Rivoli and Fraszier's Whip set up an all-St Catherine finals without having to score a single goal in the just-completed second leg semi-finals of the South Central Super League at Spanish Town Prison Oval.
Rivoli's 1-0 victory at Brooks Park, from the first leg two weeks ago, as well as Fraszier's Whip's 2-1 win over Appleton in Santa Cruz, were enough to send both through. Both second-leg games finished 0-0.
The process to decide who will represent the Confed when the National Premier League play-offs begin, will be completed after a two-leg final. The first is scheduled for Spanish Town Prison Oval today at 6 p.m. The second is next Sunday. However, Fraszier's Whip are likely to ask for a postponement, owing to the funeral service for the mother of a player, on Sunday.
Interestingly, even though both teams hail from communities in the heart of Spanish Town, they have met just once - three years ago in the final of the Happy Sutherland knockout. On that occasion, Fraszier's Whip won 1-0 in extra-time. Both avoided each other in the Super League this year after playing in separate preliminary zones.
Rivoli the made the last three finals of the Confed Super League, losing out just once to New Green, last season. Fraszier's Whip, at the high point of a dream debut at this level, hail from Fraszier's Content, situated off St John's Road.
Rivoli's experience could tilt the contest their way. Coach Calvert Fitzgerald, who has had Premier League experience with Tivoli, Waterhouse and August Town, has been at the helm for the past three years. Over that time, Rivoli have built the best defensive record.
This season they also strengthened their offence and ended the preliminary round with the best goal differential. As a statement of their intentions to get back to the Premier League, Rivoli were able to re-sign former national striker, Devon Hodges, in the January transfer window. Hodges, however, now plays in a much deeper midfield role.
Despite all this, Wayne Thomas, manager of Fraszier's Whip, declared: "We give everybody their respect, but we fear no one. We are here to win. It's been a great season and we won't come this far and backoff."
- Richard Bryan