquo;s High will be seeking to make school history today, by winning their first-ever girls title at the County of Cornwall Athletics Association&rsquo;s (COCAA)/Digicel Western Championships title at the combined finals set for the Montego Bay Sports Complex, starting at 12:30 pm.<br /> <br /> As they did the last three years, Rusea&rsquo;s High led after the girls eliminations held at the St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) Sports Complex on Thursday. This time there is a feeling they have destiny in their own hands.<br /> <br /> Both sections could go down to the wire with Petersfield High and STETHS expected to push Rusea&rsquo;s in the girls section with Petersfield High and Munro College the likely teams to give the STETHS&rsquo; boys a run for their money.<br /> <br /> The COCAA Western Champs kicks off the third staging of the Digicel Grand Prix series where schools stand a chance to win $250,000 (first place), $100,000 (second place) or $50,000 (third place) cash in the male and female category. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Athletes will also win academic scholarships should they break a championship record ($25,000) or a national junior record ($50,000),&rdquo; a release from Digicel added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We could not have kicked off the Grand Prix on a better note than the Western Championships. It is a highly competitive meet that really highlights the bounty of talent that is available in Jamaica. We are happy that we can reward the hard work of these athletes with cash prizes that can help in a real way with the development of the school&rsquo;s sports programme. This is how Digicel is ensuring that Jamaica will always have a fresh crop of athletes ready to continue our world dominance in athletics,&rdquo; said Kamal Powell, senior sponsorship and development manager at Digicel.<br /> <br /> At the finals, the first to third-placed schools in the male and female category will win the top prize of $1 million, $500,000 and $200,000, respectively.<br /> <br /> After 17 finals, Rusea&rsquo;s High had opened up a 40 points lead over the field and were on 142.50, followed by Petersfield High in second place on 102.50 with defending champions St Elizabeth Technical in an unfamiliar third place on 84.50 points with Mannings School and Mt Alvernia High both on 51 points.<br /> <br /> St Elizabeth Technical leads the boys&rsquo; section after 19 finals at Tuesday&rsquo;s eliminations, on 123, less than four points more than Petersfield High &mdash; 119.33, former champions Cornwall College &mdash; 95.33, Munro College 93 and Herbert Morrison-55 fill out the top five.<br /> <br /> Roderick Myles, the Rusea&rsquo;s head coach, was happy with their position in the girls section but knows the work is far from over if they are to take the title tonight.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a good lead based on our plans,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer Thursday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And we are supposed to be okay with this. The plan was to get 150 points today; we are a little behind but we are still on target.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Rusea&rsquo;s scored 160 points on the first day last year but were overhauled by the powerful STETHS machine and lost by 18 points. Myles pointed to the numbers of athletes they have qualified for the finals today.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have depth in the sprints and hurdles and all relay teams are in the finals. We are not comfortable yet and still working hard,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> Mt Alvernia, despite not being title favourites, will be well-represented in the sprints, with Kemba Nelson and Petersfield High&rsquo;s Ockera Myrie set to battle out in Class 2 and a fit again Soyinne Grenyion well positioned in both the Class 3 100m and 200m, winning her semi-finals heats easily on Thursday.<br /> <br /> In the absence of several high points scorers last year, STETHS will be depending heavily on the likes of World Under-20 championships medallists Stacey-Ann Williams and Satanya Wright for points and leadership.<br /> <br /> STETHS&rsquo; overall depth could give them the edge in the boys section, with the likes of Jauavney James, Ouekie Wright and Rayon Butler all expected to score heavily.<br /> <br /> Butler and Spot Valley High&rsquo;s Tyrese Reid and Rusea&rsquo;s High&rsquo;s 1,500m record holder Ackeem Colley are set for a battle royal in the Class 1 800 that could upstage the sprints.<br /> <br /> For the first time in years, the Class 1 boys sprints look to be wide open with a handful of athletes all in contention, Cornwall College&rsquo;s dependable Mathew Brown led the 100m qualifiers with a personal best 10.68 seconds set in the semi-finals but he will battle Munro College&rsquo;s Rushane Edwards, Herbert Morrison&rsquo;s Toju Johnson and Irwin High&rsquo;s Dalelon Pearson with another Cornwall College runner, Washington Brown also in the picture after looking easy while running 10.85 seconds in his semi-final heat.