Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Jamaican Richard Holmes scored a technical knockout victory over Guyanese Winston Pompey in the main event of the second staging of the Wray and Nephew Rum Punch boxing card at Skateland, Half-Way Tree on Friday night.

Referee Owen Nelson waved off the six-round contest at the 47-second mark of the second round.

In the first round, Holmes attacked Pompey aggressively while breaching his defence a few times to land shots mainly to the head. A straight right-hand shot sent Pompey crashing to the canvas for the standing eight-count.

Holmes went on the prowl again at the sound of the bell for the second round and eventually backed Pompey into one of the neutral corners and unveiled a barrage of shots  before Nelson waved off the contest.

“I am coming off two defeats and this win puts me back on track for a fight in February," said the 32-year-old Holmes.

“We worked in the gym on outside, inside body shots. The execution was very good. Tonight, with my stance, the perfection of the punch was more effective than ever. The things that I have been working on, I used them whenever time I got the chance,” he further added.

Holmes' professional record now stands at 19 wins and 11 defeats.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says his organization will be announcing a new head coach for the Reggae Girlz in a matter of days.

According to Ricketts, the JFF’s technical committee, which has the prevue of selecting a coach, will make its decision after discussions with stakeholders on Tuesday.

According to Ricketts, the decision will be made to replace former head coach Hue Menzies, who announced his intention to leave the programme via the media more than a week ago, despite not receiving a formal resignation.

“We haven’t gotten anything official,” said Ricketts.

“But he has gone public [with his resignation], so we just have to take it that he will not be a part of the programme,” he said.

Menzies announced his intention to leave the programme after four years, citing a lack of communication from the JFF regarding a new contract that had expired in August, as well as unpaid salaries and reimbursements.

Menzies had refused to coach the team until all unpaid monies were sent his way.

The former coach’s stance meant he missed the first round of Olympic Qualifiers with the Reggae Girlz.

Those qualifiers still went well under the guidance of assistant coach Lorne Donaldson, with the final round of qualifiers set to take place from January 28 to February 9, 2020.

Donaldson’s performance is reported to have made him frontrunner for the job, however, the assistant has hinted at reservations about taking the new post.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was yesterday named the Best Female Athlete at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale.

The Jamaican sprint star was earning the award for her performances at the 2019 Pan American Games, while Brazillian gymnast Francisco Barretto was named the Best Male Athlete.

Fraser-Pryce, who was running in her first Pan American Games, broke the 200-metre games record, a mark that had stood for 40 years, when she clocked 22.43 seconds for gold.

Fraser-Pryce was beating American cyclist Chloe Dygert, Argentine swimmer, Delfina Pignatiello, Mexican racquetballer Paola Longoria, and Venezuelan triple jumper, Yulimar Rojas.

Barretto was beating Grenadian javelin thrower, Anderson Peters, Trinidad & Tobago cyclist Niholas Paul, Venezuelan fencer Ruben Limardo and Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez.

Ahead of a massive One Day International test against India, West Indies assistant coach, Roddy Estwick, is an optimistic man.

The West Indies beat Afghanistan 3-0 in their last ODI series, but in truth, the Caribbean side have faced very lean times whenever they have played the 50-over game.

Despite winning just nine of the last 25 ODIs they have played in 2019, assistant coach, Roddy Estwick believes there are signs the West Indies are ready to make things interesting.

Estwick was speaking ahead of the start of the ODI series against India, saying the West Indies have shown they have the quality to challenge top sides and have combined that with the work ethic to make it stick.

“It’s exciting times for us. When you look at somebody like (Shimron) Hetmyer, (Nicholas) Pooran, Shai Hope – we’ve got young batsmen who are developing,” he said during a press conference, pointing to the talent in the West Indies middle order.

“But the key thing is how you prepare, if you’re prepared to work hard and you’ve got a benchmark in Virat Kohli – somebody who you will see in the gym and will work very, very hard, and once our ­players can learn from players like that, then we’ve got a chance because without hard work there’s no success, and hard work is boring but it gives you great success,” said Estwick.

“Once they can learn and keep working, keep dealing with the process, then they’ve got a chance.”

Estwick also pointed out that there must be some patience when thinking about those young players and the way they have been performing recently.

Roston Chase has been a mainstay in the West Indies Test cricket side, but not so much in ODIs.

The official draw for the qualifying matches of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup is in the books and Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and Cuba, despite already being placed in round two, are not set to have an easy of it.

As announced in March of 2018, the 2019-2020 Concacaf Nations League kicked off the road to 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. After group stage play, the top two finishers in each of the League A groups and the top finisher in each of the League B groups secured their participation in the 16th edition of the Confederation’s premier tournament for men’s national teams.

