Bell KO semis in spotlight - Premier League giants hunt places in final
Published: Sunday | February 1, 2009
Harbour View's Jermaine Hue.- file
Harbour View will continue their bid for a hat-trick of Western Union/KSAFA Jackie Bell KO crowns when they face Meadhaven in the semi-final round of the competition, in a double-header at the Anthony Spaulding Complex today, beginning at 4 p.m. .
In the day's opening semi-final, giant killers Duhaney Park, the only Super League team left in the competition, will tackle former champions Tivoli Gardens.
The defending champions survived a scare in the quarter-finals when they were narrowly clipped by Major League team Rae Town 4-2. Coasting at a 2-0 scoreline the cup holders were stunned by two second half goals from Rae Town, a team playing two divisions below them, before managing to pull away in extra time. However, Harbour View's assistant coach Donovan Hayles is convinced that the team will show no ill effects from that slip-up in the semi-final round.
"I think the whole approach wasn't the right one. Based on the division that they play in, we might have underestimated them a little bit," Hayles said.
"I am a little bit more disappointed in our performance than worried about the next round but I believe that we will definitely lift our standard of play in the semi-finals," he said.
Although they did not field a full-strength team against the Major League team, the Stars of the East should have their full complement of players against Meadhaven. Lovel Palmer, Jermaine Hue, Marcelino Blackburn, Ronny Amaguana and Kavin Bryan should all return to the line-up.
However, facing the defending champions at full strength will do little to dent the confidence of Premier League strugglers Meadhaven.
"Harbour View are a very good team and we know to beat them will be a challenge, but I think we are up to the task," said Meadhaven coach Alrick Clarke.
"Once you are in a competition you just have to go out there and give it your best. I think the guys are prepared for the game and, hopefully, they will be able to go out there and deliver the goods," he added.
Defender Rodger Rodney, who picked up a red card against Arnett, is out. In their quarter-final encounter a late Lennox Creary goal saw Meadhaven slip by Arnett Gardens at Anthony Spaulding Complex. In two encounters this season the Stars of the East have 2-1 and 1-0 wins over Meadhaven.
The early matchup might, on the surface, seem to be a cinch for a Tivoli team equipped with a strike force which includes the likes of promising young striker Navion Boyd and the always dangerous Roland Dean, but Duhaney Park have been a team that has traditionally thrived in the competition and could be ready to take the next step.
Having eliminated a then-struggling Waterhouse with a goal from new signing Patrick Beech in their quarter-final round, Duhaney Park, despite their indifferent form in the Super League, will be hoping to claim Tivoli as their next victims. The west Kingston team got by rivals Boys' Town 2-1 in their quarter-final encounter.