Sport

Waterhouse, Tivoli Gardens lock horns in RSPL clash

BY LIVINGSTON SCOTT Observer staff reporter

Sunday, February 19, 2012    

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AFTER letting in a late equaliser to share the points with MoBay United at Drewsland on Monday, second-placed Waterhouse will be looking to avoid further slip-ups when they tackle third-placed Tivoli Gardens in the feature match of the Red Stripe Premier League at Edward Seaga Complex at 5:00 pm today.

In other games, Portmore travel to Frome to take on Reno; Humble Lion host Sporting Central in the Clarendon derby at Effortville; Highgate play Village at Lynch Park -- all at 3:00 pm; at Catherine Hall, MoBay United will look to stretch their unbeaten run to 17 matches when they take on visiting Harbour View at 6:00 pm; while in the lone Monday night (TV) game, Jackie Bell KO finalists Arnett Gardens and Boys' Town will renew their rivalry at the Tony Spaulding Complex at 9:00 pm.

Up until last weekend, Tivoli had a seven-match unbeaten run, chalking up six wins in the process. However, that streak came to an end at the hands of rivals Boys' Town last Sunday.

In the first round, the two teams played to a 1-1 tie at Tivoli, while Waterhouse won the return game at Drewsland, 2-0.

But like their opponents, Waterhouse are unbeaten in seven games and with the league's leading goalscorer Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson in fine form, coach Donovan Duckie is hoping to keep pace with the front-runners.

The Drewsland-based outfit was the better team against MoBay, but gave up a late goal to share to points.

As a result, Duckie's side slipped from three to five points off leaders Portmore United and he will be desperate to avoid any such mishap as they look to make a contest of the title race and prevent Portmore from running away with the championship.

Meanwhile, Tivoli's assistant coach Alvin Shaw said their training this week was focused on counteracting their opponents, whom he described as strong defensively, creative in midfield and strong up front.

"Our training this week was based on how Waterhouse play, and the players were given tight instructions under which to operate... so I expect to get all three points," he said.

He admitted that the game is of key importance as they hope to cut the deficit and get back into the race.

Tivoli have not beaten Waterhouse this season, but Shaw believes there is no psychological advantage and is confident his players can do the job.

Meanwhile at Frome, Portmore will be expected to take home three points at the expense of the relegation strugglers.

The Westmorelanders have not won in nine tries, with only two points taken during the period, so getting back to winning ways against the league leaders will be an arduous task.

Portmore have led since the first round of the competition although they lost their last game of the year and the second of the new year.

The St Catherine club has rebounded with a five-match unbeaten run including three wins, and now looks like running away with the title, with the other chaser dropping points consistently.

In another interesting encounter at Catherine Hall, MoBay United, in their quest to reach the top six for the first time this season, will play sixth-placed Harbour View (36 points) who are two above them in seventh.

A win for the St James club would give them the enviable sixth spot and extend their unbeaten run to 17 games. However, Harbour View have registered some good results of late, losing only twice in 13 games, although that only included five victories.

Meanwhile, on Monday, rivals Arnett and Boys Town will square-off again following their dramatic Jackie Bell KO finale which Arnett won on penalties on Wednesday.

Fourth-placed Boys' Town are tied on 39 points with Tivoli, but sit eight points ahead of Arnett, who are eighth.

The Andrew Price-coached Boys' Town have lost just once in eight matches and are slowly improving their prospects in the title race.

However, Arnett continue to baffle with their unpredictable performances but can never be taken lightly. The Paul 'Tegat' Davis-coached unit has surprised some to the better teams this season and even clinched the KSAFA/Jackie KO title this week.

In the Clarendon derby, any number can play, although Humble Lion will get the edge coming in the match.

Humble Lion have just one win in five games, with their last three drawn, but their opponents have not tasted a win in over 11 games and are slipping closer to relegation trouble, seven points clear of the drop zone with 28 points.

At Lynch Park, Highgate, who have three wins in their last eight games, will start favourites against a Village team who, despite their poor run of form, have two wins in their last eight games.

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