Panthers claw away late


Published on Saturday, May 26, 2018

Author : James Strebinos

A six-goal to one second half helped Eltham secure its second victory over Diamond Creek this season, winning by 35 points at Coventry Oval in Round 6.

With scores level at the main break, the Panthers kept their hosts to just three scoring shots after half time to win 10.13 (73) to 5.8 (38).

Eltham started strongly in the first quarter, which saw key forward Paul Currie kick the opening two majors of the afternoon.

A long bomb inside 50 saw Luke Wachinger run into an open goal to push the lead out to 19 points halfway through the first quarter.

Diamond Creek had its chances through Jess Cosaitis and Tyler Barnes, but the home side couldn’t convert, leaving the Demons goalless in the first quarter.

A superb goal after the siren to Daniel Coffield saw the Panthers lead by 23 points at the first break.

It was the Demons who lifted their game after quarter time, led by Barnes, who was prolific during the second quarter and pushed his side forward at every contest early.

Diamond Creek soon registered its first major of the day through Jacob Booth, who sailed one straight over the goal umpire’s hat from outside the 50m arc.

It would soon be two in a row for the home side, as a crumbing goal from Daniel Shellard reduced the margin to 13 points halfway through the second term.

Hugh Kavanagh and Kye Agosta were holding their own in defence, constantly denying Eltham from finding a target inside its forward 50.

Ryan Pingree made it three on the trot for the home side, dribbling one through to cut the deficit within striking distance.

Lewis Glasgow and Darcy Vallance tried to get some attack going for the visitors in the second term, but Diamond Creek had the answers.

A late goal from Josh Lorey kept the momentum going the Demons way, with scores level at the main break.

Both sides came out hungry after half time, which saw the contest become very lively. Kavanagh produced a highlight for the Demons, soaring high to take a screamer on centre wing.

However, it was Eltham who was to break the shackles in the third quarter through a Michael Still set shot from a tight angle.

The key forward made it two consecutive goals, kicking an outstanding major to push the margin out to 15 points heading into the last quarter.

A big final term was on the cards, but it was Eltham who left off where it finished in the third quarter, as Ben Montanaro kicked truly from 35m out.

Still continued his third-quarter purple patch, kicking his third for the afternoon and giving the Panthers a 26-point lead early in the last.

A second goal to Ryan Pingree softened the blow for the Demons, but it was Eltham who was dominating going forward and looked like scoring with every forward entry.

Brandon Freeman joined in the celebration, kicking his first goal, before a Montanaro inside-out banana signaled party time for the visitors, running out 35-point victors.

Diamond Creek will be looking to end a three-game losing streak when it takes on Watsonia at A.K Lines Reserve in Round 7. Eltham will also travel when it plays Thomastown at Main Street Reserve.

Final score: Diamond Creek 5.8 (38) def by Eltham 10.13 (73)

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