Sport

Panthers maul mountain men

by
April 26, 2017

Jack Ellis (pictured) kicked a game-high eight goals in the Panthers domination of Bright on Saturday.

The Benalla All Blacks are joint top of the dog pile after they thrashed Bright away from home on Saturday.

The game was in the balance after the second quarter, with the Panthers leading by 12.

But strong defence from the Benalla side saw the mountain men held scoreless in the third and only allowed one behind in the final quarter, while the Panthers dominated in the attacking 50, kicking a further 78 points.

The final score read Bright 5.4.34 defeated by Panthers 19.9.123.

It is a marked improvement to the start of a season for the Panthers — last year after round three the side had won a solitary game and sat seventh in the table.

In the rest of that season, the Panthers won just four more matches. They went on to finish the season in 10th out of 12 teams.

Panthers head coach Harry Moran said he believed it was the first time in six or seven years that the club had won its first three games in a row.

‘‘I think it was 2011 the last time it happened (three wins in a row), so six or seven years ago,’’ Moran said.

‘‘I think (the difference) was the number of inside 50s was about 30 to them and 50ish for us.

‘‘For us to keep them to nine scoring shots is a credit to our defence. They were fantastic all day.’’

Saturday’s round four match sees the Panthers welcome King Valley to the Friendlies Oval at 2.15pm.

The away side sit eighth after three relatively close losses to league-leaders Tarrwingee, Goorambat and Saturday’s game against Moyhu was separated by one point.

Moran said he had watched King Valley play Goorambat and believed his new recruits could make a mark on the match.

‘‘We recruited the calibre of blokes we did because they know how to win matches,’’ he said.

‘‘They’ve been there before and know how to clinch a game. Once again though I’ll still go into the game with the same mindset.’’

SCORELINE:

Panthers 4.1, 7.3, 13.5, 19.9 (123)

Bright 0.3, 5.3, 5.3, 5.4 (34)

Best Panthers: J Ellis, R Moran, C O’Connor, J Doidge, M Gallagher, A Rofe.

Bright: N Lebish, D Sholl, N Smith, D Bursill, S Nightingale, D Sgambelloni.

Goals Panthers: J Ellis 8, J Hourigan 3, A Jacka 2, M Gallagher, J Eastwood, R Moran, M Donehue, C Lockhart, C O’Connor 1.

Bright: R Alexander 2, N Lebish, J Dykstra, D Saville 1.

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