Manchester football season to open Oct 29The 2015-16 Manchester Football Association (MFA) season will kick-off on Thursday, October 29, with the Brumalia House Knock Out competition.The draw took place at the MFA offices at the RADA Complex earlier this week and 16 teams will compete. Defending champions Porus United will feature in the lone October 29 match against Old England.A date is yet to be finalised for the other seven opening round games. Those games are: Alligator Pond vs Plouden; Hillstars vs Star Zone; Downs vs NCU; Ricam Academy vs Villa United; Mile Gully vs Greenvale; Comfort vs Technical Strikers; and Georges Valley vs Land Settlement.The newcomers are NCU, Star Zone and Technical Strikers.Porus begins Peter Bunting defence with winPorus began their defence of the Central Manchester Sports Development Football League on a winning note last weekend, with a 6-2 victory against Top Coffee Grove Community team.The league, which is sponsored by Central Manchester Member of Parliament, Peter Bunting, kicked off with two games at Comfort Community Centre. The second game saw hosts Comfort defeating neighbours New Hall 5-1. Thirty teams are contesting the League. Top Coffee Grove number among four newcomers in this the third season. The others are Belair Strikers, Bombay and May Day.The opening round also saw Land Settlement scoring the highest margin of victory – a 10-0 shut-out of Kendal. A summary of other results saw Albion outscoring Old England 4-2, Inverness stomping New Vision 5-0, Mandeville United welcoming Belair Strikers 3-0 and the Police team drawing 2-2 with Bonito Strikers.Matches will resume tomorrow with double-headers at five venues. Opening games kick-off at 1:30 p.m., with the final games set for 3:30 p.m.Belair win in Howie Chin Prep LeagueKyode Smith’s goal proved decisive as Belair shocked defending champions Mount St Joseph 1-0 in last week’s second round of the Howie Chin Memorial Cup for Preparatory Schools in Manchester.Belair have now moved to six points, following their opening round 3-0 shut-out of Charagape. It was also a tough second round for Mountt St Joseph in the female category, where they are also the defending champions. They were held to a 0-0 draw by Emmanuel, who were previously beaten 2-0 by Belair.In other boys matches, Knox completed a 3-1 win over El Instituto, while in a surprise result, Yabnel edged Sacred Heart 1-0 on a Ramone Henry strike.The most impressive scoreline of the second round came in the girl’s competition, when Timika Scarlett’s four-timer gave Belair a 4-1 win over Knox Prep.Manchester to host inaugural Knox 7KManchester will host its fourth road race for runners and walkers, when Knox Community College hosts its inaugural Knox 7K on October 31.The day’s events will be hosted at its Cobbla campus, near Spaldings. The event will form part of Knox’s commemoration of 40 years as an institution which caters for primary, high school and community college education.The High Mountain Coffee 10K is the first on the Manchester calendar each year. Earlier this month, the parish saw the debut of the Church Teachers’ College 5K. The Burger King 5K will take place on October 25.Age categories for both events will be 19 and under, 20-39 and 40 and over, for which the organisers are offering prizes. Interested athletes and enthusiasts can go to the school’s website at kcc.edu.jm to register.
NEW YORK – The nation’s retailers, once hopeful for a strong spring selling season, are being forced to ratchet down their expectations after sales stalled amid the chill of February. Frigid weather stifled consumer demand for lightweight spring apparel. And some industry experts doubt that this season’s fashions – styles such as mini dresses in bright geometric patterns and baby doll dresses – will have broad appeal. Meanwhile, there’s concern that consumers will finally turn frugal because of the housing market’s continuing slump, and that last week’s stock market tumble might also cause shoppers to be more conservative. And there’s the lingering specter of higher gasoline prices. “People don’t necessarily feel less wealthy because the market falls all of the sudden or their housing value is lower,” but if those factors “persist over the next six months, it may affect long-term behavior,” according to Frank Badillo, vice president and senior retail economist at Retail Forward, a retail consulting company. Retailers are scheduled to report February same-store sales, or sales from stores open at least a year, today, but several retailers, including Limited Brands Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Talbots Inc., have already warned of disappointing results. Same-store sales are considered the best measure of a retailer’s strength. Besides dealing with broad economic issues, merchants were grappling with one of the coldest Februarys on record. Limited said inclement weather affected sales for Valentine’s Day at its Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works chains. “The month has been disappointing, ” said Richard Jaffe, a retail analyst at Stiffel Nicolaus. The cold weather wiped out demand for spring clothes, and, because retailers had done a good job clearing out winter merchandise during a strong January sales period, there was little for shoppers to buy. “It’s cold, and Lord knows I don’t want to be schlepping around to stores,” said Jenny Fishman of New York, who has bought only some shoes over the past few weeks. “I can’t even fathom wearing spring clothes.” “We’re seeing February being soft,” Penney Chairman and Chief Executive Myron E. Ullman III said late last month. But he remained hopeful that sales would rebound with new spring fashions, and the company still has a bullish outlook for the next 12 months. The International Council of Shopping Centers is still sticking with its modest same-store sales-growth forecast of 2.5 percent to 3 percent, but Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research, said winter weather slowed consumer demand at the end of February. While February is one of the least important months of a retailer’s calendar, merchants do hope to get some idea of which spring fashion trends are resonating with shoppers. John Morris, a retail analyst at Wachovia Securities, said other apparel retailers expected to post disappointing February sales include Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Aeropostale Inc., The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc., and AnnTaylor Stores Co. Morris noted in a report that he expects Gap, whose continued troubles resulted in the departure of its CEO in January, to post a 5 percent same-store sales decline. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has been retooling its merchandising strategy, expects a modest same-store sales gain of 1 percent to 2 percent for February. Meanwhile, rival Target expects same-store sales to rise a robust 4 percent to 6 percent for the month. The big winners are expected to include department stores, particularly high-end stores like Nordstrom Inc., whose customers buy their clothing ahead of the season. Saks Inc., which operates upscale Saks Fifth Avenue, said Wednesday that it had a robust 24.7 percent gain in February same-store sales.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!