On Thursday 19th February BISP Academicals (a team comprising BISP teachers, parents and members of the BISP community) played a friendly 11 a-side football match against ORSA (Oceania Ranger’s Supporters Association which incorporates all the Rangers Supporters Clubs from Asia and Australia, with recent additions being Dubai and Bahrain,) who were in Phuket for their annual general meeting (AGM).

ORSA brought their own referee and linesmen. In charge of the game was Bobby Tait who was a top referee in his day and even ran the line in a game with Maradonna!

In the Ranger’s team were two ex-professionals: John “Bomber” Brown who played for Hamilton, Dundee and Rangers, was manager at Clyde and Dundee, and played in many Champions league games for Rangers.

Also playing was the Italian, Marco Negri, who, during his professional career, played for Cosenza, Perugia, Rangers, Vicenza, Bologna, Cagliari and Livorno. He scored 5 goals in his first appearance for Rangers, and an average of 1.07 goals per game.

It was therefore no surprise when Marco Negri scored the first goal halfway through the first half after an entertaining first 20 minutes. He calmly stroked the ball past a mesmerised David McIntyre after being put through with a lovely pass from a teammate.

BISP Academicals were still in the game at halftime and the score remained 1-0 to ORSA.

After teh break, BISP were exerting good pressure on the ORSA defence and had several chances to draw level. Midway through the second half BISP academicals did equalise with a fine goal from Mark Lightfoot who was released with a clever through-ball and beat the keeper calmly with a low shot.

Almost immediately ORSA restored their lead courtesy of an own goal from Academicals defender Tladi Small who could not prevent a cross from ricocheting off his knee and past a motionless McIntyre into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Minutes later ORSA were 2 goals in front after a run and low cross found one of their players unmarked. He tapped in to make the score 3-1.

An exciting finish was guaranteed when Sam Frith scored an excellent goal with about 5 minutes remaining and, despite exerting strong pressure and winning a succession of corners, BISP were unable to equalise and the match ended in a 3-2 victory for ORSA.

The game was played in a very friendly atmosphere and there were handshakes and pictures at the end while the players recovered from their exertions.

Many thanks go to Mr. Craig Douglas, a parent at BISP, who organised the ORSA AGM and liaised with the school regarding the football match and the football coaching sessions run by the ex-Rangers players which took place for BISP primary children in the early afternoon.

For more information, contact Chris Greene: [email protected]