PANMURE has shown why it is the reigning champion with a thrilling after-the-siren victory against Allansford at Panmure on Saturday.
The Bulldogs remain unbeaten, but not before getting the fright of their lives against the gallant Cats.
In a game that hung on the edge all day, it took a goal sailing through after the siren for the Bulldogs to get the points, 14.13 (97) to 12.19 (91).
Allansford kicked a goal in the dying stages of the last quarter to level the scores and a draw was looking the likely result.
But the Bulldogs were able to win the centre clearance and drive the ball forward, where Luke Ryan marked 60 metres out from goal.
He kicked the ball long towards goal, where Alex White was able to soar and take a contested mark 15 metres out.
As White was walking back to his mark the siren sounded with the result of the game now firmly in his hands.
The talented utility player, recruited from Koroit this season, calmly went back and kicked the goal much to the delight of his teammates and the Panmure faithful.
It was a thrilling final act in a game that had been an epic battle which saw the lead change constantly.
The Cats led by two points at quarter-time, the Bulldogs by four at the half and the Cats were back in front by seven going into the last quarter.
Panmure coach Simon O’Keefe said the win was one of the best home-and-away victories in his time at the club. “A couple of times last year we were able to win close games like this so we knew what was required,” O’Keefe said.
“In those situations you just have to keep taking the game on and not go into your shell.”
O’Keefe said ruckman Daniel Roache played a key role in the win, with his ability to get on top in the last quarter and give the Bulldogs onballers first use crucial.
O’Keefe kicked four goals himself and praised the other Bulldog to kick four, Paul Daley, who played at centre half-forward after the withdrawal of Tom White.
Allansford coach Josh Parkinson was ruing the opportunities his team missed.
“Kicking 19 points had a bit to do with not winning the game,” Parkinson said.
“To be 14 points up at one stage in the last quarter and still in front with a couple of minutes to go and lose was disappointing for sure.
“We have a fair bit to work on. We turned the ball over a lot but that is something we know we can work on.
“The good thing was we didn’t give up and battled hard. We didn’t have a bench in that last quarter so there were a few sore boys.”
Parkinson praised the efforts of Nathan Wilson off half-back who filled the creative rebound role normally undertaken by Brett Membrey, who did not play.
In other WDFNL round two matches, Dennington was a big winner over Timboon Demons 20.16 (136) to 6.5 (41) on the Demons’ home ground.
It was a day to remember for star forward Chris Keilar, who reached double figures in kicking 10 goals in the win.
Nirranda recorded its first win for the season when it defeated Russells Creek by 96 points at the Mack Oval, 19.18 (132) to 5.6 (36).
First-year coach Aidan Cole played a big hand in the victory, kicking six goals, while Rick Spokes was also impressive for the Blues with five goals.
Recruits Cole, Brad Smith, and Michael Boyd were the Blues’ best players.
Tahi Pompey earned the Kangaroos’ honours and Brad Hunt led their scoring with three goals.