Defending champions Cavalier got the new Jamaica Premier League season underway with a win against Arnett Gardens FC in an enthralling encounter at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence in Kingston.

Central defender, Jamoi Topey, gave Cavalier the lead in the 60th minute before Chavany Willis got an equaliser that he thought would salvage a draw in the 96th minute.

Cavalier forward Shaniel Thomas had other ideas as he slotted home a right-footed effort in the 97th minute to secure a win and three points for the two-time champions.

The second match on Sunday was also an exciting one between four-time champions Waterhouse FC and Montego Bay United, who have also won the title four times.

Montego Bay United took the lead in the 57th minute through Giovanni Reid before Waterhouse equalised in the 72nd minute through an Andre Fletcher penalty.

Waterhouse completed the comeback in the 81st minute through a goal from Devroy Grey.  The action then shifted to Monday, January 17 with two more matches.

Dunbeholden FC and Vere United FC contested the first game with Dunbeholden securing a 2-1 victory.

They took the lead in the eighth minute through an excellent header from Atapharoy Bygrave before Lampard Neil tied things up for Vere in the 57th minute.

Substitute Jahmiel Hardware secured the three points for Dunbeholden with a well-placed free kick in the 92nd minute.

In the second match, goals from Warner Brown in the 42nd minute and Shai Smith in the 87th minute ensured that five-time winners Tivoli Gardens FC and seven-time winners Portmore United FC played out a 1-1 draw.

On Tuesday, four-time champions Harbour View FC and Molynes United FC played out a 2-2 draw thanks to double strikes from Trayvon Reid and Nicholas Nelson.

Nelson gave Molynes United the lead in the 42nd minute before Reid made it 1-1 in the 45th minute.

The 58th minute saw Nelson get his second to give Molynes United a 2-1 lead before Reid once again equalized in the 90th minute to ensure the points were shared.

In the second game on the day, goals from Daniel Green in the 14th and 43rd minutes, as well as strikes from Allan Ottey in the 17th, Ricardo Morris in the 45th, and Donovan Segree in the 90th helped Mount Pleasant FA secure the biggest win of the round, a 5-1 rout of Humble Lion FC.

Cory Hylton got Humble Lion’s consolation goal in the 83rd minute.

The second round of matches kicks off on Saturday.

 

Dunbeholden FC was held to a 1-1 draw by a struggling Arnett Gardens and missed a glorious

chance of staking a claim in the top-six championship playoffs on Saturday.

St Catherine-based Dunbeholden knew a win against Arnett Gardens would have secured them a spot in the playoffs but they now will have to anxiously wait until their final preliminary round game to book a spot.

The Harold Thomas-coached side with the single point inched up to 15 points but more importantly, they jumped two places to fifth and provisionally into a playoff spot.

Dwayne Smith had given them the lead in the 51st minute firing home from a Rondee Smith pass. However, Arnett Gardens rallied when Shandane Lopez slotted home in the 73rd minute with an assist from Steve Clarke.

The Alex Thomas-coached side that was already out of a playoff spot now has eight points and remained in ninth position. The former champions are yet to beat a Dunbeholden team playing in just their second season of top-flight football.

Dunbeholden will end their preliminary round with a tough match against a Mount Pleasant team also looking to secure their playoff position.

Arnett Gardens will definitely be in the bottom playoff amongst teams ranked 7-11 for final positioning.

Next week, Arnett Gardens will play a Harbour View team sitting in eighth spot on 12 points and still harbouring hopes of making the playoff.

 

Humble Lion became the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention in the Jamaica Premier League after they crashed 2-1 to Dunbeholden FC in the second of three games at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence earlier today.

Defending Jamaica Premier League champions Portmore United kick-started their campaign with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Dunbeholden FC at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence at the University of the West Indies.

A deflected free-kick by Ricardo Morris in the 37th and a wonder strike by Emelio Rousseau in the 78th minute gave Portmore United a comfortable win in their St Catherine derby, over the upcoming Dunbeholden.

With a number of transfers between both clubs, with players going either way, this match-up was always expected to be an intriguing one and it did not disappoint.

Dunbeholden, clad in blue tops and white shorts, came out flying as Kimoni Bailey latched onto a raking diagonal pass but his rasping shot flew just high.

Portmore responded immediately. Left-back Omar Reid unleashed a menacing shot that goalkeeper Damian Hyatt managed to punch away. As the play swung from end-to-end, Dunbeholden’s new signing Mark Miller, formerly of Waterhouse FC, saw his free-kick turned around the post by Portmore’s custodian Kemar Foster for a corner.

It came to national player Ricardo Morris to find the breakthrough in the 37th minute after he was fouled just outside the box. He picked himself up, brushed himself off and fired a left-footed free-kick that took a wicked deflection off the back of defender Shaquille Dyer and wrong-footing Damion Hyatt in goal.

Dunbeholden never wilted and got a look in as former Portmore United player Rondee Smith teed up the energetic Bailey who shot wide. Smith also got a chance but his weak shot was easily saved.

With Dunbeholden searching for that equalizing goal, Portmore struck again in the 78th minute courtesy of a wonder strike by left-back Emelio Rousseau.

A free-kick was rolled into his path and from 35 metres, the former St George’s College player unleashed a powerful shot that comprehensively beat Hyatt.

 To their credit, Dunbeholden continued to fight. They fought hard to the end with substitute Johann Weatherley getting two half chances to reduce the deficit.

With the win, Portmore United are now joint top of the league, which pleased Head Coach Ricardo Gardner.

“We wanted to function on what we did in training and we saw some of that today. It’s nice to get three points in tough conditions and they went out there and put their best foot forward,” said Gardner.

Dunbeholden’s assistant coach Ricardo Smith said his team may have blundered tactically.

“Tactically, we got it wrong and we are not blaming the players but tactically that’s the main part of it. So we just have to go back to the drawing board and come again,” he said.

Team manager Paul Christie said he was rendered speechless by news of the sudden death of Dunbeholden FC midfielder Tremaine’s Stewart this morning.

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