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 MBU clip Jamalco, extend RSPL lead http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/MBU-clip-Jamalco--extend-RSPL-lead_87366 Montego Bay United (MBU) extended their lead at the top of the Red Stripe Premier League standings, after edging 10-man Jamalco FC 2-1 in their second-round game at Wespow Park on Sunday.<br /> <br /> Ramone Sibley in the 40th minute and Johann Weatherly in the 59th minute scored for the defending champions, as both benefited from Kashief Brown assists. Second-half substitute Peter Brown pulled one back in the 63rd minute for Jamalco, who played the final 13 minutes with 10 men, after Ajuran Brown was shown a straight red card for punching Owayne Gordon in his face after missing a tackle. <br /> <br /> The well-travelled Brown (Ajuran), who has played for at least four other clubs over the last nine seasons, was earlier cautioned for another rash tackle.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think we did well today but we did not finish as strong as we should have, especially when they went down to 10 players,&rdquo; said Dillon Thelwell, coach of Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> Linval &lsquo;Palla&rsquo; Wilson, the Jamalco coach, was upbeat despite the loss.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The team stayed competitive today, but some bad decisions on the field cost us the game today,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer, blaming inexperience on the part of some of his players.<br /> <br /> The win pushes MBU to 42 points, three more than second-placed Tivoli Gardens, who were held 0-0 by Humble Lion. Jamalco are ninth with 20 points.<br /> <br /> The champions played a youthful team that included two players from the ISSA daCosta Cup football competition in Cornwall College&rsquo;s Michael Heaven at right back and Rusea&rsquo;s High&rsquo;s Deshane Beckford at central midfield.<br /> <br /> With six starters under 22 years old, MBU controlled the game at the start and could have gone ahead as early as the ninth minute, but Nicholas Stewart missed from point-blank range when his shot was blocked on the goal line and went over the cross bar. The home team continued to press forward, pushing Jamalco back into their own defensive area, but failed to breach.<br /> <br /> MBU&rsquo;s goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett was forced into a diving save from a Raju Watson free kick and despite a clear shot at an empty goal, Andrew Isaacs fired the rebound wide.<br /> <br /> Montego Bay eventually took the lead when Weatherly wrestled the ball from two Jamalco players and passed it to Brown (Kashief), who relayed it to Sibley, and the latter rifled home to make it 1-0 at the break.<br /> <br /> Jamalco team started the second half brightly, but Weatherly sent his team further ahead when he was sent through by Brown (Kashief), and fired in a well-placed shot. <br /> <br /> MBU dropped their intensity and Peter Brown, who replaced the injured Shauntel Mundel was allowed too much space to get off a curling left footer which beat Barrett all ends up.<br /> <br /> Teams: <br /> <br /> Montego Bay United &mdash; Jacomeno Barrett, Michael Heaven, Ladale Richie, Fabion McCarthy, Nicholas Stewart, Kevon Lambert, Ramone Sibley, Deshane Beckford (Jermaine Woozencroft 68th), Johann Weatherly (Ronaldo Rodney 82nd), Kashief Brown (Allen Ottey 67th), Owayne Gordon<br /> <br /> Subs not used: David Swaby, Pagiel Brown, Donovan Carey, Orlando McBayne<br /> <br /> Booked: None<br /> <br /> Jamalco FC &mdash; Rannaldo Christian, Shauntel Mundel (Peter Brown 46th), Ajuran Brown, Akeem Henry, Raju Watson (Ramone Plummer 74th), Laston Reid, Tyrone Buddha, Andre Dawson (Maurice Johnson 43rd), Tkevin Garnett, Andrew Isaacs, Sheldon Mills<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Levor Williams, Sean Coleman, Dale Watson, Matthew Davidson<br /> <br /> Booked: P Brown (65th), A Brown (ejected &mdash; 77th) <br /> <br /> Referee: Daneon Parchment<br /> <br /> Assistant Referees: Nicholas Anderson, Melvin Reid<br /> <br /> Fourth Official: Dwight Royal<br /> <br /> Match Commissary: Devon Maxwell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13593028/254014_80943_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Rovman Powell targets Scorpions victory over Marooners in Super50 opener http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Rovman-Powell-targets-Scorpions-victory-over-Marooners-in-Super50-opener_87378 Rovman Powell, the Jamaica Scorpions batsman, is relishing the prospect of facing Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) Marooners at Three Ws Oval in Barbados in today&rsquo;s opening game of the Regional Super50 competition. <br /> <br /> The 23-year-old all-rounder, a former member of the CCC set-up, said starting with a victory against them could provide much-needed momentum in a competitive-looking Zone B. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;For the past two Nagico Super50 tournaments I played for CCC, so I know the players and it is a quality unit there. We are looking to start against them with a good game and put on a show for our fans,&rdquo; Powell told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> He conceded that progressing to the semi-finals from a zone that also includes powerful squads of Barbados Pride and Guyana Jaguars will be difficult. However, the hard-hitting middle-order batsman who also bowls medium pace, said the Scorpions possess an exciting squad of their own.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a really high-quality group that we are in. Barbados and Guyana have strong teams and they play some good white ball cricket or one-day cricket so it will not be easy for us.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But once we play well, we should be okay &mdash; and yes, we can lift the title. The composition of the team is good with good young players mixed with some very experienced players,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> ICC Americas are also in Zone B.<br /> <br /> Powell had a fruitful run in Jamaica Tallawahs winning the 2016 Caribbean Premier League which triggered subsequent calls to the West Indies A and senior squads.<br /> <br /> He is aware plenty is expected of him, and typical of his approach to the game, he is not backing down.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m in good form and just ready for this competition. I&rsquo;m chomping at the bit to do well for the Scorpions,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The other scheduled game today is the hosts Pride versus the Jaguars at Kensington Oval.<br /> <br /> Zone A, which will be contested in Antigua, comprises Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, Windward Islands Volcanoes, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, West Indies Under-19s and invited English County outfit Kent Spitfires.<br /> <br /> The top two teams are set to advance from each zone for the semi-finals which are slated to be played at Coolidge in Antigua on February 15 and 16.<br /> <br /> The final is scheduled for February 18, also at Coolidge.<br /> <br /> Squad &mdash; Nikita Miller (capt), John Campbell, Steven Taylor, Jermaine Blackwood, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Devon Thomas, Damion Jacobs, Jerome Taylor, Reynard Leveridge, Gavon Brown, Damani Sewell. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13436061/241109_80866_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Seeking My Dream &mdash; Horse of the Year 2016 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Seeking-My-Dream---Horse-of-the-Year-2016_87352 For the second year in succession, the Derrick Smith-owned, Wayne DaCosta trained, Seeking My Dream was voted to wear the coveted crown of Horse of the Year for his exploits during the the 2016 racing year. <br /> <br /> Seeking My Dream was the overwhelming choice, receiving 14 of the 17 votes available, with Bigdaddykool polling three. Horse of the Year votes were cast by 14 members of the media plus three representatives from the promoting company, Caymanas Track Limited. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This ascension to another Horse of the Year crown by Seeking My Dream is well deserved and right now I am really happy. I am happy as the owner of a true thoroughbred champion; I am happy for the trainer; I am happy for the jockey and I am happy for the groom. <br /> <br /> &ldquo; Seeking My Dream has fullfilled all my wishes and desires in racing and I say thank you to all who made it possible,&rdquo; Smith said with delight in his voice.<br /> <br /> For trainer Wayne DaCosta, the Horse of the Year title going to Seeking My Dream for a second year was proof of his obvious class.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Seeking My Dream is special, very special. He once again demonstrated his class and pedigree and I am just happy and honoured to have him in my barn,&rdquo; DaCosta said. <br /> <br /> Top three-year-old Bigdaddykool received the nod as the first runner-up, with Buzz Nightmare voted as second runner-up to the Horse of the Year.<br /> <br /> Seeking My Dream (Seeking the Glory-Alsafra) won four Grade 1 races inclusive of the Legal Light Trophy, The Eros Trophy, The Prime Minister&rsquo;s Stakes and the second running of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries/Supreme Ventures Limited sponsored Diamond Mile, while earning $10,228,300 from his eight starts in 2016. He was also voted Champion four-year-old and up, Champion Middle Distance Performer and Champion Local Bred overall.<br /> <br /> The Stephan Narinesingh-owned Bigdaddykool was voted Champion three-year-old and Champion Stayer, while the 2Penyu-owned Buzz Nightmare was voted Champion Sprinter.