A good crowd turned out for the annual Sponsors' Cup
challenge between Pullar Builders Whakatane Town and Gary Fowell Builders
Plains Rangers on Saturday.
Rangers started the game strongly with some well constructed attacks.
Nestor Rocha and Jaiden Ibbetson were prominent, with Thomas Davison linking
the moves together. After twenty minutes they were close to some reward
when a terrific pass from player of the day Davison put Rangers' skipper
Ben McPherson through on goal, but his shot went narrowly wide. Whakatane
responded quickly. Lively winger Wade Maloney did the damage down his
wing and a scramble ensued in the Rangers goal area, with an own goal
resulting. Whakatane picked up their game following the goal and played
some good football through their midfield. Rangers held them out though
and at half time, with only one goal in it, the game was still in the
After the break Whakatane dominated for fifteen minutes, and it took some
terrific defence, especially from centre back Jeff Krause and a solid
display from keeper Adam Mayor to keep them out. The game then evened
out again. McPherson went close with a header at the far post. With fifteen
minutes to go Whakatane scored again, and held onto their lead to win
2 - 0.
This was a very entertaining game and a great tribute to the teams, referee
Ian Finch and the sponsors.
This Saturday Rangers men have their final league game, at home to Old
Blues. Old Blues have been in great form in the second half of the season,
so it should be an exciting match.
Whakatane Town and Plains Rangers women's teams played their final league
game as the curtain raiser. The crowd enjoyed this game too, which was
far less one-sided than the final 9 - 0 score indicates. Whakatane took
twenty minutes to score the opening goal. Rangers had several useful attacks,
forcing some corners, and Hayley Warner went close with a couple of powerful
shots. Late in the half Whakatane scored a flurry of goals to have a 5
- 0 lead. In the second half, Rangers against started well. Player of
the day Ann-Elise Reynolds worked hard in the midfield, while at the back
Kayla Benner did well to stifle a lot of the Whakatane play. Late in the
game too, Whakatane scored several times to blow the score out. But it
did show the improvement Rangers women have made over their debut season,
halving the score from the first time the teams met.