Draw delays Portmore's champagne party

Portmore United......1 Nelson (78th) Tivoli Gardens..........1 Kelly (17th)

Howard Walker

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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If ever there was a champion elect, Portmore United certainly fit that bill. But coach Calvin Lewis remained coy after his team moved into an impregnable position of being crowned Red Stripe Premier League champion.


Portmore United, battling with 10-men for approximately 30 minutes, eked out a 1-1 draw with dethroned champion Tivoli Gardens at the Ferdie Neita Park on Sunday night and need just a solitary point from three games to be champions.


They are on 66 points, nine clear of second-placed Boys' Town on 57 points, who crashed 0-2 to Harbour View. Tivoli Gardens remained in fifth spot on 52 points.


In fact, Portmore United could be crowned champion on Sunday against Humble Lion even if they lost the game as second-placed Boys' Town cannot afford to even draw against Tivoli Gardens at the Edward Seaga Stadium as they must win to stay alive.


In the late kick-off, the visiting Tivoli gardens shocked the home fans as young Dane Kelly nodded home a Keithy Simpson's free-kick in the 17th minute.


Portmore went down to 10 men after substitute Ricardo Morris saw red in the 62nd minute, four minutes after replacing Bryan Bayliss.


But another substitute Roen Nelson, who came on in the 72nd minute, found the equaliser from the penalty spot in the 78th minute.


It was a precious point that has put Portmore United on the cusp of their fifth league title and third after changing name from Hazard United.


Coach Lewis, in his first year in charge of Portmore United after taking Highgate United into the top flight, remained cautious.


"No champagne on ice," said Lewis after his team's brave showing. "We expected a difficult game and Tivoli did just that. However, playing with 10 men we showed a lot of character in getting back a goal and a point (and that) was very important for us," he added.




TEAMS:


Portmore — Gariece McPherson, Adrian Reid, Rosario Harriott, Alvas Powell, Eric Vernan, Damian Williams, Ricardo Cousins (Ewan Grandison 66th), Andrew Vanzie, Bryan Bayliss (Ricardo Morris 58th), Rickcardo Harriott, Alanzo Adlam (Roen Nelson 72nd).


Subs not used: Sean-Shaven Paul, Upston Edwards, John Ross-Doyley, Paul Wilson.


Booked: Morris (red) 62nd, Powell 69th.


Tivoli Gardens: Edsel Scott, Christopher Jackson, Ranike Anderson, Kasai Hinds, Damion Gordon, Raymond Williamson, Mario Swaby, Keithy Simpson, Jameel Thompson (Lennox Creary 90th), Dane Kelly (Jamie Robinson 83rd), Navion Boyd (Roland Dean 56th).


Subs not used: Christopher Lowden, Shawn McKoy, Dwayne Holmes, Mitchily Waul.


Booked: Boyd 26th.


Referee: Courtney Campbell


Assistant Referees: Stacey-Ann Grayson, Nicholas Anderson


Fourth Official: Cardella Samuels


Match Commissary: Garfield McDonald.



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