Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers
August 12th 2006 v Te Puke
Tasman Bowl semifinal
The Tasman Bowl semifinal between Te Puke and Gary Fowell
Builders Plains Rangers was a hard fought affair, that went all the way
to a penalty shoot out.
Te Puke's home fans set up a great atmosphere for the game, with red and
white streamers flowing from the clubrooms and a noisy crowd in the grandstand.
Rangers brought some momentary silence however when they scored from their
first attack. A Jeremy Hawkes corner was headed powerfully into the goal
by Bas Overdevest before the first minute was up. Rangers used the tail
wind to have the better of the first half, although both teams struggled
to play a passing game in the conditions. Aaron Muggeridge had a goal
ruled out through offside and Rangers had a 1 - 0 lead at half time.
The wind strengthened and the home team used it well in the second half
to pin Rangers back in their own territory for good spells. Midway through
the spell a Te Puke corner was headed back across goal by dangerman Lee
Hillier and a team mate climbed over the Rangers defence to even the scores.
Both teams worked hard, in an increasingly physical encounter to score
the winner before the dreaded extra time. However, the 90 minutes arrived
with the scores locked at 1 - 1.
Rangers started the first half of extra time into the wind and bright
sun and were in early trouble. A Hillier run across the box drew two tacklers
and a penalty call from referee Colin Harrison which delighted the home
fans. The penalty was well converted and it looked like a home win was
on the cards.
Amidst cramping bodies on both sides, in the second period, Rangers pushed
in hope for an equaliser. They played patient football and a long pass
found captain Richie Nillesen well forward. He pushed the ball across
for Harley de Lacy who beat the keeper to it and then turned back across
the box and was brought down by two defenders. Rangers sweeper Jason Pullar
stepped up to coolly convert the late penalty. At the end of extra time
the semifinal was tied up 2 - 2.
A penalty shootout out drew the crowd down to the goal to witness the
drama. Rangers did well to score their first four attempts, via player
of the day Nillesen, Pullar, Dean Butterworth and Barrie Hawkes. Rangers
keeper Jono Whitaker saved Te Puke's first penalty and they wilted under
the challenge, with Rangers finally winning the shootout 4 - 1.
The spectators from both sides had certainly had their money's worth,
and Rangers will look forward to the clash with neighbours Kawerau in
the final on September 2nd. This Saturday however, league action returns,
with a home game against Taupo One. Rangers will want to reverse the loss
they suffered in the away fixture. Kickoff at the Edgecumbe Domain is
likely to be at 2 pm.