Veteran marksman Kerry Baptiste scored his third item of the 2017 season and his 150th career Pro League goal yesterday evening to help North East Stars reclaim pole position with a 1-1 draw against San Juan Jabloteh in Barataria.
The result moved coach Derek King’s Stars one point clear of Stuart Charles-Fevrier’s W Connection and Angus Eve’s Club Sando, just nine games into the season.
Jabloteh are fourth in the standings with 14 points—they trail the leaders by four points—and might have expected more from the match after nippy attacker Julio Noel opened the scoring in the 21st minute. But Baptiste produced a rapid response with a 26th minute equaliser, which pulled him within three goals of the Pro League’s all-time leading scorer, Devorn Jorsling of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.
Stars are winless in their last three matches, which include last Friday’s draw with defending champions, Central FC, and a last-gasp defeat to Point Fortin Civic at the Mahaica Oval on 11 August. However, the Point Fortin result was the only time King’s side has tasted defeat since he took over the reins of the team, which is now based at the Arima Velodrome.
Central had much less to celebrate yesterday as they were spanked 3-0 by Police FC at the Police Barracks in St James.
The “Couva Sharks” lost head coach Dale Saunders last week and only had 14 players available when they held Stars to a 1-1 draw. New coach Stern John could not repeat the trick in St James as a first-half strike by Kurdell Braithwaite and a late double by former National Under-20 Team attacker Joshua Leach helped Police to a 3-0 win.
This weekend, attention turns to the TTFA FA Trophy competition as the grand old domestic competition makes its return after a three-year absence.
There will be cash incentives at every stage of the 2017 edition as each victorious team receives $3,000 in the opening round of 32 and then $5,000, $7,000, $9,000 and $11,000 in the round of 16, round of eight, quarterfinals and semi-finals respectively.
The winner and runner-up will pocket $100,000 and $25,000 respectively on the final day of the competition.
Stars, who edged Connection to the title on penalties in 2015, are in action from 4pm on Saturday when they play Siparia Spurs at the Palo Seco Recreation Ground in Palo Seco.
Pro League results
(Tuesday 12 September)
San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Julio Noel 21), North East Stars 1 (Kerry Baptiste 26) at Barataria Recreation Ground;
Police FC 3 (Ryan O’Neal 32, Joshua Leach 86, 88), Central FC 0 at Police Barracks.
TTFA FA Trophy
Round of 32
(Saturday 16 September)
Eagles FC vs Sangre Grande Dream Team, 4pm, Africa Grounds, Enterprise;
D Marie Hill Youths vs Hydro Tech Guaya United, 4pm, D’Marie Hill Recreation Grd, Sangre Grande;
Malta Carib Alcons vs UTT, 6pm, UTT, Arima;
Fire Service FC vs Black Rock FC, 4pm, Hugo Francis/Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas;
Manzan United vs Prisons FC, 4pm, Manzanilla Rec Ground, Manzanilla;
1976 FC Phoenix vs Goal City FC, 5pm, Canaan/ Bon Accord Rec Ground, Tobago;
Perseverance Ball Runners (CFA) vs Erin FC, 4pm, New Settlement Ground, Caroni Sav Road, Caroni;
Biche Utd vs Trinity Rangers, 4pm, Biche Recreation Ground, Biche;
Siparia Spurs vs North East Stars, 4pm, Palo Seco Rec Ground, Palo Seco.
(Sunday 17 September)
QPCC vs FC Santa Rosa, 4pm, St Mary’s College Ground, Serpentine Road, St Clair;
Petit Valley United vs Cunupia, FC 4pm, Diego Martin North Secondary, Diego Martin;
San Juan Jabloteh vs La Horquetta XF, 4pm, Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, Arima;
Central Soccer World vs Harlem Strikers (CFA), 4pm, St Mary’s Ground, Freeport;
Calder Hall FC vs Bethel FC, 6pm, Mt Pleasant Recreation Ground;
Serial Strikers vs Pitchmen FC, 4pm, Lachoos Road, Rec Facility, Penal;
Central FC vs Morvant Caledonia Utd, 4pm, Ato Boldon Stadium, Balmain, Couva;
Santa Flora FC vs Harlem Strikers, 4pm, Santa Flora Grds, Santa Flora;
MIC IT St Ann Rangers vs Perseverance Ball Runners, 4pm, St Augustine Secondary Ground;
RSSR vs Signal Hill Utd, 4pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Main Field;
San Fernando Giants vs St Francois Nationals, 4pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella;
Cultural Roots vs Club Sando, 4:30pm, Dibe Rec Grd, Long Circular, St James;
Club Sando Moruga vs Perseverance United, 4pm, Grand Chemin Rec Grd, Moruga;
Leeds FC vs Creek SCC, 4pm, Mt Pleasant Rec Grd, Tobago;
Belmont FC vs Defence Force, 5pm, Hasely Crawford Training Field;
Step by Step Maple vs Stokely Vale FC, TBA;
W Connection vs Tamana Utd, 5pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
Central 500 Spartans vs Marabella FCC, 4pm, Edinburgh 500 Rec Grds;
Defence Force SL vs Youth Stars, 4pm, Defence Force, Sports Field, Chaguaramas;
WASA FC SL vs Police FC (Pro), 5pm, WASA Grounds, St Joseph;
Pele Pele vs Police FC SL, 4pm, La Brea Recreation Facilities;
WASA (EFA) vs FC Maloney, 3pm, WASA Ground, St Joseph;
Red Hill FC vs Point Fortin Civic, 5pm, Maloney Rec Ground, D’Abadie.
