Plains Rangers AFC

May 12th Plains Rangers men 0, TCU Relics 1
May 13th Te Puke 15, Plains Rangers women 0

A good crowd attended the top of BOP division one clash at Awakeri on Saturday. Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers were at home to Tauranga City Relics.
Both teams played good football from the start and it was an even arm wrestle for the first half an hour. The experienced Tauranga players were strong on the ball and used their possession well. Rangers used their speed down the flanks and up front to good effect as well. Late in the half the visitors had a spell that could have made the game theirs. Rangers' keeper Christian Wetting kept his team in it with three brilliant saves. The first was a great diving save that blocked Mark Lourie's shot and the well performed Ben Fretwell cleared it off Rangers' goal line. The second was super reactions to stop a near post shot. Rangers were stung and put together a good passing move ending with a strike from Ben McPherson. Relics came back and again Wetting saved, this time catching a full blooded shot from close range. The half ended with Jaiden Ibbetson, who had caused the visiting defenders a lot of problems, spectacularly bicycle kicking in a cross, but it was cleared by the Tauranga defenders. The game was locked at 0 - 0 and the spectators had certainly had an enthralling half.
Early in the second half, a Rangers attack led to Ibbetson being charged over in the penalty area. Ref Dave Taylor had no hesitation and awarded the penalty, but the Tauranga keeper pulled off a nice save. The ebb and flow continued with a few tasty tackles being put in as well. Wetting pulled off another top save when Lourie got a run away, but he could do nothing after 25 minutes when a good move finished with a tremendous shot from Sean Brennan which rocketed into the goal out of the Rangers keeper's reach. Relics had the upper hand for much of the last portion of the game, although McPherson went close with ten minutes to go. Relics were awarded a late penalty after a striker was upended in the box, but it sailed over the bar. The final score was Plains Rangers 0, Tauranga City Relics 1.
Both teams acknowledge the tough contest afterwards and will look forward to meeting each other later in the season. For Rangers Wetting was player of the day, with Ben Fretwell also standing out. Dean Butterworth did well in his first appearance for several seasons. This Saturday Rangers are away to Tauranga City United, who drew with their clubmates Relics in the first round of the season.
On Sunday Gary Fowell Builders women traveled to play Te Puke. Pouring rain made for an interesting battle which the home team ended up winning well. Rangers defence was impressive with player of the day Renee Anderson standing out. Rangers' keeper Stacey Flintoff was strong until unfortunately injured in the second half. Gillian Green had another good game on the wing. Te Puke won in the end 15 - 0.
This Sunday Rangers women are at home to Taupo.