21 June, 2021
Double wins for Pinkies and Panthers
The Panthers and the Pinkies went into battle against the Coonamble Bears in round nine, Saturday, June 5.
After a full morning of junior league, the Pinkies hit McGrane Oval with Emily Fardell the first to trouble the scoreboard when she finished off a backline movement to touch down out wide. Shian Chatfield made no mistake with the conversion and from that point the Pinkies were never headed, although the Bearettes certainly made them work all the way. Coonamble hit back with a try before Chloe McLean scored in the corner to extend the Pinkies lead and a penalty goal from Shian saw the Pinkies go to the break leading 12-6.
Chatfield scored and converted soon after halftime to make it 16-6, but the lady Bears refused to go away and came storming back into the match with two quick tries to be trailing 16-14 before Chloe McLean scored in the corner to give the Pinkies a little breathing space, taking the score to 20-14.
With eight minutes remaining on the clock, Shian showed some great initiative when she kicked a booming field goal from 40 meters out to give the Pinkies a seven-point break. That single point soon became so important when the Bearettes scored a converted try in the dying minutes, but the Pinkies were able to hold on to win 21-20. This was the Pinkies best win of the season so far and moves them to equal fourth in the comp as we reach the halfway mark in the competition.
The Panthers ran onto McGrane hoping to get back into winning form after last weeks’ loss to Cobar. It only took three minutes before Mitch Bamblett finished off a sweeping backline movement to score out wide. Bran-don Hammond converted and with a mountain of possession in the opening minutes, the Panthers looked dangerous only for some great scrambling defence from the Bears to hold them out. It took another 20 minutes for the Panthers to register another try when Luke Ritchie darted over from dummy half. Hammond made it 12-0 before DJ Smith crossed the white line for his first of three tries. Smith scored again, just before the half-time break and Hammond’s conversions saw the Panthers go to oranges leading 24-0.
The magic water during the half-time break seemed to work for the Bears when they got themselves back into the match with two converted tries to see them trailing 24-12 halfway through the second stanza. DJ Smith then steadied the ship for the Panthers when he scored in canteen corner to make it 28-12. The Bears soon replied with Neville Nixon scoring a converted try to make it 28-18. Luke Ritchie put the result beyond doubt when he crossed for his second try in the dying minutes and Hammond made the final score 34-18 for a well-deserved win over the tenacious Bears. The Panthers were once again best served by Ned Kelly, DJ Smith and captain Ashley Hazelton in a good team effort.