<br /> <br /> STETHS&rsquo; Wright, a converted horizontal jumper, could take the 200m/400m double after posting decent times of 22.11 seconds and 49.92 seconds, respectively.<br /> <br /> In Class 2 STETHS&rsquo; Sachin Dennis looks like a lock to take the double after some impressive running earlier in the season, and ran a blistering 10.66 seconds to win the 100m at the Youngster Goldsmith meet in Kingston, leading the 200m qualifying here with 22.39 seconds. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652361/259302_85897_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Campesino takes aim at Eileen Cliggott Memorial Cup feature http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Campesino-takes-aim-at-Eileen-Cliggott-Memorial-Cup-feature_89926 Campesino, winner of this year&rsquo;s St Catherine Cup, eyes another trophy win as he heads a six-horse field going into the Grade One Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy feature call at Caymanas Park today. <br /> <br /> The day&rsquo;s highlight of the 11-race card could prove considerably competitive with good, quality performances expected from the imported Brawn, Jamai Raja and Franfield. They will run over 1,300 metres for a purse of $1.2 million. They will go to post at approximately 4:50 pm, with the first post at 12:15 pm.<br /> <br /> The consistent Bubbling Kitten and Sir Budget will complete the field of six runners, and they could cause some anxious moments. Nonetheless, at or about the 500 metre marker the race can truly begin as Campesino, ridden by Robert Halledeen, the lightly weighted Franfield, ridden by apprentice Bebeto Harvey, Brawn with Aaron Chatrie and<br /> <br /> Jamai Raja, under Sadiki Blake, are expected to begin their challenges.<br /> <br /> Campesino looked in unbeatable racing form when capturing the St Catherine Cup over 1,100 metres with top weight of 57.0kgs. But that was after running so well in the Diamond Mile, which was won hands down by the Wayne DaCosta-trained<br /> <br /> Seeking My Dream for the second-consecutive year.<br /> <br /> The seven-year-old bay gelded son of Compadre, out of the Bold Executive mare Yaella, has also trained well for this assignment but this field is a much different kettle of fish altogether. Going 100 metres farther, Campesino has to put every foot right in mid stretch when the pace picks up in the drive to the wire. <br /> <br /> This stands to reason since Jamai Raja, who finished fourth ahead of Campesino in fifth in the Diamond Mile, is down 2.0kgs from 53.0kgs to 51.0kgs, while Campesino&rsquo;s weight of 55.0kgs has gone up by 2.0kgs to 57.0kgs. <br /> <br /> Trainer Gary Subratie has returned the blinkers to Brawn to sharpen the bay horse for this quick sprint. When Campesino and Brawn last met over today&rsquo;s distance on September 17 of last year, Brawn, carrying 54.0kgs, won comfortably by over a length with Campesino finishing in fourth position, carrying 53.0kgs. Today, Brawn comes in at 54.5kgs and could again make the weight differential count.<br /> <br /> Franfield, who won the Superstakes but lost it in the stewards&rsquo; room, should also get in the mix of things. The versatile six-year-old chestnut horse made a half-hearted attempt in the Diamond Mile when finishing in sixth position by over nine lengths. However, from his current exercise reports, Franfield seems to be back to himself once more, and with stable rider Harvey having the leg up, he possesses the class and turn-of-foot to take dead aim in this small field.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the three-year-old season build-up continues as some Classic aspirants will be on show. However, the first and ninth races will draw most attention.<br /> <br /> In race one, the Restricted Stakes event has two promising, native-bred three-year-olds in the line-up &mdash; Fearless Samurai and El Gato.<br /> <br /> Both have won two races and, in this combustible field of seven going 1,600 metres for a purse of $768,000, they are expected to be prominent throughout. Fearless Samurai, with Omar Walker in saddle, is expected to win.<br /> <br /> The ninth race, aimed at the Overnight Allowance level, will see the seasonal debut of Sotomayer, who is the champion two-year-old from last season. He should be a strong contender against a lively field of 15 going 1,500 metres for a purse of $780,000.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652388/259227_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM KSAFA partners with Delgado Health for player benefits http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/KSAFA-partners-with-Delgado-Health-for-player-benefits_89733 Over 4,000 football players affiliated with the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) will benefit from a major health service deal of $21 million offered by Delgado Health Services.