<br /> <br /> The two-year-old grey colt Sotomayor was voted Champion two-year-old overall for his owners David Miller and Stephan Narinesingh.<br /> <br /> The Champion Imported honours went to Long Running Train for owner Ian Parsard.<br /> <br /> The Most Improved Trainer was Steven Todd, while apprentice Bebeto Harvey was voted Most Improved Rider.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13592765/253972_80892_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Griffith&rsquo;s smashing 237 lifts Melbourne into semis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Griffith-s-smashing-237-lifts-Melbourne-into-semis_87405 Guyanese left-hander Trevon Griffith clobbered 237 against Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) at Up Park Camp in Sunday&rsquo;s quarter-final, to power Melbourne CC to the semi-final of the Jamaica Cricket Association 50-over competition.<br /> <br /> Melbourne, batting first, racked up 407-7 off their allotted 50 overs on the back of Griffith&rsquo;s heroics en route to a massive 182-run win.<br /> <br /> The army men scored quickly early on but could not sustain the tempo required, and were bowled out for 225 in 36 overs.<br /> <br /> Scores: Melbourne 407-7 (50 overs); JDF 225 (36 overs)<br /> <br /> Melbourne are set to travel to Chedwin Park to face reigning champions St Catherine CC in one semi-final on Saturday. In the day&rsquo;s other last-four encounter, Kingston CC and Kensington CC are scheduled to lock horns at Kensington Park. <br /> <br /> On Sunday, Griffith, who opened the batting, needed only 153 balls to chalk up his highest score in 50-over club cricket.<br /> <br /> The batsman, who missed the final Jamaica Scorpions 14-man squad for the Super50 tournament, smashed 21 fours and 14 sixes. His previous best was 176 playing for Demerara CC in Guyana.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would rate it as one of the better innings I&rsquo;d have played because I batted right through the innings and helped us to a good score. It was a quarter-final game and we needed one of the top players to bat through and get a big score; I put my hand up and did exactly that,&rdquo; Griffith told the Jamaica Observer at the end of the game.<br /> <br /> Earlier, JDF won the toss and sent Melbourne to take first strike, but it was a decision they would soon regret.<br /> <br /> The slim-framed Griffith added 202 runs for the second wicket with Sadiki Bolt &mdash; the brother of sprint legend Usain &mdash; as the soldiers&rsquo; bowlers were put to the sword.<br /> <br /> Bolt hit 62 off 85 balls, while JDF medium pacer Ryan Bennett took 2-71 off eight overs. Part-time spinner Rasheed Outar ended with 2-65 off five overs.<br /> <br /> In reply, JDF opener Jermaine Harrison thrashed a quick-fire 55, while middle order batsmen Outar and Sean Bennett contributed 39 and 32, respectively.<br /> <br /> Bolt, bowling spin, grabbed 5-43 off eight overs, while off-spinner Yannick Elliott had 2-28 off six overs. The young Scorpions&rsquo; fast bowler Oshane Thomas snared 2-51 off seven overs.<br /> <br /> In the other quarter-final on Sunday, Kingston defeated St Thomas CA by 85 runs at Kensington Park.<br /> <br /> Scores: Kingston 265 (44.3 overs); St Thomas 180 (44.5 overs)<br /> <br /> Earlier, Kingston won the toss and opted to bat first and got off to a flying start.<br /> <br /> Aaron Johnson, who fired 74 off 58 balls, and Captain Garth Garvey, who made 40 off 26 balls, shared in a first-wicket partnership of 73 runs which came in seven overs and five balls.<br /> <br /> After both were dismissed, wickets tumbled cheaply before a 79-run, seventh-wicket stand between wicketkeeper Kirk Harris and Abhijhai Mansingh ensured they had the momentum to surpass the psychological 250 mark. Harris slammed 82 off 81 balls and counted ten fours and a lone six, while Mansingh&rsquo;s patient 23 came up in 74 balls.<br /> <br /> St Thomas CC&rsquo;s Omar Brooks took 4-60 off nine overs, while Chevon Simpson grabbed 2-24 off four overs.<br /> <br /> Kenroy Williams top-scored for St Thomas with 39. Opener Andre Bryce also made 39, while his brother Damion &mdash; a left-hander &mdash; made 20.<br /> <br /> Out-of-favour West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Carlton Baugh, batting at seven, was given out leg before wicket for zero. His dismissal at 82-5 in the 25th over left St Thomas&rsquo;s run-chase in tatters and, despite lower order resistance, they were unable to snatch the win.<br /> <br /> Pacer Odean Smith took 6-51 for Kingston, while spinner Patrick Harty grabbed 2-36.<br /> <br /> In one quarter-final game last Saturday, St Catherine CC brushed aside visitors Lucas CC by 10 wickets at Chedwin Park.<br /> <br /> Scores: Lucas 83 (27.3 overs); St Catherine CC 87-0 (7.1 overs)<br /> <br /> In Saturday&rsquo;s other quarter-final, Kensington CC eked out a two-wicket win over hosts Westmoreland CA at Paradise Cricket Ground.<br /> <br /> Scores: Westmoreland 182 (30.4 overs); 183-8 (28 overs)<br /> <br /> &mdash;Sanjay Myers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13592997/253950_80934_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM North Central track and field meet results http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/North-Central-track-and-field-meet-results_87377 DISCOVERY BAY, Jamaica &mdash; Bellefield Boys&rsquo; and Kingston High School Girls&rsquo;&rsquo; dominated the 17th staging of the North Central Track and Field meet, held at Noranda New Day Company field last Saturday. <br /> <br /> A total of 27 teams, including clubs, preparatory and high schools, participated in the event. <br /> <br /> Meet Director Duen Daley said that it was another successful staging of the event.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The meet has been able to cater for schools mainly in the east and sections of central Jamaica, as they [schools] look forward to the meet as well despite the challenge of many other new meets coming on stream. Noranda New Day has been good to us and will be looking forward to continue their support, along with other stakeholders,&rdquo; Daley said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13593056/254037_80883_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM UWI edge Maverley/Hughenden to continue impressive run http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/UWI-edge-Maverley-Hughenden-to-continue-impressive-run_87367 The University of the West Indies (UWI) FC defeated 10-man Maverley/Hughenden 1-0 at the Constant Spring playingfield on Sunday to hold firmly on to third place in the Red Stripe Premier League standing with 38 points.<br /> <br /> Ramoun Reid took advantage of an early defensive slip-up from hosts Maverley/Hughenden to put UWI ahead in the 21st minute from close range.<br /> <br /> The hard-fought and narrow victory provided UWI with three valuable points to move within one point of second place, while Maverley/Hughenden were left stymied in eighth position on 20 points.<br /> <br /> The first half of play was quite normal and the ball control looked impossible on a parched and uneven playing surface. However, when Maverley intensified play in the second half to get on terms with their opponents, things got heated.<br /> <br /> This resulted in the expulsion of Andrew Peddlar with seven minutes of play remaining. Referee Kevin Morrison had earlier made several attempts to get between players on both sides in an attempt to prevent the situation from mushrooming into a scuffle.<br /> <br /> Morrison was again called into action and quickly stepped between Robert Williams of Maverley/Hughenden and the UWI skipper Rochane Smith before issuing warning cards to both players in minute 65.<br /> <br /> Order was restored but the players from both sides were resolute in their play &mdash; one to get on even terms, the other to protect their advantage. <br /> <br /> With a man short, Maverley seemed to redouble their efforts and looked dangerous, but UWI held firm for the win.<br /> <br /> Andrew Peart, assistant coach of UWI, though happy with the three points, noted that &ldquo;It was not a beautiful game.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Anthony Patrick of Maverley was left disappointed. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am very disappointed how we played today (Sunday). In the first half we never made good use of our chances and way down in the second half we had more possession of the ball but failed to take advantage of this by rushing the play. But it is work in progress to get the team streamlined,&rdquo; Patrick told the Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> Teams: <br /> <br /> Maverley/Hughenden FC &mdash; Damian Campbell, Andre White, Robert Williams, Andrew Peddlar, Ricardo Thomas (Raymond Williamson 35th), Denardo Thomas, Phillip Peddie (Wayne Williams 65th), Rodico Wellington (Narado Brown 59th), Nicholas Scott, Shamar Dyer, Jason Watson<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Jovel Plunkett, Kasai Hinds, Jamoly Powell, Claudious Blackburn<br /> <br /> Booked: Williamson 45+2, Robert Williams 65th, Peddlar (Red Carded) 83rd.