Cavalier win second JPL title in 4 years after thrilling final Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Cavalier SC won the Wray & Nephew-sponsored Jamaica Premier League (JPL) after defeating defending champions Mount Pleasant FA 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw after extra time at the National Stadium on Sunday night.

This marks Cavalier’s second title in four years, having previously won in 2021, and their third overall, with their first victory in 1981.

The victory served as sweet revenge for Cavalier, who lost 2-1 to Mount Pleasant last year. Winning coach Rudolph Speid praised his young team for their resilience.

“It was one of those days when we knew we would be competitive. The truth is this is our third final in four years. This is no fluke; we were always building and building,” Speid said.

Mount Pleasant’s coach, Theodore Whitmore, was gracious in defeat and praised Cavalier for their immediate response after conceding.

“If we had kept the scoreline a bit longer, we would have come away victorious. It was a tactical game for both teams today, and after it went to penalties, it was anybody’s game,” Whitmore said.

The match, a highly competitive encounter between two of the island’s best teams, saw St Ann-based Mount Pleasant strike first. Devonte Campbell gave Mount Pleasant a 65th-minute lead with a low shot past goalkeeper Vino Barclett.

However, Cavalier equalized two minutes later when defender Richard King fired home after Geovanni Laing nodded a corner kick into his path. Both teams fought fiercely for a winner, but the score remained unchanged.

In the penalty shoot-out, Mount Pleasant kicked first, with defender Jamoi Topey scoring. Cavalier’s Dwayne Atkinson missed his shot, saved by goalkeeper Davis.

Atapharoy Bygrave converted the second kick for Mount Pleasant, followed by Gadail Irving for Cavalier. Substitute Ladale Richie then missed the third kick for Mount Pleasant, allowing Richard King to tie the shootout at 2-2.

Romeo Guthrie failed to convert Mount Pleasant’s fourth attempt, while young schoolboy Adrian Reid of St George’s College scored for Cavalier to put his team 3-2 ahead after four kicks.  Sue-Lae McCalla netted Mount Pleasant’s fifth kick, but substitute Nicholas Hamilton clinched the victory for Cavalier with his successful shot.

Speid was named Coach of the Year, while Waterhouse’s Javane Bryan won the Golden Boot with 17 goals.

In the earlier third-place match, Arnett Gardens secured a spot in the Caribbean Shield, a qualifier for the Concacaf Club Championship, by defeating Waterhouse FC 5-1.

Shai Smith and Kaheim Dixon each scored twice, and Fabian Reid also found the net.

Smith opened the scoring in the 25th minute, Jaheim Dorman equalized for Waterhouse in the 37th minute, but Dixon restored Arnett’s lead in the 47th minute. Reid made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute, Smith added his second in the 67th minute, and Dixon completed the rout in the 90th minute.