THE SPOTLIGHT switches off the beleaguered National Premier League (NPL), momentarily at least, as the Edward Seaga Stadium in west Kingston today hosts the semi-finals of the COK Champions Cup knockout competition.
The island's premier competition, the NPL - which some wags are now calling the 'No Pay League'- was sent into a tailspin when the title sponsor, Cash Plus, was unable to fulfill its obligations.
At a press conference on Friday, the Premier League Clubs Asso-ciation announced there would be no prize money or awards for the drawn-out NPL season.
Three Premier League clubs and their players have to put that blow behind them today as they bid to make the final of the national KO competition.
Tivoli Gardens, Waterhouse and Village United are all in the hunt for the silverware along with the upstarts from St. James, Granville, who are aiming to be the first non-NPL team since Naggo Head in 1997 to win the competition.
The action will kick off at Edward Seaga Stadium with the all-NPL clash between Village and Waterhouse at 4:00 p.m.
Hosts Tivoli will then try to put away Gran-ville about two hours later.
Waterhouse and Village have shared the honours in their three NPL meetings this season.
They have each won at home and, in the third round, drew 0-0 at Village's Elliston Wakeland Centre.
The battle should be keen as Waterhouse have little or no chance of claiming the Premier League title, while Village United, who have battled gamely to get off the bottom of the table, are still among the bottom six teams and remain in a dogfight to avoid relegation.
Waterhouse and Village reached this stage with contrasting victories.
Village rallied from a goal down to trounce Clarendon champions Humble Lion 4-1 at the York Town Community Centre and Water-house took out NPL strugglers August Town 1-0 at Drewsland.
The NPL's second-place side, Tivoli, should be able to exploit its homeground edge against a Granville team which has shown plenty of pluck in national competitions and top-flight playoffs over the past few years.
The Tracey Reid-coached side booted NPL leaders and defending champions Portmore United out of the KO quarter-finals 5-4 on penalties after they played to a 1-1 draw at the end of extra-time at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College in Montego Bay.
On their way to the quarter-finals, Granville beat NPL neighbours Seba and Bath of St. Thomas 5-1.
Still, Tivoli Gardens will be tough at home after rebounding from back-to-back losses in the premiership to beat St. Georges 3-1 at today's venue last week.
The home side's attack of Navion Boyd, Jermaine Allen and Jermaine Grey should be too much for Granville and see them through to the final.
At the Edward Seaga Stadium 4:00 p.m.: - Waterhouse vs Village United 6:00 p.m.: Tivoli Gardens vs Granville