<br /> <br /> UWI FC &mdash; Amal Knight, Rochane Smith, Kemar Flemmings, Jamie Robinson, Davion Garrison (Akeem Thenstead 78th), Ramoun Reid, Leighton Stuart, Jerondy Henry, Anthony Greenland (Patrick Brown 61st), Kemamar Daley, Deno Schaffe<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Nicholas King, Kemar Douglas, Kemar Cummings, Kemoy Atkinson, Daniel Gilzene<br /> <br /> Booked: Garrison 27th, Daley 28th, Smith 65th<br /> <br /> Referee: Kevin Morrison<br /> <br /> Assistant Referees: Richard Washington, Lloyd Edwards<br /> <br /> Fourth Official: Leon Brown<br /> <br /> Match Commissioner: Charles Barrett http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10595868/Football-2_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Big Shot Pictorial http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Big-Shot-Pictorial_87396 Scenes from the Big Shot Invitational Meet at Excelsior High School last Saturday<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13592878/254007_80912_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Trainer Dwight Chen &lsquo;is in time&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Trainer-Dwight-Chen--is-in-time-_87362 The running of the Eight Thirty Sprint official started the 2017 native-bred three-year-olds Classic season at Caymanas Park last Saturday.<br /> <br /> The maiden special weight event for fillies, which was divided into two sections, was run over 1,000 metres straight. Victories went to the Dwight Chen&rsquo;s pair of first-time runners Earth Angel and Marlene My Love.<br /> <br /> The Trevor Dunkley Snr -owned Earth Angel (Blue Pepsi Lodge &ndash; Flint Ridge), ridden by the not often used Arthur Budhu, showed good speed at the start but was watched closely by Blue Tradition (Linton Steadman) as the Lorenzo Robinson-bred, owned and trained Delphinium led the 10-horse field at a merry clip.<br /> <br /> Crossing the dummy rails, Delphinium, who had opened up a five-length lead on the field, started to retreat and in a jiffy,<br /> <br /> Earth Angel took over and ran away in the final stages of the race to win comfortably by five-and-a-half lengths. Blue Tradition finished second and Fear De Breeze (Javaniel Patterson) in third. The final time for the Division One contest was a decent 59.4 seconds on a good racing surface.<br /> <br /> Dunkley said that the win was expected.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a very good run by Earth Angel as we were waiting on this for a very long, long time and it finally came and I am happy for the victory. She is a very nice horse who is going places. The Classic races are coming and so let&rsquo;s see how things go from here on,&rdquo; Dunkley told the Complete Racing Guide.<br /> <br /> Budhu said that he was pleased with the effort as it was Earth Angel&rsquo;s first run.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was her first run and I think she did great and so I am happy with her performance. I know my horse has the ability, she has the speed and all I had to do was not to rush her but rather save her for the last two furlongs and she really gave me all that was necessary to win,&rdquo; Budhu said.<br /> <br /> In Division Two, the well-bred half-sister to Triple Crown winner and former horse of the Year Mark My Word, Marlene My Love (Adore The Gold &ndash; Miss Chestnut), owned by Hamark Farms and ridden by Dane Nelson, got the job done in a driving finish.<br /> <br /> Installed as the 1-9 favourite, Marlene My Love was sluggish leaving the gates but within a couple of strides, she settled into third position behind Adoring Lady (Andre Powell) and Tough Cookie (Bebeto Harvey) for most of the way.<br /> <br /> When all seemed lost in the final furlong as Adoring Lady looked all over the winner, Nelson with his bustling riding style, asked Marlene My Love for more and the bay filly found extra and got up in the nick of time to nip<br /> <br /> Adoring Lady right on the wire. Tough Cookie finished third. It was good 59.3 seconds for the distance.<br /> <br /> Howard Hamilton (Hamark Farms) said that he has high hopes for his charge.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Marlene My Love is obviously not a sprinter, she stays forever and I am looking forward to the Classic races with her. She is a nice horse, a very, very nice horse.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All congratulations to trainer Dwight Chen as he did a lot of good work with this horse. She had a problem with her left front hoof and she took a long time to come on and I am pleased with what Chen has done. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;She will be right there in the filly&rsquo;s Classic races this year and I won&rsquo;t be surprised if she wins the Derby as she stays forever,&rdquo; Hamilton told the Complete Racing Guide.<br /> <br /> Nelson was also happy with the victory.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a good run by her. She did what she had to do to win the race and I am pretty much happy with the performance.<br /> <br /> Marlene My Love is a very good horse and with more room for improvement, I think that she will develop into a great racehorse. She will stay and she will also be a factor during the Classic races as well,&rdquo; said Nelson. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13592500/253992_80860_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Finally, the vibes are right http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Finally--the-vibes-are-right_87356 It had to happen and when it did, Royal Vibes after a two-year absence from the winners&rsquo; enclosure, got home by just a neck to win the Allan E &lsquo;Billy&rsquo; Williams Memorial Trophy feature at Caymanas Park last Saturday.<br /> <br /> Royal Vibes (Royal Minister &ndash; November Lace) was involved in a fierce tussle with<br /> <br /> Timeforarms before prevailing in the Overnight Allowance event over 1,400 metres.<br /> <br /> Ridden by Jevvanne Erwin for former champion owner Carlton Watson and champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, the unreliable Royal Vibes, as usual, settled in-mid pack as his stable-companion Mr Ambassador (Omar Walker) led the field for most of the way over Uncle Taf (Leo Miller) and the chasing pack headed by Classy Aviator (Mellisa Ward) and a relaxed<br /> <br /> Silver Cloud, under Dane Nelson.<br /> <br /> Royal Vibes then began to round rivals approaching the half mile as Mr Ambassador with Uncle Taf on his outside, increased the pace. <br /> <br /> Turning for home just behind the leaders with several horses spread across the track, Royal Vibes, under strong handling, split rivals against the inside rails and then had to hold off Timeforarms(Shamaree Muir) for his long overdue win.<br /> <br /> Traditional Prince(Aaron Chatrie) finished in third place over Classy Aviator. The winning time was 1:26.0. The splits were 23.3; 46.2 and 1:12.2.<br /> <br /> DaCosta said that it was a long overdue victory for his charge, who always promised a lot but never delivered when it mattered most.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was an average performance for the Class. I mean the pace was fast up front and he (Royal Vibes) was able to get a comfortable position in mid pack and made a good move leaving the three-furlong pole and he stood strong against Timeforarms to the finish getting home by a neck.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Royal Vibes is one of the most ungenerous horses, I have ever trained, as he never seems to have that grit and tiger-look in his eyes to win a race, he is basically one pace each time. However, he finally got the job done and I am happy for him,&rdquo; DaCosta told the Complete Racing Guide.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13592475/253983_80853_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM On the inside rails&hellip;On the inside rails&hellip;On the inside rails http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/On-the-inside-rails-On-the-inside-rails-On-the-inside-rails_87358 ODEEN EDWARDS BREAKS LEAN SPELL<br /> <br /> Apprentice Odean Edwards began his term in racing in September 2015, with his first full season coming in 2016. During the early part of his career he was quite successful, riding winner after winner and it was felt by many that Edwards along with Linton Steadman were the top two from the last batch of apprentice riders. Steadman fell on difficult times until his pronounced resurgence from the middle of last season when he joined forces with trainer Anthony Nunes. Then came the transformation of Bebeto Harvey who actually challenged for the champion jockey title last year, losing by only five wins to Omar Walker. Edwards, himself is going through a very lean period with the winners drying up. His win on Saturday must have been a very happy one for the young lad. Edwards, riding for in-form trainer Errol Waugh had very little to do in piloting Run Johnny Run to victory on Saturday. It was Edwards&rsquo; first winner in a while and the hope is that this trend will continue.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Errol Waugh returns with a bang<br /> <br /> Errol Waugh was a noted up and coming trainer in the 90&rsquo;s with a sterling career set for his taking. He trained the talented importee<br /> <br /> Regina Savage among many other good horses, then he left racing and little was seen or heard from him during his hiatus period. Over the last three months or so Waugh has returned and is showing that he has not lost his touch. On Saturday, he saddled two winners,<br /> <br /> Jesse&rsquo;s Favorite and Run Johnny Run to make it four for this season. Welcome back Mr Waugh and may the winners continue to flow.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> BEBETO HARVEY STILL TO FIND HIS NICK<br /> <br /> After a breakthrough 2016 season when he seriously challenged for the jockeys&rsquo; championship, apprentice Bebeto Harvey is finding the going really rough in 2017. Thus, far Harvey has ridden only one winner in four racedays and somehow does not look himself in the saddle. While it is understood that all jockeys will have dry spells, Harvey seems to be in another place right now and while that situation can change overnight, right now it is quite visible that it is not the same. Maybe Harvey&rsquo;s slow start to the season can be associated with the factg that his main stable, that of trainer Richard Azan is out of form at this time. For 2017 Azan is yet to make his way to the winners&rsquo; enclosure and as a resuly Harvey has ridden only one winner. It is still early to make any firm predictions but we are noticing the trend.