Tivoli in last-ditch bid for RSPL semi-finals
AS the time winds down to the end of the preliminary phase of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), the former champions Tivoli Gardens FC enter the 'Last Chance Saloon' in their bid to make a desperate press for a semi-final place.
And the task today is expected to be extra-difficult for coach Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey and his fifth-placed team as they battle leaders Waterhouse FC at the Drewsland Mini-Stadium, starting at 6:00 pm.
Only four rounds of games are to be played after this weekend's clashes, and the top three teams are virtually safely through in the race for semi-final places in the RSPL.
Waterhouse FC are out front on 50 points from their 28 matches, followed by title-holders Harbour View FC and third-placed Montego Bay United, on 48 each. Though Harbour View FC and Montego Bay have the same number of points, the latter trails due to an inferior goal difference.
Arnett Gardens are next in the 12-team standings, staunchly holding onto the pivotal fourth spot, with 42 points, a comfortable six ahead of Tivoli Gardens (36).
While Tivoli Gardens have been inconsistent all season, winning nine and losing all of 10, and failing to string together positive results for any sustained period, Waterhouse have won 14 and lost on only six occasions.
Tivoli ended in a scoreless draw with Boys' Town FC in their outing last weekend, while Waterhouse, who have been in strong form since smoothly advancing in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championships recently, beat Montego Bay 2-1 in a rescheduled midweek encounter.
In another game today, seventh-placed Sporting Central Academy (34 points) welcome Harbour View to the Juici Patties Park in Clarendon.
At the Bramwell Clarke Sports Complex in Ewarton, St Catherine, the designated hosts Rivoli United, in 11th place on 32 points, will challenge Montego Bay United in a 4:00 pm kick-off. Rivoli's shift away from their usual base in Spanish Town is part of a move by clubs to bring top-flight action to fans across the island and to maxmise gate receipts.
At 6:00 pm, ninth-placed Humble Lion FC (33 points), another Clarendon-based outfit, host cellar team August Town FC (24 points) at the Effortville Community Centre.
In yet another 6:00 pm start, Arnett Gardens FC entertain sixth-placed Cavalier SC (36 points) at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.
In tomorrow's live televised encounter, the struggling former winners Portmore United, who are 10th on 32 points, welcome eighth-placed Boys' Town FC (33 points) to the Ferdie Neita Park in St Catherine.
While the top four teams at the end of the preliminaries will advance to the semi-final stage, the two teams with the least number of points will be demoted.
3:30 pm - Sporting Central vs Harbour View @ Juici Patties Park
4:00 pm - Rivoli United vs Montego Bay United @ Bramwell Clarke Sports Complex
6:00 pm - Arnett Gardens vs Cavalier @ Anthony Spaulding Complex
6:00 pm - Humble Lion vs August Town @ Effortville Community Centre
6:00 pm - Waterhouse vs Tivoli Gardens @ Drewsland Stadium
8:30 pm - Portmore United vs Boys' Town @ Ferdie Neita Park