 

The road to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will continue next year with a two-round qualifier, to be played in a direct elimination format. Beginning in March of 2020, the second-place finishers of League B will face the first-place finishers of League C. The four matchups were drawn as follows:

 

Matchup 1: Guadeloupe vs Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Matchup 2: Barbados vs Guyana

Matchup 3: Bahamas vs French Guiana

Matchup 4: Guatemala vs Monserrat

 

After home-and-away play, the four round one matchup winners will advance to the second round, where they will face the third-place finishers of League A. The second round will take place during the FIFA window of June 2020. The four round-two matchups were drawn as follows:

 

Matchup 5: Winner Matchup 1 vs Haiti

Matchup 6: Winner Matchup 2 vs Trinidad & Tobago

Matchup 7: Winner Matchup 3 vs Bermuda

Matchup 8: Winner Matchup 4 vs Cuba

 

This mean Haiti will play against either Guadeloupe or St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Trinidad & Tobago has the task of trying to turn back either Barbados or Guyana. Bermuda, who have done well to date, have either the Bahamas or the dangerous French Guiana, while Cuba must contend with either Guatemala or Montserrat.

After home-and-away play, the four matchup winners will qualify for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, joining (in alphabetical order); Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Suriname and the United States.

The gala event in Miami, FL was attended by Concacaf President Victor Montagliani, Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio and the presidents of all 41 Concacaf Member Associations.

The draw was conducted by Concacaf Development Director Jason Roberts and Concacaf Director of Competitions Carlos Fernandez.

The complete schedule, including dates, kickoff times and host venues for the qualifying matches will be announced at a later date.

 

Antigua & Barbuda Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, believes the YASCO Sports Complex, a facility that functioned in a state of disrepair and the only track and field facility on the island, will have it’s refurbishments complete in short order.

According to Matthew, the workers are preparing to carry out the final phase of work before the laying the new surface of the track.

“They have done all of the preparatory work in terms of the sub-base and everything, so the final layer is to start going on, and I am told it’s supposed to be about five or six day’s work, and it cures for, I think, two weeks and then the rubber goes down,” he said.

The YASCO facility has been the subject of embarrassment for the country on a number of occasions with promises for its upgrade going unfulfilled on a number of occasions.

Add the high-profile athletes Cejhae Greene and Miguel Francis, to a growing list who refuse to use the facilities and the news takes on even greater value for the island.

“We’re expecting someone here this week [from track builders Mondo] and so between myself and the president of the NOC [EP Chet Greene], I’ve sent off some correspondents to PASO and Mondo because we have to proceed. We don’t want to continue to delay the laying of that final layer of asphalt because there is a lifespan on things like the adhesive which we’ve had for a while,” he said. 

The news contrasts a previous announcement from president of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association, Everton Conelius, who said persistent rains were causing delays that could amount to another five months of delays.

Despite losing their T20I series to India 2-1 thanks to a 67-run defeat in Mumbai, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard is looking forward to the upcoming ODIs saying there are many positives for his young charges.

"Taking the positives, when you look at our performances with the bat through the series, consistent, we'll take that as a unit,” said Pollard.

“Yes, we lost 2-1, but we have three more games to look forward to in the ODIs."

The all-rounder, who slammed 68 from just 38 deliveries in a valiant but in vain effort to chase down the 240-3 made by Virat Kohli’s side, understands that the West Indies need to sort out how they go about bowling in T20Is.

Sent into bat, India’s Rohit Sharma smashed 71 from 34 deliveries, while his opening partner and eventual man of the match, KL Rahul scored a brisk 91, doing so off 56 deliveries. Kohli himself was savage, ending unbeaten on 70 from 29 balls.

In reply, the West Indies would end on a creditable 173-8 despite a top-order collapse.

“At the end of the day, we know we need to get better at executing with the ball,” said Pollard.

On the other hand, Pollard believes such is the power and class of the young side, which lost Evin Lewis to a knee injury while they were fielding, that any total is gettable.

“In our minds [240 was gettable]. 230 has been chased here when England played South Africa,” he said.

The youthfulness of the side is also something that gives Pollard reason to hope for a turnaround in results in the near future.

“There's a lot of emerging players coming through. Yes, the bowling is a concern, but we have a roster of guys coming through. Those are the areas, but we know success is a boring thing, you need to do the right things day in and day out,” he said.

Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president and Port of Spain Mayor, Raymond Tim Kee is dead.

The 71-year-old Tim Kee, passed on Sunday at his Flagstaff home after a long ailment, leaving the football fraternity in mourning.

TTFA President William Wallace issued condolences to the family, saying he had lost, not just a colleague in football, but a friend.

“He was a good human being who cared for his fellow men. As an administrator, he never micromanaged but instead allowed guided initiative. He had the game at heart and was one of those persons who hurt over the last couple years,” said Wallace in an interview with T&T website Wired868.

