While it was a well fought contest, SLH Contracting Plains Rangers had to admit defeat to a better team in the Bay Sports Centre Bowl final on Saturday. Tauranga City Relics are a good quality, experienced team and they played good controlled football from the start and didn't let Rangers get their game going. Rangers' keeper Christian Wetting had to make a couple of good saves in the first half. He also dominated his area and the home team were content to shoot from distance, but without success. Rangers' centre midfield pairing of James Hart and Petir Gray worked very hard, but were closed down quickly by the Tauranga team. At half time, the score was nil all, but Rangers knew they had to play better to compete.
However, five minutes after the restart, a wayward pass from defence gave Tauranga City an opening and their striker took the chance clinically. Ten minutes later, good passing through the midfield put their player in one on one with Rangers' keeper and he converted it very well. Rangers did their bit to up the game and got forward several times, with Jordan Ogilvy looking the most likely to score. Late in the game, the home team scored another well taken goal and won the game 3 – 0.
Rangers were disappointed with the result, but enjoyed playing in another final. Player-coach Christian Wetting acknowledged that by naming the Rangers women's team players of the day, for their efforts in turning up all dressed in cheerleading costumes and supporting their clubmates for the day.
This Saturday, Rangers men are at home in their second last league game, at home to Otumoetai Special Reserves. It will be no easy task, as Rangers lost the away game against them a few weeks ago, but Rangers will want to turn the tables and preserve their slender lead in the middle split of the Bay One league.