‘Blown out of water’ Panthers bundled out
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
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Hard at it: Ben Pretty goes up for the mark. Picture: Garry Jones