RIVALS: Gunners won the first clash this season played in Kingaroy.
RIVALS: Gunners won the first clash this season played in Kingaroy. Callum Dick

Gunners, Panthers in heated duel

Football: Saturday's top of the table clash between rivals Gunners and Panthers proved an even more heated contest than most would have envisioned.

With a quarter of an hour still to play, the match was abandoned after tensions boiled over following a controversial goal to the Gunners.

Earlier, hosts Nanango had moved ahead and looked in control of the contest before the Gunners pegged one back with what proved to be the final kick of the game.

Panthers coach Lauren Mangan was disappointed in how the match ended, and felt her side deserved to take maximum points following what she described as a "pretty dominant” display.

Result aside, the end to Saturday's clash makes for an intriguing narrative heading into this weekend's annual President's Cup clash.

The President's Cup round is contested by the top two sides from each division to this point of the season, which means Panthers and Gunners will renew hostilities again on Saturday.

Of their two matches this season, Gunners hold the advantage with an earlier win in Kingaroy to go with Saturday's draw.

But Mangan believes her side has what it takes to turn the tables on the Gunners on Saturday.

"If you look back over the six seasons (we've been in the competition) we've lost four games, and the one against Gunners last time was quite unexpected,” Mangan said.

"I'm confident if we're playing our brand of football we'll win.”

The 2017 version of the Panthers is very different from the side that hoisted the first division trophy last season, with just four players carrying over from 2016.

"For six years we've had a strong nucleus, but with players moving on we have a very new squad this year,” Mangan said.

"Be it players new to town or coming up from second division or cadets, we always expected this season to be more difficult than other seasons.”

Mangan has been impressed with the efforts of winger Liam Greenaway and striker Dimas Bakini.

"Liam just came up from cadets and each game he gets strong and stronger, he was outsanding against Gunners,” Mangan said.

"Dimas is new to town and has played high level football in many places, he's been a handy recruit.”

President's Cup times are still TBA.

South Burnett

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