Plains Rangers men didn't get off to a great start in their first game of the BOP division one football season. In pleasant, calm conditions at Otumoetai, both the home team and Rangers took a while to settle into their games. Otumoetai crowded the midfield, making it hard for Rangers to find their passes. Rangers resorted to long balls for their front runners to chase. After half an hour the pressure from Otumoetai built up and they opened the scoring. At half time the score was 1 – 0.
After the break, Otumoetai picked up where they left off, pinning the Rangers defence back and doubling their lead. Rangers started to put better football together as the half went on. Petir Gray got through into the box a couple of times on the end of good passing moves, going close to scoring. James Hart hit a free kick that was well saved by the keeper. With Rangers pushing for something from the game, the home team had a couple of break outs that both resulted in rather soft goals, one a disputed penalty. The final score Otumoetai Legends 4, Plains Rangers 0.
For Rangers, player of the day was the hard working Sam Christieson. This Saturday Rangers men are playing at the Edgecumbe Domain against Taupo, kick off 2.30pm.
On Sunday, however, Plains Rangers women opened their BOP division one season in style, with the biggest win in their history, beating Ngongotaha away 5 – 0. Rangers gelled really well together, passed the way they were facing, spreading the ball wide and putting together some good sequences. Rangers opened up their opponents with some fine crosses and through balls. Kiahli Ibbetson opened the scoring after eight minutes. Mishka Barry chimed in ten minutes later, before Ibbetson added another and Ranee Whiting hit the post. Rangers led 3 – 0 at the break. Barry added a second goal early in the second half and Jenny McIntyre had a goal disallowed. Rachel Elliot rounded off the scoring with a header late in the game. The team shared player of the day plaudits with a strong all round performance.
This Sunday Rangers women are away again, to Tauranga Blue Rovers.