Having found a good blend of local and overseas-based players, young Reggae Boyz Head coach John Wall will now be hoping his team can execute efficiently throughout their Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship campaign.

Wall and his 21-member team, which includes 10 overseas-based players, are scheduled to arrive in St Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday where they are expected to fine tune preparations for their Group F assignment against Martinique, Grenada and Bermuda.

The Swedish tactician named his final squad following two warm-up fixtures against their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts, and one against their senior club outfit in the twin island republic. They first lost 2-3 to Trinidad and Tobago, but won the second contest 3-1, with a goalless stalemate against the club team.

Despite those results, Wall in a recent interview, expressed pleasure with his team's display for the most part.

“Three games, three different outcomes, but mainly it (the camp) was just to build a solid foundation in our style of play, how the environment is, what we value and what it takes to play in the national setting. So, it gave me a lot of answers as to where the players are at present, and what needs to be assessed as we move forward towards St Kitts, so hopefully the process can continue ahead of the tournament,” Wall said.

With Jamaica failing to qualify for the Under-20 Men’s World Cup since Argentina 2001, the hope is that Wall’s side will better the country’s quarterfinals run from Honduras in 2022, to accomplish the qualifying feat.

The young Reggae Boyz will open against Martinique on Saturday, followed by a clash with Grenada on February 26, before closing against Bermuda two days later.

“For me it’s about controlling the controllable at this point in terms of what we can do,” Wall, who is assisted by former Reggae Boyz defender Rudolph Austin, declared.

“My hope and aspiration (for the tournament) lie in the work that we put down and not the talent that we assess, so we have to do the work consistently because ultimately what I care about is making sure that Jamaica prevails,” he added.

Only the group winners will progress to the next phase of the Concacaf Under-20 tournament to join the top teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic –ranked in that order.

Squad -Akeem Bernard (Phoenix Academy), Joshua Grant (Real Salt Lake), Taywane Lynch (Mount Pleasant FA), Romain Blake (Chicago Fire), Michael Forbes (Cavalier), Adrian Reid Jr (Cavalier), Ronaldo Barrett (Cavalier), Ahir Dixon (Woodstock Academy), George Grant Jr (Middlesbrough FC), Kyron Horsley McKay (Millwall FC), Alexander Bicknell (Leixoes SC), Malachi Welch (Leyton Orient), Christopher Ainsworth (Cavalier), Brian Burkett (Dunbeholden FC), Dunsting Cohen (Vere United FC), Denzel McKenzie (Phoenix Academy), Robino Gordon (Phoenix Academy), Fabian Reynolds (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Ashton Gordon (Atlanta United), Nick Simmonds (Richmond Kickers), Tyrese Gowe (Dunbeholden FC)

Jamaican Alex Powell entered Round 5 of the F4 UAE Championship with a mathematical chance to win the title, but mechanical problems would hamper his weekend and ultimately scuttle his chances in the championship.

Powell started his quest on a strong note, securing P3 in both qualifying sessions on Saturday morning. However, during Race 1, his clutch started to slip, taking away any opportunity to challenge for the win and valuable points. With skillful management of the slipping clutch, he secured a 3rd place podium finish, although it wasn’t enough to keep him in contention for the overall championship.

In the reverse grid for Race 2, Powell started in P10, making his way through the field to 8th before half the distance of the race. An over-exuberant competitor forced Alex wide off track into a very sandy area; recovering from the excursion dropped Alex to 11th place, where he finished out of the points.

While any chance of a Top-3 finish in the championship was now gone, Alex could still finish in the Top-5 with a good result in Race 3. Unfortunately, disaster struck before the very start of the race. While waiting for the red lights to extinguish, signaling the start of the race, the clutch problems resurfaced, this time resulting in his car creeping forward before the actual start, then stalling completely. Powell was out of the race before it began and eventually finished 6th in the Driver’s championship.

Still, Powell's accumulated points proved to be crucial for the Team Championship, won by his Mumbai Falcons team. He also finished 2nd in the Rookie championship.

"Not the weekend we hoped for. Some mechanical circumstances were completely out of my control. A special thanks to Prema and the Mumbai Falcons team for all their hard work over the course of the championship! Let’s keep pushing, and I’m already looking forward to the F4 Italian Championship," Powell said after the event.

The 16-year-old Jamaican sensation will next compete in the F4 Italian Championship, beginning in May.

