PANMURE key forwards Tom White and Daniel Roache have defied some classic winter weather to inspire their team to victory.
The Bulldogs kept their unbeaten record intact when they defeated Allansford by 26 points, 7.11 (53) to 3.9 (27), in the round 13 match of the day at Allansford Recreation Reserve.
On a day that was not made for key forwards, White finished with four goals and Roache two. It was their work when the game was there to be won that provided a ray of sunshine on a bleak June day.
Between them, the pair kicked six of the first seven goals of the game, their sequence broken only by a first quarter goal to Allansford’s Sam Burchell.
The home team received an early break when it kicked to the town end of the ground in the first quarter, which was favoured by a strong wind.
Rain quickly set in as players from both teams took the first 10 minutes of the game to find their feet in the trying conditions.
The Cats did most of the early attacking but only had a couple of points to show for it before the Bulldogs made a success of their first real foray forward when Roache showed his agility to gather a ground ball at his boot laces and spin around and finish the job with the first goal of the game.
The Burchell goal came next but it proved to be a brief respite as White saw the game there for the taking and proceeded to weave his own magic spell.
He converted a mark from tight on the boundary for his first goal and minutes later marked 35 metres in front and coolly went back and added his second.
With the siren for quarter-time imminent, White had one last trick up his sleeve as he won the ball at a stoppage in the Bulldogs forward line and threaded it through the defenders’ arms to take his team to a 14-point lead.
The second quarter brought with it more of the same with Roache running into an open goal for the first of the quarter, and White landing a bomb from 50 metres five minutes later to extend the misery for the Cats.
A goal from the Bulldogs’ Shaun Griffin was the only other major score before half-time and put them in front by 34 points.
From here the game became an uninspiring affair as the weather really set in with the third quarter producing just seven points.
The Cats had the best of the last quarter kicking the only two goals to gain some scoreboard respectability.
The importance of the performance of his key forwards, and their ability to get the job done in all conditions, was not lost of Panmure coach Simon O’Keefe.
“Tom White has been massive for us, especially over the last six or seven weeks,” O’Keefe said.
“It took us a while at the start of the season to get used to his style of play, but we now know his leading patterns and he knows how the blokes up the ground deliver the ball.
“He has such clean hands and, combined with Daniel Roache who uses his body so well, it gives us some strong targets.”
While the Bulldogs are coasting along with just five rounds to go, Allansford is left to ponder its third loss of the season and its second in the last four weeks to quality opposition.
The Cats retain their place in the top three but will need to beat second-placed Merrivale this week if they wish to show the competition they are the real deal as premiership contenders.