Successful year for Barras and Lewas

first_imgThe Barramundis started the year with a hard fought defeat in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Intercontinental Cup (ICUP) and T20 International Series to Ireland, before defeating Kenya at home in the ICC World Cricket League (WCL).Then they travelled to Australia to compete in the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) Premier League where they finished a very respectable third place on 34 points with four wins, three draws and one loss.The Barramundis continued their winning ways defeating Namibia in the ICUP and WCL matches at home, to propel them into top place in the WCLC and fourth place in the ICUP after four rounds. The Barramundis finished the year with a 2-1 defeat in a One Day International (ODI) Series in Hong Kong. “The Barramundis went from strength to strength this year and they have a wonderful opportunity to finish in the top four of both the ICUP and WCL next year.“Credit must go to the High Performance Department, led by Rarua Dikana and Head Coach, Dipak Patel, coaches and the players for their hard work and professionalism this year.“Already, the HEBOU PNG Barramundis have a busy 2017 Schedule, with matches against Australian State Teams, Scotland, Hong Kong, Scotland, UAE and possibly English County Teams and International 2nd XI Teams planned,” said Campbell.The Lewas also had a very successful year, winning the ICC East Asia Pacific (EAP) Women’s Trophy in Samoa without losing a single match.This victory meant that they qualified for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka in February, 2017. “The Lewas improved outstandingly in 2016, with a larger pool of female players vying for selection in the national team from all parts of PNG.“There is a great opportunity for the girls to show their skills against some of the best women cricketers in Sri Lanka next year, but also qualify for an ICC World Cup for the first time.“Rodney Maha (Coach) and Cathryn Fitzpatrick (Consultant Coach) must be given a lot of credit to grooming these women into international cricketers.“There is still a lot of work to be done both on and off the field but we are on the right track,” said Campbell.last_img read more

Coutinho opens Barcelona account in Cup win

first_img0Shares0000Philippe Coutinho put Barcelona ahead just four minutes after coming on against Valencia © AFP / JOSE JORDANMADRID, Spain, Feb 9 – Philippe Coutinho came off the bench to score his first goal for Barcelona in a 2-0 win at Valencia on Thursday that saw his new club ease into another Copa del Rey final.Coutinho broke the deadlock in the 49th minute of the semi-final, second leg at Mestalla, having only come on at the start of the second half. It was the first time the Brazilian had found the net since his blockbuster 160 million-euro move from Liverpool in early January.Ivan Rakitic then swept home the second goal eight minutes from the end as holders Barcelona secured a place in the final for the fifth season running, becoming the first side to achieve such a feat.Winners of the trophy in each of the last three campaigns, the Catalans will face Sevilla in the final set for the weekend of April 21 and 22. Sevilla beat Leganes 2-0 on Wednesday to go through 3-1 on aggregate.“For me it is my first final, so it is a very special moment,” Coutinho told Spanish TV station Gol.“I am very happy. I had been searching for this goal in my first few matches. Today I got it and it helped the team get through to the final.”– Treble dream alive –Valencia had been hoping to reach the final for the first time since they won the trophy under Ronald Koeman in 2008, beating Barcelona in the last four on the way.“Barca have been used to playing finals in recent years, but not so much in my case,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, for whom the win came on the eve of his 54th birthday.With Barcelona nine points clear at the top of La Liga and still in the Champions League, he remains on course to win what would be a remarkable treble in his first season at the club since arriving from Athletic Bilbao.“Of course we want to try to win everything we can, but I don’t like to talk about trebles until they happen. For the moment all we have is the possibility of playing in a final,” he said.Trailing 1-0 from the first leg after Luis Suarez’s strike separated the teams at the Camp Nou last week, Valencia did almost level the tie on aggregate early on. However, Rodrigo’s header beat Jasper Cillessen in the Barca goal only to come back off the bar.Lionel Messi had come close on a couple of occasions for the visitors in the first half, but it was the introduction of Coutinho that swung the tie decisively their way.Valverde sent his recent recruit on in place of Andre Gomes, and Coutinho quickly made his mark, turning in a Suarez cross at the back post.Valencia had centre-back Ezequiel Garay carried off and then saw Cillessen make an incredible save to deny Jose Gaya from point-blank range in the 74th minute.They were condemned to a sixth straight defeat in all competitions as Suarez pounced on a Gabriel Paulista error and set up Rakitic to make it 2-0 on the night.The only slight setback for Barca was the sight of centre-back Gerard Pique coming off hurt late on, with Colombian international defender Yerry Mina coming on for his debut.Valverde later admitted that he was suffering from muscle fatigue having gambled on his fitness at the start of the game.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more