Plains Rangers FC

4 & 5 May 2024
Te Puke United 2, Rangers men 3
Otumoetai 1, Rangers women 1

Plains Rangers men were away to Te Puke in the latest round of BOP division two grading games on Saturday. Rangers were without injured captain James Hart, but they turned on a fine first half performance. Rangers passed the ball around well and soon opened up gaps. After fifteen minutes, centre back Sam McPherson sent in a great cross from out wide. Striker Earle Tuhimata got behind his defender and controlled it for a calm finish. Four minutes later Jesse Meadows almost increased the score, sending a good volley narrowly wide of the goal. Midway through the half Ben McPherson scored Rangers' second after good build-up play involving Hamish Wilde, Elias Thomas and Tuhimata. On the half hour Tuhimata extended the lead with a curling shot from out wide on the right. Two minutes before halftime Ben McPherson robbed the Te Puke keeper but hit the post with his shot. Rangers were looking very comfortable with a 3 – 0 lead at half time.
Earle Tuhimata's departure for work at the break caused a reshuffle in the team and Rangers struggled to rediscover the good linking play from the first half. After ten minutes Christian Wetting had to make a good save, after an error in defence. Midway through the half, a Te Puke attacker was tripped in the box and a penalty was duly awarded and converted to give the home team some hope. Ten minutes later some good passing opened up the Rangers defence again and the home team scored. Rangers were determined to see the game out and they played sensible football for the final minutes to keep their narrow lead intact. The final score: Te Puke 2, Plains Rangers 3.
Rangers were pleased with the win, but disappointed to let their standards drop in the second half. Shane Baillie earned player of the day with a great performance on the right flank. Earle Tuhimata was also in top form. This Saturday Rangers men play their final grading game, at home to Papamoa Rovers. Kick-off at the Edgecumbe Domain is at 2.30pm.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women travelled to Otumoetai for their Bay Women's League game. Fergusson Park was sunny and calm, great conditions for football. Rangers women were determined to give a good showing and put together lots of good passing moves, using triangle connections very well. Rangers had quite a few shots on goal, without luck. Keeper Katie Mahy did have to make one absolutely brilliant save to keep the home team out, however. At half time the game was locked up at 0 – 0.
Rangers rearranged their formation at half time but kept up the good passing. A more physical contest developed and Otumoetai finally opened the scoring after an hour. However, Rangers kept up their good work and with ten minutes to play Sarah Sheaff scored a deserved equaliser. The final score: Otumoetai 1, Plains Rangers 1.
The team would be happy with their good play earning a point in a tight game. Dee Haldane was player of the day for Rangers. She had a massive game in the centre midfield – passing well, going on runs and having shots at goal.
This Sunday Rangers women are at home to Wahine Toa from Te Puke. Their start time is 12.30pm

Ranee's report:
Us vs Otumoetai, 1-1
Nice sunny calm day at Fergusson Park today for a game of football.
The ladies went into the game with a great attitude and a win on their minds. Lots of shoulder to shoulder action. Some great triangle passing and just passing in general. Plenty of shots on goal, just unlucky on finding the net. Was a good first half played by all, backing each other up names to balls and taking runs with the ball. An absolutely brilliant save by Katie in the first half. Nil all at half time.
Come the second half it was a bit of a different game a different layout on the field, we still had the passing happening, lots of heads to the balls. It was a more physical game in the second half. Otumoetai came away with the first goal. However the Rangers held on strong and kept fighting and in the last minutes with great passing and foot work and Sarah S found the back of the net, well done Sarah.
Player of the day is Dee, you had a massive game in the centre mids and did some great game work with looking for passes and taking the ball for runs and having shots on goal.
Nice work out there today ladies, keeping your heads up and playing nice game of football.

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