Photo: Humble Lion team photo.
Humble Lion FC whipped Tivoli Gardens 4-0 at the Effortville Community Centre on Sunday to finish top of the pile of the Red Stripe Premier League after leaders at the beginning of the day, UWI FC fell 2-0 to Portmore United at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.
A point behind the UWI at the start of the day, Humble Lion needed a win over Tivoli plus help from Portmore to surpass the Mona based team and claim the $1million dollar bounty.
Humble Lion got off to a fast start at Effortville when Francois Swaby put them ahead after only three minutes. Levaughn Williams then got his first of two goals in the fifth minute as the home team took full control of the match early on.
The game was over as a contest five minutes before the half time break when Ricardo Dennis made it 3-0. Williams then put the icing on the cake for the champions when he made it 4-0 in the 79th minute.
Meanwhile, over at the Prison Oval, would be champions the UWI were outmuscled by the former champions and fell 2-0 to miss out on being regular season champions in just their second term in top flight football.
A feisty contest was turned on its head in the 24th minute when Cleon Pryce of Portmore and Kemar Flemmings of UWI were both shown the red card for violent conduct.
Portmore took advantage of the hole in the right side of the UWI defence with a quick move down the left flank after gaining possession following a UWI corner kick.
Damono Solomon released Kambuji McCalla down the flank and after riding a weak challenge from Jamie Robinson, McCalla played the ball inside for Ricardo Morris to score into an empty net with a one time effort after he reached to the ball before a desperate Amal Knight.
Portmore was content to play behind the ball for much of the second half and drove the nail in the UWI coffin in time added at the end of the game. Substitute Maalique Foster toyed with the UWI defence before laying it on a platter for his captain, Ewan Grandison whose thunderbolt from just inside the area flew pass a hapless Knight to make it 2-0 and seal the fate of the UWI.
Elsewhere, the fight to avoid relegation was on in earnest as three teams tried to avoid the drop on the final day. Boys Town needed a point to be safe and just about managed it with a wild 3-3 draw in the Collie Smith Derby.
Boys Town took the lead over Arnett Gardens in the 22nd minute through Michael Campbell and were in very confident mood when leading scorer Shamar Nicholson made it 2-0 three minutes later. But the home team rallied as Lamar Nelson pulled one back in the 41st minute and Craig Hunter levelled things two minutes before the interval.
Jamiel Hardware has been big for Boys Town since his return from overseas and he again gave the Red Brigade the lead ten minutes after the restart. But the home team was determined to get something out of the contest and Kymani Arbouine made sure of an Arnett point a minute from time. A point secured for Boys Town and RSPL football was secured for yet another season.
Waterhouse FC who had made life difficult for themselves, needed a win to be sure on premiership survival away to Reno. They job was complete courtesy of goals from veterans Irvino English and Andre McFarlane either side of a Demar James goal for Reno.
After a goalless first half, English broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, but James sent shivers through the Waterhouse camp when he equalized in the 72nd minute. The smiles returned to the team from Drewsland when McFarlane netted in the 78th minute and the final whistle was greeted with a massive sigh of relief after a second season of flirting with danger.
Marverley/Hughenden needed to win and hope that either Waterhouse or Boys Town lost and while they managed to get the win at Harbour View, it was too little too late as their fate was already sealed.
Marverley took the lead through Rodico Wellington in the 65th minute before Rosario Harriot levelled things for Harbour View in the 80th minute. Marverley re-established their lead in the 85th minute when Phillip Peddlar made it 2-1 and the striker extended the lead three minutes later before a beautiful volley from Evan Taylor made it 3-2 in stoppage time.
The only meaningless game of the day was played out between defending champions Monetgo Bay United and already relegated Jamalco FC. The champions completed a routine 4 nil win to finish the regular season in third position.
Owayne Gordon was the first to find the back of the net in the 16th minute and Jermaine Woozencroft made it 2-0 in the 28th minute. Donavan Carey got on the score sheet in the 60th minute to make it 3-0 before Dino Williams completed the scoring in the 90+1 minute.
Montego Bay United will face off with Arnett Gardens in one quarter final match up while Portmore United will do battle with Tivoli Gardens in the other quarter final. Meanwhile the top two teams, Humble Lion and UWI will await the outcome of the quarter finals to see who they face in the semifinals.