Brad Porter runs passed Ben Elais along the wing. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times
Brad Porter runs passed Ben Elais along the wing. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times Keagan Elder

Panthers pounce back to snatch spot in grand-final

PANTHERS' first division bounced back after their first loss in almost two years, with a thumping win making way for the grand final at the weekend.

Claws out and with the goal in sight, shots were fired from across the field to sink the controversy shaken Wests 11-0.

In the semi-finals the Wests fielded an ineligible player from the second division, who had not played the required three games to make the finals.

The issue was presented to the Football South Burnett competition administrator and according to the rules Wests should have been disqualified to allow Barambah through.

But Barambah did not follow through and allowed Wests through to the preliminary finals to face the wrath of the Panthers.

Striker Harry Sterling contributed four goals to the Panthers' mountainous score.

Sterling said skipper Kieran Askin ordered the team to play with patience, even after his ninth-minute goal.

"We had 90% possession and the goals soon came flowing through from there," he said.

"It all started from the patience our sweeper had and the perfect delivery of balls from the midfield."

Panthers were able to dominate control of the ball to leave the Wests reeling back into their own half for damage control.

"To be honest Wests didn't play a bad game. We as a team just shut down everything they had," Sterling said.

"We never let them play out of the back so the only option they had was to play a long ball up front.

"So we pretty much didn't let them play. They were under pressure for the whole 90 minutes."

Sterling said there was little to fix-up with the Panthers' performance in the build-up to the grand final against the Wests at the weekend.

Second division

FOR the first time since 2009, the Gunners have secured two places in the grand final after the second division squeezed past the Panthers.

Gunners' assistant coach Debbie Ovens said her team was lucky to escape with a 1-0 win after the Panthers made a dramatic comeback in the second half.

Ovens said a rocket of a shot would have been a sure equaliser if it had not been blocked by Steve Copas.

"We were very lucky there, that would have sent us into extra-time," she said.

"Nanango really came back at us hard. We didn't have the run of the ball like we did in the first half."

Ovens said the Gunners' second division squad would have to further step up its defence against Wests in the grand final at the weekend and be sure to put the ball in the back of the net with every chance.

Women

WESTS' women's team skipper Danielle Maudsley hopes to break the deja vu cycle she has landed in once again.

Wests' 3-2 win over Barambah has locked a spot in the grand final against the Panthers, the third time in as many years.

Maudsley said Wests' winning goal came as a stroke of luck after a Barambah defender knocked the ball into her own goal.

"With the wet ball, it could have happened at either end," she said.

Maudsley said she would implement a similar combination in the grand final against the Panthers.

Results

First division

>>  Panthers v Wests: 11-0

>>  Panthers' goal-scorers: Harry Sterling (9th, 22nd, 61st and 64th min), Kieran Askin (11th, 19th and 66th min), Elliott Mangan (23rd, 26th and 74th min), Thomas Mangan (37th min)

Women's division

>>  Wests v Barambah: 3-2

>>  Wests' goal-scorers: Courtney Thompson (3rd min), Tessa Buzzo (28th min) and Barambah own goal (52nd min)

>>  Barambah's goal-scorers: Kayla England (55th min) and Sarah Kemp (55th min)

Second division

>> Gunners v Panthers: 1-0

>> Gunners' goal-scorer: Josh McCarthy (47th min)  

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