Panthers prowling on top of SCAFL ladder

Pambula Panthers defeated Bermagui Breakers 34.24 (228) to  2.2 (14)

The Bega Valley Concreting Pambula Panthers enjoyed perfect conditions for a clash with the Bermagui Breakers on Saturday. 

The Sapphire Coast AFL Panthers were at home to the Breakers at the Pambula Sporting Complex.    

Panthers club president Bryan Hammond said he expected a hard-fought game.  

“Both teams have been travelling along nicely this year, with the Panthers undefeated and the Breakers taking some big scalps along the way,” Hammond said.  

“Unfortunately for the Breakers, they lost some keys players including their playing coach to injury through the week. 

“However, this didn’t stop them turning up with a full team ready to take on the Panthers,” he said.   

After the first bounce, the Breakers came out firing, moving the ball swiftly from the stoppages, pushing forward and applying pressure to the Panthers’ back line. 

“That pressure resulted in the Breakers kicking the opening goal and looking like they were in for a good hit-out,” Hammond said.  

Bermagui continued to push forward and had their opportunities to hit the scoreboard, but the defence of Seamus Cole, Dylan Cook and Kayne Foster held strong, constantly repealing the Breakers’ attack.  

The Panthers started to work their way into the contest later in the quarter and went into the first break with a good lead.  

As the game pushed on, so did the Panthers’ relentless pressure. 

“The mixture of Big Sam, Judda and Pickles running through the middle with Silky ball carrying skills was great to watch,” Hammond said. 

“The delivery into the forwards made it almost impossible for the hard-working Breakers’ back line.” 

Hammond said the Panthers’ forwards in Scott Hawthorn and Tom Hammond were in “scintillating” form.  

“Meanwhile, Alec ‘Rat’ Doyle was in fine form, working hard around the packs and laying great tackles,” he said. 

As the game went on the lead started to blow out. 

Each time the ball went into the Breakers’ forward 50, the hard running of Dave Townsend, Shaun Gleeson  and “Wilko” would prevent the Breakers scoring.  

Ian Smith got best on ground for his excellent work during the game. 

Meanwhile, captain Sean Smith showed he still hasn’t lost it with a great goal kicked deep in the pocket; one of many amazing goals kicked on the day.   

While all this was going on, the wealth of experience in the coaching staff of Ricky Holt, Paul “Feathers” Noak and Simon Pilgrim had the bench running like clockwork. 

Hammond said the coaches were “constantly switching the bench and keeping the boys with fresh legs”, which resulted in no injuries across the game.  

“In the end, the Pambula Panthers’ superior fitness and skill came to the fore, it was another great team effort,” Hammond said. 

“The Panthers remain undefeated at the top of the SCAFL ladder.” 

This week, the Panthers Seniors and under 13s travel to Bega on Friday night. 

Saturday sees the under 16s head to Narooma, and development grade plays the Merimbula Diggers at Berrambool.

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