Rangers Close, but no Cigar.
Northern Rangers travelled to KGV for the Victory Cup Final with South Hobart, the rank underdogs, but full of resolve.
A much improved year results wise for the club, culminated in this game, and it was a farewell to several retiring players, Todd Hingston, Ryan McCarragher are both hanging up the boots, at least for a time, Shane Brassington is returning to the UK, and Marshall Pooley is expected to see out his days with the clubs lower leagues, while Mike McKenna has decided to call it a day on his playing career.
These are big outs for the club, but there is a fantastic bunch of young players including Yitay Towns, Harry Thannhauser, Aidan Rigby, Tenzing Anderson, Nick and Patt Lanua-Atkinson all seasoned state league players ready to take leading roles in the club, and combined with some big signings to be announced over the off season, Rangers are in good hands, in fact the time couldn’t be better for some of our finest players to be moving on when you consider our young player stocks both currently in the state league and ready to be unleashed.
So a fairy tale ending awaited the boys, and they played like they wanted it.
Lunnon had formed the boys well, and had South Hobart on the back foot in the first half and Rangers applied relentless pressure.
Rangers had the better of the chances, the best from Adam Edwards who hit his shot at the top corner, but failed to get the presence on the kick and Pearce dealt with it.
In the second half Rangers looked to come out more defensive for some reason, but managed to open the scoring after a clear hand ball in the box was somehow seen by all and sundry including the commentators in Row M, but missed by both officials, they did however pick the resulting corner.
Brassington sent it in and when Pearce missed judged it, Thannhauser was on hand to head it home and send Rangers ahead.
Rangers held the lead for 20 minutes, but had pulled right back into their shell, leaving Edwards isolated up front alone to try and do the work of 2-3 men when the belief of the first half should have been built upon.
Lunnon changed things up in search of more spark and Towns nearly provided it to almost put Rangers 2-0 up, his shot was majestically turned away by Pearce and South survived.
Then South Hobart broke the defences in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Three goals broke the spirit of the Rangers and delivered the third piece of silverware to the champion club.
Jayden Hay and Andy Brennan slotted in the 70th and 75th minutes before Pooley let one slip through his hands and South had tied the result up.
Rangers were close, and to be fair good enough, but couldn’t hold it together for 90 minutes, where South Hobart did, congratulations to them, clearly the best team by a mile, but congratulations to Tim Lunnun and Dane Hudson on pulling together a great year, and the players for applying themselves through a long year, full of adversity and challenge.
To Shane Brassington, thanks for all of your efforts over the last two years, from attention to our young players to scoring goals, it’s been an honour and pleasure to have you in our club for the last two years. Be sure to go home and spread the gospel of Rangerland!
To Todd Hingston, a true champion of our club, will go down with the greats of all time, you helped deliver our club 3 premierships and much respect, your efforts will not be forgotten and it has also been a pleasure to have you in the club, a player that leaves the club in a better place than when he found it, serving a club on and off the park, your shoe will be one of the toughest we have ever had to fill.
To Ryan McCarragher, thanks for taking to the challenge of State League Football, for serving a club that you owed nothing, and for giving your all for the adopted badge, we have a saying for all who leave our club on good terms and with great respect, and this is extended to all three chaps, ONCE A RANGER ALWAYS A RANGER!
That wraps it up now for the off season, the committee and coaching staff will get no break, we have some big plans in place over the next 5 months, preseason training will re commence on the first Monday of November @ Churchill park, as Rangers go searching for Victory League Glory in 2015!
Images thanks to Vicki Morten & Walter Pless.