Cavalier eventually outlasted a resilient 10-man Waterhouse to claim the Jamaica Premier League crown for the first time in 40 years after a penalty shootout win at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

It was Cavalier who deservedly took the lead, after enterprising play early on, courtesy of a towering 17th-minute header from defender Jamoi Topey.  Waterhouse goalkeeper Zemioy Nash flew off his goal line to collect a high looping corner but failed to make any contact, which left Topey with a free header.

Things went from bad to worse for the Waterhouse squad when captain Nicholai Findlayson received one caution for a poorly time tackle and was then sent from the field of play for showing dissent to the referee, just one minute after going behind.  

To their credit, however, despite being a man down, Waterhouse pressed to get back into the game.  With time running out and one hand on the trophy Cavalier goalkeeper Jaedean White was forced to make back-to-back saves to prevent a fierce shot and header from Colorado Murray from levelling the tie.  He could, however, do nothing to prevent a calmly and assuredly placed penalty Damion Binns, which got Waterhouse back on level terms with the final kick of the ball, after a Cavalier defender was deemed to have handled the ball during a last-ditch Waterhouse barrage on goal.

With neither team able to break the deadlock in extra time, the game headed to a shootout.  Shaquille Bradford, Shevon Stewart, Andre Leslie and Ricardo Thomas scored for Waterhouse, while Richard King, Jamoi Topey, Melvin Doxilly, Marlando Maxwell and Jamar Purcell scored to give Cavalier a final 5-4 advantage.

In the third-place play-off, Tivoli Gardens triumphed over Mount Pleasant also via another penalty shootout.

Waterhouse and Cavalier secured spots in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) finals after semi-final wins over Mount Pleasant and Tivoli Garden at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Wednesday.

The victories were earned in contrasting fashion, with Waterhouse coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Mount Pleasant, for a 2-1 aggregate win, and Cavalier playing to a 0-0 draw with Tivoli to add to a 1-0 first-leg win.

Needing to overcome an early deficit, Mount Pleasant charged back into the tie early on the back of a fiercely struck free-kick from in-form forward Jourdaine Fletcher who found the back of the net on the 6th minute.

However, Waterhouse were back in the lead just minutes before the halftime break, with Rafiek Thomas tapping home from five yards away, three minutes into time added on.  The final will be the second consecutive for Waterhouse.

In the other game, Tivoli spurned a golden opportunity to level the tie from the penalty spot after being awarded a spot-kick in the 83rd minute.  Kemar Flemmings effort was, however, saved by Jeadean White and Devroy Grey fired the rebound, which fell to his feet, high over the crossbar.  The final will take place at the same venue, at 2:30 pm on Saturday.

 

Cavalier and Waterhouse will take 1-0 advantages to the second legs of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) playoffs after narrow wins in their first leg matches, at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, on Saturday.

With the game seemingly drifting towards a scoreless draw, Colin Anderson left entered the field of play to make a telling impact.  Just 30 seconds after replacing Shaniel Thomas, Anderson was played through on goal by Nickache Murray and sprinted onto the brilliant through ball to round Tivoli goalkeeper Kewong Watkins and slot into an empty net to give Cavalier a precious first-leg lead.

The second match between Waterhouse and Mount Pleasant was a similarly cagey affair with both sides crafting good opportunities to take the lead.  It was Waterhouse who took one late on, however, when Shaquille Bradford was set up by Kymani Campbell.  The angle was a difficult one but his fierce shot managed to creep through the legs of goalkeeper Shaven Paul at his near post, in the 79th minute.  Paul will, however, be slightly disappointed having been up to what would have been considered by many to be more difficult efforts throughout the match.

The teams will meet at the same venue on Wednesday for the second leg starting at 2:30pm.

A stunning goal and a beautiful assist by 19-year-old Dwayne “Busy” Atkinson gave a youthful Cavalier FC a deserved  2-0 win over an ageing Humble Lion team in the feature encounter at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

The lively Atkinson, who came on as a 46th-minute substitute, fired a dipping shot from 25 metres that whistled past a bewildered Dennis Taylor in goal for Humble Lion in the 77th minute.

It was a beautiful goal deserving to be the first of this new season from a  player, who Head Coach Rudolph Speid said was arguably the best player in the country when he was just 15-years-old.

Then in time added on in the 90+2, Atkinson latched onto a ball at the halfway line and in one motion with the outside of his right foot, curled a beautiful through ball into the path of fellow substitute Courtney Allen, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home.

It was three very good points for a spritely and youthful Cavalier team with an average age of 20 years and they have thrown down the gauntlet that they will be contenders.

The Clarendon-based Humble Lion unbelievably averaging 32 years, was left stunned by the young guns with some early soul searching needed as to the make-up of their ageing squad.

Man-of-the-Match Atkinson, formerly of Kingston College, said he will be hoping to keep the legacy going set by the former young guns of Cavalier who are now playing overseas.

Meanwhile winning coach Everdean Scarlett, was not surprised by Cavalier’s energy.

“My team gave a good performance of themselves and in the end, it was youthful exuberance that prevailed,” noted Scarlett.

Losing coach Andrew Price said his ageing men could not respond to the more energetic younger Cavalier boys. “We had about 14 training sessions and definitely this Cavalier team has been training long before us and they are a much fitter and younger bunch,” Price pointed out.

“Fatigue set in and we had to make some substitutions but it’s a learning curve. The mind is saying they can do thing but their body won’t allow  them,” said Price

“In the second half Cavalier really turn on the burners on us. But it’s the first game so I won’t mark them too hard,” he added.

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