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Batting the Wind: Misnomers and More

A Tale of Two Legs: Dominica Holds on to Square Friendly

E Double Double Double

Samarians Work Together For Schools' Gold

Age Beats Youth In Pre-National Rugby Day Challenge

Tyson's  Opponent Has Lucian Roots!

A Tale of Two Legs: St. Lucia Beats Dominica In World Cup Warmup


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Batting the Wind: Misnomers and More

    (20 December) - Ah, St. Lucian cricket! Yet another exercise in futility for the senior national team, as they lost at home and clung securely to the bottom of the 1999 Goodwill Cricket Tournament, confident at least that there's nowhere to go but up. Playing at the Mindoo Philip Park, St. Lucia lost to Grenada by 267 runs, their third straight defeat in this year's competition. The worst St. Lucian bowling of the tournament offset the best batting performance, and only the Grenadians' desire for batting practice allowed this match to go through to the fourth day Sunday.
    The visitors were put in on Thursday, and they proceeded to take full advantage of good conditions, plundering 383 runs off mediocre bowling. Former West Indies wicketkeeper Junior Murray made 164, clearing the boundary seven times and hitting it seventeen more. Dennison Thomas added 53 and erstwhile West Indies allrounder Rawle Lewis made 42. Sheldon Thorpe continued to be St. Lucia's only really successful bowler, taking three wickets, but at the cost of 89 runs. Left arm pacer Isidore Mathurin took two for 62, Walter Emmanuel two for 79.
    Behind 42 from Danny Harris - if he'd played more than four games in domestic competition he may have had a better Goodwill tournament - and 30 from Thorpe the St. Lucians actually made all of 187 runs. The lower order contributed well, Mon Repos wicketkeeper Alderman Lesmond had 28, quick bowler Walter Emmanuel made 27 and number eleven Mathurin had a quick ten in partnership with namesake Gairy Mathurin, unbeaten on one at the close. Three Grenadians had 3 wickets each.
    196 runs ahead on first innings, the Grenadians could have opted for an early declaration, but Lewis chose to keep his men at the crease to the tune of 258 for 8 declared. Murray scored 79, including three sixes and six fours. Kevil George had exactly half of his 64 from boundaries, while Deon Smith and John Sylvester made 46 and 39 respectively. Gairy Mathurin had three wickets for 78 runs, Lambert Blackman two for 32.
    Set 455 to win, St. Lucia- after losing two early wickets - actually rallied to post 109 for the third wicket, a partnership between Harris and John Eugene. Eugene hit ten fours and a six for his 63. Harris was also in an unforgiving mood, belting eight boundaries and a six for 64. Once those two were out, the resistance of the home team was broken. Sergio Fedee - 2; Gaspard Prospere, Thorpe - 0. Lesmond offered token resistance with 15 runs, but six wickets fell to Lewis.

    Here are some interesting notes: St. Lucia went to lunch at 127 for 2…the home team lost their last seven wickets for 32 runs…in 1999, no domestic team played more than six matches in the Piton Beer competition…the national team began preparing for the Goodwill Tournament in October…the Goodwill Tournament began in November…the Piton Beer season ended in July…of 1015 runs scored in the match Grenada-St. Lucia, St. Lucia scored only 374…St. Lucia lost their two previous games each inside of three days


