Jamaica Reggae Girlz head coach, Lorne Donaldson, is hoping for sharper finishing in front of goal against the United States but expects that to continue improving as the team gets more games under its belt.

The Jamaicans kicked off the Concacaf W Championship in impressive fashion with a 1-0 win over hosts Mexico on Monday.  The team, however, in all likelihood could and should have won by a bigger margin having created several clear-cut opportunities throughout the match.

Most notably, Khadijah Shaw scored the all-important goal but also hit the upright in the second half, while attempting to chip Mexican goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.  Forward Jody Brown was also guilty of a bit of profligacy, after being played through clean on goal on three occasions but picking out the keeper with all three attempts. 

With the Reggae Girlz scheduled to tackle the world's number one ranked the United States on Thursday, such opportunities are likely to be few and far between.  Donaldson was quick to point out, however, that attacking coordination and finishing in front of the goal takes time to develop and time is a luxury that the team did not have in its preparation for the tournament.

“The sharpness up front takes time (to develop) and we had no games coming in.  Two weeks of preparation was all we had to get the group together.  Some of the team came in a little unfit so we tried to spend some time getting the fitness up,” Donaldson said.

“So, for that sharpness, hopefully, our instincts will kick in, because the hardest part of the game is to get your finishing touch and we saw that.  So hopefully, we will have a bit more luck and do a better job in that department.”   

The top two teams from each group will advance to the next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Substitute Julia Grosso scored a brace as a rampaging Canada attack eventually wore down Trinidad and Tobago in a 6-0 win at the Concacaf W Championship on Wednesday night.

Talismanic striker Christine Sinclair was in the right place, in the 27th minute, to meet an Ashley Lawrence cross to score the first goal for the Canadian side.  The goal moved Sinclair to 190 goals in 311 international games. 

Canada kept pushing and in the 32nd minute, after a VAR review, the referee Katia Garcia awarded a penalty for Canada. Jessie Fleming stepped to the spot but missed the chance to extend the advantage by sending the shot over the crossbar.

Canada didn’t slow down in the second half though and kept trying to add to their goal count, but the Trinidad & Tobago defensive line, led by GK Kimika Forbes, stood firm and kept it a one-goal game past the hour mark.

But in the 67th, after enterprising play and a backheel pass from Jordyn Huitema, Grosso managed to extend the team’s lead with a good finish for her first international goal. 

Grosso didn’t stop there. In the 78th, she scored her second goal of the night, increasing the Canada lead to 3-0. Fleming then redeemed her earlier miss and scored the fourth goal for Canada in the 84th.

After positive attacking play all match, Janine Beckie made it 5-0 in the 86th and then stepped into the role of playmaker in the 91st, assisting Jordyn Huitema, who scored the sixth goal of the night for her fifth career CWC goal.

The Olympic champions will next face Panama to try to remain Group B leaders, while Trinidad & Tobago will be tested against Costa Rica. 

 

Jamaica Reggae Girlz goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer expressed satisfaction with the strength of the team’s overall performance in an opening day win over hosts Mexico in the Concacaf Women's Championship.

Mainstay forward Khadijah Shaw got the all-important goal in the 8th minute, but Spencer made an equally telling impact between the sticks for the team.  The goalkeeper proved to be an assured presence in controlling the area and also proved highly effective with her distribution ability.

In addition, the custodian’s acrobatic save from Mexico’s Carolina Jaramillo not only kept the Jamaicans in front but might be one of the best of the tournament so far.

“It was all about the team yesterday.  I think from front to back and obviously, the subs also came on and made a big impact in the game. So, yesterday was a real team performance,” Spencer said.

“I thought the game was good it was a really good team performance.  Scoring early on and to have the lead so long was certainly a big one for us,” she added.

The appearance was Spencer’s fifth for the national team.  The Jamaicans will next be in action against the United States on Thursday.

Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson has commended the team’s work ethic and fighting spirit in an important 1-0 over hosts Mexico to kickstart the Concacaf Women’s Championships on Monday.

The team’s talismanic strike Khadija Shaw got the decisive goal in the 8th minute and secured all three points, which could yet prove telling in the competition’s group of death.

