Mackay Rangers player Stu Watkins.
Mackay Rangers player Stu Watkins. Aidan Cureton

Rangers shake-up the Mackay Premier League ladder

FOOTBALL: The ladder rankings of the Mackay Premier League competition have undergone notable reconstruction after competition favourites Lions and Wanderers both suffered strong defeats.

Both teams were undefeated but let their streak end at the hands of competition tail riders, Rangers and Magpies.

Last Saturday, Rangers dismantled an ambitious young Lions squad with a 7-2 win, which bumped them up to third place.

Now Rangers sit just one point behind the two leading teams and have found new confidence in their competition standing.

Coach Andrew Susani said the high score came as a surprise to him but proved his men could mix it with the heavy-hitters.

"We've never won by that margin over Lions," he said.

"We have pretty good depth this year and everyone has been really committed in training."

 

Rangers opened the scoring, but Lions were quick to equalise the score.

Two goals were slipped in by Susani's men in the final minutes of the first half which put Rangers well in control.

"We went into the half-time break and I said they're fit, fast and keen, but we just need to play the way we do and that eagerness will burn them out," Susani said.

"We managed to do that and in the end were able to score three goals in 10 minutes, which really killed it."

Golden boy for the Rangers was striker Daniel Wheatley who took a four-goal haul.

Wheatley claimed the team's top goal-scorer title, surpassing former leader Shaun Leddick-Stewart by one point.

The Rangers coach dubbed Wheatley a "makeshift striker", based around how well he adapted in the change from defence to offence.

"He's a really good reader of the game and he's clever," Susani said.

"He's a big, strong player, but he has developed a certain elegance in his game.

"Last game he was versatile. He scored outside the box, got two headers and a scored a goal inside the box."

Leddick-Stewart and Ryan Evetts were commended for their strength on the flanks and Stuart Watkins was once again commended for his skill in the midfield.

Rangers now prepare for their second FFA Cup game against the Magpies Crusaders on Thursday.



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