Jamaican racer Christopher ‘Teach’ McFarlane, now living in Barbados with his family, has an interesting entry for this weekend’s opening round of the 2024 Barbados National Autocross Championship.

Having won six-consecutive Barbados championships from 2015 to 2020 driving either a BMW M3 or his Mitsubishi Evolution X, this entry is quite different and may prove to be a real challenge for McFarlane.

Local dealership Megapower have entrusted McFarlane with their new MG MG4 XPower all-electric car with 430hp powering all 4 wheels. Driving their showroom car with no upgrades, it will be interesting to see how he compares against a slew of Subaru and Mitsubishi cars with experienced drivers, and other racers hoping to start their year on a high.

Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club (JMMC) extended best wishes to McFarlane for what they hope will be a successful weekend.

Windward Islands Volcanoes made it two-in-two, as they completed a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Barbados Pride inside three days of their West Indies Championship encounter at Kensington Park, in Jamaica, on Friday.

Volcanoes, who were always in control of the contest from Wednesday’s first day, wrapped up victory by easily knocking off the 18 runs set by Barbados Pride, whose dismal second innings batting display, which resumed at 72-4, ended at 126.

Volcanoes seamers Shemar Springer and Ryan John again did the damage to set up the victory.

Springer took 4-44, to end with match figures of 6-105, after taking 2-61 in the first innings, while John, who had 4-47 in the first innings, snared 3-28, to end with match figures of 7-75. The in-form John now has 13-139 across the first two games, after match figures of 6-64 against Jamaica Scorpions.

Pride, who initially posted 214 batting first, started the day 39 runs behind, after Volcanoes replied to their first innings total with what turned out to be a match-winning 325.

Scores: Barbados Pride 214 & 126; Windward Islands Volcanoes 325 & 18-1 (3.5 overs)

Resuming their second innings on 72-4 with the likes of Kevin Wickham, who made 74 in the first innings, and others to come, Barbados Pride would have fancied their chances to possibly post something that would challenge the opponents. However, it was not to be, as the innings ended just as it started –in shambles.

Akeem Jordan added only 11 runs to his overnight score of four, while Wickham and the other batsmen, all failed to get into double figures, as Springer and John shared the remaining six wickets. Roshon Primus was the only exception, as he ended unbeaten on 25 off 26 balls.

Set only 18 to win, the Volcanoes unfortunately lost Kimani Melius (four) to the run-out route, but Jeremy Solozano, not out on 13, and Johann Jeremiah, with a solitary run, saw them across the line with minimum fuss.

Windward Islands Volcanoes remained in control against Barbados Pride, as they secured first innings honours on day two of their West Indies Championship encounter at Kensington Park, in Jamaica, on Thursday.

The Volcanoes capitalised on the solid platform laid by Jeremy Solozano (86) and Kimani Melius (53) to post a 111-run lead, after their first innings reply to the Pride’s 214, ended at 325. Pride in their second innings, are in a spot of bother at 72-4, trailing by 39 runs, with Akeem Jordan, on four, set to be joined by Shane Dorwich when play resumes on Friday.

Scores: Barbados Pride 214 & 72-4 (24.1 overs); Windward Islands Volcanoes 325 (98.1 overs)

Solozano and Melius, who posted 123 on Wednesday’s opening day, added 23 and one to their respective overnight scores on 63 and 52. But Johann Jeremiah (32), Kavem Hodge (26) and Sunil Ambris (72), maintained a steady tempo to the innings, to the point where even with their dismissals, the damage was already done.

Ambris scored quickly in his 79-ball knock which had two sixes and nine fours, with Shemar Springer (29) capping the innings where runs are concerned, as the lowered order batsmen failed to trouble the score.

Jomel Warrican led the Pride’s bowling with 5-59 in 24.1 overs, inclusive of seven maidens.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite (18) and the rest of the top order again failed to get into rhythm, and again it has left the Pride’s struggling. Zachary McCaskie (nine), Sheyne Moseley (16) and Jonathan Drakes (20) all fell to four different bowlers which basically summed up their poor run of form in this encounter.

It is now left to be seen if Kevin Wickham can repeat his first innings heroics with some assistance from Dorwich and others to possibly keep the Pride alive in the contest.

Ryan John continued his impressive run of form at the top of the West Indies Championship, as his four-wicket haul, backed by a solid opening partnership between Jeremy Solozano and Kimani Melius, placed Windward Islands Volcanoes in the early ascendancy on the opening day of their encounter against Barbados Pride on Wednesday.

