Close battle for RSPL fourth spot

March 26, 2016
file Arnett Gardens' central defender Dicoy Williams (front left).
@Normal:MBU's ace striker Dino Williams

The Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) is in the home stretch and teams are battling to achieve different objectives with three sets of games remaining in the season.

Portmore United are in pole position on 57 points from 30 games, ahead of Montego Bay United (56) and defending champions Arnett Gardens (54) as the teams already assured of top four spots in order to fight for the RSPL title and the lion's share of the cash incentives.

There is a tense battle for the fourth and final semi-final spot. UWI FC are now in fourth spot on 42 points but are under pressure from teams such as Humble Lion (41), Harbour View (39) and Boys' Town (38).

At the other end of the table, two-time national champions Waterhouse are in cellar position on 28 points and appear on their way out. Also in the relegation battle are Rivoli United (30), Reno (33), Cavalier SC (33) and Tivoli Gardens (34).

With those scenarios, tomorrow's games are of high significance to the 12 teams.

maximum points

Waterhouse must win against Portmore United in one of six games scheduled. While Waterhouse will be coming all out for maximum points, Portmore will also be on the hunt for a win in order to challenge for the $1 million incentive awarded to the team that ends the preliminary stage on most points.

Coach of Waterhouse, Anthony Patrick, feels his team still has a chance to beat the drop.

"It is going to be a tough one, but we are up to the challenge on Sunday," Patrick said during the RSPL weekly press conference last Thursday at Red Stripe.

"We have to stay disciplined. We are very confident as a team, and the players are training well," he added.

Manager of Portmore United Clive Marshall says his team is finding its best form at the right time.

"We needed back the confidence and it is coming at the right time. We prefer to have this level of confidence going into this stage. All games will be tough because the teams have different objectives," Marshall offered.

There should be a lot of fireworks when reigning champions Arnett host last season's beaten finalists Montego Bay United at the Anthony Spaulding Complex. Both teams possess some of the nation's best players.

Arnett, under the guidance of veteran coach Jerome 'Jerry' Waite, will rely on captain Oneil Thompson, Dicoy Williams, Ranike Anderson, Vishinul Harris, Leon Strickland, Kemal Malcolm and Michaelous Martin.

On the other hand, Montego Bay's line up could include the dangerous duo of Owayne Gordon and Dino Williams. Both players are joint leading scorers on 15 goals apiece.

Tomorrow's games

Arnett Gardens vs Montego Bay United at Anthony Spaulding Complex

Boys' Town vs Humble Lion at Barbican Stadium

Harbour View vs Reno at Harbour View Stadium

Portmore United vs Waterhouse at Juici Park, Clarendon

Rivoli United vs Tivoli Gardens at Prison Oval in Spanish Town

UWI FC vs Cavalier at UWI Bowl, Mona

(All matches kick off at 3:30 p.m.)

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