Pomeroon Oil Mill Challengers win inaugural 10/10 memorial title

first_imgA LARGE and boisterous crowd at the Teneze Ferme ground in Lower Pomeroon River, last Sunday, witnessed hosts Pomeroon Oil Mill Challengers Sports emerge winners in the inaugaral 10/10 George Alphonso memorial one-day tournament involving four teams.In the final, Pomeroon Oil Mill Challengers Sports were inserted to take first strike and managed 87-2 from their 10 overs.Captain Mukesh Singh with 28 (2×6, 2×4) along with Carlos Matthias’ unbeaten 23 (1×6, 1×4) were the principal scorersSpinners Chris Matthias and Usen Rose claimed one wicket each. In reply, Teneze Ferme ‘B’ found scoring difficult and never threatened the target.They eventually were all out for 54 in the 10th over to be defeated by 33 runs. Suresh Dindyal (15) was the only batsman to reach double figures. Medium pacers Gary France with 4-16 and Mukesh Singh 3-15 combined to earn their team the coveted trophy, medals and $60 000 while the runners-up received $40 000.Third-place winners Teneze Ferme ‘A’ also pocketed $30 000 during the presentation which was witnessed by the widow and children of the late George Alphonso Sr, who was a popular cricketer and supporter of the game in the Pomeroon.His daughter Kerenza Alphonso during her brief speech promised to have the competition played annually and to include more teams.Eagles Sports also participated. Former national umpire Dasroy Balgobin and Deva Dass were the officiating umpires.last_img read more

USC’s brand remains strong

first_imgWhile USC’s latest ranking at No. 13 in the College Football Playoff is impressive, there are two things that are still quite frustrating about the whole situation. First of all, and most importantly, the Trojans don’t control their own destiny. Second, the CFP rankings are already inconsistent and filled with human bias.Despite the hand of redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold that has saved their season, the early season losses destroyed any hope that this surging team could be in the conversation for a playoff spot. Of course, in hindsight, we can speculate that had Darnold been named the starter from the beginning of the year, it’s quite possible that USC would be just a one- or two-loss team, but the blame can’t squarely be placed on redshirt junior quarterback Max Browne or head coach Clay Helton.Since both quarterbacks wear the non-contact jersey in practice, how could Helton have known of Darnold’s exquisite ability to connect with receivers when under pressure while Browne struggled so much in similar situations? Changing quarterbacks undoubtedly saved USC’s season, but no one knew how great the transformation would be. As in life though, everything comes with a price. A mistake made at the beginning of the season is still a mistake, and still haunting the Trojans who need a lot of help the next two weeks if they want to make it to the Pac-12 Championship game. Granted, probably no one thought we would be having this conversation after week four when the team was strapped with a 1-3 record; but now we are. In college football more so than in other sports, every single game matters because you only play each team once. There will be no chance of redemption against Stanford with a new quarterback or Utah in a game that isn’t Darnold’s debut. These things hurt.However, the CFP committee has looked upon the Trojans with great favor and it is reflected in their ranking. Thirteen is a lot higher than anyone thought USC could be ranked after week four, but how much does the committee’s own bias contribute to this? Is it possible that a small factor in their decision — whether conscious or unconscious — is based on USC’s reputation and brand as a football team?If the argument is that USC is a completely different team and has turned their season around from their early woes, then that’s fine. But why is Washington State still ranked so low? The Cougars’ record has undergone just as dramatic a transition as the Trojans, if not more so since they are undefeated in conference play. With two tough games coming up against a ranked Colorado and a ranked Washington, they will have a terrific chance to prove their worth, but shouldn’t they be getting more respect as it is?USC is the highest ranked team with three losses, and maybe part of that is because the Trojans lost at the beginning of the year, to ranked opponents and away from home. The committee has placed an immense emphasis on strength of schedule, but doesn’t seem to consider quality of win or loss in their calculations.For example, sure Clemson has a great record, but they don’t have to play as tough a schedule as other teams, and they are barely escaping with wins. Three of their last four games have been decided by a touchdown or less. They beat NC State in overtime by 7, Florida State by 3 and lost to Pitt by 1. This doesn’t make for an impressive resume. Of last week’s top four teams, three of them — Michigan, Clemson and Washington — lost last Saturday. Washington was the only one who lost to a ranked opponent, but they dropped the furthest, falling from No. 4 to No. 6 while Michigan and Clemson remained in the top four sitting at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.Human bias is there, and that is why the playoff committee consists of people who have the capacity to think instead of computer algorithms. But they aren’t being consistent in their job and are letting their biases affect the rankings.Surely anyone who has watched a lot of Pac-12 football this season knows that no one would want to face this current USC team, but the Trojans are the fourth-highest Pac-12 team. No, there is never a clear-cut answer, and nothing will ever satisfy everyone, but in an attempt to not only make the playoff as fair as possible,  but also including the best teams in the country at the time, human judgment needs to be put at a higher priority instead of the reputations and egos that are on the line.The Trojans blew their chance to be included in this conversation. No matter how well they are playing at the end of the year, with three losses they won’t make the playoff. However, with a little help, they could still find their way into a great bowl game, and maybe next year, when they can hit the ground running, they too will be in the conversation for the top four spots in the land.Hailey Tucker is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs Thursdays.last_img read more