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> NINE HORSES CLAIMED <br /> <br /> Nine horses were claimed on 11-race programme at Caymanas Park last Saturday. Diferentgeneration was claimed from Ryan Darby by Steven Todd acting as both trainer and owner for $350,000; Two Steps Up was claimed from Michael McIntosh by Borris McIntosh for himself for $350,000 and Frankenstorm was taken from Paul Smith by Michael McIntosh for Millicent Thomas, also for $350,000 from the second race. In the third race, Reign Over All was claimed from Errol Waugh by Rowan Mathie for Junior Powell for $230,000; Fastandflashy was claimed by Johnny Wilmot for Carlton Watson for $250,000 from Rudolph Hardial and Bars Of Gold was claimed from Victor Williams by Gregory Forsyth for Clive McLean for $250,000. Miracle Recovery was claimed out of the ninth race from Nigel Burke by Donald Clarke for Maurice Crooks for $180,000. In the 11th and final event on a $180,000 claiming tag, Gregory Forsyth claimed Speedy Process for Michael Wint from Lorenzo Robinson and Phillip Elliott took Coded Secret from Fernando Geddes for BAL.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13593103/253986_80836_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Waterhouse&rsquo;s Williams shines against former club http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Waterhouse-s-Williams-shines-against-former-club_87412 After a fairly successful two-year stint with Arnett Gardens FC in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), Neicko Williams has opted to return to his first love, Waterhouse FC, to assist in their fight against relegation.<br /> <br /> Ironically, Williams, who made the move to the Drewsland-based team last week, had a bitter-sweet first assignment against his former club at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday.<br /> <br /> Though jeered by the feisty Arnett Gardens supporters inside the venue, Williams came out smiling as Waterhouse, through goals from Kemar Beckford (63rd), Romaine Campbell (69th) and Irvino English (81st), secured a comfortable 3-0 victory in the bruising contest.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is a bitter sweet feeling, but I am happy that my team came out on top and I am proud of my work rate today (Sunday). I know Arnett Gardens&rsquo; back line is very slow, so my focus was just to keep running at them and see if I could get on the score sheet. Unfortunately, I didn&rsquo;t, but the team won which is a good step in the right direction,&rdquo; Williams told the Jamaica Observer in a post-match interview.<br /> <br /> Williams, 21, started out at Waterhouse at the Under-13 level and worked his way through the ranks to the nation&rsquo;s top flight. He joined Arnett Gardens in 2015, where he was a part of the title-winning team of the 2014-15 season, and also shared in their Jackie Bell Knockout title triumph last year.<br /> <br /> His last appearance for Arnett Gardens came in a 5-3 win over the University of the West Indies (UWI) at the start of the New Year.<br /> <br /> The fleet-footed player was menacing against Arnett Gardens&rsquo; back three throughout the entire game and won his team the free kick from which the final goal came. He was later replaced by another Arnett Gardens-bred player, Javoni Simms, in the latter stages of the contest.<br /> <br /> Williams pointed to a lack of playing time at the South St Andrew Club as a contributing factor to his decision to return home.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was not really pleased with how things went at Arnett. I think I should have got more playing time which probably would have resulted in me scoring more goals, but I am pleased with the fact that I was a part of the team that won two titles.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I wanted to come home from last season to help my team because I had already won two titles with Arnett and my minutes on the pitch were not increasing as I would have liked. So I wanted to come home to Waterhouse and see how best I can help my team out of the relegation zone,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> His move so far is a positive one, as the three valuable points pushed them up to 18 points, and though they remain in 11th position in the 12-team standing, they are just two points below eight-placed Maverley/Hughenden FC.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Yeah, like I said it is a good look so far and I know we have the quality to go as far as we can, so from here the focus is to continue improving for the remainder of the league. We have a duty as players to keep our team playing in the league, and so we hope to take it game by game and see how best we can go from there,&rdquo; Williams ended. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13593015/253931_80944_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Mtn Villa, Lilliput start season http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Mtn-Villa--Lilliput-start-season_87416 MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica &mdash; Neighbours Lilliput Rovers and Mountain Villa will make their seasonal debuts in the St James Football Association&rsquo;s Sandals International Senior League today, and hopes will be high for more success than last season.<br /> <br /> Mountain Villa just avoided relegation, finishing 10th in the 12-team league. They ended just five points above the drop zone, while Lilliput Rovers were sixth, only six points off the last semi-final position.<br /> <br /> Today, Mountain Villa are to open against Heights FC at Spot Valley High, while Lilliput Rovers are up against promoted Revelation FC at the UDC Field.<br /> <br /> Heights FC will be going after their second win today after winning their opening game 2-1 last week over Marl Road. They had the better of Mountain Villa last season, drawing 1-1 in the first game before hammering them 5-0 in the second round.<br /> <br /> &mdash;Paul A Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10938806/ball_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Atkinson aims to inspire others http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Atkinson-aims-to-inspire-others_87376 Having achieved most of her goals in what has been a phenomenal career thus far, Jamaica&rsquo;s swimming sensation Alia Atkinson is open to sharing her expertise with aspiring stars of the aquatics arena in and around the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> The barrier-breaking breaststroke specialist, who has almost single-handedly placed Jamaica on the world map of swimming, is cognisant that she is the beacon of the sport for compatriots and the region at large.<br /> <br /> With that in mind, Atkinson has accepted the onus as a role model to &ldquo;ignite others&rdquo;, especially those in the so-called, non-traditional sports, which has always been a part of her mandate.<br /> <br /> Atkinson, 27, has represented the island at four consecutive Olympic Games since making her international debut at the age of 15 and that feat is complemented by two astonishing record-breaking exploits on the short-course circuit.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The sport of swimming is not only growing but the popularity of the sport is as well, so any sign of progress is a good sign, but we can still do more in educating the public on water safety and promoting swimming as a life skill as well as a sport,&rdquo; the &ldquo;darling of the pool&rdquo; told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would love to start working on clinics not just in Jamaica but the Caribbean as well. I can only lead by example, especially for the swimmers coming up in Jamaica and if they have any questions or concerns I try to make sure I am approachable and available for them,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> After becoming the first black woman to win a world title in 2014 in Doha, Qatar, where she also equalled Ruta Meilutyte&rsquo;s 100m breaststroke record time of 1:02.36, Atkinson would face the biggest disappointment of her career &ndash; a last-place finish at the Rio Olympics last year.<br /> <br /> But it has always been said that there is calm before a storm and her resilience, courage and unstinting determination coupled with encouraging words from fans around the world saw her bouncing back even stronger.<br /> <br /> She produced a series of outstanding performances during the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup, one of which saw her equalling the 100m breaststroke record for a second time.<br /> <br /> And she inevitably claimed a record for her own in the 50m breaststroke in Tokyo, Japan, clocking 28.64 seconds to erase the old mark of 28.80 seconds set by Jessica Hardy of the USA in 2009.<br /> <br /> The 2014 Sportswoman of the year was once again shortlisted for the prestigious award at the recent gala, but was named runner-up to triple Olympic medallist Elaine Thompson.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The 2016 season can be summed up in one word: expectation. I had the sheer will to do better, to be better than the rest and dream bigger without life&rsquo;s many obstacles. However, life doesn&rsquo;t play by my rules, and Olympic was proof that even though you work hard, and train to the best of your ability, it is not always enough.