High Mountain Coffee Road Race fever appears at high pitch 24 hours before the event hit its Williamsfield home in Manchester. There was a beehive of activity at the old Williamsfield round-a-bout, with stalls being erected on every possible land space in proximity. Organisers also anticipate a record amount of entries. Proceeds this year will go to the Mandeville Hospital. The event features the very popular 10K road race, but there will be strong interest around competition in the 5K run and 5K walk. The main route will be the same as previous years, taking participants from the new Williamsfield round-a-bout up the Winston Jones Highway, then through Kendal, around Kirkvine, before ending at the old Williamsfield community park. The current best of local long distance racing will be there, but additional spice will come from specially invited international competitors. Black Star on top in St Elizabeth Major League Following the ninth round of matches in the Manchester FA Magnum/Captain’s Bakery Major League, defending champions Hillstars are back on top of the standings. Hillstars’ 1-0 win over Land Settlement, which came courtesy of a 90th minute strike by Thorn Simpson, pushed them to 22 points, one more than Ricam Academy. Ricam, who were the previous leaders, were pegged back by a 2-2 draw. Another team, Downs, also profited from Ricam’s loss, jumping to 21 points with a 2-1 win over Greenvale. The league’s golden boot winner last year, Gary McDonald, scored both goals for Downs. Interestingly, all four goals in that game were scored in the first half. Alligator Pond stayed fourth with 18 points despite being held 0-0 by Georges Valley. Hillstars back on top in Manchester Treasure Beach night football heats up High Mountain 10K fever hit Williamsfield Despite being held to a 1-1 draw by last-placed Tafari Lions, the Black River-based Black Star hold a seven-point lead on nearest challengers Real Treasure Beach in the Magnum/Charley JB St Elizabeth Major League. Having completed seven league games, Black Star are on 19 points, with Real Treasure Beach (12) and the pair of St Bess FC and Super Action in hot pursuit on 10 points each. Black Star’s record includes six wins and they enjoy a plus-10 goal differential. In another remarkable result, Real Treasure Beach edged Super Action 1-0. At present, the goalscoring standings see three players with four goals each. They are Turnesta Stewart and Romario Smith of Super Action and Davian Ash of Black Star. Today’s matches: Newell United vs Tafari Lions FC at Hounslow, Holland PYC vs Black Star FC at Holland. Tomorrow’s matches: Real Treasure Beach FC vs Vineyard YC at Treasure Beach Sports Park, Haughton United vs Appleton Estate FC at Elim, Super Action YC vs St Bess FC at Holland. Eight teams have already advanced to the second round of the South St Elizabeth six-a-side night football competition now on at Treasure Beach Sports Park. They are Gunner FC, Eyes Burning, Wild Onion, Ghetto Youth, Great Bay, Untouchable, Tennant and Longwood. Earlier in the week, Untouchable eliminated Police National 2-1, Tennant crushed Middle East 4-0, while Longwood sent Seaview All Star packing with a 3-0 defeat. The competition continues tonight with the following games: Rio Striker vs Hopewell Masters, Round Hill vs Edusport and Jakes FC vs Boom 11.
You can’t script this stuff. Manchester City fires Manuel Pellegrini, effective the end of the season, and then his Blues beat Paris Saint-Germain to reach the European Champions League semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history.Pellegrini, a dignified Chilean, must have a sly smile on his face.In this age of big money, a football manager’s contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. A blip in team performance can get wealthy club owners like those of Manchester City nervous enough to pull the plug even if it’s due to a rash of injuries.Pellegrini and the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho know this all too well.The latter two were both let go by Russian Roman Abramovic at Chelsea in the season following wins in the English Premier League. The same thing happened at the same club to Claudia Ranieri, the current Leicester City boss, after a 2004 season in which Chelsea placed second in the Premiership. Truly, he who pays the piper calls the tune.In those situations, only winning is enough.In this context, it seems hardly likely that Louis van Gaal will see out his three-year contract at Manchester United. The highly successful Dutchman hasn’t endeared himself to United with his possession-oriented departure from that club’s traditional winger-based attacking style.The besieged veteran came to United after carrying The Netherlands to within a penalty shoot-out of the 2014 World Cup final. He might rightly claim that he took United back to Champions League football.TOO LATE FOR VAN GAALHis inconsistent United, however, haven’t met the benchmark, set by Alex Ferguson. Fans want him out. From the moans of the United faithful, even a return to Champions League football won’t save the day for Van Gaal.He will have to hustle as his team is fifth, four points behind Manchester City.Six months after his arrival at Liverpool, the charming German Jurgen Klopp is still enjoying a honeymoon at the Anfield home of the five-time European champions. His Reds are currently eighth in the Premiership, two places behind last year’s sixth-spot finish.Yet, the accomplished Klopp is generally viewed as a better coach than the man he replaced, Brendan Rogers. Time will tell.Managerial musical chairs are present in Jamaica, too. For example, Waterhouse Football Club has had two managers already this year.If Raineri’s Leicester can emerge from last season’s battles against relegation to be a real challenger for domestic top honours, then Pellegrini can dream of a triumphant exit.Even though giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all remain in contention, scriptwriters in Manchester are probably penning their view of Champions League success.If that happens and if Manchester City meet and beat Bayern, who are currently coached by Pep Guardiola Pellegrini’s replacement as manager at City that would be irony indeed.n Hubert Lawrence has attended the Sydney, Athens, Beijing, and London Olympics.