With both teams coming off handsome victories over Jamaica Scorpions and Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners respectively, this was expected to be an entertaining clash, and it has so far delivered accordingly at Kensington Park, in Jamaica.

John, who took a five-wicket haul in his match figures of 6-64 against the Scorpions, grabbed 4-47 in 16 overs to restrict Barbados Pride to 214 in just under 50 overs. Kevin Wickham, who scored 139 in Pride’s first round win, was again atop the batting chart with 74 off 104 balls, including 10 fours.

Solozano, unbeaten on 63 off 110 balls, including eight fours and captain Melius, unbeaten on 52 off 114 balls, including four boundaries, then guided Volcanoes to 123, 91 runs away from first innings honours with all 10 wickets still intact.

Scores: Barbados Pride 214 all out (49.5 overs); Windward Islands Volcanoes 123 without loss (37.0 overs) trail by 91 runs.

Barbados Pride’s batting performance was a stark contrast of their rendition against CCC Marooners, as the top-order, which includes captain Kraigg Brathwaite, failed to impress after being asked to take first strike.

Brathwaite (two), Zachary McCaskie (five) and Shayne Moseley (six), all went cheaply, as John knocked down the stumps of McCaskie and Moseley. Jonathan Drakes tried to repair the innings with Wickham, but was run out for 12, while Roshon Primus (12), also had a brief stay in the middle.

Wickham eventually got some assistance from wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dorwich (37) to gradually repair the damage, before John and Darel Cyrus accounted for both.

Jomel Warrican with a 23-ball 21, was the next best scorer of the Pride’s topsy-turvy innings.

John’s four-wicket haul was supported by Cyrus and Shamar Springer, who ended with 2-41 and 2-61 respectively.

It seems there was nothing the Volcanoes could do wrong on the day and their turn at bat demonstrated just that. The left-hand, right-hand combination of Solozano and Melius frustrated the Pride bowlers, as both patiently and skillfully constructed their innings and, more importantly, laid a solid platform on which they can build, on Thursday’s second day.

The LSU track and field program has signed South Plains College sprinter Gregory Prince, Head Coach Dennis Shaver announced on Wednesday.

“LSU is surrounded with champions and that’s where I want to be,” said Prince.

The Spanish Town, Jamaica, native will arrive to LSU with plenty of experience at a young age. Prince specializes in the 400 meter and can get it done across 200 meters also. Currently he holds personal-best times of 45.70 seconds in the 400m and 20.92 seconds in the 200m.

At last year’s NJCAA Outdoor Championships he was able to record a collegiate personal-best time of 45.85 seconds to finish sixth. He also helped the 4×100-meter relay team to a third-place finish and a time of 39.76 seconds. Indoors, Prince finished 12th in 2023 at the Championship with a time of 21.40 seconds.

The former St. Jago High School student helped Jamaica to a silver-medal finish last year at the NACAC U23 Championships with a squad time of 3:19.66.

In high school Prince was the 2022 ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships Class One champion across 400m, winning with a time of 45.99 seconds.

At LSU, Prince joins fellow Caribbean athletes Jaiden Reid of the Cayman Islands, Jaden James of Trinidad and Tobago and Jahiem Stern of Jamaica on the school's men's roster.

There was nothing at stake for either Trinidad and Tobago or Jamaica in their recent warm-up fixtures, but good results were still crucial to set a solid foundation on which they can build heading into their respective Concacaf Under-20 Men’s Championship assignments.

While there was no clear winner at the end of the two-match tie, as Trinidad and Tobago won the first 3-2 and Jamaica won the second 3-1, John Wall and Brian Haynes took heart from their team’s display across both games, though both highlighted the need for more improvements to achieve consistency.

Wall, Head coach of the young Reggae Boyz, heavily rotated players during the camp, as he also had the distinction of securing a goalless stalemate with one of Trinidad and Tobago’s senior club outfit.

“Three games, three different outcomes, but mainly it (the camp) was just to build a solid foundation in our style of play, how the environment is, what we value and what it takes to play in the national setting. So, it gave me a lot of answers as to where the players are at present, and what needs to be assessed as we move forward towards St Kitts, so hopefully the process can continue ahead of the tournament,” Wall said.

