ALMIGHTY CLASH
Harbour View vs Dunbeholden: Who would have imagined it?
Cavalier’s Ronaldo Webster (left) prepares to go by Dumbeholden FC’s Shaquille Dyer during their semi-final game of the JPL at Sabina Park recently. (Photo: Karl McLarty)
The unlikely contender goes up against many-time champions as JPL season climaxes with an unusual buzz

After just over six drama-filled months in a season full of twist and turns with Harbour View Football Club at one point looking nothing close to title contenders, today’s Jamaica Premier League (JPL) final is highly anticipated to be one for the books.

For Dunbeholden FC victory would be their first taste of glory in top-flight football, while for Harbour View it would be their first since the 2012-13 season when they won the last of their four titles.

Whichever way it goes, there is no denying that it would be a much-deserved triumph for either Ludlow Bernard or Harold Thomas and their team.

Kick off is 6:00 pm, after the 3:00 pm third-placed contest between dethroned champions Cavalier and last year’s beaten finalist Waterhouse at Sabina Park.

One of the most positives that Harbour View have available to them is the fact that they are peaking at the right time, as their current form is a stark contrast to what it was in the preliminary stage.

Trayvone Reid (on ground) of Harbour View protects the ball from Waterhouse FC’s Elvis Wilson during their JPL semi-final match at Sabina Park recently. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

In fact, they just eked out the coveted sixth spot on goal difference over Humble Lion and Tivoli Gardens and was the least consistent team in the playoffs.

However, they have looked a different team since then, showing some degree of fitness and fluidity in attack, attributes that were mostly missing from their preliminary round display.

To get here, the “Stars of the East” downed two well-oiled team in Arnett Gardens — on penalty after failing to separate themselves across two legs — and the highly touted Waterhouse 2-1 on aggregate.

They will no doubt enter today’s showpiece high on confidence, but will be mindful that they will have tonput every foot right to ensure they are the ones celebrating after 90 plus minutes.

Leading striker Trayvone Reid with nine goals, Colorado Murray, Oshane Staple and super sub Nicholas Hamilton, who proved most heroic across both semi-final legs, are just a few of the players that will lead Harbour View’s charge.

The St Catherine-based Dunbeholden, who are contesting their first JPL final since earning promotion in the 2018-19 season, will look to the talismanic Atapharoy Bygrave with 13 goals and Peter McGregor, on nine, to prove menacing to Harbour View’s defensive line.

Like Harbour View, Dunbeholden will be brimming with confidence as they have been from the onset of what is their most consistent and successful season to date.

In truth though, Dunbeholden has always been known to play fairly tidy football over the years, but never necessarily had the results going their way.

Having maintained good form on this occasion to kick dethroned champions Cavalier to the curb on penalties after a 4-4 aggregate scoreline in the semi-final, the only question left to be answered is whether or not Dunbeholden is able to take it all the way.

While there is no question around their attacking ability, Dunbeholden’s will need to shore up their defence on this occasion as it left a lot to be desired in the previous encounter.

— Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan

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