Plains Rangers AFC

17th July 2021
Plains Rangers 2, Omokoroa 0

Plains Rangers bounced back to winning ways with a good team performance in atrocious conditions at Edgecumbe on Saturday. Omokoroa won the toss in their first ever visit to Edgecumbe and elected to play with the gale-force wind at their backs. However, their tactic of launching the ball long frequently had it being gathered by Rangers' keeper Christian Wetting or going out of play for a goal kick. Rangers, on the other hand, used short passing and good movement down the wings to bring the ball forward and hence controlled the play. Jacob Davis and Levi McIntyre combined well down the left, as did Shane Baillie and Chris Butler down the right flank. Both pairs also linked up well with the forwards Phil Ballingall and Barrie Hawkes, while the centre midfielders Hamish Wilde and James Hart connected the three groups well. After a number of chances, Rangers went ahead. A Baillie sortie down the right ended with him hitting the ball hard across goal and McIntyre raced in to bury it in the net at the far post. At half time the home team led 1 – 0.
After the break, Rangers piled the pressure on the Omokoroa team and they found it hard to get the ball much past halfway. The wind seemed to strengthen even more, so much so that one goal kick being taken by the visiting keeper went up and blew back over the goal line for a corner! Rangers had plenty of chances, but the windy conditions and the excellent goalkeeping kept most of them out. Rangers did have the final say with fifteen minutes to go, James Hart hit a strike from 25 metres that dipped and gave the keeper no chance. The final score: Plains Rangers 2, Omokoroa 0.
The game was played in very good spirit as both teams tested their skills under the bizarre conditions. Good link up play and a ninety-minute performance earned veteran Barrie Hawkes player of the day for Rangers, while Shane Baillie and Chris Butler were also in their best form.
This coming Saturday Rangers are home to Papamoa Old Boys. Rangers will be hoping to get some of their injured squad members back to play the highfliers.