Panthers’ perfect first quarter



By Nick Kossatch at Loxton Oval

Loxton North advanced to its first Grand Final since 2006 after it thrashed a disorganised Barmera Monash by 47 points in the RFL second semi final at Loxton Oval on Saturday.

The Panther’s win was set up by its brilliant 11-goal first quarter during which full forward Geordie Franks kicked five of them. Midfielders Daniel and Ryan Proud, along with skipper Josh Nelson and hard nut Tim Arnold (three goals) won clearance after clearance in North’s dynamic term. Youngster Nathan Brown’s electrifying pace earning him two goals – the first from a set play from Anton Cook’s kick out which found Rhett Davis in the middle. Moments later Brown’s wonderful gather and left foot goal on an angle had the Loxton North supporters in full voice.  Apart from a pair of goals to the Roos’ hard-working centre half forward Murray Middleton – his team never got a look in and were a whopping 50-points down at quarter time.

It was hard for North to maintain its’ first quarter standard and Tyson Lindsay ignited Barmera into comeback mode with two goals including a superb goal on the run opposite the grand stand. Barmera star Dillon Millard was given little time and space to get rid of the ball and Anton Cook had it all over Roo Simon Peucker (three goals). Despite this Jack Selfe was put on the dangerous Franks and quelled his influence and Barmera felt it got itself into the match although North still led by a comfortable 29 points at half time.

A screamer by Ryan Proud and even Brad Mules managed to mark the ball whilst lying on the ground highlighted Loxton North’s ‘leanest’ quarter but it put Barmera to the sword with a four goal to two third quarter. The Roos best were Jake Smith, Brett McPherson, Selfe, ruckman Mason Middleton and they tried to will their team into the contest. Murray Middleton booted his third goal and his clash against champion defender Michael Arnold was absorbing though Arnold won several important aerial contests and his ability to clear the danger area with spoils was tremendous.

The productive Tim Roberts (three goals) booted two goals to help the Panthers to a match winning 38-point lead at three-quarter-time. Ryan and Daniel Proud continued to create havoc with Ryan climbing over Barmera’s Reece Hogan for another ‘hanger’ but unfortunately Franks could not add to his five goals. Franks soon combined with best afield Daniel for Ryan Proud’s second goal.

North’s aforementioned midfielders were its best players and the head-band-wearing key defender Josh Voigt continually mopped up wayward Barmera forward entries. The returning Ryan Gray and veteran Brad Williams’ foot-skills were impeccable.

When Barmera move the ball quick to Peucker, it looks dangerous and he kicked two consolation goals as a result late in the match. The Roo coaches will have to devise a plan on how to counter the in form Waikerie in this Saturday’s preliminary final.

In contrast North will go in as grand final red-hot favourites regardless of which team it plays on Saturday week.




About Nicholas Kossatch

Tall and intelligent and athletically built who calls a spade a spade. Love sports writing and sending letters and texts to the editor about AFL and the Port Adelaide Power - win, lose or draw. I do not sit on the fence. Soon to be 40! I play basketball and over 35's supers football. Have played amateur footy and a bit of cricket and basketball when living in Adelaide. Do some writing for the Murray Pioneer,

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