Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers

July 23 Plains Rangers men 1, Tauranga City Relics 2
July 24 Plains Rangers women 0, Te Puke 18

There were a good old-fashioned ding dong battle at Awakeri on Saturday when Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers hosted Tauranga City Relics in BOP division one. Rangers started very well and created several early chances. Jaiden Ibbetson had one in the back of the net but it was ruled out for off side. Rangers had the bad luck to lose their captain Richie Nillesen with a knee injury shortly after. The visitors then got their noses in front, a midfielder pounced on a loose ball and did well to draw keeper Christian Wetting and score. Rangers' Chilean striker Nestor Rocha was the next to suffer injury, and Rangers had two of their subs on the field before half time. Another setback followed, with Relics pouncing on an underhit back pass and lobbing the ball into the net. At half time Rangers were two goals down, but fighting hard.
After the break, the home team stepped up the pressure on their experienced rivals. Young centre backs Ben Fretwell and Jeff Krause did a mighty job in keeping the strong visiting strikers under wraps, and winning the ball to feed into the midfield. Ben McPherson and James Krause used the ball well in the midfield. Ibbetson got into the Relics penalty area, and did well to stay on his feet after being fouled by the keeper. He squared the ball across goal for Dylan Arthur to score from close range. Rangers fought hard to get the equaliser, while the visitors strove to make the game safe. Wetting had to pull off a brilliant diving save to keep out one strike from the midfield. Late substitute Kirk Bain came close to connecting with a header for Rangers. In the end the visitors hung onto their 2 - 1 lead for the win.
While it was a loss, it was a gutsy display from Rangers and it will give them heart for their Cup quarter final this Saturday at Ngongotaha, which has a 12.30pm kickoff. Rangers player of the day was hard working left back Jordan Ogilvy.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women played the well performed Te Puke team. While Te Puke had a healthy 18 - 0 win, Rangers put in a good effort, led by player of the day Amy Campbell in goal. Maria Puutu came close to scoring for Rangers and Hayley Warner impressed with her strong showing. This Sunday Rangers women have the trip to Taupo.