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The main reason I bounced back so quickly is because of all the people that wrote me via social media. The magnitude of love and support from the Jamaican people and fans all around the world was truly God sent,&rdquo; Atkinson noted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So I am thrilled that I was still nominated and named runner-up for 2016, considering the year I had, with the ups and downs. Track and Field, as usual, did fantastic and Ms (Stafanie) Taylor is quite an asset on the field, so I felt blessed beyond measure to be among Jamaica&rsquo;s top athletes,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> Now with a fairly quiet season ahead of her, Atkinson, who was in Jamaica on vacation, pointed out that learning new techniques and experimenting with different aerobic exercises to improve her strength will be key on the agenda.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I will probably begin training again in the coming weeks. My main competitions are in the latter part of the year, so I can give myself a few days to miss the pool, before I dive back in. But I am definitely hoping to build my body better than before,&rdquo; she ended. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13592983/254028_80921_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Winners&rsquo; comments&hellip;Winners&rsquo; comments&hellip;Winners&rsquo; comments http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Winners--comments-Winners--comments-Winners--comments_87360 The Complete Racing Guide shares the comments of some of the winners on the 11-race programme at Caymanas Park last Saturday.<br /> <br /> The Errol Waugh-trained Jesse&rsquo;s Favorite, under Wesley Henry, won the first race over 1,100 metres by over three lengths. Henry said after the race: &ldquo;The plan was to make one move and that was exactly what happened. This horse on last showed that she is a fighter, so I was pretty confident that we could get the job done again. Winning races is always good and when I win races, I am always happy. I am contesting for the jockeys&rsquo; championship this year and so I am planning on winning more races&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Frankenstorm, owned and trained by Paul Smith and ridden by Jevvanne Erwin, won the second race over 1,000 metres round by 10 lengths. Erwin said: &ldquo;This win was actually a very easy one after all. We got a good break and went in front and that was all that. At no point in the race were we challenged, hence the very easy victory.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Ridden by Andree Powell, Buckaluck, trained by Bernard Vincent, won the fourth race over 1,300 metres by a length. After the race Powell said: &ldquo;Well, first I must say that I am happy for the victory. The year has started out well for me as this is my fourth victory for the season. From last year, my full season as an apprentice rider, I have been working really hard and I think that the dedication and the determination I put in the sport is paying off. There is no time to celebrate, as I will continue to do the hard work.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> With Richard Mitchell riding for Patrick Taylor, Crucial Valor won the sixth race over 1,500 metres. Taylor said: &ldquo;Normally I do not give my jockeys instructions. My jockeys work my horses in the mornings and so they know exactly what to do when they are riding them in races. When I saddle them, I turn in the opposite direction and leave everything in the hands of the rider. Crucial Valor is a less than moderate horse and it takes a man like Richard [Mitchell] to come and redeem him and I appreciate that. I want to thank Mitchell, the owner, the groom and myself, as we all contributed to the victory as it is my first winner for the season and I am happy with that. I am looking forward to see if I can get a second win with El Maestro on Wednesday (tomorrow)&rdquo;. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13592476/253988_80855_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM Browne hoping for quick resolution to Bravo dispute http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Browne-hoping-for-quick-resolution-to-Bravo-dispute_87409 BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) &mdash; Chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne, is hoping the incident between Test batsman Darren Bravo and the West Indies Cricket Board can be solved quickly, so the player can return to action.<br /> <br /> Bravo has not played competitive cricket since he was sent home from the tour of Zimbabwe for a controversial tweet which was critical of WICB president, Dave Cameron, and has been left out of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force squad for the Regional Super50, pending a resolution of the matter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Darren is one of our better players and very talented young man,&rdquo; Browne told Line and Length Network.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Obviously it was sad to to lose him, but at times these things happen. You just need to deal with it, get it over with and get him back out on the field playing cricket.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The 27-year-old Bravo is the West Indies&rsquo; premier batsman who has been a trump card for Red Force in previous Super50 tournaments.<br /> <br /> In fact, it was his brilliant 97 in last year&rsquo;s final against Barbados Pride which carried Red Force to the title at Queen&rsquo;s Park Oval in Port of Spain.<br /> <br /> Bravo found himself in trouble last November when he labelled Cameron a &ldquo;big idiot&rdquo; in a Twitter outburst, in response to the Jamaican administrator stating that Bravo had been offered only a Grade C retainer contract because of his &ldquo;poor performance&rdquo; and declining averages.<br /> <br /> The WICB slammed Bravo&rsquo;s behaviour as &ldquo;inappropriate and unacceptable&rdquo; and cancelled his match/tour contract.<br /> <br /> Browne said he did not expect Bravo to become available until the matter was resolved.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I know there are supposed to be some discussions with Darren&rsquo;s team and also the West Indies Cricket Board and until that is settled, I don&rsquo;t think we&rsquo;ll have much going on in terms of Darren playing cricket. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363658/235237_80932_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM WICB putting programme in place to aid Cornwall success http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/WICB-putting-programme-in-place-to-aid-Cornwall-success_87408 BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) &mdash; A programme is being designed for West Indies A all-rounder, Rahkeem Cornwall, which is aimed at ensuring the player fulfils his immense potential.<br /> <br /> Chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne, said the 23-year-old was &ldquo;a special talent&rdquo; and would be given all the necessary support from the West Indies Cricket Board in order to develop his career.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re actually putting a programme in place for Rahkeem where we are actually going to have someone to manage him overall,&rdquo; Browne told Line and Length Network.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are looking at the various components of him playing cricket where we are looking at coaches, dieticians, and just getting everybody to come together to help this young player because he&rsquo;s a special talent.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Cornwall has emerged as one of the finest young players in the region and was recently selected for the West Indies A tour of Sri Lanka.<br /> <br /> He was outstanding during the three-match four-day Test series, claiming 23 wickets with his off-spin, including a career-best eight of 108 in the opening game in Colombo last October.<br /> <br /> Cornwall has also taken 25 wickets so far in the first five games of the Regional first class championship, and has chipped in with three half-centuries.<br /> <br /> Browne said the WICB would not allow the Antiguan to fall by the wayside.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He&rsquo;s definitely on our list,&rdquo; the former Test wicketkeeper stressed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You would have seen that he&rsquo;s played our A-team cricket and he&rsquo;s done very well there. He&rsquo;s continued to do well at first-class cricket.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Cornwall, who has already played 25 first-class games, is a towering six-footer who has in the past come under scrutiny because of his burly size, with pundits speculating about his athleticism.<br /> <br /> And Browne said WICB players relations officer Ayanna Cooper would lead the charge in ensuring the right team was in place to help Cornwall in every area of his game.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of things that we don&rsquo;t want to happen is for people to say we didn&rsquo;t support him so we&rsquo;re actually looking to put a lot of support around him,&rdquo; Browne stressed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve already started the process where we&rsquo;ve got a team of people together, which will be championed by Ayana Cooper &hellip; so she&rsquo;s going to coordinate from that aspect where we will try to get all the people that are necessary in, to help him be a success.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Cornwall is part of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes squad for the Regional Super50 starting here Tuesday. