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Wed, Aug

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Goalkeeper Ross Russell was the match-winner for the 2006 Soca Warriors over a WIPA (West Indies Players Association) XI at Balls of Fire II, not between the uprights, but with a pair of late goals that handed his team a 6-4 victory at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain on Saturday.

Former West Indies cricket captain Chris Gayle netted a hat-trick for the WIPA XI, not with his customary off-spin, but with his boot.

The big Jamaican opened the scoring in the second minute and netted twice again in the final of three half-hour thirds to bring WIPA level with the Soca Warriors at 4-4.

The Warriors withstood Gayle's opening goal to take the lead at the end of the first period through a double by Darin Lewis (27th, 29th) and one more from Cornell Glen (27th).

Windies and Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Dwayne Bravo beat Russell in goal with a penalty, the only goal in the second session, to cut the Warriors' advantage to 3-2.

Items from Trevor Nottingham (63rd) and Gayle (68th, 72nd) made sure things would be interesting in the final period, but Defence Force coach Russell made sure the Soca Warriors had the last laugh.

The match was part of the Balls of Fire II charity event and also featured WIPA president and CEO Dinanath Ramnarine, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith and T&T goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel for the WIPA team, and Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, Leonson Lewis, Brent Sancho as captain and Clayton Ince among others for the Warriors.

Teams:

WIPA XI - Chris Gayle (capt), Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Mervyn Dillon, Fidel Edwards, Justin Guillen, Pedro Collins, Kenton Thompson, Devon Smith, Rishaad Harris, Lendl Simmons.

Subs - Jerome Taylor, Wilden Cornwall, Daren Ganga, Chadwick Walton, Dinanath Ramnarine, Mario Belcon, Ishwar Maharaj, Dwayne Smith, Glenroy Samuel (guest player).

SOCA WARRIORS - Brent Sancho (capt), Ansil Elcock, Cornell Glen, Clayton Ince, Reynold Carrington, Errol McFarlane, Anil Roberts (guest player), Dale Saunders, Darin Lewis, Cyd Gray, Atiba Charles.

Subs - Leonson Lewis, Nigel Pierre, Anthony Rougier, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Ross Russell, Trevor Nottingham.