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Started the season with them then went to Jabloteh to assist Earl Jean , we came 2 nd to Public in the league . That year Trent Noel was also outstanding as well as their central defense pairing of Devon Mitchell and Seon Powers
Travis Mulraine said Devon is Deon Mitchell
Yeah my other baller for life Trent Noel is another creative midfield play maker that we need to see once again on our Soca Warriors team.
Does anyone know whatever became of Scott Sealey eh Nigel Myers or Lasana Liburd.
Mango, Scott Sealy currently runs the Sealy Soccer Factory in Texas.
Well that is really good to hear that he is still involve in the beautiful game.
big up to baptiste , is Jorsling still playing or no?
Jorsling still playing, but he’s been coming on mostly as a sub.
ok well it will be interesting to see how this race ends ,who has more longevity
Yeah I remember when meh uncle Jack Warner team Joe Public beat up everybody and won the 5 tournaments including the league and Kerry Baptiste was on fire eh and of course ah have to also big up meh other real professional Coach Derek Terron King eh, but wait Travis Mulraine wasn’t you also a part of Joe Public the same eh……BOOM.
These are standard length matches?
How is central and Cale happening at 4pm on Sunday and then connection and Tamana at 5, both at ABS?
Most likely one of those two games will be on the training field. But the fixtures didn’t say which.
Well since we started giving the money and boots of their choice about 4 years ago I realize that the goal scoring for those seasons was very low, less than 20 goals a season compared to the the seasons years ago hence the reason why we included the incentives to give them a little push and if you notice even on the national teams we have been having a goal scoring problem and I really doesn’t understand why,what do you think is the problem Nigel Myers or is there anyone else that can tell us why is that?
Is there anyone else currently in the Pro League who looks capable of reaching 100 goals? Of course, providing they play long enough and the Pro League continues to operate.
Yes. Marcus Joseph can if he looks after himself.
He’s 26. Any idea how much goals he has scored so far?
Not off the top of my head. I can put together his goals in last four seasons or so. But he did have a season with Joe Public as a teenager. That info might be harder to find.
I find de Pro League has been so slack when it comes to stats. Even currently when they mention yellow and red cards they don’t specify when it happened.
Dey does cyar even give yuh simple info on transfers. Yuh does have tuh figure it out when yuh see somebody name on ah roster. After all these years, I doh even know when is de transfer window and how much it have.
Everything is always a secret. I remember at one time they were refusing to say who scored when it was an own goal. Lol
The funny thing is that the top two leading goalscorers in Pro League history have similar numbers at the national level. Baptiste has more caps because he made his debut at 21 whereas Jorsling made his debut at 23. Baptiste has less goals though because quite a few of those caps was as a midfielder.
Kerry Baptiste: 50 caps, 12 goals
Devorn Jorsling: 42 caps, 17 goals
But overall, their domestic scoring exploits were not replicated on the international stage, and they both were unable to establish themselves overseas. Would make an interesting discussion to compare and contrast both of them, or maybe even and article eh Lasana?
Yeah, Roneil K Walcott did one two years ago https://wired868.com/2015/04/23/pro-league-goal-rush-jorsling-and-baptiste-continue-historic-battle/
And it was a pleasure to honor him for the scoring of plenty goals to eh, my other prolific goal scorer and baller for life……BOOM.
Why didn’t both of them didn’t come on the scene around this time eh, our Soca Worries wudda surely be heading to the World Cup 2018 in Russia next year and then after in Qator 2022
And I done tell my police players is plenty monies for goals and boots yes, so I am waiting very patiently so see if they will continue with the scoring of plenty goals this season.
Mango where yuh getting all dis setta money from? Yuh did get ah brown envelope or wha?
The United Nations eh, the place of meh final employment for life eh, and ah done say already meh friend Mr. Live Wire won’t be ever writing about me being involve in any kind of corrupted business eh because I will always be staying on the straight and narrow road for life eh. Them really good yes. hahahahaha
So Central F.C. really expected to come to our home field with about 300 recruits chanting and beating ah set ah drums eh and the most winning DJ Mango dropping some of meh DJ styles eh, well we will be waiting very patiently on Jabolteh the same next Tuesday same place and same time and it will be licks like peas for them the same eh. Them really good yes. hahahahaha
I see Neil Benjamin suited up for Jabloteh. Is this the same Neil Benjamin Jr. from W-Connection?
Wow. Randy Bando. Is it?
Could be a typo. Maybe its Akeem Benjamin