Panthers reserves celebrate centenary flag

Panthers reserves celebrate centenary flag
Camera IconPanthers reserves celebrate centenary flag Credit: Bunbury Herald

Carey Park ended South Bunbury's fairytale finals series with a 29-point win in the reserves decider at Hands Oval on Sunday.

After losing just one game all season, the Panthers showed why they finished the year on top of the table, defeating the Tigers 9.12 (66) to 5.7 (37).

South Bunbury recorded upset wins in each of its three finals this season and entered the game in good form and confident of a fourth remarkable win to end the campaign.

It started well for the Tigers as they dominated play early and Kale Francis made the most of the ascendancy, kicking a great running goal after hard work from Ashley Taylor.

Sadly that was the best passage of play for the game from Taylor who fell away and failed to have an impact for the Tigers.

With a star-studded forward line to defend, South Bunbury was reliant on Brady London to read the play and he made the most of his opportunities, consistently taking intercept marks to stop the Panthers’ forward movement.

Carey Park forward Sam Colvin was a surprise goalkicker for the Panthers, kicking three important majors but also missing a number of opportunities.

Chris McMillan and Sheldon Pickett ran hard all day through the midfield for the Panthers and showed their class when it mattered, pushing the favourites forward with purpose all game.

Despite a dominant first half, the Panthers only led by 14 points at half-time and South Bunbury was still in the game if it could improve its disposal inside 50.

After three close games the Tigers looked tired after the main break and failed to take their opportunities on their way to kicking just two goals for the second half.

James Mortensen took control of the game through the midfield after the break and joined McMillan and Pickett in dominating the exhausted Tigers.

The end of the third term turned ugly when Jesse Dellaca received a yellow card for a late hit on McMillan and both Colvin and Cody Whitfield also were shown yellow cards for a wrestle in the goal square which went too far.

Sam Browne did an excellent job in defence for the Panthers, keeping Tigers' captain Kale Francis to just one goal as the full forward struggled with a lack of opportunity and clean disposal inside 50.

Mortensen was awarded the House Trophy for best on ground after a standout fourquarter performance.

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