Panmure loses Roache to season-ending injury, then round 17 encounter with Old Collegians

A season-ending injury to star defender Emma Roache has added to the woe of a 52-47 loss to Old Collegians for Panmure.

Warriors’ Jodie Maybery (left) defends Panmure’s Bridget Roache. 140802LP09  Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Warriors’ Jodie Maybery (left) defends Panmure’s Bridget Roache. 140802LP09 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Roache hurt her knee last week against Merrivale and received confirmation on Thursday that she would require a knee reconstruction, the third of her career.

While the loss of Roache is a huge one in the long term for the Bulldogs, it also had an immediate impact on Saturday.

As well as the absence of Roache, the Bulldogs also lost Jorgia Brown who was a late withdrawal with illness.

The Bulldogs had to rearrange their line-up with prolific goal shooter Maddie White going to goal keeper to give Panmure some defensive height.

Ellie Wright played a full game in A Reserve for the Bulldogs and then pulled on the goal shooter bib for the A grade team and provided a strong target, finishing the game with 34 goals.

Her contribution was a part of a brave effort by the Bulldogs who were able to take the game up to the unbeaten Warriors.

Panmure led 12-10 at quarter-time before the Warriors clawed their way in front in the second quarter and, once there, that is where they stayed for the rest of the match.

While all the drama revolved around the Bulldogs, it was a sound performance from the Warriors as they withstood one of their biggest challenges for the season.

Goal-scoring duo Sophie Ballinger (34 goals) and Steph Townsend (18) gave the Warriors plenty of firepower while Megan Forth was a leading light at wing defence.

Old Collegians coach Lisa Arundell said she was pleased with the way the Warriors rose to the challenge.

“It was a really hard-fought win. We knew they would come out strong in that first quarter,” Arundell said. “They had some good players out but they have a lot of depth so they had quality players to fill the spots.

“We were also a bit sluggish early but once we started to work a bit harder defensively we were able to get on top.”

Arundell praised her two youngest players in 18-year-olds Madeleine McLeod and Rachel Alderson for standing up and delivering in a high-pressure game.

At the other end of the scale, Josie Ellerton used all her experience from her post at wing attack to help the Bulldogs give the reigning champions a run for their money.

Panmure coach Megan Titmus said the game was another step in her team believing it was capable of beating the best in the competition.

“It was a great team effort. I was really happy with the performance the girls put forward,” Titmus said.

“Today was about taking on the challenge and I thought we focused on what we needed to do and that helped us push them all the way.”