With the top-seeded United States and Haiti still to come, in the competitive group A, maximum points was a welcome start for the Jamaica team who have not had the smoothest build-up to the tournament.

“We came into this game without even playing a practice game, but we went to Colorado and we trained a bit,” Donaldson said.

“I’m very proud of the girls, proud of the way we fought all night and I think the training we did in preparation helped.  I’m very proud of the girls, I give them all the credit, I just stand on the sideline and point my fingers and they do all the work.”

The Jamaicans will next be in action on Thursday when they tackle the world’s top-ranked women’s team The United States.

The second match of Day 1 in Group A action at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey, played on Monday at the Estadio Universitario, saw Jamaica down host nation Mexico 1-0.

Jamaica got their goal early from Khadija Shaw in the 8’ via a free kick by Deneisha Blackwood, with the ball finding Shaw and the forward scoring with a header to open the Jamaican goal count in the CWC. With this goal, Shaw ties Jody Brown for most CWC goals by a Jamaican player with four.

Mexico looked to respond and in the 15’ Diana Ordonez almost equalized the game with a header but was denied by the goalpost. 

Jamaica GK Rebecca Spencer came up with a big save in the 28’ by denying Carolina Jaramillo a goal after she tried a long-distance shot, resulting in a corner kick that the Mexican side didn’t take advantage of. 

In the 35’, after a VAR review, the referee ruled in favor of a penalty for Jamaica after Mexico’s Casandra Montero committed a handball in the area. Havana Solaun was the one who took the ball, missing the chance of extending the Jamaica advantage by sending it over the crossbar. 

They were more chances starting in the second half, as Shaw tried to surprise the Mexican front again, but was denied the 2-0 lead by the goalpost. Ordonez, in the 54’, had the equalizer again, but barely missed a header that would have been an assist by Bianca Sierra. 

Mexico kept pushing as Joseline Montoya, subbed on in the 80’, put a ball in the area but the Jamaican defense were there, ready to cover it.

With this result, Jamaica earned their first win over Mexico in a CWC match, making their overall record 1W-0D-3L.

The next opportunity for Mexico will be against Haiti, while Jamaica's next challenge will be against the United States.  

West Indies coach Phil Simmons was satisfied the team was on the right path in the first T20 international against Bangladesh before the match was called off due to rain.

Pace bowler Romario Sheperd had captured 3 for 21 and led the way for the West Indies who reduced Bangladesh to 105 for 8 from 13 overs after the match had been reduced to 14 for each team after early showers delayed the start of play.

When play did begin, Munim Shahriar was dismissed in the first over, putting Bangladesh immediately on the back foot at 2 for 1.  From there the team lost wickets at regular intervals, with Shakib Al Hasan providing the most resistance with 29 from 15.

Hayden Walsh Jr was the next most successful bowler for the West Indies after taking 2 for 24.

    “I think we are getting to where we want to be.  The aggression was there, the guys ran in and hit the wicket.  They made Bangladesh play,” Simmons said after the match was called off.

“We took four wickets early on and I think we did the right things today.  In the field we took all the catches that came to us, so we did all the right things.”

The teams are scheduled to play the second match of the series on Sunday at the Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica.

West Indies Women all-rounder Deandra Dottin has been signed by Lancashire Thunder ahead of the start of the team’s T20 competition for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Dottin recently missed out on taking part in the CG Insurance Regional Super50 championship, for Barbados, after taking time to recover from an injury.  The player, however, left for England earlier this week and is expected to be available for the team’s first match against Northern Diamonds on Sunday.

The all-rounder will be available for the team’s first four matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy before joining up with Manchester Originals for The Hundred at the beginning of August.  For her part, the player is looking forward to joining the team for the inaugural competition.

“I am really excited to be in Manchester and ready to play in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the first time with the Thunder,” Dottin said.

“I already know a few members of the squad following my time in the KSL six years ago and it will be a good opportunity to reunite with them and have some more fun playing cricket here.

“I am looking forward to playing at Emirates Old Trafford again, one of my favourite grounds in cricket.”

 

Polish Indoor champion Ewa Swoboda is looking forward to facing decorated Jamaica sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the Wanda Diamond League in August.

