A GOALLESS game highlighted more strengths than weaknesses for the Gunners and Panthers second division squads.

Both teams fielded solid backlines in the final points fixture as a test for the semi-finals coming up at the weekend.

Panthers keeper Trevor Adams was kept on his toes, but kept a clean sheet with some top-shelf saves.

Adams admitted luck played a major element.

"There were some good saves, but very scrappy," he said. "I would have liked them to be crisp."

With a handful of goalkeeping experiences under his belt, Adams felt sucked into the pressure of the tightly poised game.

"(Under pressure) your brain and hands don't co-operate with each other," he said.

Arms and legs flailed to knock the ball in any direction other than the goal, sometimes receiving assistance from the uprights or crossbar.

But Adams, who doubles as a midfielder for the first division Panthers squad, puts aside little training in the gloves.

"I don't even play keeper in training," he said.

"But I quite enjoy (keeping). I find it's a position where you get no action and then a whole lot.

"You get a bit of an adrenaline rush."

Under the pressure of shots fired from all directions, Adams' natural instincts solidified the Panthers' solid backline.

"We're definitely strong in the back but unfortunately not in the front," he said.

Just as competitive in the back third stand the Gunners, with Ryan Kelly returning to his preferred position.

"I have been playing in the midfield lately," he said.

"But I would rather play in the backline than the midfield."

Kelly put his body on the line to keep his goal-front clear and ultimately assisted the 0-0 draw against the Panthers.

But strength in the backline has done little to assist with the Gunners' chase of the minor championship.

"We just failed to put the ball in the back of the net," Kelly said.

"We've struggled all year to find the back of the net."

Gunners second division coach Bailey Raines said his team really needed to gets its "final third into full flight" in time for the semi-finals.

He said there were too many missed opportunities in the season, so they would focus on attack in the finals.

Barambah loses battle but war continues

IT WAS a nightmare finish to Barambah's points fixtures at the weekend, marred by injury and a double-barrel loss.

Senior player Connolly would probably like to erase the memories of the weekend after he was left battered and bruised with a dislocated shoulder.

Fatigued after his run in the second division clash against the Wests to fall 4-0, Connolly opted to switch to goalkeeper to catch his breath in the final third of the game.

"The first save I made I dislocated my shoulder. I spent the night in hospital," he said.

But 3-0 down and unable to play without any substitutes, Connolly had no option but to fly the white flag and admit defeat.

"Hopefully we can come back next week a bit more competitive," Connolly said.

"Overall I think we played well as a team and passed well. We were putting some together and were countering pretty well."

Connolly said he would focus his efforts on the second division squad in the finals, believing they had more of a competitive chance.

With only one win in the first division competition, Connolly would hope to attract more players next season.

Wests' manager Rob Thurman was rapt to witness his second division squad wrap up the minor premiership in style.

"Jay Buzzo scored three and assisted with the first goal," he said.

Thurman pointed to the youth behind his side as the key to its success in this year's competition.

"The seconds have only lost one game," Thurman said.

"Last year we had a fairly young team and now those players have stepped up across both divisions.

"We've got three or four older blokes.

"The rest are all under 20, with most under 18."

South Burnett football results

First division

>> Wests beat Barambah 3-0

>> Panthers beat Gunners 4-0

Women's division

>> Wests drew with Barambah 1-1

>> Panthers beat Gunnettes 4-0

Second division

>> Wests beat Barambah 4-0

>> Panthers drew with Gunners 0-0


>> The senior semi-finals will be held at the Nanango rugby league fields on Sunday, August 23, from 9am.  

South Burnett

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