The traditional battle for all-island schoolboy football supremacy will take place at the Stadium East field today.ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup champions Jamaica College (JC) will square off against ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup winners St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) for the Olivier Shield. Kick-off time is 2:30 p.m.The Miguel Coley-coached JC, unbeaten in the Olivier Shield since 2012 will be seeking three titles in a row to go with the Manning Cup three-peat they completed two weeks ago.JC enter today’s match in a very confident mood after their 1-0 win over arch-rivals St George’s College in the Manning Cup final. JC lack the stars of last year but have made up for that with supreme team play.”I love to design systems and stuff. I am a personality coach. This year, we probably didn’t have any superstars, but we have persons who can play football and with the management team to back it we just go out there and give it our all, Coley told The Gleaner recently.Today is expected to be another tactical battle for the Shield with some of Coley’s key charges including Donovan Dawkins who led the way with a semi-final brace and a superb title-winning goal in the Manning Cup, goalkeeper Jahmali Waite and captain and defensive rock Allando Brown.Meanwhile, the well-oiled blue and yellow STETHS machine will be seeking to claim their first Olivier Shield since 1999. Tactician Omar Wedderburn will be looking to pull out all the stops to no doubt win one of the trophies which has eluded him.He has so far won the 2010, 2013 and 2015 daCosta Cup and the Ben Francis KO six straight times from 2010 to 2015.Among their key players today will be midfielder Shawn Genus, forward Romario Wright and defender Neville Graham who will no doubt be looking to put in a team effort in the absence of leading goal scorer Michael Kerr who will miss today’s final due to injury. Kerr has scored 32 goals this season with 29 coming in the daCosta Cup.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):For five sets and nearly five hours, two chiselled Spanish left-handers went head to head again at the Australian Open.It wasn’t a semi-final this time, though, and It didn’t end nearly as well for Rafael Nadal, who lost 7-6 (6), 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 to Fernando Verdasco and was eliminated in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament for only the second time in a career that has netted him 14 major titles.Nadal won his only Australian title in 2009 after overcoming Verdasco in a five-hour, 14-minute semi-final – a match that still ranks among the classics at Melbourne Park.This time, Verdasco rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the last two sets and come from a break down in the fifth to win in 4:41 and reach the second round. Nadal’s only previous first-round exit in a Grand Slam was at Wimbledon in 2013, when he lost in straight sets to No. 135-ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium.”It’s a hard and painful loss,” the fifth-seeded Nadal said. “He was playing amazing in the last set … more aggressive than me. He took more risks than me, and he won. Probably he deserved.”overshadowedNo. 2 Simona Halep and seven-time Grand Slam-winner Venus Williams also went out in the first round yesterday, when a series of upsets took some focus off a match-fixing controversy that had overshadowed the first day of the season’s first major.Halep, the 2014 French Open finalist, lost 6-4, 6-3 to Zhang Shuai, giving the No. 133-ranked Chinese qualifier her first win at a Grand Slam after 14 losses.”It’s OK. I don’t want to make this match like dramatic,” said Halep, who refused to blame an Achilles tendon problem for contributing to her third first-round loss in five years at Melbourne Park.After beating Halep, Zhang burst into tears when asked about breaking the drought.”I think in my life, it’s the best tennis,” she said. “To win against a top-two player, I’m so happy, so excited.”Williams lost 6-4, 6-2 to Johanna Konta, her eighth first-round loss at a major.No. 3 Garbine Muguruza and No. 7 Angelique Kerber advanced along with two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who closed play on centre court with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Alison Van Uytvanck.No. 2-ranked Murray opened with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 win over Alexander Zvereva.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): Nikita Miller has moved past Gudakesh Motie to become the leading wicket-taker in the WICB Professional Cricket League which resumed with the start of a lone fixture in round six yesterday. The Jamaica leg spinner’s four-wicket haul for 63 runs has taken his tally to 37 after a performance which helped bowl out Leeward Islands Hurricanes for 155 runs after tea. Hurricanes were blown away by Miller and his spin partner Damion Jacobs, the main destroyer with five wickets for 50 runs. At the close, the Scorpions were in trouble on 54 for the loss of four wickets after Rahkeem Cornwall dislodged openers Paul Palmer and John Campbell cheaply. Sent in by Jamaica Scorpions, Volcanoes cruised to 51 for the loss of one wicket by lunch after a quiet morning session. However, Hurricanes innings plunged into chaos in the post lunch session as Jacobs and Miller wreaked havoc. Daron Cruickshank struck a defiant 51 which contained eight fours while opener Montcin Hodge resisted with a knock of 41. Only two other batsmen, Jacques Taylor 18 and Jahmar Hamilton 13, got into double figures. Jacobs finished with five wickets for 50 runs, including the scalp of captain Nkrumah Bonner, who was caught behind without scoring moments after surviving a confident shout. At stumps, Scorpions, who lost Jermaine Blackwood for 26, were attempting a recovery on the back of an unbeaten 19 from Andre McCarthy. Cornwall has conceded 31 runs in taking two of the four Scorpions wickets to have fallen thus far.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Exciting West Indies all-rounder, Andre Russell, could face a doping ban after missing three doping tests within a 12-month period, media reports said yesterday.The 27-year-old Jamaican, a much-sought-after Twenty20 specialist, failed to make himself available for the tests, and under World Anti-Doping Agency rules this constitutes a positive finding.Once found guilty, Russell could be banned for up to two years.”We received notification of Russell’s violation about two weeks ago, and I’ve appointed a panel to hear his case,” Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission independent disciplinary panel chairman Kent Pantry was quoted as saying.The West Indies Cricket Board said it was aware of the situation.The globe-trotting Russell has turned out in almost every global domestic tournament over the last 12 months, playing in the Indian Premier League, the Caribbean Premier League, the South African Ram Slam, the Bangladesh Premier League and the Australian Big Bash.Only last month, he helped Islamabad United capture the inaugural Pakistan Super League title.Russell is currently with the West Indies squad in the United Arab Emirates where he is preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup later this month in India.Last week, he was named as a global ambassador for Nissan by the Japanese automaker.