Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Harbour View are currently on top in the island by virtue of their 10-point lead in the national league standings, but their opponents in today's Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA)/Jamaica Yellow Pages Jackie Bell Knockout final are not to be taken lightly.
The Stars of the East will meet Boys' Town at 6 p.m. at Stadium East, a team that has defeated them in two of their previous three encounters this season, one being the first Red Stripe Premier League end-of-round final.
The teams are vying for the coveted Jackie Bell KO Trophy and top cash prize of $350,000, while second place will pocket $250,000. The third-place prize of $150,000 will be awarded to the team that the eventual winners defeated in the semi-final, while the beaten finalist's semi-final opponents will claim the fourth-place prize of $100,000.
Harbour View, five-time winners of the knockout title, defeated Tivoli Gardens 2-0 to reach the final, while 2006 winners Boys' Town got by Waterhouse 4-3 on penalties.
The Red Brigade have suffered a significant dip in form since that final victory, however, having fallen to fifth in the league standings with 37 points - 14 fewer than Harbour View.
Harbour View were beaten 1-0 by their opponents in the first round, before losing to them 2-0 in the round final. However, they registered a 3-0 win in their latest meeting, despite ending the game with nine players.
"The games we have played against them (Boys' Town) this season are history," Harbour View's coach, Vin Blaine, said. "Whenever we play against them (Boys' Town), they always come out hard like any other team that plays Harbour View.
"We are going there to win the game as we want to cop any cup that we play for. We set our objective to reach all the finals and we have done so; we lost our first one to them, so we don't want a repeat of that."
Boys' Town's season started off promisingly, but has faltered. Head coach Andrew Price believes this is a glorious opportunity for his team to salvage their season.
"Other than the end-of-round final, this presents us with a good opportunity to get some silverware into the club's coffers this season," Price expressed. "We are going out there with the ambition of trying to carry home the Jackie Bell title.
"This has been a very difficult year, and I think it would be a crowning moment if we can win one of the prestigious knockout titles."
It will be a last-minute decision as to whether defender Wayne Ellis features for Boys' Town, as he is suffering from a niggling knee injury. The team will also still be without striker Romeo Parkes, who is in the United States sorting out his marriage and attempting to secure his papers.
In his absence, captain Michael Campbell, Renae Lloyd, Daemion Benjamin and Garfield Gillespie will lead their charge.
Harbour View will have the services of their top player and leading scorer, Jermaine Hue, despite him picking up a red card in their latest league game, as this is a different competition. Major support is expected from the unrelated Edwards - Richard, Donovan and John-Ross, as well as André Fagan.