Plains Rangers saw plenty of goals scored in their opening weekend of football for the season.
On Saturday Plains Rangers men travelled to play Omokoroa Fury. Both teams were full of anticipation for the challenge and the home team got off to a flying start. A fast raiding attack in the second minute wasn't dealt with by the Rangers defence and Omokoroa smacked the ball into the net. Rangers bounced back fairly quickly however. Ten minutes later Sam McPherson launched a corner kick to the far post, it was headed back across goal by captain Jimmy Hart and player-coach Christian Wetting headed it home. Before the home team had time to recover, Rangers' left back Isaiah Davidson sent a great pass through the home defence. Striker Phil Ballingall raced onto it and slotted it past the keeper. Three minutes later Rangers went further ahead, a Ballingall shot/cross sailed over the hapless Omokoroa keeper to make it 3 – 1. The home team were shell-shocked by this turn of events and determined to fight back. Midway through the half Rangers lost Wetting to injury after a boot caught him in the face. The rest of the half was a fairly even battle.
Omokoroa came into the second half fired up and they dropped their defence further back to cope with the threat of Ballingall's pace. Fifteen minutes in, the home team scored a well-constructed goal, working it in from the right and putting away a good shot. Shortly after that young Rangers player Kobi Wetting was also collected by a high boot and received a free kick. With fifteen minutes to go, Rangers thought they had made the game safe. Substitute Aaron Muggeridge headed a Hamish Wilde long throw-in on to Ballingall who headed it into the net, but it was ruled out for offside. However, Rangers managed the game well through to the final whistle, to earn a 3 – 2 win.
Phil Ballingall was named player of the match with centre defender Jimmy Hart and right back Carl Imlig also in top form.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women started their season with a home game against Papamoa Legends. Rangers had quite a few new players making their debuts and they all did well. Rangers were under pressure for much of the game, but kept on through the 90 minutes under the hot sun. The centre-mids and backline had a tough job, but they held their own and never gave up. Jenny McIntyre had a great game on the wing and put her body on the line. Duccati Horopapera-Conrad had an excellent first game. Goalkeeper Shannon Searle was named player of the day for her great work in her first game in that position. Papamoa Legends won 9 – 0 in the end.
Rangers' teams have a break for Easter then Rangers men are away to Papamoa United and Rangers women are away to Whakatane Town.
Us VS Papamoa Legends
The ladies had great first game of the soccer season today. We had some new faces on the field and they played brilliantly.
Big ups to everyone today for sticking out the 90 minutes in the hot sun. We had a few mishaps however as the game went on everything was getting ironed out and we starting to work well together. I think we are all going to be a bit sore come tomorrow.
The centre mids and back line had a tough game however they held their own and never gave up.
Jenny had a great game on the wing and putting her body on the line.
Ducatti you had brilliant first game, you never gave up and when given directions or instructions you took it all on board.
Player of the day goes to Shannon, for someone that has never played goalie you had a massive game and saved great shots.
Well done ladies on today games, you should be proud of yourselves and for never giving up as well.