IT would be no hold bars this evening when the semi- finals of the STAG Nations Cup knock-out football championship are contested at the GFC ground, Bourda in the city with an all GFA cast in contention.RANDOLPH WAGNERClashing in the second match would be old rivals Guyana Police Force (GPF) and Western Tigers,with only one team set to earn a place in the championship match on Saturday which would see the winner earning a huge New Year’s gift of 2 million dollars.This evening’s curtain raiser brings together Santos and the Mocha-based Riddim Squad in what is anticipated to be a fierce battle between two sides that have a score to settle,apart from eyeing a place in the final.The teams who have advanced and are set to thrill their fans and supporters this evening have all worked hard to earn their places in the last four of the competition,which kicked off in December 2016 and should have concluded on New Year’s night,but was put on hold due to unprecedented rainfall during the Christmas holidays which left venues waterlogged for unusually long periods.Competition got cracking again on January 18 last and it is now down to the business end of the championship where all four teams are guaranteed cash,with 2M for first, 1M for second, $500,000 for third and $300,000 for fourth at stake.Western Tigers and Police are favourites to win,but only one would have that opportunity which makes this a battle of battles tonight. The West Ruimveldt-based side have downed Pouderoyen (9-1) and Flamingo (8-0) along their journey to the semis and have displayed a no-nonsense attitude in the final third,blasting a total of 17 goals while only conceding one.Like the Tigers, Police have been just as menacing in the attacking third as they trampled Rosignol United (13-2) and Grove High Tech (3-0) with two goals against,for a total of 16,which shows their proclivity for hammering opponents.With both sides having the type of weaponry up front while also showing that they are equally unyielding in defence, a mouth watering shindig is on the cards.The Tigers will look to Rensford Colridge, Shamar Wilson, Darren Benjamin, Anthony Sancho, Andre Webber, Dwayne Mc Lennon, Randolph Wagner, Joshua Britton, Jamal Pedro and Jorell Tyrell to deliver once again with the aim of a place in the final.The fit Police unit will also harbor similar sentiments and will pin their hopes of caging the Tigers once again on Kester Dundas, Attio Wallace, Junior Gordon, Dwayne Charles, Jermaine Castello, Grayson Barker, Jermaine Grandison, Rawle Turnell and Quinsen Holder.The Riddim Squad vs Santos showdown which start at 18:00hrs will see nothing short of fierce exchanges as both sides will be looking to earn that available place in the final but only once will be rejoicing when the final whistle is blown.On their way to this stage of the competition, Riddim Squad edged Den Amstel (2-1) and Cougars (5-2). The Mocha side will hope their robust style of play can deliver for them a final berth.Tasked with the responsibility of leading the charge in this regard are:Kevin Gordon, Sceyon Hope, Dellon John, Kevin Agard and Teon Jones. Santos’ path to this stage was earned as a result of wins over Uitvlugt Warriors (3-1) and Herstelling Raiders (4-0).Set to saddle the responsibility of delivering for Santos once again:are Job Caesar, Keith Cains and Orin Yard.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Jalon Samuel took the record for the most Gold Cup wins after riding to the prestigious title for the fifth time at the Garrison Savannah here on Sunday.With his victory in the 39th Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, aboard Night Prowler, the 25-year-old reins-man has surpassed Patrick Husbands as the jockey with the most wins.“It’s very special to win Gold Cup number five and have the most. It’s an honour, it’s a dream come true,” he said, after the eight-year-old Night Prowler, the oldest horse in the race, galloped across the finish line ahead of Bodie Tap, ridden by Rickey Walcott.Defending champion Celestial Storm, ridden by Rasheed Hughes, had to settle for third place.“I didn’t force him to do anything; the pace was a little fast out front and it was an easy setup for him. In the last furlong he really kicked … and it was perfect form,” Samuel added of the horse owned by Sir David Seale.The North-America-based jockey won Sir David his eighth title in the premier sporting event and a purse of BDS$214 000 (US$107 000).Night Prowler’s trainer Liz Deane told reporters after the race that she had faith in both Samuel and the horse, despite the latter’s age.“Everybody said the horse is too old. He lost last year and was supposed to win and didn’t, but he turned up today,” she said.Meantime, speaking after Sunday’s event, Minister of Sports John King said government was considering a programme with the Barbados Turf Club that would assist jockeys in getting training opportunities locally and overseas.“I think this is an area where Barbadians excel, and I don’t think they have had any intervention or much help from government and I would like to be able to change that,” he said.
The No. 14 USC men’s volleyball team lost a close contest in four sets to No. 7 BYU Saturday.Senior outside hitter Ryan Moss has recorded 247 kills in his time at USC. He ranks second in that statistic for the Trojans. Photo by Alex Zhang | Daily TrojanAfter a strong win over Stanford last Thursday for their fourth win of the season, USC looked to continue their momentum against the visiting Cougars. However, the task would prove to be difficult against a resilient and well-balanced BYU squad. The Cougars boast an impressive resume this year with an 8-4 record, including wins over No. 8 Lewis, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 13 UC Santa Barbara. The dynamic opposite-outside hitting duo of freshman Gabi Garcia Fernandez and senior Brenden Sander led the Cougars in a game with very little room for error, as USC managed to stay within two points in every lost set. Sander recorded career-highs of 23 kills and five service aces while hitting .372. Fernandez clipped .441 with 18 kills, while senior setter Leo Durkin had a season-high 54 assists along with eight digs. Senior libero Erik Sikes contributed nine digs and two assists, and senior middle blocker Price Jarman had four blocks.For USC, the game simply slipped out of their hands. The Trojans had multiple opportunities to seal the deal and win a set, but a few service errors and clutch kills from Sander proved to be the difference. USC posted scorelines of 21-19, 17-12, 23-23 and 25-25 before falling in all but the second set. USC’s trio of junior outside hitters Jack Wyett, Ryan Moss and Gianluca Grasso once again led the team in the narrow defeat. Wyett had a balanced game with 12 kills, one ace and six digs. Moss had a team-high with 16 kills, along with one ace and one assist. Grasso contributed nine kills, three aces and five digs. USC was badly out-hit by BYU, which as a team clipped .372 compared to USC’s .321. USC’s season continues to look murkier by the day, with no apparent end to the constant losing cycles that have defined their season. With their brutal schedule, the Trojans will likely drop out of the AVCA top 15, with all eight of their losses being to ranked schools. Four of their next five games are opposing ranked teams — No. 2 UCLA, No. 11 Pepperdine, No. 10 Grand Canyon and No. 13 UC Santa Barbara. It isn’t a stretch to say that these next few games could make or break the Trojans’ year, and perhaps even head coach Jeff Nygaard’s job. Needless to say, it is imperative that Nygaard keeps morale up and lights a fire under his unit in whatever way possible before it is too late. The team will now travel to Westwood to take on the No. 2 UCLA Bruins in an MPSF match scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m.