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Mayne Football Club

Mayne AFC

Tigers late surge not enough to catch pacy Panthers

The Tigers tilt at the 2022 Hart Sport Cup came to an end yesterday at Carter Park at the hands of the Caloundra Panthers. The Tigers struggled for most of the day to match the pace of the Panthers but were still able to stay within striking distance at the last break.

It was do or die and with a last change to the Tigers setup and a rallying call to throw everything at the game, the Mayne team found another gear. Hayden Fry into the ruck and Daniel Schmidt to full forward and it was off to the races for the Tigers with four straight goals to narrow the margin to just seven points.

The Caloundra bench were on edge and the Tigers supporters had found their voice but unfortunately the momentum shifted dramatically with one missed handball on the way to a fifth goal and it was season over for the Tigers as the Panthers steadied the ship and kicked away with three goals to be worthy winners on the day.

The Panthers had started the game well with the first three goals of the day with the Tigers finding it very difficult to penetrate the nippy defence at the other end.

The Tigers were always concerned that they would need a special plan to manage the size of Caloundra’s ruck turned full forward Max Jacobson who proved to be a handful kicking four goals but it was their Captain Jacob Watson that was the most dangerous for the home side.

The Tigers midfield with Daniel Schmidt and Josh Westerberg in the ruck were doing a mountain of work once again around the ground with Schmidt pushing back and Westerberg going forward to do their best to give their team first use and momentum.

Jack Collings was courageous as always in and under but he was receiving plenty of special attention from the Panthers. Collings, Zac McLean and Zac Puncken did their best to get their side going with the latter pushing forward whenever he could in an attempt to hit the scoreboard.

The lead at the main break had pushed out to four goals for the Panthers but the Tigers could still see they had an opportunity to catch their opponents if they could capitalise better on the forward entries they were creating.

The third term was a repeat of the previous two with the Panthers accumulating three goals to the Tigers two and the lead pushing out to five goals at the last break.

The Tigers backline had been terrific all day with James Stolz working hard and Dean Hartley sacrificing his body in every punishing contest while Hayden Fry was spoiling and marking like a man much older than his tender years.

The last quarter miracle looked like it was genuinely possible with caution thrown to the wind and a much more direct approach to goal but to the credit of the Panthers they were able to regain the momentum and finish off strongly sending them into the Preliminary Final next week to take on Coorparoo who were shocked by the Beenleigh juggernaut which has been rolling on for several weeks now.

The last two weeks of the Hart Sport Cup pose some big questions for the three remaining teams in what has been an enthralling competition all year.

Coorparoo finished on top but after a week off and an eight goal mauling at the hands of the Buffaloes will now need to lick their wounds and regroup quickly. They now face the pacy Panthers next week to see who gets to take on the rampaging Beenleigh Buffaloes in the big one.

Scores: Caloundra 13.11.89 d Mayne 9.10.64 Goals: H Leong 3, D Schmidt, Z Puncken, C Caught, T Fry, S Paterson, C Fletcher 1. Best: D Schmidt, J Collings, Z Puncken, J Westerberg, S Paterson, J Stolz.

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