On Saturday SLH Contracting Plains Rangers travelled to play Rotorua United in the middle section of the new BOP division one split league. Rangers started very well. Some nice passing between Hamish Wilde and Petir Gray led to a Ryan Elliot cross which was hammered into the net by left winger Jordan Ogilvy. After twenty minutes, captain Jaiden Ibbetson pounced on some indecision by the Rotorua defence and scored.
However, on the half hour, the home team got back in, against the run of play. They were awarded an attacking free kick and their striker ran in to touch the cross past Rangers' stand-in keeper Levi Riri. Rangers went back onto the attack, Petir Gray put a shot narrowly wide. The last few minutes of the half however were all about the home team. They converted a penalty for a foul in the box and then scored again on the stroke of half time, to lead 3 – 2.
Rangers started the second half well, with Jordan Ogilvy robbing the home keeper of the ball and scoring. Quarter of an hour later, Jaiden Ibbetson was fouled in the Rotorua penalty area. Jason Pullar stepped forward and took the resulting penalty well to put Rangers back in front. Rotorua weren't done though, they scored the equaliser five minutes later. The final score was Rotorua United 4, Plains Rangers 4.
While the game was very entertaining for the spectators, Rangers will be disappointed to have let their periods of good play not gain the full reward. Jordan Ogilvy was named player of the day.
This Saturday Rangers are away to Tauranga City.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women finished off their season with a win. They hosted an understrength Otumoetai on a soft, muddy in places, Awakeri Sportsfield. Otumoetai played well, but late in the first half Rangers went ahead. Caitlin Stuckey fed Cassidy Spillman down the line. She crossed it well for Rachel Elliot to score.
In the second half Rhylee Mahy almost put Rangers further ahead, but her shot bounced back off the cross bar. Late in the game the visitors pushed for the equaliser and came agonisingly close. One shot hit the post and another had beaten the keeper and was heading goalwards, only for it to hit a patch of mud and stick! The final score: Plains Rangers 1, Otumoetai 0.
Player of the day was shared between Shayna Penberth and Rachel Elliot. Others to impress were defenders Ranee Whiting and Laura Powick.