H’View, D’holden set for hot JPL final
The Jamaica Premier League (JPL) title will either remain in Kingston in 2022 or head to St Catherine for the first time in three years.
Four-time champions Harbour View will face first-time finalists Dunbeholden in the 2022 JPL final at Sabina Park on Sunday evening at 6 p.m.
After late-game heroics in their respective semi-final ties, both teams will aim to complete their journeys with silverware.
Harbour View dispatched the third-seed Arnett Gardens on penalties in the quarter-finals after their tie ended 2-2 on aggregate and stunned back-to-back regular-season champions Waterhouse in the semi-finals 2-1 on aggregate, thanks to the heroics of Nicholas Hamilton, who scored in both legs to give them a chance at a fifth title.
Harbour View head coach Ludlow Bernard has credited the resilience shown throughout their play-off run, especially from Hamilton who has not been a regular starter in recent games.
"A lot of grit and determination was on display," he said. "The legs started to tell a bit, but the fight and the determination shown was [excellent]. Sometimes, your better players, it is best they come off the bench and provide that [spark]. And Nicholas has come up trumps.
Harbour View could also become the second team in league history to win the title as a sixth seed. Arnett Gardens was the first to do so in 2017 when the six-team play-off format was introduced in that 2016-17 campaign.
Dunbeholden are looking to cap their best-ever season with a maiden title for the club. In the semi-finals against defending champions Cavalier, they won the first leg 1-0 before prevailing on penalties in a frantic second leg on Wednesday night after finishing 4-4 on aggregate.
Dunbeholden manager Paul Christie has credited the community support for fuelling their play-off run.
"They are an extra strength for us," he said. "They believe in us when others don't," Christie said. "They are enjoying the moment and happy to know that they are witnessing this moment unfolding right before their eyes."
Christie said that the pedigree of Harbour View will demand the best from the team, to complete a dream season.
"We will be facing a traditional opponent in Harbour View, with a good coaching staff and great players. It is not a foregone conclusion. We have to show up, play football the best way, the right way."
Dunbeholden could also become the 14th team to win the title.
Waterhouse and Cavalier will contest the third-place play-off earlier in the day at the same venue, at 3 p.m.