Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
It will be a case of when the cat's away the mice will play when the Red Stripe Premier League's first game of a shortened round four kicks off today with five matches.
Harbour View, the leaders and the team with the target on their backs will not play until tomorrow night when they host sixth-place Tivoli Gardens at the Harbour View Mini-Stadium. In their absence, two members of the chasing pack, Waterhouse and Portmore United, both of which have the most realistic, though far-fetched chance of catching Harbour View, will meet in a throat-cutting clash.
A loss for either team and a win for Harbour View on Monday, will almost certainly end their chances of lifting the trophy as after today, only four sets of matches will remain. Both teams have thrown away chances throughout the season to cut into Harbour View's lead which now stands at nine points. Of the two, Waterhouse are the more guilty, as they lost two matches back to back that they were expected to win.
Losing to Tivoli at home was bad, but to lose to relegation battlers at home with the title in their sight was far worse. Waterhouse, and the competition's leading scorer, Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson, foolishly picked up a yellow card to miss the match against Tivoli and failed to find the net against Humble Lion.
A performance like the one Waterhouse gave against Humble Lion will see them punished by Portmore United especially if the emerging master, Paul Wilson, who was the best player on the field when his team played their last game against Harbour View hits top form. Defensively, Portmore United have improved with captain Adrian Reid showing his experience and class.
Another match that Harbour View will look on with a smile is the Collie Smith derby where hosts Boys' Town and neighbours Arnett Gardens will damage each other's slim chance of overtaking them. Arnett Gardens did themselves and the others a favour when they defeated Harbour View last week but the 11-point gap may just be too much for them to close with only a maximum 15 points to be had in this round.
Boys' Town are in a slightly better position than their neighbours but last week they fielded a patched-up backline against Portmore United with Dameion Benjamin playing at left back as the injured duo of Hugh Evans and Nicholas McMorris sat out. Fabian Reid, captain Kirk Ramsay, Kemal Malcolm and Errol Stevens, the hungry attackers for Arnett Gardens should trouble them significantly if there are no changes.
6 p.m: Waterhouse vs Portmore United - Drewsland Stadium
3:30 p.m: Boys' Town vs Arnett Gardens - Collie Smith Complex
3:30 p.m: Savannah vs Montego Bay United - Frome Sports Complex
3:30 p.m: Sporting Central vs Cavalier - Brancourt
3:30 p.m: Humble Lion FC vs Highgate United - Effortville Community Centre
9 p.m: Harbour View vs Tivoli Gardens - Harbour View