No. 6 USC flashes firepower in 42-24 win over No. 14 Stanford

first_imgIn the final drive of the second quarter, redshirt quarterback Sam Darnold finally came alive.It wasn’t that his night had been subpar — he threw a perfect first half, consistently hitting his receivers and buying time in the backfield to keep busted plays alive. But when he opened the final drive of the half with a 49-yard pass to Steven Mitchell, Darnold found a way to silence the doubt that began to cloud his Heisman hopes after a disappointing season opener.Wide receiver Steven Mitchell Jr. points after a catch – Katie Chin | Daily TrojanThe ball hung in the air long enough for every fan in the stands to crane their necks to watch it, then dropped perfectly into Mitchell’s arms as he crashed into the ground. The crowd went wild, as any crowd will when it witnesses a hero step up fully into his spotlight. The roar was equally as loud one play later, when Darnold connected a 25-yard pass to Burnett, who dove and stretched out to snag the ball in the end zone.The team carried its 28-17 lead into the half, entering the locker room to a rumbling cheer. Coaches and players alike danced off the field and leapt to chest bump each other. It was a completely different scene than what took place just a week earlier, when the Trojans trudged into the locker room to smattered boos. And the game was a different feeling for the team as well, as USC went on to top Stanford 42-24, breaking a three-year losing streak to the Cardinal. “There was an energy about our kids and a confidence about our kids,” Helton said. “We’ve had a lot of hard roads and hard days with [Stanford] in the past. Our kids had their jaws set and had the mentality to come out and be physical and they believed in what they were doing.” After facing criticism in the wake of the Western Michigan game, the defense approached the game with one plan in mind — attack. The unit packed the box, blitzing heavily to disrupt the Stanford rush game and holding star running back Bryce Love to only 168 rushing yards, most of which came in the first quarter.Uchenna Nwosu celebrates after breaking up a pass. – Katie Chin | Daily TrojanUp front, the defensive line was a nightmare, with senior linebacker Uchenna Nwosu breaking up four passes, and junior tackle Rasheem Green swatting away another. Senior defensive tackle Josh Fatu wrapped up the lone sack of the night, but most of Stanford quarterback Keller Chryst’s nine incomplete passes were forced by aggressive pressure on the pocket. To junior linebacker Cam Smith, the game was an answer to the questions that the first week of play presented to the defensive unit.“We’re playing really well as a unit,” Smith said. “As a group we clicked really well tonight and we’re going to build confidence off of this game.”For the offense, the game was a clinic in spreading the ball. The opening drive saw seven players touch the ball, including a 14-yard pass to junior tight end Tyler Petite and a touchdown toss to redshirt senior wide receiver Steven Mitchell to give the team a 7-0 lead. It took only 12 seconds, however, to reverse the momentum. Stanford immediately followed with a 75-yard run by Bryce Love, who caught a pitch and busted through a wide open hole in the USC defense. Once he passed the line of scrimmage, he was moving too fast to ever be caught. After a single play, Darnold and the offense strapped on their helmets and took to the field again.Darnold responded in his typical style, scrambling to hit Petite with a 19-yard pass, then stalling as the line broke down again to toss a long ball to Mitchell to move the Trojans to the four-yard line. A stutter step and a pitch to Jones gave the Trojans their second touchdown of the night and a 14-7 lead.Stanford fired back at the same break-neck pace. After an opening return to the 45-yard line, a 15-yard pass and then a long rush by Love to put the Cardinal in position for an easy touchdown pass. This time, it was Stephen Carr who answered for the Trojans, opening USC’s third drive of the game with a 52-yard sprint, shoving off defenders along the way. Darnold hit Burnett in the end zone, and the momentum continued to swing as the Trojans took a 21-17 lead.Running back Stephen Carr runs for a gain – Katie Chin | Daily TrojanDarnold lit the Coliseum up in the following drive, and the team entered the second half with a grip on the pace of the game.“The ability for our receivers to make plays when needed… it was huge,” Darnold said. “When [their] opportunity presents itself, they make the most of it. Whenever they get the opportunity to make a big play, they have.”The second half slowed considerably, as both teams struggled in a scoreless third quarter. Penalties held the Trojans back on both sides of the ball, but the team’s response was positive, with players skipping and dancing to the sidelines to pump the crowd up.“We take a lot of energy from the fans,” Darnold said. “When our fans come out and are loud it helps us as players to have that energy. We can feed off that and that’s something special you don’t get anywhere else.”Darnold broke the silence in the fourth quarter, tossing 35 yards to Burnett to put the Trojans within striking range. After rushing for a quarterback keeper, Darnold scrambled and lofted a pass over two defensive backs to hit Mitchell in the back corner of the end zone. The touchdown pushed the lead to 35-17, and fans began to filter out of the stands as the point differential widened.The Cardinal responded quickly, relying on long passes to cut the lead to 35-24 with seven minutes remaining. But a 22-yard touchdown run by Jones with under five minutes to play in the fourth quarter was enough to put the game away.last_img read more