The Swedish tactician is expected to name a final squad this weekend, for their upcoming Concacaf Championship Group F assignment, which his young Reggae Boyz will open against Martinique next Saturday, followed by a clash with Grenada on February 26, before closing against Bermuda two days later, in St Kitts and Nevis.

“Martinique had four of their U-20 players in a game against Lille which they lost 12-0; Grenada has five English-based players that is going to be a part of their squad and we basically have them covered, and Bermuda are more of a dark horse. But for me it’s about controlling the controllable at this point in terms of what we can do,” Wall declared.

“My hope and aspiration (for the tournament) lie in the work that we put down and not the talent that we assess, so we have to do the work consistently because ultimately what I care about is making sure that Jamaica prevails,” he added.

Meanwhile, Haynes and his young Soca Warriors, also had a third warm-up contest which they lost 1-2 to Angus Eve’s senior team.  Though pleased with the cohesiveness within the camp, he underscored the importance of consistency heading into the tournament.

“We need to have some consistency. We have to work on being much more effective on offence. I think we do a good job getting the ball from the back to the midfield and to the top of the 18-yard (box), but the final product has to become better,” Haynes reasoned.

“All we have to do is keep working hard no matter what happens. We concentrated for the most part...I am thankful it is happening now and not in the tournament. While we didn’t win the game, the experience they got here is something you cannot get in practice,” he added.

Trinidad and Tobago will host Group D where they will open against St Vincent and the Grenadines next Friday, before tackling Dominica on February 25, and Canada on February 27.

With a number of overseas-based players are expected to try out for Haynes’ squad, he declared that they would only be considered, if they make the team better.

“This group here has made me proud, and I am saying I love it. We have good players coming from overseas, but we have good soccer players here in Trinidad, and if the guys that are coming in are not challenging these guys, this is what I am going with,” Haynes declared.

Only the group winners will progress to the next phase of the Concacaf Under-20 tournament to join the top teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic –ranked in that order.

Barbados Pride opened their West Indies Championship account in a dazzling manner, as they wrapped up a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners in a lopsided contest at Chedwin Park, in Jamaica, on Saturday.

Despite a well-played 72 by Shamarh Brooks and 47 from Demario Richards, the Marooners, resuming their second innings at 96-2, crumbled for 193, as they again failed to contend with the Holder, who took 5-69 and Warrican, who took 3-16, to end with match figures of 8-140 and 7-45 respectively.

Requiring a mere 34 for victory, Zachary McCaskie, unbeaten on 28, and Shayne Moseley, unbeaten on seven, easily surpassed the target in just under five overs.

The win which came inside four days –after the first day was lost to a wet outfield caused by a ruptured water main –was also spurred by Kevin Wickham’s 139 and Jonathan Drakes’ 84, which laid the foundation for the massive target, that was well defended by the bowlers.

Scores: Barbados Pride 344-8 dec & 35-1; Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners 185 & 193

Brooks and Shatrughan Rambaran resumed the Marooners second innings on 44 and 15 respectively, with the latter only adding eight to his overnight score before being bowled by Chaim Holder.

Captain Jonathan Carter’s stay in the middle was short-lived as he was removed by Chemar Holder for one. However, Brooks and Richards, formed a tidy fifth-wicket partnership that briefly threatened to make things interesting, as they kept the Pride bowlers at bay with solid defensive strokes, while also pouncing on the loose deliveries to erase the deficit and gift Marooners a slender lead.

When Chaim Holder accounted for both, they would have hoped that the remaining batsmen would have added to the tally and possibly give their bowlers something to work with in the Pride’s second turn at bat. But it was not to be, as Chaim Holder completed his second First Class five-wicket haul when he had Romario Greaves (two) trapped in front, while Warrican snared the last three wickets.

Though they lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite for naught three balls into the innings, the Pride were never in any danger and McCaskie quickly wrapped things up with five boundaries in his 14-ball 28, while Moseley held the other end.

Meanwhile, the contest between Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and reigning champions Guyana Harpy Eagles was abandoned after no play was again possible for a third straight day at Conaree Cricket Centre, in St Kitts.

Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 215 for four (Jason Mohammed 100 not out, Tion Webster 50, Amir Jangoo 27, Vikash Mohan 20 not out; Ronsford Beaton 2-39, Veerasammy Permaul 2-42) vs Guyana Harpy Eagles.

