Sport

Advantage Cavalier, as teams hunt 2nd End-of-Round final spots

By Howard Walker Observer Senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 20, 2013    

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The hunt for places in the Red Stripe Premier League Second End-of-Round final by six teams will highlight the final round of games today.

Cavalier, on 20 second-round points, lead five other teams in the chase with Arnett Gardens and Montego Bay United on 18 points, and Harbour View, Portmore United and Waterhouse all on 17 points and in the thick of things.

The promoted Cavalier are in pole position and with the struggling Highgate United, who are in 11th spot on 19 points overall to play, should feel confident of securing one of those places.

Cavalier have won six of their 10 second round games, while drawing and losing twice. The black and white-clad 'Duncan Destroyers' might not be playing the most attractive football, but they are getting the job done.

Claudius Blackburn's eight goals lead the pack, with the sharp-looking Fabian Nethersole, Girvon Brown, Dellon Wilson, and Jeffrey Henry being the others tasked with creating goals. They are backed by a solid defence led by National Under-20 player Oshane Jenkins, Andre Forbes, Kirk Fletcher and the outstanding goalkeeper Gariece McPherson.

Highgate have lost two key players in striker Roberto Fletcher and defender Anthowe Dawkins and will find it hard secure wins.

Meanwhile, Arnett Gardens and Harbour View will clash in a mouth-watering encounter worth going miles to see at the Compound, as they push for a final spot.

Arnett have looked solid at the back with the acquisition of Desmond Breakenridge and Anthowe Dawkins, plus the inclusion of National Under-20 captain Shawn Lawes, and it is left to be seen how well they cope against the marauding Harbour View outfit led by Jermaine Hue and company.

Montego Bay United, on 18 second-round points, are fancied to get the better of lowly Savannah FC, rooted at the bottom on 12 points overall.

However, the Westmoreland-based Savannah picked up their first point of the second round in a 2-2 draw with Boys' Town and should be boosted by that result and could upset their more fancied opponents.

Waterhouse, also on 17 second-round points, face a Humble Lion aggregation looking to move away from the relegation zone, being just four points above it.

Former champions Tivoli Gardens, in eighth spot with 27 points, host a Sporting Central Academy team a spot and two points below in ninth place on 25 points.

Both teams have shown inconsistent form this season and would like to end the second round on a winning note.

Meanwhile, champions Portmore United, on 17 second-round points, play Boys' Town in a Monday night game and by that time, might be out of contention for a final spot, or they will know exactly what to do to secure a spot in the final.

If any two of Cavalier, Arnett Gardens or Montego Bay United win, Portmore United will play Boys' Town with the main focus on securing overall points for the league.

The Second End-of-Round final aside, teams will be hunting crucial points in the overall scheme of things.

Harbour View continue to lead with 42 points ahead of Portmore United (37), Arnett Gardens (35), Montego Bay United (34), Cavalier (33), and Waterhouse (32) making the top six. The bottom half is completed by Boys' Town (31), Tivoli Gardens (27), Sporting Central Academy (25), Humble Lion (23), Highgate (19), and Savannah (12).

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