In their second last game of the season, Plains Rangers men travelled to play Te Puke on Saturday. After some initial threats from the home team, Rangers got some good play flowing. Fifteen minutes in, a great team move set up Petir Gray, his shot slid just wide. A minute later Gray hit a rocket from 20 metres that rebounded off the post. Te Puke also created some chances, the best of these was when ex-Rangers player Ryan Elliot was put through one-on-one with keeper Matt Eveleens, who just managed to smother the ball. The Rangers chances kept coming. Ronan Mitchell had a strike from distance saved and late in the half Sione Lotu put a chance just over the bar. At half time Rangers talked about concentrating on passing the ball about intelligently and playing the ball into the penalty area.
Player-coach Christian Wetting started the second half in the midfield and the strategy of rotating players around him worked well. After fifteen minutes Ronan Mitchell was put through into the penalty area and he scored with a calm finish. Five minutes later Rangers won a free kick 25 metres from goal. Wetting sent a powerful shot thundering into the top corner of the goal, giving the Te Puke keeper no chance. The rest of the game was evenly balanced, with the final score remaining 2 – 0 to Rangers.
Rangers' keeper Matt Eveleens was named player of the day, after keeping only the second clean sheet of the season. Others to impress were Christian Wetting, Ronan Mitchell, James Hart and Petir Gray. This Saturday Rangers play neighbours Kawerau at the Edgecumbe Domain, in what is sure to be a well-contested last game of the season. Kick off is at 2.30pm.
On Sunday, Plains Rangers women played Tauranga Blue Rovers in Tauranga. The wet, slippery, muddy conditions made good control tricky. Rangers didn't play all that well in the first half, but they still managed to be 2 – 1 ahead at half time. Karen Toone launched a pearler from the backline, which bounced over the keeper and went in. Mishka Barry got some lovely footwork going and beat the keeper in a one-on-one finish. Zahara Magee did some fine work holding the midfield together.
Rangers were a lot better in the second half. They sent the ball out wide to keep clear of the mud. Mishka Barry scored again and the home team also did well, to secure a 3 – 3 draw.
Players of the day for Rangers were Laura Powick, who had another fine game in defence, and Mishka Barry, who battled hard and used her skills to cause the opposition problems. Others to impress were keeper Jo Ingle, Jenny McIntyre, Gemma Stuckey and Amber McKenzie.
Who knows if Rangers women will have a game next week. Messages from the Federation are unclear, because of teams defaulting.