Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi has been a sports journalist with more than 10-years’ experience in the field. First as a Sports Reporter with The Gleaner in the early 2000s before he made the almost natural transition to becoming an editor. Since then he has led the revamp of The Star’s sports offering, making it a more engaging and forward-thinking component of the most popular tabloid newspaper in the Caribbean.

Cornwall College assistant coach Warren Barrett has bemoaned the fact that several key players failed to hit the heights expected, when it truly counted, in a 2-1 loss against Clarendon in Saturday’s daCosta Cup final.

Cornwall may have entered the fixture as slight underdogs but seemed to find themselves in pole position after an early red card was issued to Clarendon. 

The game was just 27 minutes old when Clarendon goalkeeper Tafari Chambers was sent from the pitch for handling the ball after leaving the 18-yard box to tackle runaway forward Aiden Jokombo.

Despite that early advantage Cornwall failed to press home the advantage and it was Clarendon who took the lead through U-20 national striker Nicque Daley in the 51st minute.  Cornwall did find themselves back on level terms when Sanjay Williams found the back of the net in the 72nd minute but were ultimately floored from a Lamar Walker 86th minute header.

“We just didn’t get out game together tonight. It’s unfortunate that in the biggest game of the season a couple of the key players did not do as well as they could,” was Barrett’s assessment of the disappointing result.

“Take nothing away from Clarendon, however, I thought they were the favourites coming into the match and they showed it tonight,” he added.

daCosta Cup-winning Clarendon College coach Lenworth Hyde has paid tribute to the late great Winston Chung-Fah, the former national coach who was himself a winner with the schoolboy football team.

Chung-Fah, who passed away last month at the age of 78, has been credited with putting together one of the greatest schoolboy football teams of all time.  Chung-Fah’s charges, of which Hyde was apart, claimed both the daCosta Cup and Olivier Shield titles in the 1977 and 1978 seasons.

The current crop is not yet quite of that ilk, but Hyde is confident his former coach would have been proud of their work ethic and attitude.

“I’m proud of how they delivered for me and the school.  It’s an excellent feeling.  Winston Chung-Fah, I know he is watching over us,” Hyde said, following the match.

“Nothing is easy.  I told them were had to get it the hard way and that was a true test character,” he added.

Goals for national striker Nicque Daley (51st) and a late Lamar Walker header gave Clarendon the dramatic win but only after the team’s goalkeeper Tafari Chamber was sent off in the 27th minute.

“They fought gallantly, nothing was given to us on a platter, we had to work for it and we have been working hard all season.  The efforts and the sacrifices that they made showed in the game.”

A no-confidence motion table against Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams will be brought to the floor on Sunday, following the conclusion of Saturday’s AGM without the matter being addressed.

The TTFA, which took place at the UWI Cave Hill campus, was billed as a referendum for John-Williams, who has drawn the ire of several board members recently.  However, on Saturday, the meeting concluded with roughly two-thirds of the agenda items still untouched.

The motion against John-Williams proposed by TT Super League president and member of the board of directors, Keith Look Loy was one of the topics pushed forward and will need a majority of three-quarters of the valid votes for it to pass.

Although John-Williams is widely expected to have enough votes to survive the challenge, several members have expressed dissatisfaction with his stewardship of the organization. 

Among the issue raised are the poor performances and preparation of the national teams and deterioration of the country’s league football.  Some have also pointed to a lack of transparency surrounding the ‘Home of Football’ project in Couva.

 In the letter sighting his reasons for wanting to dismiss John-Williams, Look-Loy spoke of “Mismanagement of TTFA’s finances, witness the debacle of the 2016 audit, the ongoing inability to pay staff and players and to maintain programmes; Frivolous accumulation of lawsuits and the various expenses associated with same, for example Carolina Morace, Sheldon Phillips, Stephen Hart, etc due to poor management and illegal actions.”

 

Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 coach Russell Latapy believes it will be very difficult for the team to achieve any measure of success based on its current model of preparation and overall limited experience.

The T&T unit finished a disappointing 4th in group A of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship recently, not only logging a loss to zone favourites the United States but also a shocking defeat to Suriname. 

The coach believes the team’s limited time to prepare was a major factor in its underperformance at the tournament but also claimed the players lacked the requisite coaching.

Despite winning the final game 3-0, Latapy was disappointed with the team’s overall attitude to aspects of the tournament.

“It’s always going to be difficult because of the level these boys are playing at and their experience and what they can call from,” Latapy said.

