Plains Rangers AFC

21 & 22 May 2016
Plains Rangers men 1, Whakatane Town 2
Plains Rangers women 5, Rotorua United 1

Plains Rangers women took pride of place for the football club this weekend.
On Saturday SLH Contracting Plains Rangers men were at home to Whakatane Town in the first round of the Bay Sportsmed Cup – a knock-out competition open to BOP division one and two sides. Rangers started out reasonably well but were guilty of not treasuring their possession sufficiently. It was an even battle, however the visitors got their noses in front after forty minutes when a dangerous ball across the Rangers defence was not cleared. Just on the stroke of half time Rangers were back level. Tijmen Corporaal got his head to a corner, knocking it down for Aaron Muggeridge to place it past the keeper.
After the break Rangers tried to lift their game, but Whakatane were ready to pounce on any errors. They got one after fifteen minutes, with veteran striker Danny Smith putting the visitors back in front. Try as they might Rangers couldn't find an equaliser. Whakatane defended well and used rolling subs to keep their line-up fresh and nullify the home team's efforts. The final score was Plains Rangers 1, Whakatane Town 2. Whakatane will now remain in the Cup competition and had the added bonus of taking the Sponsors Trophy home with them until next time the two sides meet. Rangers will now be in the Bowl competition, for which they are the current holders. Hamish Wilde worked non-stop in the Rangers midfield and was deservedly named their player of the day. This Saturday Rangers men are back in league action, away to Ngongotaha.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women were at home to Rotorua United. Fresh from their first ever away win last weekend, Rangers started brightly, playing some nice football. The visitors held them out until the 25th minute when Rangers young striker Cassidy Spillman lobbed the keeper. One minute later Spillman doubled the lead with a great solo run and finish. Rangers now had their tails up. There was good possession football and dangerous forays forward. Down the right Jo Ingle linked up well with Sophie Estall and Libby Shove. Just before half time Kiahli Ibbetson extended the lead to 3 – 0. There was no let-up in the second half. Fifteen minutes in, a cross from Shove was smacked into the net by Spillman. She followed up with another two minutes later and Rangers had a big lead. Late in the game a missed clearance saw the visitors, who never gave up, score a consolation goal and the final score was Plains Rangers 5 – Rotorua United 1.
While Cassidy Spillman's four goal haul was a standout, this was an excellent team effort. Coach Michel Nillesen named Mikaela Mathis player of the day for a top performance marshalling the defence.
This Sunday Rangers women are at home again, this time to Te Puke.