FEW people would have expected Nanango Panthers to lose on Saturday, but Wests were determined to play the game differently.

The Panthers were the hot favourites to win the women's grand final, winning the last three seasons in a row and knocking up an impressive undefeated streak throughout the 2015 season.

But a sneaky goal in the second half by Wests' Tammy Rose was all that was needed to do the unthinkable and secure a victory against the impressive Panthers.

Wests coach Trevor Litzow said the victory against the hot favourites was far from a fluke, and the girls had paid attention to what went wrong in their earlier losses to the Panthers.

"They (the Panthers) have been the number one team, and deservedly so," Litzow said.

"But we were quietly confident we were getting closer and closer each time."

A focus on defence and exploiting what little weakness they could find turned things around.

"Because it's such an attacking side, we felt we had a good opportunity to attack their fullbacks," he said.

"We had two or three attackers coming up and we took advantage."

The one goal was all they needed to stay on top, and Wests kept a tight defensive formation.

Panthers coach Alan Downie said he was "still in shock" at the loss.

"They worked out where we play from - we play from the midfield - and I lost one of my key midfield players about 10 minutes into the game," Downie said.

"And they shut us down. Every move we made, they were right on it."

He also pointed to Wests' keeper as a particular challenge, saying "she was on her game".

The Panthers took out the Division 1 final again. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times
The Panthers took out the Division 1 final again. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times Barclay White

First division

IT WAS all over in 30 seconds.

Despite the evenly matched teams facing off and keeping each other on their toes into extra time, a rapid two-goal attack quickly secured a Panthers victory.

Neither team could get the upper hand in the 90 minutes, and for the first eight minutes of extra time, it looked like it could lead to a penalty shootout.

At just over eight minutes, Panthers co-captain Kieran Mangan scored the first goal of the game, and before the cheering had died down, Harry Sterling had scored another.

Panthers co-captain Kieran Askin said the teams were quite evenly matched.

"It was a close game. I don't think either team dominated too much," Askin said.

"Until that last bit, their defensive line was pretty hard to break down."

The Panthers were ecstatic in their surprise victory right before the final siren, especially considering the Gunners beat them in the semi-final just a fortnight before.

Gunners keeper Pete Collins believed it would have been very different if they hung on for just the extra minute to get to a penalty shootout.

"I thought we would have won in a shootout. The favourites always muck up," Collins said.

"But we just couldn't quite hang on. They are a good team."

He remained upbeat despite the disappointment of the loss and looked to the difference in his team since a year ago.

"We were fourth last year, so this is a pretty decent improvement," he said.

"We had quite a few high school kids on our team, so they were a year older, and that makes a big difference.

"Last year they were very young and a bit timid."

Second division

AFTER two hours, the two Kingaroy teams, Wests and Gunners, could not be separated in the second-division grand-final.

The top two teams shared the play on the pitch to emerge goalless after extra-time, forcing a penalty shootout.

Wests' manager Rob Thurman said the atmosphere was at fever pitch.

"I think we probably dominated in the first half. Then they (the Gunners) dominated in the second," he said.

"There were a few chances, but it was mostly a battle in the midfield."

Chances came and went, but at the sound of the referee's three sharp shrills at the whistle, the penalty spot beckoned.

Gunners' skipper Jordane Saunders dreaded the pressure of the spot kick settler.

"We all thought the penalty shootout wasn't the best way to finish the game. We all wanted to run it out," he said.

Wests emerged victors with a 5-4 end result to lock in its third piece of silverware alongside the President's Cup and minor premiership.


First division

>> Panthers beat Gunners 2-0.  

>> Panthers' goal-scorers: Kieran Mangan (109th min) and Harry Sterling (110th min).  

Women's division

>> Wests beat Panthers 1-0.  

>> Wests' goal-scorer: Tammy Rose (49th min).  

Second division

>> Wests beat Gunners 5-4 in a penalty shootout after the scores were tied 0-0 after full-time and extra-time.  

Junior semi-finals

>> 12/13 age King Air Redbacks v Country Video Library Panthers at 6pm tonight and Kingaroy Accounting & Tax Redbacks v Telstra Store Redbacks at 7.30pm.   

>> Cadet Barambah Painting Contractor Bears v Kingaroy Joinery Redbacks at 6pm Thursday night and South Burnett Car Sales & Window Tinting Redbacks v Flemings Garage Panthers at 7.30pm.  

South Burnett

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