By Elroy StephneyDESPITE unfavourable weather conditions, Region 2 successfully hosted its day of sports and interaction last Saturday, at Lake Mainstay on the Essequibo Coast.Among the disciplines which formed part of the day’s activities were 10/10 softball cricket, 5-a-side football and a king dominoes competition involving sister Regions 3 and 4.The day began with a formal opening ceremony which was addressed by the Regional Executive Officer Derrick Persaud who welcomed the participants as he expressed the Region’s commitment and pride in promoting good working relationships, sharing of ideas, building friendships among the regions and fostering unity as a whole.The 10/10 softball cricket competition then took centre stage as Region 2 and 3 played for a trophy in the final. Earlier Region 3 defeated a Masters XI from Region 2 by three wickets.Batting first, Masters XI scored 67-5 from 10 overs with Boodram Laldass striking 31 including 3x4s and 1×6.In reply, Region 3 despite an early setback rallied to 68-3, thanks to an unbeaten 37 (5×4, 1×6) from Graham Miggins who hammered 21 in the last over to gain a thrilling victory by 7 wickets for the visitors.In the final which was reduced to 6 overs because of time, Region 2 secured 65-5 with Anthony Persaud top-scoring with 27, laced with 2x6s and Gopaul Deen 16. Region 3 in response lost wickets regularly and were eventually reduced to 47-7 when the overs expired.Graham Miggins was again among the runs hitting 15. Leg-spinner Hemand Sonina was exceptional claiming a hat-trick to end with figures of 3-6 from his single over while Gopaul Deen took 2-8 from his one over as well, to cap a fine all-round display.In the other disciplines, Regional Accounting Unit, Region 2 won the 5-a-side football against their Drainage and Irrigation counterparts, 4-0.The 30-minute affair saw a hat-trick from captain Jermain Springer who scored in the 4th, 9th, and 17th minutes of the game. Completing the score line was Yattesh Wickham who found the net in the 28th minute to seal victory for the office boys.Meanwhile the king dominoes was won by Jason Fredericks who marked 12 games to be crowned King. At the presentation, trophies were presented to Region 2 as the winners of the cricket competition while Region 3 received the prize for the runners-up.Gopaul Deen of Region 2 was adjudged man-of-the-match in the final while Graham Wiggins of Region 3 collected the trophy for the batsman scoring the most runs in the final. Leg-spinner Hemant Sonina from Region 2 copped the prize for the bowler with the most wickets including a hat-trick.Trophies were also given to the RAU football team for winning the title while Jason Fredericks collected the trophies for winning the king dominoes competition and scoring the most sixes.Gracing the occasion were the Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt, Regional Vice-Chairman Nandranie Coonjah, Deputy Regional Executive Officer Roopkumar Persaud, Principal Personnel Officer Bibi Rameeza Mullah, Member of Parliament Hemraj Rajkumar, RDC Councillors, staff of the various participating regions and special invitees.The organisers have undertaken to make the event an annual one with Region 2 expected to pay a return visit to Regions 3 and 4 next year. The Regional Administration, Region 2 sponsored the day of activities.
BARTY CAPITALISES ON KVITOVA’S MISSESEight squandered break points, one missed set point and a lost tie-break lead tell the story of what went wrong for Kvitova against Barty in the first set.The Czech held five break points at 3-3 in a gripping game that lasted more than 10 minutes – having carved a 0-40 lead with two blistering forehand returns – but eventually allowed the Australian to hold when she netted a forehand return.She had a mini-break in the tie-break but again enabled Barty to get herself back in it when she netted after a fantastic rally where the Australian was at her defensive best and getting on the end of everything the Czech threw at her.Another netted forehand gave Barty a mini-break and Kvitova handed her the set when she went long with a backhand.Kvitova, who was beaten in last year’s final by Naomi Osaka, swiftly left the court at the end of the set but when she returned she could not find a way back into the match as Barty raced to a 4-0 lead.Where the gripping first set lasted one hour and nine minutes, Barty needed just 35 minutes in the second. She was halted only by a dropped serve in the sixth game but went on to seal victory with an ace.“It’s been absolutely incredible,” said Barty, who is seeking to become the first Australian women’s singles winner since Chris O’Neil in 1978.“I knew I had to bring my best against Petra. That first set was crucial and it was good to get a quick start in the second.”Sofia Kenin, who ended American teenager Coco Gauff’s run in the previous round, put in an accomplished performance against big-hitting Tunisian Ons Jabeur.World number 78 Jabeur, the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final, showed plenty of fighting spirit and saved five set points in the opening set before pushing Kenin hard in the second, but ultimately paid the price of 36 unforced errors.Kenin saved three break points at 2-3 in the second set in a near 10-minute game and she said this had been key to the victory.“After that I got my momentum and started playing better,” the 21-year-old said.“I’m super excited. It was a tough match.” … becomes first Australian woman in 36 yearsASHLEIGH Barty became the first Australian woman to reach the semi-finals at her home Grand Slam for 36 years with victory over Petra Kvitova in an absorbing encounter in Melbourne.The top seed made 2019 runner-up Kvitova pay for a host of missed chances in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 victory at the Australian Open.French Open champion Barty will face American 14th seed Sofia Kenin next. Kenin reached her first major semi after a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ons Jabeur.The last Australian woman to reach the semi-finals in the singles at Melbourne Park was Wendy Turnbull in 1984, who was the most recent finalist from the home nation in 1980.
