Leading sides leave lowly rivals floundering

Panmure’s Tom White releases the ball in a tackle from his Russells Creek opponent Cameron Finlayson.

Panmure’s Tom White releases the ball in a tackle from his Russells Creek opponent Cameron Finlayson.

THE monumental gap between the top and bottom of the Warrnambool and District league was exposed in devastating fashion during round six.

Wind and rain made for regular congestion and ball-ups. Marks inside 50 were rare and precious, as were goals kicked to the non-scoring end.

Yet three of the six matches still had 100-point-plus margins and the average winning margin was 92.3 points — more than 15 goals.

Reigning premier Panmure was one of the dominant sides, beating Russells Creek 26.18 (174) to 5.6 (36) at Panmure Recreation Reserve.

The Bulldogs outscored the Kangaroos in all four quarters and were destructive towards the scoring end, finishing with a 9.4 to 0.2 last term.

Tom White kicked a season-high six goals and Daniel Roache booted five,  while fleet-footed Shamus O’Beirne (four goals) was best afield.

Onballers Taylor McKenry and Sam Mahony were also prolific. McKenry, who laid 15 tackles, has been in the Bulldogs’ best four times this season.

Panmure coach Simon O’Keefe said the Bulldogs “played well” when they were able to extract the ball from stoppages and feed to their runners.

“I thought they were pretty good, especially when it became a little bit wet,” he said.

“They were good around the stoppages. They had some bigger bodies that were hard to push around.

“As soon as we opened up the game with our run, that’s when we looked the most dangerous.”

O’Keefe was pleased his side managed eight goals kicking into the gale — four in each of the first and third terms.

“Sometimes we step up when we’ve got to run more, get them working a bit harder. We were breaking the lines a bit better,” he said.

“Sometimes we get the wind and blaze away, which is what we don’t want to do. When we have to use our skills a bit more we get a bit more determined.”

Assistant coach Ben Jansen worked hard for the Kangaroos and kicked a goal. Shaun McDougall and Cameron Williams were also in their best.

Elsewhere, Old Collegians coach Daryl Beechey was left impressed after his men dismantled Deakin University at The Pond.

Beechey said the Warriors produced as close to a four-quarter performance as they have all season in winning 20.24 (144) to 4.5 (29).

Chris Chambers continued his prolific start up forward with five goals and onballer Eli Barker kicked three. Hard nut Colby Rix was the Warriors’ best.

“Credit where credit is due, our boys played pretty well. It’s probably our best attempt at a four-quarter effort,” Beechey said.

“That’s one thing we’ve been working on. We played three-and-a-half quarters of footy yesterday. It shows we’re improving.

Beechey said the Warriors “didn’t have any passengers” in the win. Ben Rantall, the sub early in the season, and Jack Dunkley were also effective.

“Once again it was the same as a couple of our early wins, we had 21 blokes putting in. That put us in good stead for the day,” Beechey said.

Steve Byron led the Sharks’ scoring with two goals. Moritz Maschek, Joe Higgins and Alex Kydd were their best.

James Fary and Brad Kelly combined for 10 goals as Merrivale condemned East Warrnambool to a heavy defeat at Merrivale Recreation Reserve.

Fary and Kelly booted five each in the 24.14 (158) to 1.6 (12) win. Ruckman Rhys Raymond, onballer James Kelly and teen Jack Neave were the Tigers’ best.

Jonathon Malone, Chris Edwards and Ben Knight earned the Bombers’ best-player honours on what was an otherwise disappointing day.

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