Leaders Waterhouse to rev engine against Vere as RSPL third round gets cracking

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Leaders Waterhouse to rev engine against Vere as RSPL third round gets cracking

BY HOWARD WALKER
Observer senior reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 19, 2020

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The third and defining round of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) kicks off with leaders Waterhouse FC tackling bottom-placed Vere United at Wembley at 3:00 pm in one of five games on today.

In other games at 3:00 pm, Cavalier FC travel to Dunbeholden FC, Molynes United play Portmore United and Tivoli Gardens entertain The University of the West Indies (UWI).

In the 5:00 pm encounter Humble Lion take on Arnett Gardens. For the second-consecutive Monday night, Harbour View host Mount Pleasant at Compound starting at 8:00 pm.

At the end of the third round comprising 33 games the top six teams move onto the pla offs, while the competition concludes for the clubs ranked 7-12 of which the 11th and 12th-place team will be relegated.

With that said, it's now or never for the promoted Vere United sitting at the bottom of the league with 16 points from 22 games, inclusive of only two wins.

The Clarendon-based outfit have not tasted victory in their last nine games, with their last win coming on November 24 when they whipped Molynes United 3-0. The promoted Vere have struggled all season and will find Waterhouse a tough nut to crack.

Waterhouse, meantime, are struggling of late, picking up just two points from a possible 12 in their last four games. In meetings between the two they battled to a 0-0 draw last week, while Waterhouse won their first encounter 2-0.

With joint leader Mount Pleasant not in action until tomorrow, Waterhouse can regain sole leadership of the RSPL.

Meanwhile, third-place Arnett Gardens, on 34 points, and fourth-place Humble Lion with 33 clash at Effortville as both teams try to stay in touch with the leaders while aiming to consolidate their play-off spots.

Both teams have shared victories in their two previous games with Humble Lion winning the first 3-1 and Arnett Gardens returning the favour 2-1. It should be another tough encounter between two hard-running teams.

At Constant Spring, champions Portmore United take on a Molynes United team hovering dangerously above the relegation zone.

Portmore have won five of their last seven games and climbed into fifth spot on 33 points in what is a tight mid-table in which only five points separate the third-place team from ninth-place.

Molynes United are sitting in 10th spot on 24 points after losing nine of their last 11 games, and they cannot afford to slip any further despite holding a seven-point advantage above the relegation zone.

This was the fixture in which Molynes United announced themselves to the league with a stunning 3-0 opening-day win over Portmore United, but the latter rallied for a 2-0 victory in their second meeting and are favoured to win the third encounter.

In a key matchup Dunbeholden, who are holding onto the last play-off spot in sixth on 32 points, take on a Cavalier team in seventh on 31 points and are looking to leapfrog them.

Dunbeholden are a hard-tackling team with some uncompromising defenders, while Cavalier are made up of young and talented players who can break down any team. The stage is set for an epic battle at Royal Lakes Complex.

Meanwhile Tivoli Gardens, sitting in eighth spot on 29 points, are still harbouring ambitions of making the play-offs and must be fancied to beat a UWI outfit struggling in 11th spot on 17 points.

On Monday night, second-place Mount Pleasant (40 points) visit ninth-place Harbour View (29 points) for the second-consecutive week. Last week Monday, Harbour View edged that contest 1-0, but Mount Pleasant are not expected to lose twice to the same opponent in such a short space of time, and they should get it right this time and avenge last week's defeat.


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