Plains Rangers FC

8 & 9 June 2024
Waipuna Rangers 5, Rangers men 3
Papamoa Legends 3, Rangers women 0

Plains Rangers men had a dramatic and highly entertaining game away to league leaders Waipuna Rangers on Saturday. The game doubled as both a league fixture and a Miller Cup game, so there was plenty at stake, as well as the memory of Waipuna winning 6 – 0 in the pair's first meeting of the season (a grading game).
The game opened in spectacular fashion. Plains Rangers progressed forward from the kick-off, and the home team put the ball out. Anaaru Awhimate threw the ball in to Rangers midfielder Elias Thomas who rolled the ball past two defenders and launched a thunderous left footed drive from 20m that sailed into the top corner! The time played… 58 seconds. However, Waipuna are a talented team and they bounced back very quickly. Pressure on the Rangers defence saw a clearance smack into an attacker's arm and then kicked into the goal. Rangers all appealed vociferously for a free kick, but the goal was given. After two minutes, the score was 1 – 1!
A hard-fought attacking contest ensued. After seventeen minutes, a Rangers attack drew the Waipuna keeper out of his goal but Rangers gained possession. Anaaru Awhimate sent the ball in to striker Jesse Meadows who volleyed it over the defenders into the net. Waipuna pressed hard for another equaliser and on the half hour they broke away from a Rangers attacking corner, using speed to race through the defence and score. At half time the game was finely balanced at 2 – 2.
The second half started similarly to the first. After just two minutes, Thomas robbed the Waipuna keeper of the ball and rolled it into the goal. Only a minute later, Rangers lost the ball in the midfield and Waipuna capitalised to even the game up yet again. Five minutes later, the home team got their noses in front for the first time, scoring after a spell of pressure. There was plenty of endeavour from both teams and referee Grant Webber did well to keep both sets of players from letting their emotions run away with them. Midway through the half, Waipuna forced keeper Christian Wetting into an excellent save but were able to score from the rebound. The final score was Waipuna Rangers 5, Plains Rangers 3.
While Plains Rangers were disappointed not to have grabbed the result, their effort had been one of real quality and grit and they had pushed Waipuna to the limits. Player of the day for Rangers was Elias Thomas, with Hamish Wilde, Jesse Meadows and Teimana Awhimate also impressive. This Saturday Rangers men are at home to the well-performed Papamoa United team. Kick-off at Edgecumbe is at 2.30pm.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women travelled to play Papamoa Legends in rather cool conditions.
Rangers passed the ball around well for the first part of the game, holding the Papamoa team out and marking well. Midway through the half though, ex-Whakatane player Monique Lowry broke through to open the scoring. She also scored just before half time to have her team 2 – 0 up at the break.
Rangers started out the second half with fire in their bellies and played strongly, matching their higher ranked opposition. Midway through the spell, Lowry completed her hat-trick to make the final score 3 – 0 to the home team.
Lauren Powell earned player of the day for producing some mongrel in her play and making a good showing in a couple of different positions. Others to shine included defender Samantha Stewart; Megan Wait, who was strong in the centre midfield and Sarah Sheaff who coped well with a tough game on the wing.
This Sunday, Rangers women are at home to Te Puke United. The game is at 12.30 pm at the Edgecumbe Domain.

Ranee's report:
Us vs Papamoa Legends, 0 - 3

Not the warmest day to play soccer today.
In the first half with the first 10 minutes it was great to watch the passing game happening and moving the game up and down the field, then we kinda turned into a kicking game.
We held them out well and marked well.
The second half you all went out there with fire in your belly and played that first 10 minutes again like the first half.
Was a very well matched game to watch, showed that we are a team to watch out for.
Samantha great game in the back line.
Megan nice game in the centre miss.
Sarah S you had a tough game on the wing but you didn't let it get you down.
Player of the day goes to Lauren, we had you playing in a couple of positions and you played great in them and showed lots of mongrel on the field.
Great game today ladies.
See you all at training Wednesday night.

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