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THE YEAR IN SPORTS – reviewing 2004

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July

•Joseph Carrington and Tiskuan Matthews emerged singles champions in the National Table Tennis Championships. {{more}}

•Kineke Alexander brought home gold in the Under-20 400 metres at the CAC Junior Games. She clocked a time of 53.93 seconds to take the winning position for this country.

•Trevor Bailey, president of the local Cycling Union, was elected vice-president of the Pan American Cycling Confederation for the Caribbean Zone. His election came at the Congress of the Federation on June 19, in San Carlos, Venezuela.

•Four local referees were given the boot from FIFA for a year. The four were Timothy Hazelwood, Roger Gurley, Andrew Bramble and Clemroy Francois.

•Three footballers, Shandell Samuel, Jamal Ballantyne and Under-20 player Steven Henry, took up a one-week training stint with England.

•The sixth annual Bequia Zonal Basketball Tournament bounced off at the Clive Tannis hard court with some hefty sponsorship. Over 48 lucky basketball players received a brand new pair of And One basketball sneakers courtesy the And One Shoe Company and Jerry Simpson. Thirteen teams registered for the tournament.

•Controversy stirred over the omission of senior netballer Joanna Christopher from the national netball team. A team was picked to participate in the Caribbean Netball Championship in Trinidad without Christopher who only one month before was awarded the Most Valuable Player in the OECS Club championships after assisting her local club C&R Enterprise Sion Hill in winning the title.

August

•After losing our bid for to host a match in the upcoming 2007 Cricket World Cup here in the Caribbean, Sports Minister Mike Brown confirmed that the country failed in its bid to host stage matches because of the absence of an international airport.

•Eleven of this country’s special Olympians returned home after participating in the in Special Olympics Caribbean Summer Games in Kingston, Jamaica. The team came away with a total of 14 medals: three gold, four silver and six bronze.

•The North Leeward Under-15 cricketers swiped a hat trick after retaining the Frank Mason Trophy when they made light work of Marriaqua defeating them by 109 runs in the final.

•The Cable & Wireless, Digicel feud went from telecoms onto the cricket field. Less than a month after West Indies Cricket Board President Teddy Griffith announced Digicel’s five-year sponsorship with West Indies Cricket. However, Cable & Wireless still continued to hold on to some “star” players as part of their personal endorsement deal much to the dismay of Digicel officials.

September

•Mustique Icons came out on top of the Bequia basketball title, led by Wade Patterson, 25 points. The Icons were guided to a 98-73 win over Rising Star to take the series 2-1.

•D’Affaires of Fitz Hughes captured the final of the North Leeward Cricket Tournament with a 42 run win over Ajuba of Spring Village.

•Yugoslavian born international football coach, Zoran Vranes, replaced Team SVG’s football coach Aide Shaw. Shaw’s contract was terminated after some disagreements between him and the Football Federation.

October

•After changing coaches the Vincentian team went under to Mexico 7-0 reducing their chances of advancing to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers.

•Ian Sardine, who resigned the post of first vice president of the SVG Football Federation, assured SEARCHLIGHT he will not return to the executive. Sardine tendered his resignation soon after members of the executive axed Technical Director Cess Podd and Head Coach Adrian Shaw.

•Garwin Phillips and Stacy Patterson returned from the CAC bodybuilding and Fitness Champion-ships held in Guyana with top spots.

Philips placed third in the Male Heavyweight Division while Phillips and Patterson nabbed the second position in the Mixed Pairs category.

•West Indies cricket team takes ICC champions trophy.

November

•West Indies Cricket Board President Teddy Griffith defends the hiring of Australian Benneth King as the new coach of the West Indies cricket team.

•Vincentian medium pacer Deighton Butler joined the West Indies cricket team as part of a training squad for the Tri-Nation-Limited Overs series involving Australia and Pakistan.

•The Digicel/Cable & Wireless clash moves from telecoms and cricket to soccer. The branding of telecommunications competitors Digicel and Cable & Wireless over the presence of advertisements at the Arnos Vale Playing Field for the Group E stage of the Digicel Caribbean Cup created some controversy. Digicel wanted the removal off all Cable & Wireless advertising at the venue; however, Cable & Wireless had contractual agreements with the National Sports Council until the end of the year. The result ended with Cable & Wireless having to cover their signs during the matches sponsored by Digicel.

•Controversy bounced on the basketball court when Searchlight’s sports columnist William “Kojah” Anthony lashed out at the poor conditions at the home for local basketball at New Montrose. The issue was later picked up by Vinlec’s CEO Thornley Mayers, one of the major sponsors of the national tournament. Mayers also blasted the basketball players for their disregard for the significance of the Basketball Association’s prize-giving ceremony. He was referring to the absence of many players who were supposed to receive prizes at the ceremony.

•Terrance Mc Barnette Bawl Dawgs grabbed the basketball tile of the National Men’s Basketball Zonal Club Championships. They defeated Square Deal Shippers Calliaqua Untied 87 to 78 in the final. Bradford “Sick” Duncan was awarded MVP of the tournament.

December

•After failing to advance in the World Cup qualifiers, Vincy Heat made amends by moving into the second round of the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

•Immanuel Intermediate High School dominated the Coca-Cola Inter Secondary School Football Competition taking a 2-1 win over the Emmanuel High School Kingstown.

•St. Joseph Convent Marriaqua made a clean sweep in the Secondary Schools’ Netball Tournament. Going unbeaten in the tournament they outclassed Campden Park Secondary in the finals, 43 to 25. In the finals played at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex, St. Joseph Convent Kingstown also edged out their opponents Emmanuel High School Mesopotamia.

•The curtains came down on the Top Belair Softball Cricket Competition with Troublesome 11 reigning as the league champions. The youthful outfit rose to the occasion beating Vinlec Shot Callers. This year the competition will continue its ninth year, while the National Lottery remains the sponsor.

•Adeliene Carrington was the first female to cross the finish line in the OECS Half Marathon in Grenada. She returned home victorious with the first place title while Pamenos Ballantyne was first for males.

•Pamenos Ballantyne established himself as the premier distance runner, punctuated with a series of successes on the regional front. His most recent was the OECS Half Marathon in Grenada, in one hour 12 minutes and 40 seconds. He completed his ninth title in 10 years. And it would have been a complete record had the Vincentian Amateur Athletics Association last year not banned him. Ballantyne’s triumph in the OECS Half Marathon came on the heels of a victory in the Reggae Marathon, Negril, Jamaica, at the end of November. His Clico Trinidad and Tobago Marathon title in January ensured another dominant sojourn for him.

December 4, he cleaned up a 10K field in Mayaro, Trinidad, and was home for the Penniston Educational Sports and Cultural Organisation 10K the following day. Inevitably, Ballantyne was rampant. He was ahead in the 15K Arouca Classic, September 24.

With that record, he emerged an overwhelming favourite as OECS Sport Personality of the Year when a group of journalists, including Searchlight’s Sports Editor William “Kojah” Anthony met at Auberge Seraphine Conference Room in St. Lucia.

•Orlanzo Jackson’s omission from the 17-member Windward party for the 2005 Carib Cup was a signal blow to genuine cricket lovers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the rest of the Windwards, and the wider Caribbean circles. The ebullient Jackson had established himself as perhaps the best leg spinner in the region. Meanwhile, another Vincentian cricketer, Hyron Shallow, earned a spot on the Windwards squad.

•Darren Francis inked his name on the Vincentian goals scorer’s list with a sixth minute conversion against Grenada to advance Team SVG into the third round in the Digicel Caribbean Cup qualifiers. Team SVG climbed nine places in the FIFA rankings to 137.

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