JPL quarters culminate tonight
Dunbeholden's Shevan James advances with the ball ahead of Mount Pleasant's Demario Phillips (right) during the first leg of their Jamaica Premier League quarter-finals at Sabina Park in Kingston last Monday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

THE return legs of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) quarter-finals play-offs see defending champions Harbour View and Humble Lions meeting at Sabina Park at 5 pm before Mount Pleasant and Dunbeholden square off at 8 pm.

Harbour View hold a two-goal cushion, having defeated Humble Lions 2-0 last week, and are heavily favoured to advance to the semi-final while Dunbeholden and Mount Pleasant are locked at 1-1 in a game that can go either way.

Harbour View, with their advantage, have one foot in the semi-final and they will be buoyed by the fact they have not lost to Humble Lions in four meetings this season, winning three times.

But despite Harbour View's cushion Humble Lions cannot be written off as they are an experienced team and it's not beyond them turning it around.

Harbour View will be without Demar Rose and Humble Lions without Afiba Chambers as both players were red-carded in the first leg — but they both have capable replacements.

The "Stars of the East" will be depending on the likes of Colorado Murray, the talented Cristogaye Daley, Odorland Harding, Timar Lewis, Jahshaun Anglin and the solid defensive pair of Ryan Wellington and Ajeanie Talbott — and Coach Ludlow Bernard will be aiming to make sure they don't give up this advantage.

Harbour View were involved in a marathon Lynk Cup semi-final on Friday which took them to extra time and penalties, and it is left to be seen how well they recover.

The Andrew Price-coached Humble Lions know they cannot hold back and will have to throw everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink, at Harbour View from very early, but they must be careful not to be left exposed at the back.

It's a predicament they face but one not beyond them and the likes of Levaughn Williams, Andrew Vanzie, Andre Clennon, Xavean Virgo, Kenniel Hyde, Mark Rodney, and Dasha Satchwell.

Jermaine Christian and Roshane Sharpe will have to be at their best to turn it around.

Meanwhile, last season's beaten finalists Dunbeholden and pre-season favourites of many Mount Pleasant are locked at 1-1 and will start even today with everything to play for to make the semis.

Dunbeholden held the lead for a long time in the first leg before conceding with basically the last kick of the game in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time. They looked the better team last week but could be tired after playing last Friday in the Lynk Cup where they lost 3-0 to Cavalier and 4-0 on aggregate.

Dunbeholden will be looking to the likes of Dean-Andre Thomas, Shakeen Powell, Stephen Barnett, Ricardo Thomas, Odane Samuels, Nickoy Christian and Damion Hyatt to secure victory.

Mount Pleasant's Sue-Lae McCalla, Kimoni Bailey, Kymani Campbell, Demario Phillips, Trivante Stewart, late-goal hero Leonard Rankine, Jamoy Topey, Jourdaine Fletcher and Atapharoy Bygrave are being depended on to deliver the goods.

Dunbeholden have won two of their four meetings and will be confident of securing a spot in the semi-final; but Mount Pleasant cannot be taken lightly, not for one minute, and are as dangerous as ever.

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer writer

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