<br /> <br /> Delgado Health Services managing Director, Ryon Brooks, made the announcement at a press launch at the his company&rsquo;s offices at 29 Windsor Avenue, Kingston 5, on Wednesday. <br /> <br /> The programme, which embraces KSAFA players at the youth and senior levels, KSAFA referees and council members, will cost $7.2 million per year and will be in effect until August 2020.<br /> <br /> Under this partnership &mdash; which means free benefits to youth players &mdash; electrocardiogram (ECG) tests and injuries sustained at KSAFA events during the season, will be covered. The services will also include physiotherapy, orthopaedic consultation, and general medical consultations.<br /> <br /> Delgado Health Services will also provide medical teams at all matches, starting at the quarter-final stages.<br /> <br /> Also under the partnership, senior players, council members and KSAFA referees will be offered an ECG KSAFA test prior to the start of the season for a cost of no more than $500.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I played my football under the guidance of David Hunt and I always wanted to find a way to honour the gentleman. I met the KSAFA president, Wayne Shaw through netball and we became acquainted and after he became president of KSAFA I called him and told him I have something that I will like to give to you. I went down to his office and I made the offer to sponsor KSAFA football along with Dr Wright from under-13 to Under-20; we want to give them the best possibility to transition. We know that there is a lot of money in football now but there are good players who are ailing for months for years. Health is paramount to me so I go to the doctor,&rdquo; said Brooks. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;[It is] a key element in joining the KSAFA family to eliminate health risks by serving to improve the general health quality of all teams, and by virtue of this, to upgrade the general standard of play from the Under-13s through to the Under-20 stages,&rdquo; KSAFA President Wayne Shaw said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652372/258656_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Melbourne/Purewater 5K organisers promise improved experience http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Melbourne-Purewater-5K-organisers-promise-improved-experience_89928 THE third staging of the Melbourne Cricket Club/Purewater 5K Run/Walk event is scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 5, starting 7:00 am at the Melbourne Cricket Club on Courtney Walsh Drive.<br /> <br /> The launch was staged at Melbourne on Thursday, and title sponsor Purewater &mdash; partnering for a third-straight year &mdash; announced an investment of $650,000. <br /> <br /> Meet Director Allan Beckford said there will be a new feature at this year&rsquo;s event where each competitor will have a tag and bib along with their number, with a clock at the finishing line to record the times participants finished the race.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Competitors will also see the results faster than the two previous races. There will also be a chip timing of individual runners,&rdquo; Beckford said.<br /> <br /> He said the route will see participants start inside the club premises then on to Courtney Walsh Drive, up to Waterloo Road, and then down Constant Spring Road back to the finish line at Melbourne.<br /> <br /> Allie McNab, special advisor to the Minister of Sports Olivia &ldquo;Babsy&rdquo; Grange, read the greeting in her absence.<br /> <br /> He said Minister Grange could not make it as a result of the passing of her mother.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I expressed my joy at the collaborative effort amongst the parties involved in the promotion of health and wellness, and through which funds are generated to support one of my favourite associations and national sporting programmes, Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ),&rdquo; she said<br /> <br /> The minister of sports said the SOJ, under the leadership of Executive Director Lorna Bell, has been a model within sports for development through partnership. <br /> <br /> McNab said Grange&rsquo;s speech also promised a series of stakeholder consultations on the establishment of a National Sport Museum.<br /> <br /> Mark Neita, president of Melbourne, said he is grateful for the partnership with Purewater which involves a three-year memorandum of understanding towards supporting the SOJ programme. A Jamaican contigent is to participate at the Special Olympics Winter Games, set for next month in Austria.<br /> <br /> Neita presented a cheque of $500,000 to Glendon West, the SOJ head of delegation to the Games.