Rangers AFC will have to wait at least another week before getting their hands on the Nelson division one football title after losing to Tahuna in Nelson on Saturday.
The previously-unbeaten Marlborough team turned in what player-coach Tore Waechter described as their “worst game of the season” to go down 3-2 to a side they were well-favoured to overcome.
Sitting seven points clear of their nearest rival heading into yesterday’s game, three points would have seen Rangers declared champions with two rounds remaining. Now they must dispose of Nelson College next week, also in Nelson, if they are to wrap up the title prematurely.
Saturday’s game began positively for Rangers. In control early they scored after 15 minutes through Tana Connor-McClean following a superb cross from Liam Sluiter and appeared in control.
However, the home side, who employed a long-ball tactic to their big striker, were on level terms at halftime.
A few changes at the break saw Rangers come out and play their best football of the match, a period of dominance they were unable to turn into goals.
The next goal was scored by Tahuna, who capitalised on a defensive error, then they added their third soon after with a powerful header.
Rangers’ player-of-the-day Liam Sluiter scored with 10 minutes to go, offering hope of salvaging a draw and maintaining a winning roll, but although they hammered away they were unable to equalise.
Waechter said he felt his side, apart from Sluiter, were “not really up for it” and described the result as “a good learning curve”.
Meanwhile, the Liquid Action BV Bullets women’s side served up a veritable feast of goals at Little Wembley, in Nelson, on Saturday.
BV applied sustained pressure from the kick-off as they registered an 11-0 victory. Erin Mustey scored at the three-minute mark, in a high lob that bounced over the keeper’s reach. Leonie Marshall followed suit exactly two minutes later which set the tone for the first half, with a further six goals before the half-time whistle – two to Tiana Williams, two to Tessa Hyland, and one apiece to Destiny Aires and Lucy Martin.
In the second half BV maintained dominance and secured a further three goals – one for Riley Preece and another two for the prolific Williams.
The midfield was dominant in possession, creating multiple opportunities for the forwards. The backline was resolutely solid, leaving few attacking opportunities for Nelson College.
Coach Ian Thomas recognised “strong games from Eliza Bickerton, Alicia McLeod and Destiny Aires, plus player of the day Hannah Martin.”
With two games remaining in their season, BV are in contention to take second in the division and are still looking to top the scoring charts, with an impressive cumulative tally of 74 goals from 13 games.