The Edgecumbe Domain hosted its first double header for the football season, with both men's and women's teams at home. Strong winds down the pitch affected both games, but a healthy number of spectators still turned out to watch.
On Saturday Plains Rangers men were hoping to build on their good showing in the Chatham Cup the week before, when they met Tauranga City Juggernauts. Rangers started off pretty well, but the visitors were playing with a lot of intensity and this upset the home team's passing rhythms. Ten minutes into the game a good Tauranga City cross from their right was headed strongly into the Rangers goal. Only four minutes later, another cross, this time from the left, was not dealt with by the Rangers defence and the visitors scored a tap in. A stung Rangers team and the lively visitors were battling out some fierce challenges in the midfield. Midway through the half, Rangers came back with a well taken goal by young midfielder Elijah Wetting. Jon Barnes played a delightful pass through the Tauranga defence and Wetting ran onto it, rounded the keeper and put it in the net. The rest of the half was an even affair, leaving Rangers trailing 2 – 1 at half time.
Tauranga City almost extended the lead soon after the break, when a header hit the post and was cleared. The contest continued with the visitors playing the more composed football and Rangers tending to play more individually at times. Midway through the half Tauranga City were a bit lucky, their in-swinging corner bounced off a defender and into the Rangers goal. In the final parts of the game Rangers pressed hard. A great passing move between Hamish Wilde and Ben McPherson (making a welcome return to the club) got them into the penalty area, but the attempt was blocked. Wilde had another shot on target saved too, as the visitors hung on, for a 3 – 1 win.
Juggernauts were deserving of their win, with strong play and by disrupting the Rangers passing game. Elijah Wetting was named player of the day.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women were at home to Te Puke, who had come off a 9 – 0 win the week before. Rangers held out their visitors pretty well for the first half hour, but conceded three late goals to be down 4 – 0 at the break. Katie Mahy had looked the most likely forward to score for Rangers and managed several attempts. Mahy dropped back to play goalie in the second half. The Rangers backline had to work hard with the headwind not helping. Dani Howard and Ranee Whiting stood out in the defensive work, while up front new-to-football Ducatti KathyRose Tipiwai's passing and movement with the ball earned her player of the day. The final score was 6 – 0.
This weekend Plains Rangers men are away to Te Puke, while Rangers women have another home game, the opponent Waiariki from Rotorua.
Us vs Te Puke, 0 - 6
With an overcast day and strong winds, it sure was a challenge on the field to play.
Ladies you played a great game of soccer.
We had shots on goal, we passed the ball around, we sent through balls through.
It was great to watch from the back line.
To our 3 goalies today, you all had a great game.
Back line you all had a tough game, however you all held your own and stopped a lot of balls and plays from Te Puke.
Centre mids you girls were playing everywhere on the field and kept very busy with their central players.
One nice header own goal score today by Dani Howard.
Player of the day goes to a player that is very new to soccer this season and is picking up the game very fast and is showing great improvement very week and it showed in today game with her passing and running with the ball it was great to see, well done Ducatti ( KathyRose Tipiwai).
Well done ladies on today's efforts. See you all at training Wednesday night.