Barbados Pride followed up their batting performance with a decent all-round bowling effort, as they tightened their grip on the West Indies Championship contest against Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners at Chedwin Park, in Jamaica.

The Marooners closed Friday’s third day on 96-2 in their second innings, still 63 runs behind with eight wickets intact, as they were forced to follow-on after their first innings folded at 185. Shamarh Brooks, on 44, and Shatrughan Rambaran, on 15, will resume batting on Saturday’s final day.

Scores: Barbados Pride 344-8 dec (72.2 overs); Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners 185 & 96-2 (37 overs)

Resuming on their overnight score of 10-1 in response to Pride’s massive total, the Marooners struggled to contend with the bowling of Jomel Warrican, Akeem Jordan and Chaim Holder, as their first innings crumbled early in the day.

Captain Jonathan Carter with a patient 131-ball 59, and Shaqkere Parris with a 108-ball 44, were the only batsmen to offer minimal resistance, with Demario Richards (28) the next best score.

Warrican grabbed 4-29 in 22.3 overs, while Holder and Jordan had 3-71 and 2-30 respectively.

Still 159 runs at that point, the Marooners would have hoped for a more compact batting display on the second occasion. But those hopes were dampened when Jordan and Holder again combined to remove the opening pair of Parris (five) and Kirstan Kallicharan (24) respectively.

However, Brooks and Rambaran remained composed to not only limit the damage, but also offer the Marooners another glimmer of hope of possibly seeing out the final day for a draw.

Elsewhere at Conaree Cricket Centre, in St Kitts, no play was again possible for a second straight day between Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and reigning champions Guyana Harpy Eagles. This was due to a waterlogged field following heavy rains on Thursday.

Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 215 for four (Jason Mohammed 100 not out, Tion Webster 50, Amir Jangoo 27, Vikash Mohan 20 not out; Ronsford Beaton 2-39, Veerasammy Permaul 2-42) vs Guyana Harpy Eagles.

Five representatives from the English-speaking Caribbean will be among 45 match officials that will oversee the inaugural edition of the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup scheduled for February 17 to March 10 in the United States.

The five, comprises three Jamaicans – referees Odette Hamilton, Daneon Parchment and assistant referee Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing –and two Trinidadians in assistant referee Carissa Douglas-Jacob and referee Crystal Sobers.

All five are experienced in their own right, having officiated at one or more major tournament at some point in their respective careers. However, Head of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Referees department, Cardella Samuels, believes that with this being the first ever Women’s Gold Cup tournament, the appoint of the Jamaicans, in particular, speaks to some significance where their consistency and hard work are concerned.

“First, I must take the time to congratulate our Jamaican officials on their appointment. It is always a great feeling having our Match Officials being selected to officiate in these major tournaments. This is where we can say their hard work has paid off,” Samuels told SportsMax.TV.

“I must also laud the effort of the JFF and its referees programme, which ensures its match officials are consistently participating in Concacaf events, and credit also goes to the instructors who have been ensuring they (officials) are prepared,” she added.

The Gold Cup, being hailed as the new flagship competition for women's national teams will be played across four venues in three United States metropolitan areas.

Caribbean teams Guyana, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Haiti, are among six teams set to contest the preliminary round at Dignity Health Sports Park Track and Field Stadium on February 17.  Guatemala and El Salvador are the others.

The winning teams will advance to the group stage to join United States, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Canada.

That 12-team group stage will be played between February 20 and 28, at Dignity Health Sports Park (Group A), Snapdragon Stadium (Group B), and Shell Energy Stadium (Group C). After round-robin play, the group winners, runners-up, and two best third-place finishers, will advance to the quarter-final round, scheduled for March 2 and 3, at BMO Stadium.

This will be followed by the semi-final round and final at Snapdragon Stadium on March 6 and 10, respectively.

English-speaking Caribbean officials: Odette Hamilton (referee), Daneon Parchment (video match official), Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (assistant referee), Carissa Douglas-Jacob (assistant referee), Crystal Sobers (support referee).

Damion Thomas of Jamaica and Charisma Taylor of the Bahamas showcased their athletic prowess at the 2024 edition of the Meeting de Mondeville in France on Wednesday, claiming victory in their respective hurdles events.

Thomas, who has had his issues with injuries in the past couple of years, stormed to a close victory in the 60m hurdles, winning in a time of 7.63. The time reflected a level of consistency from the Jamaican, who was only 0.02 slower than the 7.61 he ran on Saturday when he notched his first win as a professional athlete.

