It was a game of inches, wet and muddy, one to remember!

Melbourne’s winter was back with vengeance, whilst it was cold, wet and muddy it was classic football weather and the weekend’s games didn’t disappoint.  Maybe some results but not the way in which our might Panthers applied themselves.  In summary we had 1 gutsy win and 3 dour losses.

Deep into the 2nd half of the season we had our return bout against association heavyweights, Old Xavs.  And, whilst it was our home game we played the game on Sunday at the VAFA’s headquarters at Elsternwick Park.

By the time the seniors ran out dressed in their white alternate strips the ground had already had 3 games played on it, so you can imagine it was in an ordinary state.  It wasn’t long before the white of our jumpers turned black making it difficult to distinguish the two teams.

For the seniors it was a game of inches, and at half time we had kept Xav’s goalless kicking one ourselves and leading by 5 points.  It would be interesting to look up the history books to see the last time the Xavs were goalless in a 1st half.  In very difficult conditions and playing with a very slippery and heavy ball, the game was a dour battle where clean possession was extremely difficult.  Both teams played relentlessly and in the end Xavs scored 3 timely 2nd half goals to our 1 and won by 10 points.

The result was very disappointing as we had our chances to win however with St Bedes beating Scotch we were able to preserve our superior % and maintain 4th spot.

The 2nds had made numerous changes due to injuries and unavailable, despite this they played positively and challenged the more powerful Xavs throughout the game.  Encouraging we were able to keep Xavs 2nds goalless in the last quarter despite only having 17 fit players.  We can continue to admire the determination shown by the 2nds.

The 3rds were again up against it and pushed Xavs all the way, the knock on effect of injuries is absorbed in the 3rds and despite a very thin list on the weekend Ocka made his customary phone calls calling in many favours and was able to field a committed team.

The Unders ventured across Bulleen Road and took on Marcellin in appalling conditions: a ground covered in water, mud everywhere and very cold.  The boys played 4 team orientated quarters and won in style if that’s possible given the conditions.  It was just reward for coach and players all of whom have shown great resolve this season despite their share of injuries too.

The entire squad was given some time away from the track on Tuesday night after a punishing wet weekend, venturing to Collingwood FC’s elite training facilities at the Westpac Centre.  It was a great night and allowed them all to recover in comfort.  Check out the following link HERE as we featured on the VAFA’s home page.

So looking to this weekend we are back home to take on Uni Blues out on Dunshea.  We are yet to beat the Blues since entering Premier A and this weekend loams as the perfect chance, we have a lot to play for, 5 weeks out of the finals and in 4th place JUST!

We have both our 2nds and 3rds at Bulleen too, whilst our Unders are away to Old Brighton.  We have the great pleasure of having the Rev Tim Costello join us at our customary home lunch as guest speaker so get out to Bulleen this Saturday and make a day of it.

The players and club needs your support NOW as we push for another victory and retain our top 4 standing, so we will see you at Dunshea.


Go Panthers!


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