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is a tremendous achievement from Special Olympics and it would be a more significant achievement should they medal,&rdquo; Neita said. <br /> <br /> He noted that nearly 1,000 persons participated in the event last year, but this time around he is expecting to receive an overall total of 2,000 or more in running, walking and wheelchair races.<br /> <br /> Medals will be presented to the first three places in each category, with the main prize being a three-night stay at a Sandals Resort.<br /> <br /> Another attraction on the day is a T20 cricket match contested between media personalities.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652344/258992_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Three Hills top St Mary Big Bash Cricket http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Three-Hills-top-St-Mary-Big-Bash-Cricket_89945 Three Hills Club were the toast of the St Mary cricket fraternity when they claimed the championship trophy at the Maurice Clarke 20/20 Big Bash awards ceremony held at the Port Maria Police Station on Thursday. Jack&rsquo;s River were the runners up.<br /> <br /> Richard Francis, the Three Hills star batsman who cracked a memorable century in the finals, was also named the competition&rsquo;s Most Valuable Player, while the Most Disciplined Team Award went to the Beaches/Sandals aggregation. <br /> <br /> Guest speaker at the awards, Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President &ldquo;Billy&rdquo; Heaven, called on the parish associations to change the way they managed cricket in their areas, urging them to develop a more business-like and professional approach to the sport.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We need to change the midset in all the associations and parishes,&rdquo; Heaven noted. &ldquo;And to this end, my association will be will be looking at the structures and enhancing them.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Heaven also said the JCA was set to change the structure of the local top league (Senior Cup) in order for Jamaica to be competitive at the regional level and produce players for West Indies and international duties.<br /> <br /> He also announced plans for the formation of a six-team Super League made up of the top teams across the island, with a view to having the best players competing against each other. Heaven, however, pointed out that the Senior Cup would still be maintained to allow exposure to a large number of players.<br /> <br /> Also speaking at the event was Leston Pinnock, president of the St Mary Cricket Association, who spoke of the growth of the sport in the parishes and the number of competitions taking place. He also used the occasion to launch the 2017 Big Bash, which begins on Sunday, February 19, at Days Mountain. <br /> <br /> In the opening match, Oxford will oppose Trinity Land at 9:30 am while, Wilderness and Days Mountain clash in the feature game later.<br /> <br /> The 2017 Big Bash Competition is being sponsored by Costley Construction, L P Martin Funeral Supplies, Braham&rsquo;s Texaco, Scotia Bank, Total Tools and Beaches Ocho Rios. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652342/259254_85876_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Wizards rout Pacers while Bulls edge Celtics http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Wizards-rout-Pacers-while-Bulls-edge-Celtics_89950 WASHINGTON, United States &mdash; With a host of scoring threats, the Washington Wizards have become one of the NBA&rsquo;s hottest teams, showing their scoring depth Thursday in a 111-98 rout of struggling Indiana.<br /> <br /> Otto Porter Jr had 25 points and eight rebounds, Markieff Morris added 21 points and seven rebounds, all-star John Wall contributed 20 points and 12 assists, while Bradley Beal had 19 points as the Wizards led all the way.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a lot of threats and it&rsquo;s hard to key on any one guy,&rdquo; Beal said. &ldquo;We are enjoying this. Winning like this is fun. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are playing with a lot of energy and we don&rsquo;t care who is scoring or anything like that. We enjoy playing for each other.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Wizards improved to 34-21, shooting 51.8 per cent from the floor in inflicting the Pacers&rsquo; sixth loss in a row.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have been looking real good for the last few months,&rdquo; Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. &ldquo;I think we are in a good spot, but I think the thing I love about this group is that they are not satisfied.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We know we have a lot of work ahead of us. A tough part of our schedule is coming up. We are going to go into it with the right focus and challenge. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re not going to win all of them, but we have to stick together when we don&rsquo;t,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Our guys have done that.