Veteran attacker Kerry Baptiste proved his worth again for St Ann’s Rangers with the decisive goal this evening, as the underdogs stunned defended Pro League champions, North East Stars, 1-0 at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
The result propelled Rangers to an unlikely fifth place in the 10 team standings, although Central FC can overtake them tomorrow with a win against Morvant Caledonia United at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Rangers owner Richard Fakoory might be pinching himself. Last month, Fakoory had an acrimonious split with former coach Adrian Romain with grave ramifications to his squad—since his players were contracted through a sponsor sourced by Romain.
Fakoory turned to La Horquetta youth team coach Dave Quamina, who had a matter of weeks to build a team from scratch. The initial results were not encouraging, as Rangers lost three successive matches without scoring a goal and conceding 13 times.
Then, Quamina signed Baptiste, just over a week ago, and the turnaround was startlin,g as Rangers reeled off successive wins over Point Fortin Civic and Stars.
Of course, Stars—now under the joint ownership of Ryan Nunes and Michael Awai—are a shadow of the team that won the league last season. And Civic showed today that they are also in bad shape, as they were whipped 3-1 by Police FC.
The results saw Police climb to seventh while Stars and Civic are bottom and second from bottom respectively.
Pro League results
(Friday 24 August)
San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Jomoul Francois 43), Club Sando 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Defence Force 1 (Brent Sam 14), W Connection 2 (Marcus Joseph 45+1, Kadeem Corbin 55) at Ato Boldon Stadium.
(Saturday 25 August)
North East Stars 0, St Ann’s Rangers 1 (Kerry Baptiste 87) at Larry Gomes Stadium;
Point Fortin Civic 1 (Nathaniel Garcia 31), Police FC 3 (Kareem Freitas 9, 68, Christian Thomas 82) at Mahaica Oval.
(Sunday 26 August)
Central FC v Morvant Caledonia United, 4pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.