Rangers AFC climb to top of the table

Ben Burridge, left, from the Rangers Clubs of Marlborough side and Novus Picton defender Jasper Hopkins contest possession at Athletic Park on Sunday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Rangers AFC maintained their unbeaten run in Marlborough division one football and went top of the table on their own, downing Blenheim Valley Marlborough Boys’ College 6-1 at A and P Park on Saturday.

The impressive Rangers outfit began the game brightly, scoring early through the prolific Adam Rose. They doubled their advantage soon after when Harry Morel finished off a superb team build-up.

MBC, stung by the early strikes, settled into their work but were unable to prevent Sam Pearson making it 3-0 at the halftime break.

Despite play being tighter in the second 45 minutes, Rangers still appeared the more dangerous side and second goals Rose and Pearson, plus one to Sam Patterson, proved it.

Rangers coach John Denmark said, “Although Rangers were not at their best, I was more than happy with victory. Full credit to MBC who battled right to the final whistle”.

His rival coach, Gareth Pugh said it was a good exhibition of passing football.

“MBC turned in a better second half performance but a lack of concentration and defensive lapses were punished quickly by Rangers.

“We grabbed a consolation goal through an excellent Jonty Pinkerton free kick from 30 metres which curled into the top corner.”

Patrick Moran was the best player for MBC with Jacob Babb having his strongest game to date.

In the other division one match on Saturday, BV Cobras accounted for Central Wolves 2-1.

Wolves scored first through Richie Marsden after a goalmouth scramble to take a 1-0 lead into halftime, however early in the second half Wolves brought down centre forward Cam Lang in the box and gave up a penalty that was scored by Lincoln Elsworth.

Elsworth was active in setting up a lot of opportunities and took a few heavy hits for his efforts before centre mid Jack Procter managed to grab Cobras second.

The last 20 minutes saw play see-saw as Wolves pushed for an equaliser, however Cobras held on.

Cobras players Hamish Westwater, Jackson Simmons and Elsworth made strong contributions in the second half while Gregg Slatter and Aaron Vercoe were prominent throughout for Wolves.

Standings: Rangers AFC 6, BV Cobras 4, Central Pirates 3, Central Wolves 3, BV MBC 1.


Women’s football

The Blenheim Valley Bullets lost 3-0 to Richmond Foxes in their Nelson women’s division one match at A and P Park on Saturday.

Spectators were treated to a highly-competitive, physical game which began with an early goal to the Foxes, an own goal off the head of a Bullets defender.

The remainder of the half was tightly-fought and, despite a string of attacks at either end, the score remained 1-0 at half time.

The second half was equally competitive, the second goal coming when Charlotte Ferguson chipped over BV keeper, Maggie Lane’s head.

A final, somewhat contentious, goal came from Richmond’s Jess Watts, with the local players called for an offside flag.

BV coaches Ian Thomas and Alan Elvy commended the side’s fighting spirit and growing confidence as a team.

Top performances came from Hannah Martin on defence, Luci Marra and Beth Gray. Player of the day for BV went to midfielder Lauren Sloan for her outstanding work rate.

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