JPL Golden Boot still wide open raceSaturday, September 18, 2021
Six of the eight leading scorers in the Jamaica Premier League are still within a shot of winning the coveted Golden Boot as the abridged version of the 2020-2021 season enters the knockout phase this weekend.
With the competition reduced to a single round, instead of the usual three for the regular season, the number of goals required to land the title as leading scorer will be significantly fewer than normal; however, it makes the race no less exciting.
Oquassa Chong of Harbour View FC began the season scoring four goals in four games, but have since scored only two goals in the next six. His early season form has kept him at the top despite his significant slowdown in the last few weeks.
Regular season table-toppers Waterhouse FC have three players who are vying for the trophy, in strikers Shaquille Bradford and Andre Fletcher, who have so far scored five goals each, and midfielder Damion Binns who has scored four.
Two other players, Devroy Grey of Tivoli Gardens and Shaniel Thomas of Cavalier FC, have also scored four goals.
There are two other players who have scored five goals, Andrew Vanzie of Humble Lion FC and Nicholas Nelson of Molynes United FC, but with both those clubs eliminated from the competition, they are no longer in with a chance of winning the Golden Boot.
With Waterhouse not involved in the play-offs until the semi-final round, Chong has an opportunity to steal a march on three of his challengers, when Harbour View face off against Mount Pleasant today.
Chong was on the score sheet when the two teams met earlier this season, with Harbour View running out 2-0 and he will be looking to rediscover his goal scoring form at the right time for his club, as they look to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
With the quarter-finals being a two-legged affair, the former Jamaica College player is in a great position to open up a significant gap on the Waterhouse trio, as well as his former high school teammate Shaniel Thomas, who also sits out the quarter-final round as Cavalier FC is the other team to have advanced directly to the semi-finals.
Thomas has also cooled off after a fast start in front of goal this season and must be using the break to work on his finishing ahead of the semifinals.
Tivoli's Devroy Grey may have been left disappointed that his team failed to secure a semi-final spot following their draw with Molynes United last weekend, but must now be looking on the brighter side of things as he too has an opportunity to add more goals.
Tivoli will battle Vere in their quarter-finals, but against the league's meanest defence, Grey will have to be at his sharpest best to add to his tally of four.
Kesslon Hall and Jourdain Fletcher of Mount Pleasant, Horatio Morgan of Tivoli Gardens and Cristojaye Daley of Harbour View, who are all on three goals, could well get themselves in the conversation, should they be able to get amongst the goals in the quarter-finals.
— Dwayne Richards