Cavalier’s 'Busy' Atkinson takes aim at second Jamaica Premier League title: "It would mean a lot to me and my teammates..." Featured

By Sports Desk May 16, 2024 255
Goal-scorer Dwayne 'Busy' Atkinson kisses the crest on his jersey after converting a penalty to give Cavalier FC a 1-0 lead over Arnett Gardens FC in their return leg semifinal of the Wray & Nephew Jamaica Premier League at Sabina Park on Sunday, May 12th. His teammates Kye Ming (left) and Shaniel Thomas (right) also join in the celebration. Goal-scorer Dwayne 'Busy' Atkinson kisses the crest on his jersey after converting a penalty to give Cavalier FC a 1-0 lead over Arnett Gardens FC in their return leg semifinal of the Wray & Nephew Jamaica Premier League at Sabina Park on Sunday, May 12th. His teammates Kye Ming (left) and Shaniel Thomas (right) also join in the celebration.

Dwayne ‘Busy’ Atkinson scored his sixth and arguably most crucial goal of the Wray & Nephew Jamaica Premier League season when he netted the opening goal for Cavalier FC against Arnett Gardens FC in their return leg semi-final at Sabina Park on Sunday.

With the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after the first leg, it was evident that in a match defined by fine margins, the first goal in the return leg would be pivotal.

The match was only 15 minutes old when Atkinson converted from the penalty spot to put the ball in the back of the net, giving Cavalier a 1-0 lead on the day and a 2-1 advantage on aggregate.

A stunning strike by Adrian Reid in the sixth minute of added time at the end of the first half then provided last season’s runners-up with a perfect 2-0 cushion heading into halftime. Keith Simpson's stoppage-time goal in the 94th minute was only a consolation for Waterhouse, as the game concluded 3-2 on aggregate in favor of Cavalier.

Atkinson was just 19 years old when he clinched the title with Cavalier in 2021. Having gained valuable experience overseas playing in Iceland last year, he hopes that the lessons learned in Europe will prove beneficial when they face Mount Pleasant FA in the final for a second consecutive season.

The designated penalty taker for Cavalier revealed that he was confident when he stepped up to take the spot-kick against Arnett Gardens goalkeeper Eric Edwards.

 He also emphasized the importance of scoring first for Cavalier to quieten the vocal Arnett Gardens fan base.

 “It was really important for us to take the lead against a team like Arnett, who have such a large fan base,” he noted.

 While expressing confidence ahead of Sunday’s showdown against the reigning champions, Atkinson remained mindful of the threat they pose.

 “I am very confident of victory, but Mount Pleasant is a very good team, so I need to put in a lot of work with the boys and stay focused for this one,” said the diminutive winger.

 Last year’s painful defeat in the final has been a driving force for Cavalier all season, especially for Atkinson and his teammate Richard King, who were both playing for Vestmannaeyjar FC in Iceland at this time last year.

 They both missed the final and are thrilled to have the opportunity to rectify last year’s disappointment.

 Atkinson admitted that it was agonizing to watch from afar and not be able to assist his team, but he is now ready to claim his second premier league title come Sunday.

 “I have no words to describe how I felt last year, not being able to help my teammates, but I was playing for another team in another league at that time. This season, we have worked hard and have been dedicated to achieving our championship goals.”

 “It would mean a lot to me and my teammates to win this season because, as you can see, there is a lot of talk going around that Cavalier only won the JPL during ‘corona time,’ so winning this one would be fantastic,” he explained.

 Surprisingly, Atkinson says he would have preferred to play the final at Sabina Park.

 “I would have preferred to play the final at Sabina Park instead of the National Stadium because it has a better pitch than the stadium.”

 The 22-year-old is gearing up to put on a show in the final with hopes of securing another overseas contract at the end of it all.

 “I believe that an outstanding performance in the final could help me secure another overseas contract, so I want to deliver for my team,” he acknowledged.

 Cavalier and Mount Pleasant will battle it out in the Wray & Nephew Jamaica Premier League finals at the National Stadium on Sunday, May 19, starting at 6:30 pm.

NB: The Jamaica Premier League final will be aired live on Sportsmax.

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Last modified on Thursday, 16 May 2024 06:20
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