A Tale of Two Legs: Dominica Holds on to Square Friendly

    (19 December, Roseau) - Kelly Peter scored in both games on home turf for Dominica, and St. Lucia appeared to be totally at sea (even though they actually flew to Dominica). The return leg of the four-match series between these two nations ended with the home team having won each of the four matches, in spite of considerable pressure from their opponents. The series also proved quite inconclusive for these two territories hopeful of making a splash in World Cup qualifying.
    Peter, along with Bronson Talbert, provided the scoring for Dominica in the first of the two games played in Dominica. St. Lucia replied thanks to a strike from midfielder Sommers Augustin, but were it not for a continuing reluctance to make shots on goal, St. Lucia might have well come away with a result. In the second game, Peter and Jerry James netted for the home team. Striker Emerson Jn Marie had the sole reply for the visitors, who also had a poor post-game display.
    After the final whistle went, three St. Lucian players approached the match officials to dispute the way the game had been called. Augustin and his fellow midfielder Rene Regis, along with goalkeeper Danny Mitchell, were all shown the red card for their troubles. This was an abnormal incident in a series that had been marked overall by good sportsmanship and a reasonably good exhibition of football.
    Football Association president Mark Louis hopes to line up games against teams like Trinidad and Tobago and Scottish club Hibernian over the next two months. If St. Lucia is to do well against such opposition, and against Suriname, players the likes of Earl Jean, Titus Elva, and Elijah Joseph will be sought from W Connection in Trinidad's Professional Football League. Warren Hackett could come in from England, and Eric Fannis from Romania. Then we'll really see what St. Lucia is made of.


E Double Double Double

    (19 December) - Ewan Auguste is well on his way to another All-Conference selection this year, and if he gets his shine at home he'll get an invite to the National Sports awards Ceremony in February. The junior forward would probably be unable to pick up his hardware as St. Lucia's Basketball Player of the Year, however. His outstanding play is almost certain to lead his Washburn University Ichabods into the post-season.
    Another double double from the twenty-three-year old Samarian helped spur the Ichabods to their first 100-point output of the season. His twenty points - on five of nine shooting from the field and a huge ten of twelve from the stripe - placed him second in scoring on the night. A superlative fourteen rebounds easily led the team, as did three blocked shots. For good measure Ewan added in two dishes and a steal.
    Fifty-four percent shooting from the field and a dominant rebounding performance helped the Ichabods to a 109-79 victory over the Lincoln Blue Tigers. Meanwhile, Ewan has grown into his role as a team leader and fan favourite in Topeka, Kansas. At 6'8" and 220 lbs, he last played for St. Lucia at the Windward Islands tournament in 1998, when the tournament was held at the Vigie Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.


Samarians Work Together For Schools' Gold

    (17 December) - Behind sixteen points from Finals MVP Howard Foster, St. Mary's College held on to defeat the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School in a low scoring under-sixteen inter-school basketball final on Thursday. Foster, a centre, added seven rebounds, two steals and two assists to help lead a well-balanced team to victory.
    St. Mary's had earlier destroyed defending champion Corinth in the semi-final, beating them 91-54 to book the date with Hess. Not a single Hess player scored in double figures. Star swingman Marlon Brouet was a non-factor; forward Jamal St. Martin, this year's leading rebounder, led Hess with eight points, twelve boards and three rejections.


Age Beats Youth In Pre-National Rugby Day Challenge

    (14 December) - Captain Kent St. Catherine crossed the line once, but the major fireworks came from centre/winger Lyndel Norville, who had a hat-trick of tries and a conversion to lead the Veterans in their 49-36 defeat of the Juniours, led by forward Akim Herbert. Norville led the scoring with seventeen points; he was ably supported by Thomas Fletcher, whose two tries were good for ten points.
    Last Sunday's pre-National Day Rugby Challenge was the final engagement of 1999 for the St. Lucia Rugby Football Union. In the wake of an aborted trip to Trinidad's Carib Beer International Sevens, the game also indicated that the RFU is serious about gearing up for the 2001 Rugby Sevens World Cup Qualifying Tournament (Caribbean Leg) in January 2000, even without Union president Jackson Jules.
    After four years in charge of domestic rugby - during which time the Union won a national award as the Most Improved National Sporting Association - Jules will be leaving the island this month to meet study commitments. He was on hand Sunday with some of the experienced campaigners who aided in re-establishing the game in St. Lucia, and he would have been pleased with the way the game was played.
    The youngsters fought hard, getting tries from winger Jerry Charles - a fireman by profession - Henson Hunte, and a couple of imports, Irishman Patric Fahey and Nigerian Lincoln Wagacha. Scores from Norville, Fletcher, St. Catherine, Colvis Samuel, Chris Wyatt and Terry Finisterre kept the Veterans ahead for most of the game. The youngsters tied it up twice, before succumbing in the final frame.
    In spite of their best intentions, the national team - Zandolis - are unlikely to go far in January's qualifying tournament. Sunday's game was the first played in St. Lucia since last June's Tens Tournament. The Zandolis, though, have been known to spring an upset or two in seven-a-side rugby. Three years ago, they were ranked among the top teams in the Caribbean; now they get a chance to prove it.


