Tivoli blank Cavalier to lift Jackie Bell title
Tivoli Gardens FC scored a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Cavalier SC in the final of the JN Visa/KSAFA Jackie Bell knockout competition at the Constant Spring Field Wednesday night and secured their fifth hold on the trophy.
Tivoli Gardens who walked away with $400,000 and the top knockout corporate area trophy, had previous successes in 1993-1994, 2003-2004, 2008-2009 and 2013-14 and sit behind Arnett Gardens and Harbour View with six titles each.
After missing a ninth-minute penalty, Peter Keyes unlocked the stubborn Cavalier defence in the 53rd minute, before substitute Junior McGregor put the icing on the cake, with two goals in two minutes in the 87th and 89th minutes.
It was a deserved victory for Premier League outfit Tivoli Gardens over their Super League rivals as they stayed on course for Jackie Bell and Red Stripe Premier League double.
Tivoli were awarded a penalty in the ninth minute and Keyes took responsibility from 12 yards but was thwarted by goalkeeper Deron Duncan, who guessed correctly, diving to his left to save.
Cavalier came close when towering defender Al Nesbith drove a free kick from 25 yards just over the crossbar. Oshane Jenkins then weaved his way through the Tivoli defence down the left side but lost control of the ball as he entered the box. The loose ball rolled to his teammate Alex Marshall, who fired at the near post, drawing the first save of the match from Nicholas Clarke.
Late in the first half Tivoli’s Tevin Shaw stole the ball off Kieron Brock and fed it to Marvin Stewart but the tame effort from the midfielder was easy for Duncan to save.
The teams went in 0-0 at the break but with Tivoli having the better of play in the first half.
An improved Cavalier took the field in the second half, winning back-to-back corner kicks shortly after the restart.
But Keyes made up for his first-half miss in the 53rd minute. The goal was created by the hard-working Kemar Seivwright, who robbed Shevon James as he tried to dribble out of defence. James fouled Seivwright in his attempt to win back the ball and the resultant free kick by Stewart was nodded home uncontested at the near post by Keyes.
On the hour mark, Duncan did well to save a Seivwright free kick after the ball took a double deflection on its way to the target.
McGregor was introduced shortly after and gave an early warning of what was to come when he popped an effort just wide of the target.
There was one scare for the West Kingston-based team when a corner kick from Miller made its way across the face of goal to Nesbeth, who saw his goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Tivoli captain Nicholas Smith.
Then it was time for the Junior McGregor show. The wily forward — who is also a dancehall music selector — received a ball deep inside the Cavalier half and, after a give- and-go with another substitute, Jermaine Parris, steadied himself before firing home a beauty into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 in the 87th minute.
With the Cavalier defence in disarray, McGregor was left unattended at the back post and headed home a right-sided cross two minutes later to complete the scoring.
Tivoli Gardens assistant head coach, Damion Gordon, was happy for the victory which was a morale booster for his team heading into the premier league play-offs.
“In the first half we didn’t perform as expected but this is a final. McGregor coming on was a plus for us. We were leading 1-0 but wanted an insurance goal and he gave us two,” said Gordon, who represented Tivoli Gardens a few seasons ago.
“We know that Cavalier is a running team and we knew that McGregor couldn’t run for 90 minutes, so it was a tactical decision to bring him in. We know offensively what he is capable of so the decision to bring him in was regarding the opponents,” Gordon explained.
“Winning the title is significant. The community is going through a transition. Winning trophies can always unify the community and we are hoping that this trophy helps towards that,” Gordon reasoned.
Meanwhile, it was a minor setback for Cavalier looking to return to premier league football but they collected $250,000 for the losing effort.
Club president Rudolph Speid said his team played well but failed to score, which was critical. “It is just one of those things; goals win matches. they scored three and we didn’t score any,” said a disappointed Speid.