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Wizards &mdash; who currently force the most opponent turnovers per game, averaging 15.6 &mdash; rank third in the Eastern Conference after their ninth victory in 10 games.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are looking at the big picture,&rdquo; Morris said. &ldquo;We still have a lot of season to go.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have to make sure guys are working out over the All-Star break. We just have to stay ready.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Myles Turner and Paul George each had 17 points to lead the Pacers &mdash; now 29-28 and sixth in the East &mdash; one game ahead of the Chicago Bulls, who edged visiting Boston 104-103 in Thursday&rsquo;s only other game.<br /> <br /> The Bulls made all 22 of their free throw attempts, with Jimmy Butler sinking a pair with .9 of a second remaining, to lift Chicago (28-29) to victory. <br /> <br /> Bulls scoring leader Butler, 9-for-9 from the free throw line on the night, drew a foul on Marcus Smart off a jump shot on the Bulls&rsquo; final possession.<br /> <br /> Boston&rsquo;s Al Horford missed a fadeaway jumper as time expired.<br /> <br /> Butler scored 29 points and had seven assists for the Bulls.<br /> <br /> The Celtics, 37-20 and second overall in the East, were led by Isaiah Thomas with 29 points, including the Celtics&rsquo;s final 11 points.<br /> <br /> Thomas scored 20 or more points for the 41st consecutive game, breaking a franchise record previously held by Hall of Famer John Havlicek. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652339/259255_85845_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Scorpions to take inspiration from semis into final, says Walton http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Scorpions-to-take-inspiration-from-semis-into-final--says-Walton_89966 ST JOHN&rsquo;S, Antigua (CMC) &mdash; Chadwick Walton hopes Jamaica Scorpions can use their record-breaking semi-final performance in Wednesday&rsquo;s semi-final as inspiration when they meet tournament favourites Barbados Pride in the final of the Regional Super50 here today.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This will lift the morale of the team. We were getting starts and no one was carrying on. [In the semi-final] we had two centuries so I hope this will lift the morale of the team and we can take it from there,&rdquo; said Walton, who struck a career-best 117 in that semi-final against two-time reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The bowling was always good but the batting came to the party [in the semi-final] and we will see if we can put a complete game on the park come the finals.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sent in at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Scorpions piled up a massive 434 for four off their 50 overs &ndash; a record in regional 50-overs cricket.<br /> <br /> Opener Walton led the way with a 117 &ndash; his maiden List A hundred &ndash; in a 174-run opening stand with American left-hander Steven Taylor who scored an aggressive 88.<br /> <br /> Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood stroked an unbeaten 108 in a rollicking 163-run fourth wicket stand with Rovman Powell who blasted 95.<br /> <br /> Powell returned with his medium pace to take his maiden List A five-wicket haul to bundle Red Force out for 142, and pull off an emphatic 292-run victory.<br /> <br /> Walton said while the performance had been an exceptional one, Scorpions were aware the final meant starting over from scratch.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was something special but we still can&rsquo;t take anything lightly,&rdquo; the wicketkeeper explained.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We still have a final to go and play and we still have to take it from ball one. This is history but we have to come now in the finals and start from the first delivery.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Jamaica last lifted the Regional 50-overs crown back in 2012 when they defeated Trinidad in the final of the tournament held in Guyana.<br /> <br /> That winning side featured the likes of superstar Chris Gayle and Andre Russell but with no plethora of stars available this time around, Walton said a victory on Saturday would be all the more special.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Victory for this team would mean a lot to us. A lot of the big name players are not here including Chris Gayle and Andre Russell,&rdquo; Walton pointed out. &ldquo;So a victory for us would be [very good].