The duo has been booked to face off in the 100m, an event that the Jamaican has so far shown strong form in this season.  Fraser-Pryce has clocked the fastest time in the world so far this season, courtesy of a 10.67 clocking in Nairobi in May, which was equalled, in France, in June.

Swoboda, for her part, improved her personal best to 11.05 in Paris last month.

"I feel proud to have my name mentioned alongside Shelly-Ann's. She is an icon," Swoboda said.

"Each athlete dreams of achieving at least half of what Fraser-Pryce has and to stay at the top for this long,” she added.

"I hope it will be the best women's 100m race ever to take place on Polish soil. On 6 August I would like to finish as close to the legend as possible."

The two could, however, could also meet at the Oregon World Championships later this month, where Fraser-Pryce will be looking to defend her world title.

American-born Andrew Hudson will not be able to represent Jamaica at the upcoming World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, despite winning the 200m event at the Jamaica National Championships.

Hudson stunned onlookers at the country’s national trials after finishing ahead of pre-race favourite and 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake, with Nigel Ellis finishing in third place.

Hudson was one of three athletes who applied to the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association to switch allegiance and were approved to compete at the championships.  The JAAA was optimistic regarding the athlete being given clearance to represent the country before the World Championships in Oregon. 

According to a release, however, the athletes will not receive clearance in time for the games.  Hudson will as a result not be eligible to compete for Jamaica until July 28th and has been replaced by fourth-place finisher Akeem Bloomfield in the 200m.  The JAAA also released the rest of the squad.

Jamaica international Ravel Morrison will once again be on the move after announcing his departure from English club Derby County.

The 29-year-old former standout youth prospect signed with the then Championship club at the start of last summer, following his release by Dutch side ADO Den Haag.  The midfielder went on to have a decent campaign for derby, scoring 5 goals in 37 appearances.

Following the club’s relegation from the second division, however, a number of players and the team’s manager, former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, have announced their departure.  The Reggae Boy confirmed his departure from Pride Park via social media platform Instagram.

Thank you @dcfcofficial all the players, staff & fans for making me feel at home, was a season full of ups and downs but was a real honour to be part of such a wonderful club," Morrison wrote.

"I wish everyone at the club success moving forward."

The player has had loan spells with Birmingham City, QPR, and Cardiff City and spells aboard with Lazio, Atlas, and Ostersund. He returned to Sheffield United in 2019 for a season, before another single season in the Netherlands concluded with him moving to the East Midlands.

Grenadian Javelin World Champion Anderson Peters is convinced the upcoming edition of the tournament in Eugene, Oregon will be an open affair with several men capable of winning the title.

On Thursday, Peters threw 90.31 to win the event at the Stockholm Diamond League meet, ahead of Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra of India who recorded 89.94 for a new personal best and national record.  Germany’s Julian Weber was third with 89.08 and The Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, who has thrown the second-longest distance this season, was fourth.

It is Peters who has put together the most impressive resume this season, however, holding the world lead of 93.07 and winning 8 of 11 events he has taken part in so far.  The thrower, however, believes he is yet to discover his best form and admits he is not yet fully fit.

“I am not really in a great shape - I have suffered a back injury. It is still getting better but I hope to be back in really good shape soon,” Anderson said following the meet.

“Getting the 90m throw was really good, I was very much motivated by Neeraj to get a 90m throw because he started the competition with a PB and a NR and that was pretty good for the start,” he added.

Ahead of the event in Oregon, the thrower is hoping to be in top shape.

“I am thinking about it - not having the minor injuries and I hope when I am like 100 percent fit, I want to see what the result would be. When I am able to get the technique, to get the rhythm, and my body would be 100 percent ready, I really want to see the result,” Peters said.

“The more I compete, the better I become…In Eugene, it will be anybody´s game”

Jamaica’s Under-20 Reggae Boyz failed in their bid to advance to the semifinals of the Concacaf Men’s U-20 Championship and FIFA U-20 World Cup, following a 1-0 loss to qualifiers Dominica Republic.

In a match that saw few clearcut scoring opportunities, Ángel Montes got the all-important goal for the Dominican Republic in the 10th minute.  From a throw-in, the forward slipped away from a napping defense and fired the ball wide of Jamaican goalkeeper Coniah Boyce Clarke.

