Sport

Boys’ Town in another survival battle against Maverley-Hughenden

BY HOWARD WALKER SENIOR STAFF REPORTER walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 19, 2017    

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Another week, another key relegation fight for Boys’ Town, as they tackle Maverley-Hughenden 3:30 pm at the Barbican Complex, in one of only three Red Stripe Premier League games on today.

In the other two games, champions Montego Bay United travel to the Compound to play Harbour View at 7:00 pm, while Reno host Jamalco at the St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) starting at 3:00 pm.

Only last week, Boys’ Town had to dig deep to keep their survival hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Jamalco, and closed the gap to be on 23 points, but still remained at the bottom of the 12-team standing in 12th spot. The promoted Maverley-Hughenden are out of the relegation in 10th spot on 28 points.

It’s another must-win game for Boys’ Town. In fact, all their remaining six games will be like a final for the “Red Brigade” if they are to avoid relegation. Today’s match-up is against one of the teams Boys’ Town would have targeted to leapfrog, hence the stage is set for an epic battle.


Boys’ Town know only too well the consequences of a defeat would see them fall eight points behind Maverley-Hughenden, although the relegation fight is not just about these two teams, but involves at least five. Both teams have played to 1-1 draws in their two meetings this season and another draw would certainly benefit Maverley more.

Meanwhile, at STETHS, another key relegation battle is in store, where seventh-placed Reno on 31 points must thwart the challenges of 11th-placed Jamalco, sitting just five points behind on 26 points. A loss for the Westmoreland-based Reno will see them fall into the clutches of the relegation battlers, and that is something they don’t want right now. The Clarendon-based Jamalco are unbeaten against Reno in this their first season in top flight football. They drew their first encounter 1-1 before clipping Reno 1-0. Jamalco have lost six of their last seven games and must beat Reno or the possibility of relegation draws nearer.

In the third and final game today, champions Montego Bay United travel to Harbour View for a 7:00 pm encounter. Montego Bay United are on 50 points in third spot and are four points adrift of the leaders, but with two games in hand.

They are surging to the top with the likes of Owayne Gordon, Allan Ottey, Jermaine Woozencroft, Fabian McCarthy and young Jourdain Fletcher forming a most formidable unit; and are once again favourites to win the league.

The “Stars of the East” are in eighth spot on 30 points and are still harbouring thoughts of slipping into that final sixth play-off spot. But they will have to overhaul an 11-point deficit to catch Arnett Gardens with five games remaining. That’s a mammoth task, but Harbour View must have that frame of mind or they could easily slip back into the relegation race. As it stands, they are just four points and three spots above the dreaded relegation zone.

Harbour View have blended youth with experience and, while it worked initially, they lost four straight games and fell back into the clutches of the relegation battlers. It will be a huge task to stop the well-oiled Montego Bay unit, despite playing at home.

On Monday, there will be a mouth-watering double header inside the National Stadium as fourth-placed Tivoli Gardens on 49 points take on ninth-placed Waterhouse on 28 points in the curtain-raiser at 5:30 pm. Then at 8:00 pm, leaders the University of the West Indies (UWI), on 54 points, tackle sixth-placed Arnett Gardens with 41 points.

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