Tomorrow’s game: In a week which sees things just as tight at the bottom as they are at the top, the focus today will be on the UWI FC-Waterhouse clash at the UWI Bowl.In this encounter the promoted UWI FC, who are sitting in sixth position on 30 points, host former champions Waterhouse, who are sitting in 12th position in the 12-team league on 21 points. While the table may show that UWI FC should be the more fancied of the two, recent events may cause some amount of worry for the University boys, while Waterhouse could be convinced that they have a good chance of taking all three points.Prior to Monday night, UWI FC were looking quite stable with goalkeeper Amal Knight putting in commanding performances, their defenders kept it tight, while Girvon Brown and company kept the goals coming as they recorded two wins and two draws in their previous four matches. Against Harbour View on Monday, though, they looked very porous in the back, Knight looked unsure of himself, while their forwards were unable to breach the ‘Stars of the East’ who spanked them 5-0.Waterhouse, despite sitting at the foot of the table, are looking up positively with coach Paul Young being convinced that things are coming together and that they are primed for a lift. In their last four games, they have had three draws and one win – away over fourth-placed Humble Lion. Two of their three draws in that time were against current third-placed team Montego Bay United.”I am very much optimistic about our chances from here. Today, one of our central players, Dale Reid, was out because of asthma attack yesterday, so we had to make an adjustment in the defence line. In the midfield, we had Dominic James out and there are some other key players out who we are trying to get back healthy just to get the system going but it is a work in progress and we are going; to be fine,” Young said last week at the end of their second 0-0 draw with Montego Bay United.Young also said that while his team did not play, their best football that day, they showed great character to stand up to the opponents who ended the game with a one-man advantage following the expulsion of Theo Brown. The team, he said, had a good balance with the experienced Hughan Gray, the returning Weston Forrest, Kevin Lamey and Devon Hodges providing leadership for the youngsters such as Reid, goalkeeper Akeem Chambers and Nicholas Nelson among others.”We were brought back down to earth as we were having a good run for the previous six games … but it is better now than later,” Marcel Gayle, UWI FC’s coach about their big loss to Harbour View.He added: “Consistency is not the order of this league. All teams have had their ups and downs and it was our time to have a down. The good thing, though, is that we will be at home and we are looking to make amends.”Today’s games:3 p.m: Reno vs Rivoli United – Frome Complex3 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Humble Lion – Wespow Park3 p.m: Portmore United vs Boys’ Town – Juici Park, Clarendon3 p.m: Tivoli Gardens vs Harbour View – Edward Seaga Sports Complex3 p.m: UWI FC vs Waterhouse – UWI Bowl, Mona 8:40 p.m: Cavalier vs Arnett Gardens – Stadium East Points standingTeam P W D L GF GA GD PtsArnett 23 13 4 6 35 20 15 43Portmore 23 13 4 6 28 20 8 43MoBay United 23 11 9 3 34 13 21 42Humble Lion FC 23 9 8 6 21 18 3 35H View 23 8 9 6 28 22 6 33UWI FC 23 8 6 9 24 34 -10 30Cavalier SC 23 7 6 10 18 23 -5 27Boys’ Town 23 7 6 10 25 33 -8 27Reno 23 6 9 8 22 30 -8 27Tivoli 23 6 5 12 26 32 -8 22Rivoli 23 5 7 11 24 32 -8 22Waterhouse 23 4 9 10 20 28 -8 21
Stafanie Taylor, the Jamaican who led the regional women’s cricket team to its first ICC World T20 title, was treated to a welcome-home ceremony fit for a heroine inside the Pineapple Lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.In attendance at yesterday’s event were Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who also represents the Spanish Town constituency from whence the cricketer hails; and Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, who praised the Jamaican for having “team spirit that we have never seen before”.It was Taylor’s third time at the World Cup and first in the leadership role, having been appointed captain in September last year.”The road has been really rough, I can tell you being the captain and the leader. It left me with no friends,” she joked.”When we got into Barbados, I got a reception that I’ve never received before; I felt like a superstar when we arrived in Barbados yesterday, and today, it was like a reminder of feeling like a superstar,” she told the media.The 24-year-old said thanks to the fans, supporters, sponsors and her family at home who were eagerly awaiting her arrival.”Today, it is Spanish Town day,” joked Grange, who said all the people of the Caribbean will be talking about her constituent for years.”I am really happy to be here again. Stafanie has been a source of inspiration for many of us. Years from now, we will be talking about this little girl from Gordon Pen in Spanish Town that led a band of heroines from the Caribbean and made history in Kolkata, India,” said Grange.She added that “a big session” will take place for Taylor in Gordon Pen today and also assured that plans will begin soon to rehabilitate the Stafanie Taylor Oval at Eltham High School, where Taylor’s talent blossomed while a student there.Taylor, who was named Player of the Tournament for her consistent contribution, was named captain of the ICC Select World T20 team of the tournament, which includes fellow West Indies player, Barbadian all rounder Deandra Dottin.Patrick King, director of customer solutions, Digicel, which is the main sponsor of West Indies cricket, said his organisation remains proud to be a part of the ascendancy of the game in the region.The West Indies men’s team also won the World T20 title, on Sunday in England, and in February, the West Indies Under-19 team won the ICC Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka.