Plains Rangers, missing several starting players through injury, travelled to play Papamoa Buccaneers on Saturday.
The game was evenly balanced from the start, but Rangers gained more of the play as the first half went on. Kaleb Muggeridge, himself playing though injured, made increasing amounts of headway down the left flank. He produced a couple of excellent crosses that no one was able to turn into the net. Late in the half ex-Rangers player Ryan Elliot must have thought he had opened the scoring for Papamoa, but keeper Christian Wetting pulled off a brilliant diving save to palm it round the post. At halftime, the score was 0 – 0, both teams having the game all to play for.
Rangers came out of the blocks firing after the break. One minute in, two young Trident High School players, playing their second game of the day, combined to put Rangers ahead. Elijah Wetting put Levi McIntyre through the defence with a great pass and McIntyre slotted it past the keeper. The game boiled over several minutes later and the referee did well to leave both teams still having eleven men on the park. The home team upped their game as the second half wore on, being able to make use of their plentiful supply of subs. Midway through the half they put a striker through the Rangers defence, but keeper Wetting was off his line in a flash to make a save before the shot was taken. With only six minutes left on the clock, the home team breached the Rangers rear-guard, smacking home a loose ball in the penalty area. The final score: Papamoa 1, Plains Rangers 1.
Levi McIntyre's calm finish and general good play saw him named player of the day. This Saturday Rangers are back at home, this time to new team in the competition Omokoroa. Kick-off at the Edgecumbe Domain is at 2pm.