Rangers AFC and Central Pirates will meet in the final of the 2019 Knockout Cup competition.
The finalists made their way to the decider in contrasting fashions, Rangers battling hard to overcome Blenheim Valley MBC 3-1 at A and P Park on Saturday, while Pirates romped past Rangers Masters 11-0 in the other semi at the same venue.
Rangers AFC scored first through Adam Rose in the 38th minute from a well-directed corner to take a 1-0 lead onto the break. However MBC showed their usual grit to get back into the game after 60 minutes, their leading scorer Shinji Mikame equalizing from a free kick.
Rangers bagged a second in the 84th minute, again through the efforts of the prolific Rose, who slotted home after a rebound from the post.
MBC pushed hard, seeking an equalizing strike in the dying minutes, but were caught on the break, Rose completing his hat-trick in the 90th minute.
In the other cup semifinal, third division side Rangers Masters found themselves up against first division rivals Central Pirates, due to Masters’ previous opposition, Call Care Trojans, playing an ineligible player in the semis and being ruled out of the next round.
In Saturday’s semi, Pirates opened the scoring in the ninth minute through a penalty from Chris Turkington.
Rangers did well to hold Pirates to 1-0 until the 32nd minute when Sam Boyce doubled their lead, quickly followed up by a third through James Coughlan in the 33rd minute.
Three more goals followed, a second strike from all the first three scorers pushing Pirates to a 6-0 half time lead.
The second half was much the same with the division one side popping in another five goals through Chris Turkington, two goals taking his tally to four, James Coughlan, who completed a hat-trick, Jordy Columbus and Matt Goldsworthy.
In the Knockout Shield semis BV Masters beat Novus Picton 3-0 while Rangers Clubs of Marlborough downed Redwood Masters 6-1.
In the Knockout Bowl semis Central Wolves beat Cobras 3-2 on Saturday, but then saw the result reversed on Monday when Wolves were found to have fielded an ineligible player. Cobras now progress to the final where they will meet Trojans who downed Picton Crow Tavern Masters 6-1.
The finals will be played next weekend.
The Blenheim Valley Bullets were beaten 5-1 in the semi-finals of the women’s First Division Cup competition at Saxton Fields on Saturday.
Richmond Foxes were first to score but Bullets bounced back and equalised from a well-struck penalty by Lucy Martin in the 22nd minute. However, the home side hit back immediately and led 2-1 at the break.
In the second half, the determined Foxes scored a further three goals with the final score perhaps flattering to the home side.
Maryann Cant scored four of the five Foxes’ goals and proved a handful on attack. Standout players for BV were keeper Maggie Lane, Ruby Wybourne and Lucy Martin up front, plus Ruby Smith for her high work rate and creativity in midfield. Player of the day went to centre back Erin Mustey.