The Terrigal Avoca Panthers have emerged triumphant in the top of the table clash against the Killarney Vale Bombers in both the Black Diamond Cup Women and Men’s leagues.
Played at Hylton Moore Oval on Saturday, May 15, the women played first in a windy morning contest wherein the Panthers were too strong for their opponents, finishing with a 40 – 18 win.
Killarney Vale’s Kelsey Acton scored the opening goal, but this was to the only points the team would get in the first half.
Kirstie Hutton soon opened the account for the Panthers and went on to post three more goals.
By the end of the third quarter, the Bombers had dragged themselves back to within 13 points of the Panthers but, in the final quarter, Terrigal Avoca pulled away with a further nine points.
For Terrigal Avoca Head Coach, Joel Patterson, the win has instilled confidence in his team ahead of a difficult upcoming Round Seven.
“It was a great physical battle as it always is against Killarney,” he said.
“Our team were hungry for a win, we put in a strong first half and got a couple of goals on the board.
“We knew they were always going to come back – we addressed that at half time – and they did in the third quarter, but we had the ability to stay composed in the final quarter.
“We also have been working on our fitness so physically we were able to keep up and control the contest better than we usually do.”
Patterson pointed to his team’s Ruck, Karina Brown, as being crucial to securing the win.
“With the heavy wind there were a lot of stoppages that slowed down the play, so her ability to win a lot of the contests helped us to get the ball forward.
“At the other end, we shut them down with some good intercepts off the half back line and we were able to utilise our running game and get a lot more entry into the forward 50.”
The Panthers now face league leaders, Cardiff, who are so far undefeated this season.
“Cardiff are a very strong and tall team, they’ve got a lot of good fitness and running players,” said Patterson.
“For us, we have to improve on our contest work because that’s where they dominated us last time.
In the men’s game, the cracks showed early in Killarney’s discipline when they gave away two 50 metre penalties that led directly to goals.
This aided the Panthers establish a 13 point lead at first quarter time.
Terrigal Avoca continued to push their advantage through to the end of the first half, getting to a 49 – 14 point lead.
The Bombers fought back in the third quarter but four unanswered goals for the Panthers put the result beyond doubt.
For Bombers Head Coach, Corey Shackleton, his team lost because they were unable to enact the discipline and composure that was crucial to their game plan.
“Terrigal were really well structured, they set up well behind the ball, dropped numbers back and we just kept playing into their hands, continued with the ill-discipline, gave away eleven 50 metre penalties, six of which led directly to goals, and by the time we got to half time the game was probably beyond us.”
Terrigal Avoca now face Cardiff in a game they will be favourites to win.