Boro outlast Panthers to open campaign with a win

Published on Saturday, March 30, 2024

Author : Nicholas Sacco

Greensborough have started their 2024 Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 campaign with a bang, running away in the second half to defeat Eltham by 49 points on Good Friday at Greensborough War Memorial Park.

In hot and tiring conditions, a quick and efficient Boro outfit were in control for most of the afternoon, with the margin not reaching single digits after the first few minutes of the match.

The hosts kicked seven goals to three in the second half, after leading by 18 points at the main break, to claim a 15.19 (109) to 9.6 (60) triumph in Matthew Hyde’s first game as Boro senior men’s coach.

Many Greensborough players produced key roles in the side’s 14th opening round victory from the last 15 seasons.

Daniel Ferronato came into the side and kicked a game-high four majors, while 2022 club leading goal kicker Zak McCubbin was influential in his return to the Boro with a three-goal performance.

The ever-reliable Jack Johnston led the way again in defensive 50, taking multiple intercept marks, as did Tom Brindley, who’s second game for Greensborough in 12 months was a memorable one.

Harrison Andronaco and Ben Pannam were dazzling to watch in midfield, taking full advantage of the impressive ruckwork of Nathan Howard and Jamie Smith throughout the afternoon.

Eltham had patches of great play during the game but were unable to sustain that effort for the full four quarters in their first top flight match since 2017.

Matthew Byron helped create a Panthers resurgence in the second quarter, kicking two of his three goals for the game during the term while also taking some excellent contested marks.

His marking was outdone however by teammate David Evans, who produced an incredible grab late in the same term. He finished with two goals for the match.

First time co-captain Lane Sinclair and debutant Ben Quaynor meanwhile were more than serviceable in defensive 50.

The Boro wasted no time in getting early scores on the board, with Tom Brindley, Daniel Ferronato and Harrison Andronaco all finding the big sticks inside the opening five minutes of the game.

Their dominance would continue throughout the quarter, and the hosts would find themselves with a 26-point lead before the Panthers had even registered a score.

Matthew Byron finally got things going for the visitors at the 15-minute mark, which sparked a mini run for his side, as a terrific goal from Sebastian Molloy and a major from 23rd player Aviela Choka suddenly saw the margin reduced to 10 points.

But the Boro steadied the ship before the first break, with Jamie Smith and Brody Glenn helping Greensborough lead by 24 points at quarter time.

Both sides traded goals to start the second term, before Byron took the game by the scruff of the neck in the middle stages of the quarter, providing contest after contest, and was rewarded with two majors to bring the margin back to 11 points.

Again, Matthew Hyde’s men turned the momentum around in the latter moments of the term, with a goal from Ethan Luke giving the home side a comfortable 18-point advantage at half time.

A pivotal third quarter went the way of Greensborough, as they kicked the period’s first four majors, headlined by two goals from Zak McCubbin.

Two goals in time-on gave Eltham hope as they approached three-quarter time chasing a 34-point deficit, however the effects of the heat were starting to get the better of Tim Bongetti’s men.

Five of the first six final quarter scores were behinds produced by both sides, as fatigue really made its presence known on the match.

Sensing the urgency, the Panthers tried to take the game on, but were unsuccessful in keeping the ball inside their attacking half, allowing Greensborough to rebound and produce the last three goals of the game to finish 49-point victors.

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