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Maverley-Hughenden advance to RSPL

Published:Monday | June 13, 2016 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp
Head coach of Maverley-Hughenden Lijyasu Simms.

Maverley-Hughenden FC advanced to the 2016-17 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) following a 1-1 draw against Jamalco FC in the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)-Charley's JB Rum play-off series' final round at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Clarendon yesterday.

Jamalco went ahead when Erron Brown beat Maverley-Hughenden custodian Damion Campbell in the 10th minute. However, the visitors fought back and levelled when Omari Edwards netted in the 17th minute.

The point earned by Maverley-Hughenden pushed the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Super League champions into the Premier League for the first time in 24 years.

Maverley-Hughenden finished the play-offs on nine points, seven behind already-qualified Jamalco (16) as the two qualifiers.

Brazil, who defeated Granville 4-1 at Drax Hall, also on the day, ended the series on eight points. Granville failed to win in six games during the play-offs and ended without a point.

Brazil missed out on qualification by a point, despite the big win against Granville.

After the game, the obviously elated head coach of Maverley/Hughenden Lijyasu Simms was overwhelmed.

"We did this one for the Maverley community. I give thanks to the Father," he said.

"I told the players that the job is to avoid defeat, and we got the point that was enough to see us in the Red Stripe Premier League next season. I wasn't worried as I believed in the players' ability to get the job done," Simms told reporters.

Coach of Jamalco Rayon Johnson said that his team was a bit too complacent.

"The performance was an even one. We wanted to win the game," he said.

"I think the players were complacent as the team had already secured a place in the Premier League for next season. We allowed the Maverley team to play," Johnson added.