Eltham have wrapped up a dominant 2022 season with an impressive reserves grand final victory, defeating Diamond Creek by 83 points at Preston City Oval.
It was the third straight season that the Panthers reserves made the decider and after falling to the Fitzroy Stars in 2019, they bounced back with a 17-1 home and away campaign, before claiming a 16.13 (109) to 3.8 (26) win on Saturday.
Liam Waldron was given the best on ground medal, the forward kicked 25 goals in 18 games this season and was impressive in the front half again on Saturday adding one major to his tally.
Bradyn Taglieri was brilliant, with his work around the ground vital to the Panthers’ attacks on goals, he kicked two majors for the afternoon.
His senior football experience along with the likes of David Evans, Benjamin Smith and Matthew Williamson proved to be the difference on the day, with their work ethic and ability to create multiple chances inside 50 a highlight.
Eltham had 10 individual goal kickers for their 16 goals, with their nine-goal final term a memorable experience for the Panthers fans in attendance.
Declan Williams and Joel Woods stood out on a tough day for Diamond Creek. The Creekers couldn’t get their hands on the football often enough and when they did get multiple chances at goal, they were inaccurate, kicking 2.5 after half time.
Despite the heavy loss, the Creekers would be impressed with their efforts in the first term, keeping the Panthers to just one goal and trailing by a single point at the first change.
The start echoed their battle a fortnight ago in the second semi-final, in which a low scoring first term turned into a dominant 46-point victory for Eltham.
Unfortunately for Diamond Creek, it was déjà vu as the Panthers quickly began to stretch out the margin. The minor premiers kicked 3.3 while keeping the Creekers scoreless to move out to a 22-point half time advantage.
Eltham continued to increase their lead in the third term, again keeping the Creekers goalless while adding another three majors to their tally to go 40 points to the good at three quarter time.
In one of their most comprehensive last quarter’s this season, the Panthers put the game beyond any doubt with a scintillating nine goal to two term to ensure a second reserves premiership in three seasons.