On paper, it would appear that the Badger defense had itself a great day against Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon.The Leatherneck offense accounted for exactly three points and three interceptions, put up 246 total yards of offense to the Badgers’ 336, and was generally unable to conjure up any sort of rhythm in moving the football down the field at Camp Randall Stadium.But the consensus among Wisconsin personnel was that the defense could have performed much, much better.”I don’t think we tackled well,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. “I counted on four occasions — two in the first half and two right away in the second half — where we should have been off the field on third down if we just make the tackles. That concerns me because that is a basic element of football that we’ve got to have instilled in their minds.”Western Illinois’ success on third downs told the story of Bielema’s frustration. UW allowed their Division I-AA opponent to move the chains on eight out of 16 third-down opportunities — a disappointing 50 percent rate.”We want to stop those drives and we want to get the defense off the field, because if we’re off the field, they don’t score points,” senior safety Roderick Rogers said. “We want to keep those drives short and we want to go three-and-out.”On the flip side: While the UW defense allowed Western Illinois to convert on eight of 16 third-down plays, Wisconsin’s offense did one better with a 9-for-16 conversion rate.Badger quarterback John Stocco completed four passes on third downs to move the chains and also scampered for six yards on another conversion.”I think we were pretty good on third downs,” Stocco said. “That’s something that we want to be good at as an offense.”Picks a’plenty: Linebacker Mark Zalewski, safety Joe Stellmacher and cornerback Allen Langford all pulled down interceptions at the expense of Leathernecks quarterback Steve LaFalce.In addition, Stellmacher would have picked off a second pass had UW linebacker Mike Newkirk not inadvertently tipped the ball out of harm’s way, and cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu nearly got into the act late in the game, letting a potential INT slip through his hands.”I had the running back man-to-man, I see the quarterback threw it, it was coming right towards me, and Newkirk just kind of threw his body in there and knocked it down, so it’s kind of disappointing,” Stellmacher said of his chance at a second pick. “But [we] made the play anyways, [and] got off the field.”Stellmacher joked that Newkirk, a second-string defensive tackle, can at least bask in the glory of making his mark on the stat sheet, as he was credited with a defended pass.”He took one away from me, [I’ll] let him treasure that one.”Goal-line stand: The Badgers also held the Leathernecks in check with a stop late in the third quarter, when Western Illinois had a third-and-one situation at the Wisconsin 3-yard line. Defensive tackle Nick Hayden brought down WIU running back Herb Donaldson for a one-yard loss, bringing up fourth-and-two.Then, defensive end Matt Shaughnessy snuffed out a Leathernecks trick play with LaFalce catching a pass from WIU’s Alex Douglas on the left side. Shaughnessy brought down LaFalce for a two-yard-loss, turning the ball back over to the UW offense.”It was just an incredible heads-up play by Matt Shaughnessy, and it’s an example of why we think he can be an exceptional player here,” Bielema said.Quick hits: Isaac Anderson recorded his first career reception. The true freshman out of Minneapolis, Minn., hauled in a 20-yard pass from Stocco on a third-and-six play in the second quarter, good for Wisconsin’s third-longest play from scrimmage in the game … Western Illinois did not produce any passing plays amassing 20 yards or more, and did not run for 10 or more yards on any carry … Stocco’s last completion of the afternoon, a 24-yard touchdown catch by Andy Crooks, was the 400th of his career. Stocco is now third on Wisconsin’s all-time completions list, and stands just 15 catches away from the second-place signal caller Brooks Bollinger … Taylor Mehlhaff, who did not have any field goal attempts in UW’s first win over Bowling Green, connected on both his attempts Saturday, including a 46-yarder at the end of the first half, tying his career best … the attendance at Camp Randall Stadium was announced as 80,845. It was the 19th consecutive sellout for Wisconsin at home.