Saturday 1 August 2009

The Morningside juggernaut continues to smash everything in its way, crushing Labrador by 94 points at Esplen Oval today.

The Panthers showed few signs of rust after having the bye last weekend, generating eight scoring shots to one in the opening term, blasting nine goals in the second quarter, and romping to a 25.15 (165)-11.5 (71) victory.

Just to make their rivals shudder more, the Panthers didn’t inject Paul Shelton or Hayden Wilson until near quarter-time because both were feeling the effects of the flu.

The duo helped spark the second quarter avalanche, although it was the unsung heroes of the midfield in Mark Kimball, Mark Rootsey and Tyson Upton who were right there with them.

With former skipper David Lillico continuing his stellar form, the Tigers were powerless to stop the onslaught.

Kimball prevented quality Tigers wingman Mat Clarke from getting near the ball while collecting plenty himself.

The Panthers have numerous options when booting the ball forward, with key forwards Kent Abey and Shaun Mugavin booting four majors alongside nippy goalsneak Sam Brown.

Matt Logan is recapturing his good form of last year and contributed three goals, as did livewire Sam Faure.

The Tigers struggled for a target until the last 10 minutes, when Russell Alleway moved forward to kick three goals on Ben Gibson.

Up to that point Gibson had done a very good job on several of the big Tigers goalkickers, including Trent Knobel.

“We just wanted to play our fit ones early until a bit of the heat went out of the contest,” Morningside coach John Blair said of holding back the ball magnet Shelton and Wilson.

“We didn’t take our chances very well early and should have been further in front at quarter-time.”

Kimball has been particularly good for the Panthers in recent weeks and Blair is not surprised.

“We always thought he would be good for us in the second part of the year because he was coming off a short preparation,” he said of Kimball not arriving at Esplen Oval until the week the season began.

Former Zillmere strongman Rob Lucas was also prominent for the Panthers, while runners Ryan Holman, Nathan Kinch and Damien Bonney played their part.

For the Tigers, teenager Claye Beams gave everything against top class opposition and is a quality player in the making, while Tasmanian Jason Howard continued his outstanding debut season.

Defender Dustin Mills tried hard against the odds, while Aaron Shattock worked hard to try and lift his team.


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