“If we don’t have the proper preparation that we can get these boys together and have them training and explain things to them and have video analysis of games to show them the things that we want, then its going to be extremely difficult,”he added.

“We have talented players.  We have boys that want to do well for themselves and their families and that’s a plus but if we don’t give them the right opportunity to learn it will always be situations like this.”

Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence is hopeful of seeing the country capable of producing players capable of replicating the success of its golden generation.

The like of Dwight Yorke, a Manchester United stars, Russell Latapy and Stern John wowed opponents and fans at the highest level of the game.  While admitting that the current squad lacked that level of talent and experience, the coach, who was part of a historic team that took part in the 2006 World Cup, admitted that it was the national programme’s ultimate objective.

“I don’t think we have a player at that level. Dwight Yorke won the Champions League and played in the Premier League for a number of years.  That is the talent we need to get back to,” Lawrence said in assessing the current squad.

“We need to have players on this more competitive level because it helps the football and it helps the other players around them.

 The idea is for us to come together as a group and develop that type of talent,” he added.  The coach insisted that it would be a work in progress.

“We going to create the Dwight Yorke and the Stern Johns and the Russell Latapy over a number of years but for now it’s all about baby steps.”

Kingston College (KC) coach Ludlow Bernard hailed a 2-1 defeat of St Andrew Technical (STATHS) in the semi-final of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup on Tuesday, as a vindication of the team’s fearless approach to the football.

This time around last year it was STATHS who turned back the heavily favoured ‘Purples’, who employed much the same tactic, ensuring the North Street team remained one more season in the Manning Cup wilderness. 

On this occasion, KC again pushed forward in waves but goals from Shaquille Campbell (49th) and Dwayne Atkinson (72nd) ensured that there would be no repeat of that result as Jevoney Johnson (75th) minute strike counted as a mere consultation.

The result meant KC, who were defeated twice in the last three semi-finals, returned to the Manning Cup final for the first time in 18 years.

“We needed to take chances.  So our aim was to come here and attack, attack, attack, because we were confident in our defence.  We had a small lapse at the end but we were still confident of holding out,” Bernard said.

“I’m elated, I’m glad for the boys because they have really put in a lot of work for the last five months.  We came here with a never say die attitude and I told them fortune favours the brave.”

Windies Women’s all-rounder Deandra Dottin has revealed that patience was key to success against England, following a thrilling four-wicket victory to claim group A of the ICC Women's World T20 on Sunday.

In pursuit of a modest 115, the Windies found themselves in early trouble after pace bowler Anya Shrubsole rocked back the stumps of opener Hayley Matthews and skipper Stafanie Taylor.  The top order duo managed to combine for just one run, with Taylor being dismissed for a duck, leaving the team in a very tight spot at 3 for 2. 

Dottin, who ended with a patient 46 from 52 balls, came to the crease to form a crucial partnership of 68 for the third wicket with Shemaine Campbell (45).  The duo, despite struggling to come to grips with England’s bowlers early on, managed to steady the innings, allowing the Windies to go on to claim a final over victory.  

“Having lost two quick wickets I know I had to stay at the crease and bring it home for the team,” Dotin, who was given the man of the match award, said.

“I just had to stay positive,” she added.

The Windies will face Australia in the semi-finals later this week.  England will face off with India.

Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor was satisfied with the team’s batting effort after recording a comfortable 83-run victory over Sri Lanka on Friday.

After being accused of going missing earlier in the tournament, following subpar performances against Bangladesh and South Africa, the Windies top order got their act together in time to punish the Sri Lanka bowlers. 

Led by a belligerent 62 from opener Hayley Matthews and 49 from Deandra Dottin, the Windies put on 94 for the first wicket.

Taylor, who came to crease when the partnership was broken after Matthews’ dismissal, then added 41 from 25 balls to help the team post an unassailable 187.

In response, the Sri Lankan’s anchored by 44 from their captain Chamari Atapattu, were helped by some sloppiness in the field but still fell far short of making the match competitive after being dismissed for 104. 

“We came to the party with our batting, but I can’t say the same for the fielding.  We looked a bit ragged there,” Taylor said.

“We said that we just needed to apply ourselves out there spent some time at the crease.  The reason for winning the toss and batting was that I found that the pitch might be a keeping a bit low,” she added.

Jamaica College (JC) coach Andrew Peart is looking for consistency from the unit ahead of a huge run of games, following an impressive show of strength against STETHS in the semi-finals of the ISSA Champions Cup on Friday.

