‘Blown out of water’ Pan­thers bun­dled out

Benalla Ensign - - Sport - By Ge­or­gia Smith

It has been a sea­son of highs and lows for the Be­nalla All Blacks, with fi­nals prov­ing no dif­fer­ent.

Af­ter a mo­men­tous win against Glen­rowan in the semi-fi­nals, the Pan­thers bowed out of the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal to Mi­lawa on Satur­day.

The 71-point loss shat­tered the All Blacks’ chances of mak­ing a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive grand fi­nal and a shot at pre­mier­ship re­demp­tion.

Be­nalla All Blacks coach Harry Mo­ran said it was a bit­terly dis­ap­point­ing end to the sea­son.

‘‘We were blown out of the water in the first quar­ter and the dam­age was done,’’ Mo­ran said.

‘‘We were just out­classed and full credit goes to Mi­lawa, we didn’t de­serve to go through.’’

Mi­lawa came out to play from the first siren, boast­ing a 46-point lead head­ing into the sec­ond quar­ter and con­tin­ued to cap­i­talise on op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Chris O’Con­nor man­aged to sneak two goals in for the Pan­thers, while Justin Ger­va­soni, Ben Pretty, Nicholas Spencer, Jack Doidge and Ri­ley Mo­ran all joined him to round out the best play­ers for the day.

De­spite their fi­nals cam­paign end­ing, the home and away sea­son pro­vided many high­lights for the Pan­thers, in­clud­ing tak­ing the Gerry Crothers Cup in round five and the White Rib­bon Cup in round 15.

But with the suc­cess came a string of in­juries, with Jack El­lis, Chris Lock­hart, Joel Bate and coach Harry Mo­ran just some of the big names to fall through­out the

Con­tin­ued Page 28

Hard at it: Ben Pretty goes up for the mark. Pic­ture: Garry Jones

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.