It was a good weekend for the Plains Rangers Football Club.
On Saturday Rangers travelled the short distance to play Whakatane Town in BOP division Two. The game also doubled as a Sponsors Cup challenge, as per every time the two clubs meet. Rangers started the game strongly. They passed the ball around well in the midfield, with the two Jimmys – James Krause and James Hart – linking up well and providing useful ball to the strikers and sending Jordan Ogilvy marauding down the wing. However, Whakatane's defence was sound and gradually the home team came into the game. They relied on the fast break for a while, but eventually the game settled into a very even contest. At half time the game was scoreless.
The second half was an absorbing contest, played in good spirit. Whakatane were composed on the ball and Rangers were dangerous on the breaks, but the defences at both ends stood firm. Both teams deservedly took a point apiece for the 0 – 0 draw, with Rangers retaining the cup. James Krause's ninety minute effort earned him player of the day for Rangers, with the dangerous striker Sione Lotu and captain Matt Dalgity also impressing. By a quirk of fate, the two teams will face off again this coming Saturday in the first round of the Bay Sportsmed Cup. This time the venue is Awakeri with kick-off at 2.30pm.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women travelled to play Ngongotaha in BOP Women's division. Rangers put together some very good attacking moves and scored twice before half time. Mikaela Mathis put one away from inside the six yard box and Kiahli Ibbetson scored with a shot just outside of the box. The assists came from Janie Paling and Libby Shove and from good midfield support play. Rangers had more chances on goal as the game went on, with Janie Paling, Libby Shove, Sophie Estall, Ranee Whiting, Kiahli Ibbetson and Mikaela Mathis all going close. Libby Shove did some excellent running down the line, producing some nice crosses and passes. Sophie Estall also impressed with her all round play. The Rangers back five held strong and the team kept up the pressure till the end, despite some physical challenges, one of which resulted in player of the day Tara Edwards with a bad head knock. The final score was Ngongotaha 0, Plains Rangers 2.
This Sunday Rangers women are at home to Rotorua United, kick-off at 12.30pm.