&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652313/258700_85870_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Struggles continue for Gayle as Kings lose http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Struggles-continue-for-Gayle-as-Kings-lose_89959 SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (CMC) &mdash; Chris Gayle&rsquo;s run of low scores in the Pakistan Super League continued on Thursday as his Karachi Kings suffered a seven-run defeat to Sunil Narine&rsquo;s Lahore Qalanders.<br /> <br /> Chasing a challenging 180 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Kings came up short at 172 for eight, with the veteran left-hander mustering just five while his West Indies teammate Kieron Pollard also failed, scoring just eight as King suffered a major batting meltdown.<br /> <br /> Gayle now has 17 runs from three innings in the tournament.<br /> <br /> Only Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara, with 65 off 45 balls and Pakistani Shoaib Malik, with a 30-ball 39, showed any resistance in a 101-run, third wicket stand which pulled Kings around from 21 for two in the fourth over.<br /> <br /> Once the partnership was broken, however, Kings slumped again with six wickets tumbling for just 46 runs down the stretch.<br /> <br /> Off-spinner Narine, who opened the bowling, finished with two for 32 from his four overs. He also accounted for Pollard, deceived and bowled between bat and pad in the 17th over.<br /> <br /> Earlier, Qalanders rattled up 179 for eight off their 20 overs after being sent in, with Fakhar Zaman top-scoring with 56.<br /> <br /> Narine smashed a four and a six in scoring 13 from six deliveries as he opened his shoulders late on. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12903288/199527__w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Hope takes Pride into final as Hurricanes flatter to deceive http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Hope-takes-Pride-into-final-as-Hurricanes-flatter-to-deceive_89947 ST JOHN&rsquo;S, Antigua (CMC) &mdash; Shai Hope broke a 25-year-old record as Barbados Pride brushed aside a jaded Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 110 runs to a set up a rematch with Jamaica Scorpions in today&rsquo;s final of the Regional Super50.<br /> <br /> In the second day/night semi-final at Coolidge Cricket Ground here Thursday, tournament favourites Pride rattled up 314 for seven off their 50 overs, with the right-handed Hope gathering a career-best 125 from 108 deliveries.<br /> <br /> Opener Kraigg Brathwaite weighed in with 54, captain Jason Holder stroked a breezy 26-ball unbeaten 42 while Roston Chase chipped in with 31 and big-hitting all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, 27.<br /> <br /> In their turn at the crease, Hurricanes never looked like seriously challenging their target once they lost talismanic captain Kieran Powell cheaply, and were dismissed for a disappointing 204 off 47.3 overs.<br /> <br /> Opener Montcin Hodge top-scored with 63, Jeremiah Louis hit a fluent unbeaten 41 off 32 deliveries while burly Rahkeem Cornwall chipped in with 30.<br /> <br /> Powell, with over 500 runs in the tournament, failed to replicate that form and departed for just three &ndash; one of four wickets to tumble for 43 runs to leave Hurricanes tottering in the 15th over.<br /> <br /> But Pride kept the pressure on to ensure the hosts never really recovered and they lost their last six wickets for 111 runs.<br /> <br /> The chief architects of the Hurricanes demise were off-spinner Ashley Nurse (3-37) and seamer Carlos Brathwaite (3-56) who finished with three wickets apiece while fast bowler Kemar Roach picked up for two 36.<br /> <br /> Hope finished the innings with seven dismissals &ndash; four catches and three stumpings &ndash; to erase the regional 50-overs record of six dismissals set by Guyana&rsquo;s Sheik Mohammed against Barbados at Kensington Oval back in 1992.<br /> <br /> The 23-year-old also wrote himself into the List A record books, becoming the first wicketkeeper to score a hundred and take seven dismissals in a match.<br /> <br /> It was Hope&rsquo;s knock that formed the foundation of Pride&rsquo;s dominant display with the bat, as he inspired three half-century partnerships at key stages of the innings.<br /> <br /> Kevin Stoute took the attack to the bowlers, striking four fours in 21, as the aggressor in an opening stand with Brathwaite worth 42 runs, which put Hurricanes on the back foot.<br /> <br /> Once Stoute was bowled by off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall (2-53) in the 10th over, Hope put on 77 for the second wicket with Brathwaite who was his usual patient self, facing 84 balls and counting five fours.<br /> <br /> When Brathwaite and Jonathan Carter (0) fell in the space of six deliveries to leave Pride on 121 for three in the 28th over, Hope stabilised the innings in an 83-run fourth wicket stand with Chase.<br /> <br /> Hope struck eight fours and five sixes while Chase faced 38 deliveries and counted two fours.