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30 July, 2022

Junior Panthers chase down the Gulgong Terriers

It was a busy day at McGrane Oval on Saturday following the school holiday break, as the junior Panthers took on the Gulgong Terriers in some beautiful sunshine for a welcome change.

By Supplied

With the finals just around the corner, the Panthers were looking to cement their spots at the business end of the season and they did just that thanks to solid team efforts and what can only be described as pure determination for one game in particular.

All hands on deck from the canteen helpers, scorers and referees made for a great day out and ensured everyone was fed, watered and importantly got to play their game! Under six had two games and by the looks of it, the smallest legs in the competition are wearing out as only a handful could play, but Gulgong were great competitors with the kids mixing in together and having a lot of fun.

Tiggy Dixon, Ricky Bennett, and Chase Hodges always give 100 per cent for their team and are absolutely stars of the future. Both under eight teams enjoyed two games each with some great runs, steps, tackles and tries from the mighty tri-colours. In under eight white’s first game, the panthers put up a great defensive effort, with the terriers unable convert their quick scoots from dummy half into points thanks to the strong panthers defensive line.

 Lilah Young, Eli Blackhall, and James Riley tackled their hearts out all day, with Connor Blackhall and Archie O’Connor putting in solid efforts as they do every week. In the second game the white team were very dominant coming away with the win. London Bennett and Tiaki Diamond left nothing in the tank, Dharnan Graham was great in defence with some try savers and Jax Williams backed up his teammates all game. Captain Kade Bamblett led by example and was everywhere on the field.

A great effort from the kids, Panther players of the week were Kade Bamblett and Connor Blackhall.

Under eight brown had a great day out as well, with Panthers of the week being Thomas Gilbert and Kahlell Priddis for their solid tackling effort. Under 10s were keen to show their strength against the terriers with both panther teams coming away with dominant wins. In a congested group 14 competition ladder, under 10 white were sitting in fourth spot on the ladder before Saturday and knew the importance of leaving nothing out there to make sure they kept their finals hopes alive.

The pep talk from Jock Mills on the sideline must have put a rocket under them as he led by example crossing for six tries himself and helped the team come away with 52-4 win. Jagger Hazelton scored three, and a try each for Ryder Larkin and Darcy Adams. Tiger Smith however, was Panther of the Week, a tackling machine and also scoring a couple of tries. A great team effort.

Under 10 brown weren’t to be outdone however and showed their grit and determination to come away with a dominant 60-0 victory and one would think cement their second place on the ladder. While they piled on the tries thanks to Matari Towney, Joey Lamb, Mitch Cosier, Brodie Nichols, Abi Howard and Khyran O’Neill, the Panthers were also extremely solid in defence, denying the Terriers all game. Panther of the Week was Joey Lamb. Pride and bragging rights will be on the line as the two under 10 Panther teams are set to face off against each other in the final round. Under 10 white will no doubt be keen to even it up after brown beat them by a nose a few weeks ago.

The under 12 games were set to be tough match-ups again given the importance of taking home the win. It was second versus third as under 12 white took on the Terriers, and for anyone who watched the game would agree that the Panthers hung on by a claw to win 30-28, the difference coming down to a missed conversion for Gulgong. The white team were definitely showing the pinch of a school excursion to the nation’s capital with majority of the team travel weary, but to their credit they never gave up and did their best to hang on for the win.

The teams goal kicking has been a strength all season and Saturday proved just how important that is. Three tries to Sailor Ryan, and a try each to Caine Bugmy and Jack Gibson, with panther of the week going to Charlie Whiteman for his big runs up the centre and solid defence. Full credit to both the terriers and the panthers in this game, it was very competitive and the result could have gone either way, a game played with great spirit and sportsmanship.

It was under 12 brown however that showed how far they have come as a team, sitting fourth on the ladder and very keen to stay hot on the heels of their Panther counterparts. Jagging a dominant 52-28 win, the browns put in another solid team effort with tries to Peck Williams, Glynn McIlwain, Jaxon Young, Jhamal Milgate, Jordan Hazelton, and Dallas Carr.

The 12s are also set to play each other in the final competition round which will be another important one for both teams. Under 14 were ready for a tough battle as the match was a critical one to keep them in the hunt for a spot in the finals. The boys dug deep for a hard fought victory, going try for try with the Terriers until the Panthers pulled up their socks and tightened their defensive line. The team also attacked well with great individual efforts and tries to Cobie Carr, Jack Louie and a stand out effort from Panther of the week Sam Dunn scoring four times and being solid in defence. The final score was 32-22, well done and continue to put the work in with another important game coming up in the final round.


The netballers enjoyed some games against each other, starting the day off strong with the 12s playing a competitive game. It was a great effort with brown in the lead most of the game, but white weren’t to be outdone, fighting their way back for an 11 all draw.

The 10s played so well with there being a notable difference in their skills as there were less calls by the umpire for footwork or obstruction, well done to the girls for their work ethic and the coaches for developing their skills. The six and eights had a blast of a game, with the passion already clear from the youngsters. This week the Panthers play Coolah/Dunedoo at McGrane Oval in the final round of the competition.

It will be an important round for the competitive football teams and it should be noted it has been an amazing effort by the players and their coaches to have all teams positioned so strongly. It appears there will be Pool A and Pool B finals and regardless of where the mighty panthers finish know that they will play the game with strong spirit, effort and sportsmanship.

Finally, a brief mention of our junior panther players who played in the group 14 representative side in Bathurst during the holidays. Sailor Ryan, Jack Gibson, Lloyd Hammond, and Dallas Carr flew the flag for GJRLN, putting in solid efforts in some bitter Bathurst winter conditions against what we heard was some pretty tough competition. Well done boys.

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