The Star (Jamaica)
JPL Best and Worst
Tivoli Gardens probably made their 3-2 win over Humble Lion last Saturday more exciting than it needed to be from their point of view. But the important part is that they got the result they needed to book a place in the play-offs for the first time in three years. Thanks to the competition’s first hat-trick by Horatio Morgan, the revival which began in 2020 when they were closing on a play-off place has now come full circle a year later.
Not only have Waterhouse guaranteed their spot in the postseason with a 4-1 win over Molynes United, but they are also now top of the table with a chance to secure the number one seed and a first-round bye, similar to where they were last year when the season abruptly ended. Their final test before the play-offs? Defending champions Portmore United, who need a win themselves to keep their postseason dreams alive. Booking the top spot and knocking out the team that beat you for the 2018-2019 title should be more than enough incentive for Waterhouse to put on a strong performance.
Cavalier got a massive result in beating the defending champions Portmore United 1-0 last Friday to all but secure their place in the postseason. A point from their final match against Vere United should be enough to get them over the line. A win would put the issue beyond doubt. They should get back defender Richard King for the season finale. King got his first national call-up recently for the first two matches of the World Cup qualifers.
The Garnett Lawrence era at Portmore United got off to the worst possible start, a 1-0 defeat to Cavalier. The defending champions are now in danger of seeing their hold on the Jamaica Premier League title slip. With Portmore in seventh place with
13 points, one point adrift from Dunholden, they will need to beat Waterhouse to get themselves into the play-offs. A draw would leave begging a huge favour from Mount Pleasant, who play Dunbeholden.
They made things very uncomfortable for Tivoli Gardens late on, but Humble Lion see their season end with two wins and eight defeats, sitting at the foot of the table with six points. With limited games this year, once Humble Lion stuttered, they were playing catch up and could not recover. Despite only playing 10 games, head coach Andrew Price will have a lot of things to address in the off-season, in ensuring that they don’t fall into another early hole next year.
Arnett Gardens’ play-off hopes faded into dust as they drew 1-1 with Dunbeholden last week, and similar to the others that will be watching the play-offs from their homes, they will have to use the regular season finale to play spoiler for the other contending teams, and also use the opportunity to prove why they should be considered contenders next season.
For Molynes United head coach Anthony Patrick, he will also be using the season finale against Tivoli Gardens tomorrow to evaluate his squad and make plans for next year. It has been a struggle in year two in the top flight, and they just couldn’t put enough performances together to mount a decent challenge for the postseason.