Rankin rises to the occasion in JPL play-offs
In a Mount Pleasant team that has the attacking capabilities of Trivante Stewart and Atapharoy Bygrave, it has been the play of Leonardo Rankin that has fuelled their charge since the quarter-finals, which he hopes will be the key to finally giving them a chance at their first Jamaica Premier League (JPL) title.
Rankin was again on target in Mount Pleasant's 2-2 draw with Arnett Gardens in Monday's first-leg semi-final, a game in which Mount Pleasant twice surrendered the lead.
Stewart and Brygrave have been contributing to the title charge, but Rankin has been leading the line, scoring his fourth postseason goal on Monday.
Rankin's performances in the play-offs have been a part of his comeback trail after missing out last season, which he said has made him grateful for how he has been relied on lately.
"I'm happy with myself after missing out on the entire season last year because of a knee injury," Rankin said after their quarter-final series win over Dunbeholden last week.
What has helped him play a key role has been getting in the right spaces on the field, crediting his body positioning in getting into dangerous areas on the field, something that played a role in that two-goal performance to get them to the semi-finals.
What has head coach Theodore Whitmore pleased is the work ethic and desire that Rankin has shown in any assignment he is given, not only in the play-offs, but throughout the season.
"What you get from Leonardo Rankin is his honesty and work ethic. If it is 60 minutes or 70 minutes, he is going to work until he puts his hand up, and that's what Leonardo brings," Whitmore said.
It is what Whitmore hopes he continues to bring in Sunday's return leg against Arnett Gardens at Sabina Park.