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13429082/240717_67350_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 AM To hell and back http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/To-hell-and-back_87312 Reggae Boy Errol Stevens, who now plays for Hai Phong FC in farflung Vietnam, wants to use his early struggles as a source of motivation for aspiring Jamaican footballers.<br /> <br /> The 30-year-old striker who last played for Jamaica in 2012 posted a video on Facebook highlighting his difficulties in securing a contract in Thailand, where he was subjected to unpleasant circumstances, which included living a cramped apartment with no furniture or appliances. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;In 2013 I got a link with an agent and went to Thailand. The agent promised a sure contract, as they always promise. So when I reached we (Dicoy Williams) didn&rsquo;t have anywhere to stay. When I left Jamaica I don&rsquo;t have a dollar in my pocket, or maybe around US$50,&rdquo; Stevens revealed in his video. <br /> <br /> He continued: &ldquo;The man (agent) send we go four or five teams in the space of two weeks and Thailand big. Me and Dicoy drive from one city to the other for about five hours.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Stevens said when Williams and himself reached the club, the coaching staff was not expecting them and thought they were stowaway Africans.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So at the same time the transfer market a close down and we never get no team. But we ended up training with a little one team and Ding (Williams) never got to train because the man say is just a striker him want,&rdquo; he noted. <br /> <br /> The former Portmore United, Harbour View and Arnett Gardens striker said if it wasn&rsquo;t for a video he made of himself while playing for Jamaica, he wouldn&rsquo;t have got the chance to train.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I just finished playing with Jamaica in 2012, so I did make a little YouTube video and a that make me even get on the field. I showed the man (boss) and he saw that it was the same person. So he told the coach to put me in for 20 minutes. We ended up winning the match 6-2 and I scored two and set two. So when that finished we just leave and go back where the man have we a stay,&rdquo; said Stevens. <br /> <br /> Being frustrated with all the travelling and no trial, Williams said he was heading back to Jamaica. But not Stevens, as he was determined to see it out despite the adverse conditions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So Dicoy said he was going home because it was a joke thing and a waste a time. But I was thinking the same thing. But I said, &lsquo;Ding, I don&rsquo;t have anything to go home to. I am broke like dog. Nothing. So me not going home until I get something,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> Stevens, who had a short stint in Russia FC Khimki in 2009, was sent on another trial at another club. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;But the team that I went to before called the agent and said bring the &lsquo;baller come&rsquo;; we want to sign him. So I ended up there and signed for around US$2,000. I couldn&rsquo;t do any better. If they did tell me US$1,000 I would take it,&rdquo; said a desperate Stevens.<br /> <br /> The powerful striker, who is known for his pace and trickery, signed for Saraburi FC in Thailand, which is over 10,000 miles from Jamaica. In addition to that, he was faced with a foreign language and an alien culture.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The man carry me go a little apartment &mdash; is only a mat on the ground. An empty room with a mat that you brush off you foot on,&rdquo; Stevens emphasised. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;In my mind I was saying the situation grim and I could walk leave it. But at the end of the day, I said nothing not at yard (Jamaica),&rdquo; he noted. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;But I said I born at Portmore Lane, and up to when I was eight years old a pit toilet we were using. So I said this is the least,&rdquo; he added. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The house that I was in I have to be paying rent for it and it has nothing in it, and I have to find food and everything same way. I have to find travelling to go training. So literally when they pay me at month time, all the money spend back in the country. It was five bills US (US$500) I could save after six months. I scored six goals in 14 matches in that six months. They gave me a next contract with just five bills more. So I ended getting US$2,500 (about $300,000) and I couldn&rsquo;t turn it down,&rdquo; said Stevens.<br /> <br /> He ended with 16 goals in 40 games after he was snapped up by Vietnamese club Hai Phong in 2014, and to date he has banged in 24 goals from 49 games.<br /> <br /> Married to a Russian he met in Thailand, and only recently welcoming a baby son to his family, Stevens is enjoying his time in Asia. He&rsquo;s also enjoying his time on the pitch as well, where he has formed a lethal partnership with former Harbour View player Andre Fagan.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So I am just showing people that from there until now I don&rsquo;t go back at Jamaica. I ended coming to Vietnam, much, much better situation, and as you can see my life dramatically changed. I am just showing that sometimes you have to put your pride aside and no matter how small you have to start, is a start,&rdquo; said Stevens. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;My story is nothing great, but I can take care of my family and make life better,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13590940/253896__w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM &lsquo;Costly&rsquo; in the end http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Costly--in-the-end_87347 A crucial offside call by Referee Weston Costly proved just that for Tivoli Gardens, as they were denied a goal and had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Humble Lion in their Red Stripe Premier League match at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday.<br /> <br /> With the last action of the game in the 94th minute, Elton Thompson thought he had headed Tivoli Gardens to victory, but Costly ruled offside after his assistant, Keeble Williams raised his flag.<br /> <br /> It was a decision that did not go down well with the Tivoli Gardens faithful, and the officiating team received a tongue lashing &mdash; one fan had to be physically restrained from getting close to the referee.<br /> <br /> It was a result that left both teams with a bitter taste in their mouths as Tivoli Gardens thought they found the deserved clincher, while Humble Lion complained that the game should have been blown off two minutes before the incident, as officials indicated four minutes of extra time but actually played six minutes.<br /> <br /> The red-hot Tivoli Gardens, who have won eight of the last nine games, had to settle for a share of the points and inch to 39 points, but fall three points behind leaders Montego Bay United who defeated Jamalco 2-1 to be on 42 points. Humble Lion remain in fourth with 35 points.<br /> <br /> Humble Lion Head Coach Donovan Duckie said he was very disappointed with a lot of things in the game, particularly the officiating.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This was more than football. It&rsquo;s time we improve on a lot of things that will reflect good football. We want to improve the product and we have to have good administrators, good fields and referees,&rdquo; said Duckie.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I thought the game was much bigger than the referee today. It was two quality teams on show and the expectations were very high. The most important thing that jumped out was the transition of both teams. It was very fast and this is what the game should be like,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> Omar Edwards of Tivoli said it was a very good game and his team deserved victory.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But it was not to be, but we managed to put down the football today and played some good football. We created some opportunities, especially in the first half. It&rsquo;s a work in progress. It&rsquo;s still a young season and we will continue to improve our offensive thrust as we go along,&rdquo; said Edwards.<br /> <br /> In their first attack of the day, Tivoli Gardens thought they had scored after Jermaine Johnson&rsquo;s curling shot sailed past the outstretched hands of the goalkeeper, hit the crossbar and looked as if it had crossed the line. But the referee ruled against it.<br /> <br /> Teams:<br /> <br /> Tivoli Gardens &mdash; Davin Watkins, Shavar Campbell, Barrington Pryce, Romaine Breakenridge, Nicholas Smith, Marvin Stewart, Tevin Shaw, Miguel Ricketts (Peter Keyes 79th), Ajuma Johnson (Junior McGregor 79th), Jermaine Johnson, Elton Thompson. <br /> <br /> Subs not used: Edsel Scott, Rohan Reid, Kemar Seivwright, Rushane Facey, Kevin Graham. <br /> <br /> Booked: Jermaine Johnson (86th)<br /> <br /> Humble Lion &mdash; Kadeem Davis, Francois Swaby, Kevaughn Isaacs (Hugh Howell 84th), Gregory Lewis (Ricardo Dennis 68th), Rohan Richards (Jermaine Christian 61st) , Dwayne Holmes, Hughan Gray, Ricardo Campbell, Levaughn Williams, Andrew Vanzie , Kevon Reid. <br /> <br /> Subs not used: Allien Whittaker, Fabian Pasco, Gregory Morgan, Jermaine Christian, Dwayne Campbell. <br /> <br /> Booked: Gregory Lewis (20th), Andrew Vanzie (57th)<br /> <br /> Referee: Weston Costly <br /> <br /> Assistant referees: Keeble Williams, Jermaine Yee Sing<br /> <br /> Fourth Official: Tyrone Robinson <br /> <br /> Match Commissary: Horace Lewis<br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Walker<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13590870/253940_80823_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM Waterhouse cool Arnett 3-0 in hot-tempered contest http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Waterhouse-cool-Arnett-3-0-in-hot-tempered-contest_87346 Two goals by substitutes Kemar Beckford and Irvino English spurred Waterhouse FC to a comfortable 3-0 beating of Arnett Gardens, in a bustling Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) encounter at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex yesterday.