Plains Rangers AFC

29 September Ngongotaha 1, Plains Rangers 0
Bay Sportsmed Bowl Final

Hopes were high for Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers before the Bay Sportsmed Bowl final on Saturday. However, fate seemed determined to take sides against them. Captain Ben McPherson was suddenly laid low with illness, a car accident on the trip to the game also prevented Rangers' other prolific goal scorer Jaiden Ibbetson from taking part, adding to the bad luck of having redoubtable goalkeeper Christian Wetting suspended, after a highly disputed late second yellow card in their previous game.
However, Rangers, with quite a rearranged lineup, started off brightly enough in the game against Ngongotaha. They put together some good passages of play and created a number of half chances and forced a number of corners. Ngongotaha kept them out but created little going forward themselves. The game was scoreless at half time.
In the second half the Ngongotaha team had a more even share of the game and after twenty five minutes luck smiled on the second division team. Rangers lost the ball coming out of defence, a Ngongotaha player swung the ball hopefully into the Rangers penalty area and the wind carried the ball into the top corner of the Rangers goal. Try as they might, Rangers could not get the equaliser, although Andy Brabant went desperately close late in the game, when a defender managed to deflect his goal bound shot just wide of the post. The final score remained Ngongotaha 1 Plains Rangers 0.
Rangers player coach Richie Nillesen gave credit to Ngongotaha for taking their chance and for their desire to win. This Sunday Rangers will want all hands on deck and hope for better fortune, as they take on Whakatane in the annual Sponsors Challenge. The game is being played at Awakeri, kick off 2.45pm and both clubs look forward to this entertaining end of season fixture.