A hat-trick from striker Earon Elliot and another from Javian Thompson led JC to a punishing 4-0 win over St Elizabeth High School (STETHS) at Sabina Park.  The result pushed the team into the final of the Champions Cup, where they will look to become the first team to win the competition twice.  The ‘Dark Blue’ will face Cornwall College (CC) in the final, who earlier defeated George’s 2-0.

Before then, however, JC will have to turn their attention to a semi-final against St Andrew Technical, a repeat of last year’s final four match-up.

Excellent performance but this is just the semi-finals,” Peart said of the result.

 “We have to try and repeat this on a much bigger stage and game by game.  Consistency is the key for us, that is the target and we just have to go again,” he added.

JC will attempt to become the first team to win the trophy twice.

St Elizabeth Technical coach Omar ‘Rambo’ Wedderburn has bemoaned a lack of tactical astuteness on the part of the team, on the back of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Jamaica College in the ISSA Champions Cup semi-finals on Friday.

A hat-trick from JC front man Earon Elliot and another goal from the returning Javain Thompson sealed a victory that was relatively comfortable for the Dark Blues.  Elliot opened the scoring in the 15th minute and added another in the 36th with his third in the 69th coming after Thompson’s goal in the 65th.

Even though they created a few chances throughout the encounter, opportunities to score for STETHS were few and far between.

“The game started with us playing too deep.  We were playing like we came for a defensive session today.  We allowed JC to come at us and they made uses of the chances coming forward,” Wedderburn said.

“We weren’t ready tactically today because the team never carried out the instructions or play the way that we wanted them to, but these games do happen, it’s not a nice feeling but that’s how it is,” he added.

 The win saw Jamaica College advance to the final of the competition, where they will face Cornwall College who defeated St George’s 2-0 in the day’s earlier game.

Windies skipper Carlos Brathwaite is one of two players released by Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the IPL 12 auction.

The 28 -year-old all-rounder endured a difficult season with the Sunrisers last season, after being left on the bench for the first half of the campaign.  In total, Brathwaite tallied 75 runs and grabbed 5 wickets in four matches.

Prior to that, the West Indian featured sparsely for the Delhi Daredevils for whom he played only 10 matches across two IPL seasons (eight in 2016 and two in 2017).  In addition to Brathwaite, the team also Wriddhiman Saha.

Yuvraj Singh was on Thursday released by Kings XI Punjab ahead of the Indian Premier League auction next month while Rajasthan Royals let go left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat after paying a whopping Rs 11.5 crore for his services earlier this year.

Delhi Daredevils expectedly released Gautam Gambhir, who stepped down as the team's in the middle of the 2018 season after a poor run of form.

Yuvraj, who last played for India in June 2017, was bought by KXIP at a base price of Rs 2 crore at the mega-auction held in January.

Chris Gayle, who too was lapped up by KXIP at his base price of Rs 2 crore, has been expectedly retained after a productive run in the 2018 edition. The deadline to retain players ended on Thursday.

Windies Women’s team skipper Stafanie Taylor has called upon the team to improve its performances at the crease, despite a 31-run win over South Africa in group A of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 on Wednesday.

In the end, a comfortable victory catapulted the Windies to the top of group A, with a second consecutive conquest.  Taylor’s career-best figures of four for 12 and a brilliant all-round fielding effort put the punctuation on a spirited Windies effort but for the second match in a row the team’s runs scoring effort seemed to have left the bowler with their work cut out.

The top order did not stick around long as top stars Hayley Matthews, Deadra Dottin and Taylor were all back in the pavilion with just 20 runs on the board and the team struggling at 4 for 29.

“We definitely need to improve in that area.  I find that the bowlers have been doing really well for us; so we just have to help out the bowling and put some runs on the board,” Taylor said.

“Tonight I think was one of those nights where the application wasn’t good, the shot selection wasn’t there.  I think if we could have been a bit more laid back and watched what the pitch is doing we would have been better off,” she added.

Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor has revealed she draw some motivation from an injury sustained midway a 31-run victory against South Africa in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 on Wednesday.

Windies captain Stafanie Taylor insists making history will be a key motivational factor for the women’s team who will get the defence of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 title under way on Friday.

Jamaica midfielder Kevin Rochester insists the team has not given up hope on qualifying for the next phase of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships despite the team finding itself in a perilous situation.

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