Wallace was the National Senior Team manager during Tim Kee’s term in office.

“I salute the memory of an exceptional man who I knew as a voice of reason. My heartfelt sympathy condolences to his entire family,” he said.

Wallace’s comments were made on the back of a TTFA statement, which also issued condolences, remembering Tim Kee as a kind-hearted man, ‘devoted and committed to serving his country the best way he could.’

Tim Kee took over presidency of the TTFA in 2012 after Jack Warner was forced to resign amidst a US investigation into corruption within FIFA that implicated him.

Tim Kee’s presidency saw a resurgence of the Soca Warriors but also an increasingly troubling financial situation. Constant squabbles with his board over those financial issues led to his eventual ousting in 2015 by recently deposed president, David John-Williams.

Trinidad and Tobago Super League president, Keith Look Loy, as well as Strike Squad captain Clayton Morris have also expressed their condolences.   

West Indies white-ball cricket captain, Kieron Pollard is not paying attention to the difference in ranking between his side and India who are currently locked at a win apiece in their three-match T20i series.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran, by all accounts, is a very talented player, who could do great things on the international scene, and his 38 not out to help his side to an 8-wicket win over India in the second T20 between the two in Thiruvanthapuram on Sunday is evidence of that fact.

According to Pooran though, his talent isn’t enough to help him do well for the West Indies or even keep his place, and that he has to work hard.

“I work very hard and happy it's finally paid off. I believe in my processes and glad it's coming off,” said Pooran, who came to the crease with the West Indies on 112-2 in chase of India’s 170 in the 14th over.

Six overs later it was all over, as Pooran took over from Lendl Simmons, who scored a classy 67 from 45 deliveries, slamming four boundaries and two sixes in 18 balls to take the West Indies to 173-2

That type of innings, Pooran said, was not difficult, because the hard work has already been done.

“Cricket's all about having fun. I've put in a lot of hard work, so now is time for having fun,” he said.

Pooran explained after the game that places in the middle order of the West Indies side comes at a premium with the type of talent that lies in it but that was good for the team.

“There's a bit of competition in the middle order, but we all want to do good, that's all,” he said.

Earlier Evin Lewis had scored 40 and Shimron Hetmyer, 23, in a bid to chase down India’s 170, which they were restricted to thanks to Hayden Walsh Jr’s 2-28 and Kesrick Williams’ 2-30.

Those bowling figures, along with the start from Lewis and Simmons, meant there was no pressure for Pooran.

“To be honest, we had no pressure. Tried not to panic, tried to build partnerships.”

Jamaica College (JC) coach Davion Ferguson made a startling revelation after his side were pipped to the Olivier Shield title by returning all-island champions Clarendon College on Saturday inside the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Clarendon College goalkeeper Prince-Daniel Smith is a hero tonight and maybe for all time, because he believed in himself, according to his coach Lenworth Hyde, who oversaw a second Olivier Shield title on Saturday night.

Having given up a goal in the 88th-minute of play to Jamaica College in a tightly contested all-island final at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica, Smith, a custodian, became Clarendon College’s fourth attacker and scored a goal just ahead of the end of regulation time (90+5).

Him doing that was not something the coaching staff at Clarendon College had banked on. In fact, Hyde, was honest with SportsMax, saying the youngster was completely to blame for his heroism.

“No, I didn’t tell him to do that,” said Hyde of the former Camperdown High School student.

Clarendon College’s equalizer sent the game to penalties where the goalkeeper’s heroics allowed for a 4-1 penalty shoot-out victory.

Hyde wasn’t bothered about the way the penalties went, knowing full well, they wouldn’t have been there had it not been for Smith.

“He saw what happened, the goal that scored on us and he took it on himself,” he said.

“He believes in himself and he took it upon himself.”

The minimum four minutes for time added had already elapsed when Clarendon earned a corner. The delivery was too close to JC goalkeeper Daniel Russell and he should have had an easy time of collecting it, however, Smith leapt to head it just in front of him and he lost sight of the delivery.

Russell’s fumble fell to the floor and Smith was quickest to it, poking it home to give Clarendon a most famous lifeline.

Smith, for all his efforts, did not speak of his contribution in the way you would think, choosing instead to speak of the team when he was asked why he left his post to go give them a chance at penalties.

“We don’t have anything to lose so we just pushed all. We believed we could get it back so we just did it,” said Smith.

Prince-Daniel Smith’s name may take on cult-like status by the end of the weekend after the goalkeeper led the way in making a 4-1 penalty shoot out win possible for Clarendon College in the Olivier Shield at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday.

Many of the big-name West Indies T20 players, including Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, have been axed from their teams in the Pakistan Super League ahead of its February 2020 start during Saturday’s draft in Lahore.

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