Not far behind was Elmo Lakka. The Fin clocked 7.68 for second place with Mikdat Sevler of Turkey trailing in third in 7.78.

It was a much easier affair for Taylor in the women’s sprint hurdles event. The Bahamian was a comfortable winner in 7.94. However, the battle for second place between Sidonie Fiadnanantsoa and Yumi Tanaka was much closer with the athlete from Madagascar being awarded second place having been determined to be ahead by a few hundredths of a second ahead of the Japanese hurdler.

 

Blaise Bicknell brushed aside Darian King 6-1 6-0 to draw Jamaica level at 2-2 and extend their World Group II Davis Cup Playoff tie to a fifth and deciding rubber at the Eric Bell Centre in Kingston.

King, hampered by a left knee injury, was never in the contest as Bicknell dominated exhibition style.

"I played well throughout. Of course, he's not 100 percent but I thought I made very good decisions out there and I made him work for what he needed to."

Jamaica, who took the lead through Bicknell in the first singles rubber, fell behind after King beat Rowland Phillips to close Saturday and then returned alongside Haydn Lewis to snatch a thrilling doubles contest to start Sunday's action.

It means the tie will be decided by Jamaica's Phillips and Kaipo Marshall of Barbados and Bicknell, ranked 319 in the world said he has all confidence that Phillips can get the job done for Jamaica.

"If there's anyone I want in this position is Randy because he's Mr Davis Cup, as we call him."

Phillips is Jamaica's winningest Davis Cup player with 26 wins against 12 losses.

Marshall has recorded just one win in eight matches but that success came heroically against Pacific Oceania's Clement Mainguy last year when he rallied from a set and 4-5 down to win and keep Barbados in Group II.

The winner of this tie will remain in Group II, while loser will be relegated to Group III this summer. from my Galaxy

 

Darian King and Haydn Lewis have given Barbados a 2-1 lead over Jamaica after defeating Blaise Bicknell and Rowland Phillips in a thrilling doubles rubber in their World Group II Davis Cup Playoff tie at the Eric Bell Centre in Kingston.

King and Lewis rallied from a set down to secure victory 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The tie was locked at 1-1 after Saturday's opening day which saw Bicknell beating Kaipo Marshall 6-1 3-6 6-1 and King edging Phillips in a 6-3 3-6 7-5 thriller.

The Jamaican pair edged a very tight first set, after breaking Lewis' serve in the seventh game, before they closed it out at the second opportunity by again breaking the Barbadians in the ninth.

While the first set had just one break of serve, there were three in the second with Barbados claiming two in the third and seventh games before King served out the set at love.

It set up a blockbuster third set and it was Barbados who held their nerve on the back of an outstanding performance from Lewis.

The lefty volleyed and returned superbly and then closed it out with precision serving.

"I have been in this situation a lot of times and I understand Darian, he's been my partner for many years, so I know that he can get down, so a lot of times I have to be the one to take control."

The 38-year-old has been representing Barbados at this level for 22 years and he drew on all his experience in the final set.

He was clinical in the decider, controlling the big moments when others seemed indecisive.

Overall it was a high quality match, with all four players having their moments.

King saved four set points when serving down 1-2 in the third, pulling out the marathon game despite a controversial line call unfortunately going against them.

Another big moment was when the Jamaicans saved four break points when Phillips was serving at 3-3, but Barbados ultimately won the marathon game after 20 minutes, which was the crucial break needed to take the match.

Blaise Bicknell is currently facing Darian King in the first reverse singles, a match Jamaica must win to stay alive in the tie, and remain in Group II.

 

Things remain evenly poised between Jamaica and Barbados at 1-1 in their World Group II Davis Cup playoff tie, as Darian King bettered Jamaican counterpart Rowland Phillips in an entertaining second rubber at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre in Kingston on Saturday.

After Jamaica’s Blaise Bicknell recovered from a second set slump to beat Kaipo Marshall 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in the first contest, King outlasted Phillips 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in a tough encounter that took two hours and 54 minutes to decide a winner.

The contest, as expected, was characterized by long grinding rallies given the style of play of both King and Phillips.

In the end, it was the 31-year-old Barbadian ranked at 547 in the world that took top honours over his 30-year-old opponent, who played with a heavily bandaged right knee.

Action concludes on Sunday with the doubles rubber and reverse singles.

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