The Pambula Panthers have taken an edge over the Merimbula Diggers after an Anzac weekend Aussie rules grand final rematch on Saturday.
Officials from the Pambula club said it was glorious conditions at the Pambula Sporting Complex for the clash, which turned on to be a hard-fought game.
The Panthers proved too strong on the day to claim the Anzac trophy 11-11 (77) to Merimbula’s 7-11 (53).
Spectators took part in commemorations before the top grade game.
“The large crowd stood silent and proud along with both teams and the umpires as members of the Merimbula RSL Sub branch delivered a moving Anzac tribute which saw the reading of the Ode followed by a perfect rendition of the last post and reveille,” a spokesman for the Panthers said.
After the formalities, the teams took to the ground for a highlight game and the going was tough from the outset as both sides contested the ball well.
“Play was going from end-to-end before Jack Salt kicked the Panthers’ first goal, but then it was all the Diggers who used the breeze to kick the next three,” the spokesman said. It was the visiting Diggers who took the lead at the first break 19-6.
Officials said Salt was on strike for the Panthers, scoring the opening two goals of the second stanza and a behind to level the scores.
“The game was played between the 50 arcs for a large part of the quater with the Panthers’ back line made up of the usual suspects of Cooky, Mango, Nelly and Mitch doing what they do best in repelling the Diggers’ attacks,” the spokesman said.
With limited opportunities for the Diggers, it was the hosts taking advantage to pile on seven goals as Tom Hammond kicked three majors and Steve Butterworth finding the big posts for a goal.
Late in the quarter the Diggers struck back with another two goals to trail by just 16 points at the main break 34-51.
An early goal and then a 50-metre penalty against the Panthers saw the Diggers clawing back the margin, while Jake Taylor was the only Panther to score a goal in the third period.
The Pambula spokesman said Joe Carton in his first senior game proved handy and versatile across the back line, running hard on the ball and using it effectively.
However, the Diggers had closed the margin to just 10 points.
Another gruelling set of play saw the Panthers clawing ahead in the final period based on some solid midfield work.
“It was a great win in front of the 2006 premiership side who’d come from all over Australia to celebrate their 10 year reunion,” Pambula coach Scott Proctor said.
Proctor also heaped praise on Darren Johnson who played in the 2006 side and put his hand up to run on against the Diggers this week.
The Panthers travel to Narooma to face the Lions this weekend, while the Diggers. will face the Whalers in Eden.
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