<br /> <br /> For the second time in the innings, however, Pride lost two quick wickets when Chase and Ashley Nurse (0) fell in successive deliveries to left-arm spinner Jason Campbell in the 41st over to be 204 for five but once again Hope stepped up, this time anchoring a 68-run, sixth wicket partnership with Holder.<br /> <br /> Hope raised his hundred off 95 balls in the 42nd over and was upping the tempo with clean hitting when he perished in the 46th over.<br /> <br /> Holder then entertained, whacking two fours and three sixes while Brathwaite belted three sixes in an 11-ball cameo, to give Pride impetus near the end.<br /> <br /> Hurricanes were in early trouble when Powell nicked one from fast bowler Holder that seamed away, to give Hope his first catch at 16 for in the fourth over.<br /> <br /> Jermaine Otto&rsquo;s inexperience showed when he loosely drove Roach to Holder at cover to depart for one in the seventh over at 25 for two and when Jahmar Hamilton (11) and Chesney Hughes (2) fell to catches at the wicket in successive overs from Brathwaite, Hurricanes were tottering.<br /> <br /> Hodge, who faced 111 balls and struck seven fours, then propped up the innings with two key stands &ndash; posting exactly 50 for the fifth wicket with Cornwall and another 40 for the seventh with Akeal Hosein who made 28.<br /> <br /> Cornwall smashed two fours and two sixes in a typical blustery 28-ball knock before holing out in the deep off left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn in the 24th over and Hosein faced 34 balls and counted a four and a six before losing his wicket in the 37th over.<br /> <br /> By then, Hurricanes had drifted far behind the required run rate and required nothing short of a miracle to come back. The pressure told on Hodge and his lunge down the pitch at Nurse was more out of desperation than deliberation, and Hope easily completed the stumping in the 39th over.<br /> <br /> His dismissal broke the backbone of the Hurricanes resistance and Louis&rsquo;s late flourish was of academic importance.<br /> <br /> Scoreboard <br /> <br /> PRIDE<br /> <br /> K Brathwaite c Otto b Hosein 54<br /> <br /> K Stoute b Cornwall 21<br /> <br /> +S Hope c Louis b Joseph 125<br /> <br /> J Carter c Powell b Cornwall 0<br /> <br /> R Chase c Hughes b Campbell 31<br /> <br /> A Nurse c wkp Hamilton b Campbell 0<br /> <br /> *J Holder not out 42<br /> <br /> C Brathwaite c Hosein b Peters 27<br /> <br /> S Dowrich not out 1<br /> <br /> Extras (lb3, w10) 13<br /> <br /> TOTAL (7 wkts, 50 overs) 314<br /> <br /> Did not bat: K Roach, S Benn.<br /> <br /> Fall of wickets: 1-42 (Stoute), 2-119 (K Brathwaite, 26.2), 3-121 (Carter, 27.2), 4-204 (Chase), 5-204 (Nurse), 6-272 (Hope), 7-305 (C Brathwaite).<br /> <br /> Bowling: Hosein 10-0-37-1, Joseph 10-0-71-1 (w5), Cornwall 10-0-53-2, Campbell 10-0-70-2 (w2), Louis 4-0-29-0 (w1), Hughes 2-0-15-0, Peters 4-0-36-1 (w2).<br /> <br /> HURRICANES<br /> <br /> M Hodge st Hope b Nurse 63<br /> <br /> *K Powell c wkp Hope b Holder 3<br /> <br /> J Otto c Holder b Roach 1<br /> <br /> +J Hamilton c wkp Hope b C Brathwaite 11<br /> <br /> C Hughes c Hope b C Brathwaite 2<br /> <br /> R Cornwall c Stoute b Benn 30<br /> <br /> O Peters st Hope b Nurse 3<br /> <br /> A Hosein c Chase b Nurse 28<br /> <br /> J Louis not out 41<br /> <br /> J Campbell c wkp Hope b Roach 10<br /> <br /> A Joseph c wkp Hope b C Brathwaite 5<br /> <br /> Extras (lb2, w4, nb1) 7<br /> <br /> TOTAL (all out, 47.3 overs) 204<br /> <br /> Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Powell), 2-25 (Otto), 3-39 (Hamilton), 4-43 (Hughes), 5-93 (Cornwall), 6-99 (Peters), 7-139 (Hosein), 8-151 (Hodge), 9-177 (Campbell), 10-204 (Joseph)<br /> <br /> Bowling: Roach 10-1-36-2 (w2), Holder 7-0-28-1 (w2), Benn 10-0-28-1, C Brathwaite 7.3-0-56-3 (nb1), Nurse 10-0-37-3, Chase 3-0-17-0.<br /> <br /> Result: Pride won by 110 runs.<br /> <br /> Position: Pride advance to Super50 final.<br /> <br /> Man-of-the-Match: Shai Hope.<br /> <br /> Toss: Pride.<br /> <br /> Umpires: Patrick Gustard, Nigel Duguid; TV &ndash; Verdayne Smith http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652249/259264_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM Barbados Pride beat Jamaica Scorpions by 59 runs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Barbados-Pride-beat-Jamaica-Scorpions-by-59-runs ST JOHN&rsquo;S, Antigua (CMC) &mdash; Barbados Pride defeated Jamaica Scorpions by 59 runs in the final of the Regional Super50 at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua today.<br /> <br /> Scores:<br /> <br /> PRIDE 271 for nine off 50 overs (Shai Hope 101, Jason Holder 69, Kevin Stoute 41; Rovman Powell 2-27, Jason Campbell 2-35)<br /> <br /> SCORPIONS 212 all out off 44.3 overs (Rovman Powell 65, Andre McCarthy 30, Damion Jacobs 28; Sulieman Benn 3-33, Jason Holder 2-28, Carlos Brathwaite 2-43, Kemar Roach 2-54) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654316/Pride_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:01 PM