Portmore edged, UWI re­gain RSPL lead

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Liv­ingston Scott Gleaner Writer

PORTMORE UNITED’S stay at the top of the Red Stripe Pre­mier League (RSPL) was even more short-lived than that of pre­vi­ous lead­ers Hum­ble Lion, who spent one week at the top.

The St Catherine team’s lead lasted just four days af­ter they went down 1-0 to Maver­ley-Hugh­en­den in their open­ing game of the sec­ond round at the Prison Oval yes­ter­day, with the Univer­sity of West Indies (UWI) re­gain­ing con­trol of the stand­ings af­ter com­ing out on the bet­ter end of a goal fest against Boys’Town.

The re­sult saw the Len­worth Hyde-coached team slump­ing to fourth in the stand­ings with 21 points, with UWI’s (23) 3-2 win over the Red Bri­gade at Bar­bican Com­plex en­sur­ing an­other change at the top.

At the Prison Oval, Ni­cho­los Scott net­ted the game’s only goal five min­utes af­ter the in­ter­val to give pro­moted Maver­ley-Hugh­en­den their sec­ond win of the cam­paign, and coach Li­jyasu Simms, who has seen his team draw seven of 12 games, said the win was a re­sult of proper plan­ning af­ter analysing their first-round per­for­mance.

BEAR FRUIT

“We sat down and looked where we went wrong in the first round and put things in place for the sec­ond round and it bore fruit to­day and we want it to bear fruit as we go along be­cause the aim is to move from strength to strength,” he said.

Portmore dom­i­nated the first half hour of play, but never cre­ated any real chances, while Maver­ley-Hugh­en­den came to life in the last 15 min­utes and came close to scor­ing from set pieces twice fol­low­ing faulty ball han­dling from goal­keeper Shaven-Sean Paul.

But it was Portmore who came clos­est when Ka­reem Man­ning crashed a free kick against the post in the 36th minute, and in the 42nd, Sue­lae McCalla lifted Cleon Pryce’s cross over the bar from four yards.

How­ever, five min­utes af­ter the break, Maver­ley-Hugh­en­den sur­prised the hosts when Scott was the only one to re­act to a way­ward shot, which he redi­rected in the back of the net from the back post.

Malique Foster should have equalised, but placed his ef­fort straight at goal­keeper Damian Camp­bell.

In the fi­nal min­utes, Portmore thought they had an equaliser when Sh­awayne Nel­son latched on to a loose ball on top of the box, but his goal-bound rocket can­noned off the post and out.

“We were flat com­pared to the sec­ond half, but we cre­ated some chances, but we lost our fo­cus and we weren’t on top of our game and it cost us to­day,” Portmore’s as­sis­tant coach Lin­val Dixon said.

“It is not the best way to start the sec­ond round, but we have time to cor­rect some mis­takes we made to­day and we will get it right, but to­day wasn’t the case and we paid dearly,” added.

RICARDO MAKYN/STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Hum­ble Lion’s Gre­gory Hines (right) and his team­mate Dwayne Holmes at­tempt to get the ball away from Water­house’s Jer­maine An­der­son (cen­tre) in their Red Stripe Pre­mier League en­counter at the Drewsland Sta­dium yes­ter­day. The game ended 1-1.

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