The Dom Rep, who defended stoutly against a listless Jamaican attack, seemed to have doubled their lead headed to halftime but Edison Azcona’s 41st-minute strike was ruled to have been offside.

The Dominica Republic will now advance to play the winner of Guatemala and Mexico City in the competition’s semifinal.  By virtue of making the final four, however, the team has advanced to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup for the first time in its history.   

 Newly appointed West Indies women’s team captain Hayley Matthews admits her new role will require plenty of learning on the job.

The 24-year-old all-rounder was named as captain of the Caribbean team last week, taking over from Stafanie Taylor who took charge of the team in 2015.

Matthews has been a rising star for the team over the last two years and was the most outstanding player for the West Indies women during the last ODI World Cup.  However, leading a squad that still has quite a few veteran players, will be an entirely new experience.

“I’m still trying to balance being player and captain.  As a player, I am still trying to perform as best as I can and lead by example. That’s something a captain needs to do, lead by example, 100 percent,” Matthews told the Mason and Guest show.

“I know my success as a player is very important to the team.  Obviously going forward at the same time I am captain as well.  It’s a lot to take on, it’s obviously a team first mentality and I have a lot of learning to do on the job.”

West Indies batting star Chris Gayle will miss out on this year's edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in order to focus on the launch of the 6IXTY, a new format of the sport expected to make its debut in St Kitts and Nevis in August.

The tournament is set to feature six men’s teams and three women’s teams who will each battle for a version of the Universe Boss Trophy, which has been named in honour of the legendary T20 player.

The new format will see each team allotted ten overs to bat.  In many respects, the game will look very different from the typical 10-over format.  The teams will be allotted just six wickets instead of ten, a floating third powerplay will also be unlocked if the batting team manages to hit two sixes in the first two-over powerplay.

The fielding team will be allowed to bowl five consecutive overs from the same end instead of changing ends after every over.  If a team fails to complete the overs during the allotted time of 45 minutes will a fielder will be excluded for the final six balls of the innings. The fans will also be directly involved and able to vote for a ‘mystery-free hit’.

“It is a great feeling to actually have a trophy named after The Universe Boss, something fantastic, and I am really and truly looking forward to it. I am sure people will ask if this is real, a trophy named for Chris Gayle. Yes, it is happening, and I am really happy about it. I am looking forward to all the innovations," Gayle said.

"I am looking forward to the mystery team ball and hitting two sixes in the first 12 balls to unlock a third PowerPlay over.”

In addition to taking part in the tournament, Gayle will also play the role of ambassador.

 An unbeaten century from middle-order batsman Kyle Mayers put the West Indies in pole position against Bangladesh on day two of the second Test at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia.

At the close of play, having overhauled Bangladesh the West Indies were 340 for 5 and had a lead of 106 runs.  The team’s strong position was in large part due to the work of Mayers who put together a dominant 126 from 180 deliveries,  providing the base of the West Indies' response to the Bangladesh first innings total of 234.

 The batsman came to the crease just before lunch with the team struggling at 132 for four and immediately went to work by putting on a big partnership with Jermaine Blackwood.

The duo steadied a shaky situation with a 116-run fifth-wicket stand after the team had fallen to 137 for 4.  Blackwood was dismissed just after tea, by spinner Mehidy Hasan, having added 40 to the tally.

Mayers, who scored 210 on debut against the same opponents last year, pressed on and helped himself to 15 fours and two sixes.  Wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva joined him at the crease to add 26, and 92 for the sixth wicket, before the close of play.

Earlier, having resumed the day at 67 without loss, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell pushed the score to 100 without loss.  The partnership was finally broken when pacer Shoriful Islam produced some extra bounce to Campbell who was then gobbled up by the wicketkeeper, on 45.

Brathwaite was next to follow and was bowled after being deceived by a flighted delivery from Mehidy, shortly after reaching a half-century.  The struggles of Raymond Reifer in the number three spot continued.  He never looked really comfortable before being dismissed by Khaled Ahmed after getting to 22.  Up next, Nkrumah Bonner, who also had success against Bangladesh last year, continued to struggle through a rough patch as he was dismissed for his second duck of the series.

 

 

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