STRIKER Bevon Bass grabbed the first hat-trick of the 2012-2013 Pro League football season, and led T&TEC to their first win when beating a battling St Ann's Rangers 3-2, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, on Saturday.
Bass won the game with a spectacular third goal in the 42nd minute. However, it was Rangers who dominated the second half, coming close to levelling the score several times, including when midfielder Jason Marcano beat T&TEC goalie Akini Adams with an 83rd minute free-kick which struck the cross bar.
In the second game of the double-header, Josimar Belgrave produced the season's second hat-trick when helping Defence Force to a come-from-behind 3-3 draw with North East Stars.
Both teams had won their opening Pro League encounters, Stars beating Caledonia AIA 3-0 and Defence Force edging Rangers 2-1.
After leading 1-0 at the end of the first half through Micah Lewis' 10th minute goal, Stars struck twice in three minutes through centre back Seon Power (52nd) and striker Kerry Baptiste (55th) to build a three-goal lead early in the second half. However, the ultra fit Army team got going and rallied through Belgrave's second half goals (63rd, 71st & 87th).
Earlier, Bass' hat-trick was marked by an excellent third goal which saw him hook Javed Mohammed's cross into the roof of the net, giving Rangers keeper Zane Coker no chance of making a save.
Playing as the lone striker up front, Bass opened the scoring in the fifth minute, going around Coker and netting. He got a second in the 29th when scoring from a low Simeon Augustus cross. Between Bass' opening two goals, Marcano had Rangers level at 1-1, and Devon Modeste pulled them ahead at 2-1 from the penalty spot.
Bass completed his hat-trick to put T&TEC in front at the half.
Rangers, though, turned up the pressure in the second half, forcing T&TEC to work hard to keep the lead.
Substitute Kurdell Brathwaite could have equalised for Rangers, but drove his shot over at the back post. Midfielder Modeste also ran at goal before hitting just wide of the T&TEC far post. It was Marcano, however, who went closest of all, his free-kick hitting the T&TEC crossbar with the keeper well beaten.