<br /> <br /> Both Beckford (63rd) and English (81st) scored with their first touch of the ball, mere minutes after entering the intense contest which saw Referee Valdin Ledgister issuing seven yellow and one red card to fractious players.<br /> <br /> Waterhouse got their next goal through Romario Campbell in the 69th minute.<br /> <br /> They ended with 10 players after dreadlocked defender Jeffery Henry, who was earlier cautioned in the 23rd minute, picked up a second yellow in the 90+2 minutes for violent conduct.<br /> <br /> Despite the win, Waterhouse remain in a relegation battle in 11th position on the 12-team standing with 18 points, while Arnett Gardens are holding on dearly for a shot at the semi-finals in sixth spot with 28 points.<br /> <br /> Neither team has enjoyed this season so far and it was evident in their aggression at the start, as they exchanged tough tackles while struggling to find their shape in the early stages.<br /> <br /> The visitors gradually gained the ascendancy with a display of good attacking play, which saw them earning four corners in quick succession, but Arnett Gardens&rsquo; defensive line proved equal to the task on each occasion.<br /> <br /> Though no goal was forthcoming, the cautions came otherwise as the tension between rival players increased at a rapid rate.<br /> <br /> Waterhouse came out more purposeful at the resumption and should have gone in front five minutes in, but Andre McFarlane failed to capitalise on a defensive mix-up.<br /> <br /> However, the deadlock was broken three minutes past the hour mark courtesy of Beckford, who replaced DeAndre Brown in the attack in the 62nd minute. The deceptive player showed individual brilliance and opened up space to squeeze a left-footed shot past custodian Damian Hyatt from the top of the 18-yard area.<br /> <br /> Campbell struck another critical hit to their opponents six minutes later with a well-taken, 20-yard, left-footed free kick which pierced the five-man wall and left Hyatt no chance at his near post.<br /> <br /> If Arnett Gardens thought they already suffered the worst, they were in for a surprise as the experienced English, who replaced Damarley Samuels in the 78th minute, delivered the knockout blow in the 81st minute.<br /> <br /> The game would end in an ugly manner as tempers flared and players from both teams came together in the dying moments.<br /> <br /> Teams:<br /> <br /> Arnett Gardens &mdash; Damian Hyatt, Oniel Thompson, Jabeur Johnson, Renae Lloyd, Marvin Morgan, Kenniel Hyde, Fabian Reid, Lennox Russell (Dasha Satchwell 70th), Ranike Anderson, Leon Strickland (Steve Clarke 78th), Bebeto McDonald (Kemal Malcolm 62nd)<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Carlloyd Walters, Dicoy Williams, Tamar Edwards, Jason Moore<br /> <br /> Booked: McDonald (23rd), Lloyd (30th), Johnson (79th), Thompson (90+2)<br /> <br /> Waterhouse &mdash; Diego Haughton, Romario Campbell, Damarley Samuels (Irvino English 78th), Weston Forrest, DeAndre Brown (Kemar Beckford 62nd), Shaquille Dyer, Kymani Campbell, Jeffrey Henry, Nicholy Finlayson, Neicko Williams (Javoni Simms 90th), Andre MacFarlane<br /> <br /> Subs not used: Romaine Bowers, Stephan Brown, Marlon Laing<br /> <br /> Booked: Brown (14th), Henry (23rd, 90+2 red), Campbell (30th), English (83rd)<br /> <br /> Referee: Valdin Ledgister<br /> <br /> Assistant Referees: Josette Ricketts, Lloyd Reader<br /> <br /> Fourth Official: Gawane Scott<br /> <br /> Match Commissary: James Pearson<br /> <br /> Yesterday&rsquo;s results<br /> <br /> Arnett Gardens 0, Waterhouse FC 3<br /> <br /> Maverley/Hughenden 0, UWI FC 1<br /> <br /> Montego Bay United 2, Jamalco FC 1<br /> <br /> Reno FC 1, Portmore United 1<br /> <br /> Tivoli Gardens 0, Humble Lion 0<br /> <br /> &mdash; Sherdon Cowan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13590869/253928_80822_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM Bogue debut against Lane in Division One http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Bogue-debut-against-Lane-in-Division-One_87323 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Bogue United will make their first appearance in the St James Football Association&rsquo;s Sandals International Division One this afternoon when they take on promoted Lane FC at the UDC Field, starting at 3:00 pm.<br /> <br /> In today&rsquo;s matches, Sam Sharpe Teachers College will hope to rebound from their opening loss to Irwin United when they host Paradise FC at their campus in Granville. It will also be Paradise FC&rsquo;s first game of the season.<br /> <br /> At UDC field, Bogue United will go up against a Lane FC team that were held 0-0 by Firehouse SC in last Monday&rsquo;s opening game at the same venue.<br /> <br /> Lane FC had several chances to score against the &lsquo;fire men&rsquo; and will hope to make better uses of their chances today.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Paul Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13590718/253925_80797_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM Vintage Venus powers into Aussie Open semi-finals http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Vintage-Venus-powers-into-Aussie-Open-semi-finals MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) &mdash; A vintage Venus Williams powered past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and into her third Australian Open semi-final Tuesday, becoming the oldest woman to make a Grand Slam last four in 23 years.<br /> <br /> The 36-year-old overcame the Russian 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) and will play either fellow American Coco Vandeweghe or French Open champion Garbine Muguruza for a place in the final.<br /> <br /> Her achievement makes her the oldest woman to reach a Grand Slam semi since a 37-year-old Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.<br /> <br /> It is a remarkable feat for Williams, who made her professional debut in 1994 and is enjoying a late-career renaissance following a battle with a rare autoimmune disorder.<br /> <br /> She made the same round at Wimbledon last year but had not got this far at Melbourne Park since 2003, when she beat Justine Henin only to lose to sister Serena in the final.<br /> <br /> Henin is long retired but Serena is still going strong and plays her quarter-final, against Johanna Konta, on Wednesday, with an all-Williams title match still on the cards.<br /> <br /> Venus Williams also made the last four at Melbourne in 2001, losing to then world number one Martina Hingis, another veteran who is playing in doubles at this year's Australian Open.<br /> <br /> "I'm so excited, she never let up. We have always had these quality matches. I'm not happy just with this but so happy I can go further," she said.<br /> <br /> "To be here is like, 'Oh my God!'"<br /> <br /> The seven-time Grand Slam champion is yet to drop a set. She has benefited from a favourable draw, playing two qualifiers and China's fifth ranked player Duan Yingying.<br /> <br /> But Pavlyuchenkova, seeded 24, was a different matter, having beaten Elina Svitolina, seeded 11, and Svetlana Kuznetsova, the eighth seed, on her way to the quarter-finals.<br /> <br /> Competing at Grand Slams for a decade without managing to step beyond the last eight, the Russian had been confident she could take the next step.<br /> <br /> Two netted forehands gave her a break point on Williams' opening serve as the match got underway, but she couldn't convert and it went with serve.<br /> <br /> But 13th seed Williams gave her another chance in game three and this time she grabbed it with an untouchable crosscourt backhand.<br /> <br /> Pavlyuchenkova, with her right shoulder strapped, failed to make the most of her edge and a double fault allowed Williams to haul herself level again.<br /> <br /> It was short-lived as Williams struggled to find the mark on first serve and Pavlyuchenkova jumped on the second, with a netted forehand from the veteran again giving a break away.<br /> <br /> Neither player was serving well but Williams began to assert herself, pushing Pavlyuchenkova around the court to create opportunities. She broke back for 4-4 with a volley after a high lunging forehand from the Russian.<br /> <br /> Williams was starting to get in the zone, hitting some amazing winners, including an unstoppable backhand down the line to secure the set by breaking again to love.<br /> <br /> The American held serve in the opening game of the second set to immediately put the pressure on and kept hammering away in an 11-minute second game, which Pavyluchenkova finally won after eight deuces.<br /> <br /> A wild backhand in the next game handed momentum to the Russian, who broke for a 2-1 lead, but after a seesawing Williams broke straight back.<br /> <br /> Another break each and it was 6-6 and into a tiebreak where Williams used her big-match experience to prevail, with Pavlyuchenkova succumbing on a double fault.   