Mon, Apr 15, 2024 11:32 AM

Football kicks off


Peter Jones

Marlborough’s senior football season got off to a successful, albeit soggy, start around the region on Saturday.

Despite heavy rain in the preceding days, games went ahead, a glut of goals marking opening day.

Beginning their 2024 Nelson division one title challenge, Rangers AFC fought out a thrilling 2-2 draw with the highly-rated Suburbs Reserves side at A&P Park.

The home side began their season with Luc Sherwood in goal; Tore Waechter, Callum McDonald and Boyd Elvy at the back; Sam Hickmott, Scott Belsham and Bjorn Waechter in midfield; Jack Morris and Kane Elvy on the wings, with Jono Masters and Keagan Mortimer up front.

They made a blazing start, creating plenty of early chances, but were caught on the counterattack after half an hour. Seven minutes later they fell two goals behind after a defensive misunderstanding, but the home side recovered their poise to claw one back in the 40th minute, Mortimer being fouled in the box and Tore Waechter stepping up to score from the penalty spot.

An injury to Sherwood, resulting from a brave save, saw him replaced in goal by Boyd Elvy before Rangers went into the sheds at halftime with plenty to think about.

The second spell was an intense end-to-end tussle, Rangers finally rewarded for their dominance when Tore Waechter pounced in the second minute of stoppage time to grab the equaliser.

Manager Wolfie Waechter described it as “a very good game in challenging conditions”.

“Both teams played to a really high standard. Given the number of chances we created we probably should have won,” he said, “but after being two goals down we will certainly settle for a point.”

The Marlborough division one and two competitions also kicked off on Saturday, with two games in the former and four in the latter.

In division one Trojans and Central Buccaneers underlined their pedigree with big wins. Trojans trounced Central Wolves 8-0, Matt Weaver and Nathan Mathieson bagging braces, while Buccaneers beat BV Los Cafeteros 8-2.

In division two, Rangers City downed Trojans Spartans 5-2, Picton Crow Tavern thumped Trojans Strikers 11-0, Isaac Rawlings-Briggs claiming a hat-trick, BV Masters edged past Rangers Masters 6-5, with four goals to Ben Clarke, while Central Privateers and Trojans Reds drew 2-2.

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