Rangers inspired after England trip
Southampton Rangers returned on Monday from a ten-day visit to England where, while not playing any matches, they managed to watch the third and fourth one-day internationals between England and Australia.
They also visited Old Trafford to watch Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-1 at the weekend.
It was a good team-bonding tour, said coach Ricky Brangman, as the new Premier Division champions return to training this week in preparation for their Twenty20 final with Bailey's Bay on Sunday at Sea Breeze Oval.
The 12 members of the Rangers group were stationed in Manchester and watched England come from 2-0 down to win the third ODI at Emirates Old Trafford by 93 runs and the fourth at Headingley Carnegie by three wickets to level the series. They also watched a couple of women's games, Manchester City against Swansea and then Liverpool.
“They always say you don't get to know somebody until you go away with them,” Brangman said. “We spent a lot of time with one another and did a lot of things together; it was really nice. I really enjoyed myself and I know the rest of the fellas did.”
Despite being an Arsenal supporter, Brangman enjoyed the visit to Old Trafford, where United continued a fine start to the domestic season.
“In the Rangers team we have a lot of Liverpool and Manchester United fans, so they enjoyed it,” Brangman said. “I was the outcast because I'm Arsenal. They played Stoke on the Saturday [in London], but that was too far away for me.”
Two of the Rangers players missing the trip were Kwame Tucker and Hasan Durham, who played for Cleveland in the Champion of Champions final, while some of the youngsters such as Alex Dore and Sheldon Caesar are now in college.
“It would have been nice for those youngsters to be there,” Brangman said. “It's nothing better than being out there and seeing cricket live; it was amazing. It was good cricket and we met a lot of people at the grounds.
“Australia stayed in the hotel a couple of blocks from us and we saw them once, walking into the hotel. When England came back 2-2, they [Australia] buckled right down [to win the series 3-2].
“Glenn Maxwell of Australia was really good, fielding and batting; he's a winner. I really wanted to see Steve Smith get a hundred, but what I saw from him was good.”
Brangman added: “Overall the trip was good. We had a good time together, are back to training and should be ready for Sunday against Bailey's Bay in the T20 final.”
The First Division T20 final between Devonshire Recreation Club and Western Stars will start at 11am at Sea Breeze Oval, followed by Rangers and Bay at 3pm.