‘The man who won an AFCON for Ghana’: 5 things to know about Opoku Afriyie

first_imgGhanaian football has taken a massive hit with the demise of former national team striker Opoku Afriyie.The former Kotoko captain died on Sunday in Kumasi at the age of 64, with a long, exceptional life behind him both on and off the field.While many followers of local football might immediately recognise Afriyie, his importance to the game in the country might still not be apparent to some people.Here are a few things to know about the deadly goal poacher who came to be known simply as ‘Bayie’He won the 1978 AFCON for GhanaWith Ghana seeking a third African Cup of Nations title in 1978, a lot of pressure was on the Black Stars to win the cup for keeps.Having scored in Ghana’s opening win against Zambia, Opoku Afriyie went on to make an even more significant impact in the final.He scored both of the Stars’ goals in the 2-0 win over Uganda as Ghana became Champions of Africa for the third time.1979 goal kingAfriyie was for a number of years, one of the most feared goalscorers in the local league.He was top scorer in 1979 for Asante Kotoko, a season in which the Porcupine Warriors scored 51 goals in total; the second-highest in the league.However, they missed out on the title to Hearts of Oak by one point.Goals and a titleHaving won the previous season’s title, Kotoko started a period of dominance in Ghana from 1981 led by Opoku Afriyie’s goals.Afriyie won the top scorer’s award for the second time in three years as Kotoko edged out rivals Hearts for the league title.Captain, Team manager, legendOpoku Afriyie wasn’t just a top-class striker while at Asante Kotoko, he was a leader as well. He led the side as captain for a number of years before returning as team manager in 2003 after his retirement.He also captained the Black Stars from 1984 to 1986 before eventually becoming team manager of the national team.Opoku Afriyie in his playing daysFrom Kotoko to HeartsNot many players have been successful at Ghana’s two biggest clubs but Opoku Afriyie was certainly one of them. Having played for many years in Kumasi, winning multiple league titles, Afriyie signed for Hearts in 1984. He was league champion again with Hearts before retiring.last_img read more