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13593126/000_KL56U_w300.jpg Local News Monday, January 23, 2017 9:56 PM Photo: Lion, TG stalemate http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Photo--Lion--TG-stalemate_87342 Tivoli Gardens striker Jermaine &lsquo;Teddy&rsquo; Johnson (right) fights to shake off Humble Lion&rsquo;s Kevon Reid during their Red Stripe Premier League match at Edward Seaga Complex yesterday. The game ended 0-0. (Photo: Joseph Wellington) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13590764/253938_80804_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM Stokes dominates as England beat India in 3rd ODI http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Stokes-dominates-as-England-beat-India-in-3rd-ODI_87330 KOLKATA, India (AFP) &mdash; Ben Stokes yesterday said England had forgotten what winning felt like until his dominant, all-round performance helped the visitors pull off a five-run consolation victory over India in the third One Day International in Kolkata.<br /> <br /> Stokes hit an unbeaten 39-ball 57 and claimed three wickets to hand England their first win on the tour, after their 4-0 Test loss last year and two successive ODI defeats.<br /> <br /> India&rsquo;s Kedar Jadhav nearly pulled off the 322 run chase with his 75-ball 90, but fast bowler Chris Woakes, who bowled the final over, held his nerve to restrict the hosts to 316-9.<br /> <br /> Jadhav and Hardik Pandya (56) lifted India from a precarious 173-5 to put on 104 runs for the sixth wicket, as dew at Kolkata&rsquo;s Eden Gardens made life difficult for the England bowlers.<br /> <br /> Stokes, who did not have pleasant memories of this ground after being hit for four consecutive sixes in the last over of the 2016 World Twenty20 final, ended with impressive figures of 3-63.<br /> <br /> Stokes got the prized scalp of India skipper Virat Kohli (55) before sending back dangerman Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin in his final two overs, to hurt the Indian chase.<br /> <br /> First match hero Jadhav, who hit a brilliant 120 in India&rsquo;s opening win in Pune, was awarded the man of the series for his 232 runs in three matches.<br /> <br /> Jadhav and Pandya took the opposition attack by surprise with their powerful hitting, as they struck 16 fours and three sixes between them.<br /> <br /> Needing 16 off the final over, Jadhav hit Woakes for a six and a four before playing two dot balls and getting out on the penultimate delivery of the match.<br /> <br /> Woakes and Jake Ball played a big part by taking two wickets each.<br /> <br /> Earlier, put into bat England rode on a 98-run opening stand between Roy (65) and Sam Billings (35) before the Indian bowlers came back with regular strikes.<br /> <br /> Paceman Pandya claimed three wickets while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja got two.<br /> <br /> Morgan, who struck a valiant 102 in England&rsquo;s second loss on Thursday, once again looked like he would pilot the innings with some assured hitting.<br /> <br /> The left-hander shared an 84-run, third-wicket partnership with Jonny Bairstow (56), who was added to the side in place of injured Alex Hales, before falling to Pandya.<br /> <br /> Stokes ensured the efforts of the top order were not in vain as his 73-run, seventh-wicket stand with Woakes (34) helped England put on 58 runs in the final five overs.<br /> <br /> The two teams now head for the three-match Twenty20 series starting January 26 in Kanpur.<br /> <br /> Scoreboard <br /> <br /> England<br /> <br /> J Roy b Jadeja 65<br /> <br /> S Billings c Bumrah b Jadeja 35<br /> <br /> J Bairstow c Jadeja b Pandya 56<br /> <br /> E Morgan c Bumrah b Pandya 43<br /> <br /> J Buttler c Rahul b Pandya 11<br /> <br /> B Stokes not out 57<br /> <br /> M Ali c Jadeja b Bumrah 2<br /> <br /> C Woakes run out 34<br /> <br /> L Plunkett run out 1 <br /> <br /> Extras (b1, lb8, w7, nb1) 17<br /> <br /> Total (8 wickets; 50 overs) 321<br /> <br /> Fall of wickets: 1-98 (Billings), 2-110 (Roy), 3-194 (Morgan), 4-212 (Buttler), 5-237 (Bairstow), 6-246 (Ali), 7-319 (Woakes), 8-321 (Plunkett)<br /> <br /> Bowling: Kumar 8-0-56-0 (2w), Pandya 10-1-49-3 (1w), Bumrah 10-1-68-1 (1nb, 3w), Yuvraj 3-0-17-0, Jadeja 10-0-62-2, Ashwin 9-0-60-0 (1w)<br /> <br /> Did not bat: D Willey, J Ball<br /> <br /> India<br /> <br /> A Rahane b Willey 1<br /> <br /> L Rahul c Buttler b Ball 11<br /> <br /> V Kohli c Buttler b Stokes 55<br /> <br /> Y Singh c Billings b Plunkett 45<br /> <br /> M Dhoni c Buttler b Ball 25<br /> <br /> K Jadhav c Billings b Woakes 90<br /> <br /> H Pandya b Stokes 56<br /> <br /> R Jadeja c Bairstow b Woakes 10<br /> <br /> R Ashwin c Woakes b Stokes 1<br /> <br /> B Kumar not out 0<br /> <br /> J Bumrah not out 0<br /> <br /> Extras (lb8, w13, nb1) 22<br /> <br /> Total (9 wickets; 50 overs) 316<br /> <br /> Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Rahane), 2-37 (Rahul), 3-102 (Kohli), 4-133 (Yuvraj), 5-173 (Dhoni), 6-277 (Pandya), 7-291 (Jadeja), 8-297 (Ashwin), 9-316 (Jadhav)<br /> <br /> Bowling: Woakes 10-0-75-2 (1nb), Willey 2-0-8-1 (5w), Ball 10-0-56-2 (1w), Plunkett 10-0-65-1 (2w), Stokes 10-0-63-3 (5w), Ali 8-0-41-0<br /> <br /> Toss: India<br /> <br /> Result: England won by 5 runs<br /> <br /> Series: India won the three-match series 2-1<br /> <br /> Umpires: Anil Chaudhary (IND) and Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)<br /> <br /> TV Umpire: Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)<br /> <br /> Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13590751/253922_80793_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM Edwards lauds appointment of former teammate http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Edwards-lauds-appointment-of-former-teammate_87327 PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) &mdash; Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Captain Carlos Edwards has hailed the appointment of former national teammate Dennis Lawrence as men&rsquo;s senior team head coach.<br /> <br /> The 42-year-old Lawrence was announced by the T&T Football Association on Saturday to fill the post left vacant by the resignation of Belgian Tom Saintfiet.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s a really good decision. His passion and commitment to the game is second to none. From the time he started accumulating his coaching badges, he dedicated everything to himself and his development in order to fulfil his ambitions, said Edwards, who along with Lawrence were members of the T&T side which made history by qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think this opportunity now is the best thing for Dennis and the country on a whole.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He will always be the man who played a critical role in taking us to the 2006 World Cup with his efforts throughout the campaign and the goal against Bahrain, and now with his experience and being in the Premiership has made him into a better coach, rubbing shoulders with the best coaches and players in the world.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Lawrence played 89 times for T&T and is best remembered for the goal against Bahrain in a two-legged qualifier which saw the country clinch their spot at the World Cup for the first time.<br /> <br /> He spent several seasons at Welsh side Wrexham where he played alongside Edwards, and also turned out for Swansea City and Crewe Alexandra.<br /> <br /> Edwards, who also played with Lawrence at local side Defence Force, said his former teammate possesses the qualities needed to be successful in his new post.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Dennis is a very smart guy when it comes to the game and it&rsquo;s different to just playing the game, but also knowing the game and studying it,&rdquo; said Edwards, who was recently recalled to the national side at age 38.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He has the sixth sense about the game and his leadership will be valuable. Obviously he will have his own methods of coaching and dealing with the players.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;From his days at Defence Force where we played together, you could see something special in him and his desire to coach at the highest level, and he has maintained that passion past his playing days.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9982841/trinidad-flag_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM Burkina Faso, Cameroon into quarters; hosts Gabon out http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Burkina-Faso--Cameroon-into-quarters--hosts-Gabon-out_87331 LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AFP) &mdash; Burkina Faso and Cameroon secured progress to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations yesterday as hosts Gabon crashed out.<br /> <br /> Gabon were held to a 0-0 draw by Cameroon in Libreville, and their opponents went through to the last eight as runners-up in Group A.<br /> <br /> Burkina Faso won the group on goal difference after a 2-0 victory against Guinea-Bissau in Franceville.<br /> <br /> A Rudinilson Silva own goal and a Bertrand Traore effort gave 2013 runners-up Burkina Faso the win that saw them clinch qualification and top spot.<br /> <br /> They will stay in Libreville for a quarter-final next Saturday, while Cameroon will take on Senegal in Franceville the same day.<br /> <br /> Ghana are the only other team to have clinched a place in the last eight so far.<br /> <br /> Gabon, meanwhile, are only the fourth hosts to be eliminated from the Cup of Nations in the group stage &mdash; and the first since Tunisia in 1994. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11651541/Cameroon_Flag_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, January 23, 2017 12:00 AM