Panthers pounce in Cup
CELEBRATIONS will be long lived for the boys from Pottsville who showed no mercy during their 7-2 slaughter of Richmond Rovers in the Anzac Cup grand final at Oakes Oval on Saturday.
Determined to etch their place in history as the first Pottsville outfit to claim the coveted trophy, the Panthers displayed their devastating best and there was little an out-classed Rovers outfit could do halt the onslaught.
“We wanted that Cup and it was a great feeling to finally lift it,” Panthers captain-coach David Lonie said yesterday.
“It was the first game we had said 'let's step it up' and we did.
“I was really proud of all the boys.
“We've got a good idea of where we're sitting for the season and we're looking forward to continuing our success in first division.”
The Panthers entered the game as firm favourites having obliterated all opposition en route to the historical grand final berth, but big stage nerves got the better of them and it was Rovers who opened the scoring just 10 minutes in.
“It turns out their first goal was exactly what the boys needed,” Lonie said. “It shook them up and really got them firing.”
Rovers' brief stint in front came to a close just five minutes later when a lazy tackle earned a penalty and invited prolific striker Josh Boag to open his account.
With nerves settled, Pottsville began a relentless attack on the Rovers' goal mouth and it didn't take long for cracks to appear in an underdone Richmond defence.
Denied twice from inside the area, Boag eventually opted to have a crack from 20 yards out and struck it sweetly to leave the keeper no chance of denying him a game-changing double.
A free kick on the edge of the area soon made it 3-1 as man of the match Lonie blasted the ball deep into the back of the net.
Jordan Rosenberg then grabbed a double before Bryce Kiley joined in the fun with one of his own.
However, if there was an award for goal of the day it would have been handed to Adam Rogers for his moment of brilliance.
After receiving the ball on the halfway line, Rogers “nutmegged” the first defender, took it around a second, rolled it through the legs of a third before beating the keeper.
The Panthers will continue their bid for an undefeated season when they clash with Alstonville in the Football Far North Coast first division on Saturday.