Tyson's Next Opponent Has Lucian Roots!

    Julius Francis (15 December) - Thirty-five years ago, Peckham, England: Julius Francis is born, the son of Turtulien Francis and a Jamaican woman, since deceased. Raised in England, Julius grew ever closer to his father, originally from Soufriere, a west coast town on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Little did the young man dream that he would one day be  in the same ring as one of the century's greatest pugilists. Come 29 January 2000, Julius Francis will surpass his status as British heavyweight boxing champion, as he becomes the first fighter of St. Lucian parentage to take on Iron Mike Tyson. The former undisputed world champion, now thirty-three, has never won a fight outside of the United States; the January bout will be contested in Manchester, and Francis thinks that he has a bit of a chance.
     Against the hard-hitting Tyson, Francis - a former football hooligan jailed ten years ago for causing grievous bodily harm - remarks that "[Tyson] bleeds like everyone else." Virtually unknown outside  Britain, 6'2" Francis owns a 21-7 record with 11 KO's. He'll be getting US$528,000 for the fight, whereas Tyson is due to pocket $12 million. The tall St. Lucian Englishman is also a former kickboxing champion.
    "[Fighting] Mike Tyson …is a great opportunity for me to put the name of Julius Francis onto the world scene," asserts Francis, who was in St. Lucia as recently as last July visiting his family. Tyson has   only lost three of 49 fights as a professional. His last bout, against Orlin Norris, ended in a no-contest when Tyson knocked down  his opponent after the bell had sounded to signal the end of the first round.


A Tale of Two Legs: St. Lucia Beats Dominica In World Cup Warmup

    (13 December) - St. Lucia's national football team heads for Dominica this weekend brimming with confidence after handily defeating their opponents in back-to-back home games. The two friendly international fixtures at Vieux Fort's Friendship Park were a showcase for Southern midfielder Sheldon Mark, but it was one of the lesser-known overseas players who stole the show. St. Lucia looked far the better team as these two continue their preparations for World Cup qualifying next year.
    Ricardo Blanchard, playing for the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers in   the American National Professional Soccer League, made his first international appearance in some time. Just a step away from Major League Soccer in the US, Blanchard set the tone for the first game Sunday with crisp passing and astute ball control. He anchored a five-man midfield including Mark, Roots Alley Ballers forward Oswald Downes, and sometime defender Rene Regis, all playing behind solitary striker Emerson Jn Marie.
    Late in the second half of Game 1, Blanchard split the Dominican defense, giving Mark the perfect opening for the opening strike of the contest. It was Blanchard again minutes later, setting up a free kick, which Regis curled into the top of the net. After the break, Mark struck again, securing a 3-1 victory for St. Lucia and confirming the soundness of Coach Cassim Louis' strategic thinking. "We have some things to work on, but it's very encouraging to see the guys out there doing well," he said. He was even more heartened upon conclusion of the second game on Monday, when Mark had scored another, and Jn Marie - leading  candidate for domestic player of the year honours - had opened his account. 1999 double club champions Roots Alley Ballers were definitely well represented. Still, Dominica is far from the strongest team that St. Lucia will meet in advance of the World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins next March against Suriname. Reinforcements will be in order.







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