Harbour View displaying top form at the right time
Following Harbour View’s dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Arnett Gardens in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) second leg quarter-final at Sabina Park on Thursday, coach Ludlow Bernard believes his team is getting things right at an ideal time....
Following Harbour View’s dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Arnett Gardens in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) second leg quarter-final at Sabina Park on Thursday, coach Ludlow Bernard believes his team is getting things right at an ideal time.
The veteran coach said Harbour View’s biggest motivation now is to emulate Arnett Gardens, who, a few seasons ago, also finished sixth in the regular season but went on to win the title.
“It has been happening for us from we played Montego Bay and we introduced Phillon Lawrence, that was probably the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
“We knew we had the players but at no time throughout the regular season could we get that combination on the pitch.
“So, starting with Montego Bay, we got it right and got these people into the game,” he noted
He boasted that his front three of Trayvonne Reid, Colorado Murray and Lawrence can break down any defence in the league, and that they have found that cutting edge.
“We also took out Shawn Daley and replaced him with Timar Lewis to add stability to the midfield. So it is a matter of experimenting all season and finally getting it right,” he said.
Harbour View only managed to sneak into the last six on the final day of the regular season, and he said the team has taken inspiration from Jerome Waite’s side that upset the odds to win the title in 2016-17.
UPSET THE ODDS
“It is something that I have said to the group many times in training sessions, that there was a season Arnett Gardens finished sixth and went on to win the league.
“That is part of the driving force behind this team and they are really getting it together and they really believe in themselves now,” he said.
On Thursday, Shamarie Dyer stabbed home the opening goal in the 33rd minute. But Arnett came roaring back and found the equaliser through Earl Simpson’s thumping volley in the 67th minute.
Harbour View went down a man when Jahshaun Anglin received a second yellow card in the 69th minute.
However, Harbour View still kept Arnett’s defence busy, especially the dangerous Reid.
Fabian Reid had a great chance in extra-time for Arnett but goalkeeper Anthony Bennett denied the forward.
Harbour View won 8-7 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 and the teams 2-2 on aggregate over the two legs.
Harbour View face Waterhouse in the first-leg semi-final on Sunday at the same venue, and Bernard insists recovery will be critical.
“Motivation is a key factor but our recovery efforts will have to be very organised. There is no water in Harbour View, so we missed out on the ice bath (Tuesday).
“We are hoping the water is back. If not, we will make alternate arrangements, but recovery is critical against a rested Waterhouse team,” he said.
Arnett’s coach Paul Tegat’ Davis said it was a good run. “We wanted to go all the way but this is football. It was a good run for Arnett Gardens and it is just a pity that we stopped at this stage,” he said.
In the other quarter-final, Cavalier stopped Mount Pleasant 4-3 on penalties after the tie ended 1-1. Cavalier will play Dunbeholden in the other semi-final.