Diamond Creek have proved their premiership credentials in the MC Labour Division 2 competition, defeating the previously unbeaten Eltham by 19 points at Eltham Central Park.
The Creekers kicked eight majors to three between the first and final breaks, and despite being kept goalless in the final term, the work done in those two quarters was enough to see them prevail 9.11 (65) to 6.10 (46).
It’s Diamond Creek’s first win over the Panthers since Round 12, 2019. In that game Jacob Booth produced three majors, which is exactly what he did on Saturday afternoon.
Jack Prosser also kicked three goals while Nicholas Barro had another best on ground performance in an outstanding display in the ruck. Andrew Elward and Tarwan Rennie had season best efforts to help the visitors get over the line.
Jesse Donaldson was a standout for Eltham in his fourth game of the 2023 campaign while Tom Goodwin made it five straight appearances in his side’s best with another strong effort.
Young forward Jason McCormick stepped up as best he could in the absence of Daniel Owen, kicking three majors to take his season tally to 19 goals.
Diamond Creek’s Nathan Searl got things off to a flyer in the opening two minutes of the match, launching a shot from well outside 50 before the ball bounced past the vacant goal square for the first major of the match.
Although that looked to be the catalyst for a free flowing first term, it would prove to the only goal of the quarter.
No side were able to get a real edge on the contest throughout the term, but Andrew Tranquilli’s men kept Eltham to their lowest score in a quarter this season, as they kicked just two behinds.
With an eight-point lead intact at quarter time, the Creekers opened things up in the second quarter with a four goal to two term.
The Panthers would score first in what would prove be the goal of the day, as Jason McCormick, almost completely having his back to goal, kicked the ball in mid-air high and straight through the big sticks.
Jacob Booth would do his best to top that major a few minutes later after first selling the candy and then kicking truly on the run to get one back for the visitors.
Booth would almost perfectly repeat his effort 10 minutes later, as despite Eltham winning plenty of territory throughout the middle stages of the quarter, the Collingwood VFL listed player slotted through his second on the run to extend the Creekers advantage.
McCormick kicked his second major in response to Booth’s second major soon afterwards however Diamond Creek would produce the final two goals of the term to lead by 21 points at the main break.
The momentum the visitors built in the second term continued into the third quarter as they kicked four of the next five majors.
The rain made its presence known throughout the quarter, but it didn’t stop the Creekers getting out to a game high 41 points at the 15-minute mark of the third term.
A goal apiece from either side, which included McCormick’s third for the hosts, set the margin at 37 points at three quarter time.
Eltham continued to fight in the last quarter, but Diamond Creek’s defence stood tall, not allowing the Panthers to kick a goal until the 14-minute mark through a set shot conversion from Jesse Donaldson.
The Panthers kicked two further goals, but they were never close to mounting a serious comeback over a very impressive Diamond Creek outfit, with the visitors prevailing by 19 points.