Sports

Final at stake

Portmore, Waterhouse hold the cards in RSPL semis

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, April 15, 2019

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The 2019 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) football finalists will be known today when Waterhouse FC take on Cavalier FC at 5:30 pm, before Portmore United tackle Mount Pleasant FA at 8:35 pm in second-leg semi-final action inside the National Stadium.

The stage is set for a repeat of the 2018 final between title -holders Portmore United and last season's runners-up Waterhouse, as both teams hold advantages following first-leg victories last week.

Portmore United edged Mount Pleasant 2-1 while Waterhouse defeated Cavalier 2-0.

The Shavar Thomas-coached Portmore United have been a difficult bunch to beat all season, and today is expected to be no different. They are well prepared, with experienced players, and only a brave man will bet against them reaching yet another RSPL final. This will be the fourth meeting between the teams, with nothing much between them.

“There is no tactic that is going to separate the teams. Mount Pleasant got here playing some good defensive football, solid and hard to break down, hard to play against. Like I said last week, it's the team that concentrates for longer periods of the game; and we did that in the first one and it is for us to be more consistent come Monday. Be positive with our play, less giveaways, and stay focus to see out the game,” Thomas pointed out.

Portmore will once again be depending on their 11-goal top scorer Javon East, plus Rondee Smith, Donnegy Fer, Ricardo Morris, Andre Lewis, Roshane Sharpe, Rosario Harriott and young Lamar Walker, who could be their trump card.

The promoted Mount Pleasant, formed in 2016 and who have meteorically risen through the leagues to top flight football, are looking to overturn the one-goal deficit and march into their first RSPL final.

The St Ann-based unit is quite capable of achieving that, and manager David Galloway is confident that his team can turn it around.

“All is not lost and that's the talk of the team; and we know that the second leg won't be like the first one. They know the mistakes that they made so it will be a totally different game,” said Galloway

“Portmore is a good team; and when you go up against teams like Portmore you have to bring your 'A' game. But I always tell the players, football is just like playing chess or domino. It's a game of concentration, and once you lose that concentration it can cost you the game — and that's what happened to us in the last minute of play,” Galloway added.

Mount Pleasant will look towards top-scorer Francois Swaby (10 goals) to lead from in front, along with Kemar Beckford, Cardel Benbow, Daniel Green, Evan Taylor, Jourdaine Fletcher, Ronaldo Rodney and captain Ladale Richie.

Meanwhile, Waterhouse, with a two-goal cushion, are sitting pretty and are fancied to book their spot in the final with another polished display, though the Cavalier team that cannot be taken lightly.

But such is the strength of Waterhouse set-up — led by defenders Nicholy Finlayson and Shawn Lawes and captain Keithy Simpson in midfield — that it will take a special effort by Cavalier get back into the tie.


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