Thursday 19 September, 2019

Waterhouse cut down Arnett Gardens; will meet Portmore in RSPL final

There will be a new champion when the 2017-2018 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) ends as Arnett Gardens crashed out at the semi-final stage on Monday night on home turf at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

Arnett Gardens were cut down 2-1 by Waterhouse in their second-leg semi-final match to lose the home-and-away tie 3-1 on aggregate.

A well taken Tremaine Stewart free kick handed Waterhouse the victory and they will now face title favourites Portmore United in the final next Monday.

Arnett had come into the game 1-0 down from last week’s first leg and needed an early goal.

They got it when, Stevie Smith scored with 10 minutes on the clock. However, that lead was shortlived as two minutes after Cardel Benbow scored to equalise and put the tie back in favour of the visiting Waterhouse.

Waterhouse took charge of the game after that and looked the more likely team to score and Stewart, who hadn’t been having a particularly good game, stepped up to curl his 53rd-minute free kick past an almost motionless Arnett custodian.

Arnett wrestled the ascendancy from Waterhouse after that, the visitors seemingly panicking at the thought of making the final.

Waterhouse could not keep the ball and when Arnett brought on the veteran Newton Sterling, the chances started piling up.

After the game, Arnett coach, Jerome Waite, suggested there was more to his team’s loss than meets the eye.

“A lot of things happened but as the coach, you have to remain professional and see how best you can keep the team together,” he said.

“If you notice, before the semi-final, the last 11 games we have not won one, so that shows you how difficult things were ahead of the semi-final,” said Waite.

Waite, despite the issues, still pointed out that Waterhouse were fully deserving finalists.

“Waterhouse looked the team that really wanted it a little more,” said Waite.

“In the latter part of the game we pushed people forward and created some opportunities but the Waterhouse team defended stoutly,” he said.

Donovan Duckie believes he has been unlucky at this stage of the Premier League a number of times, especially against Waite.

That played on his mind and led to a cagier-than-normal affair.

“It played on my mind. I wondered what I was doing wrong. I played the games and I watched the tapes and I thought he always had the element of luck over me,” said Duckie.

Portmore United had booked their spot on Sunday after whipping Cavalier 3-0 in their second-leg semi-final match at Spanish Town Prison Oval. They won the two-way tie 3-0 on aggregate after the teams had battled to a 0-0 draw the previous week at the Stadium East field.

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