Panthers take out U18 Div 2

By Beth Newman

Caloundra stormed to the U18 Division Two premiership, with a 20.15 (135) – 5.12 (42) win over Coorparoo at EK Anderson Oval.

They won the minor premiership, beat Coorparoo by 91 points a fortnight ago and came down to Kedron to do it all again.

It was one of those days where the Sunshine Coast side couldn’t do anything wrong.

The Panthers controlled the game from the outset, with Lachlan Broadstock marking strongly in the forward pocket.

Going into the opening break 42 points up, it was Caloundra’s game to lose, and their band of supporters were in full song.

Coorparoo showed plenty of fight in the second, with two of the first three goals of the term.

Caloundra’s Mitchell Fraser finished with five for the day, and took plenty of sensational grabs in the Panthers’ forward line, earning him the best on ground medal for the match.

By the major break, the Panthers still sat 39 points in front, despite the Coorparoo fight back.

It was much of the same in the third, with Caloundra getting the jump early, but Coorparoo continued to hang in and fight.

The Kings couldn’t do enough to convert their chances, and it simply became too much in the third.

Mitchell Fraser slotted his third from the boundary, to put the Panthers out to a 58-point lead, and continue a strong end to his season.

The Panthers ran the ball with confidence and Fraser and Broadstock gave strong options in the forward 50.

At three-quarter time, the Panthers had stretched out to a 69-point lead, off the back of another dominant quarter.

If it wasn’t already, the opener of the final term to Steele Hudson, put the game well and truly out of Coorparoo’s reach.

Despite the lopsided score line, the Kings never gave up, fighting hard throughout the match.

An emotional Panthers coach, Tim Francis applauded his side for their hard work in 2013.

“I’ve told them all year that they’re the best group of boys I’ve ever had,” he said.

“It’s been a privilege to coach them and to watch them get better as footballers and as young men.”

Kings coach. Rod Crawford said the improvement of his side this season gave him plenty of optimism for the future.

“We showed a lot of heart today,” he said.

“From a club that wasn’t sure whether we were going to get a team on the park to where we are now, it’s been fantastic.

“We’ll be bigger and better and we move forward as a club and this doesn’t define what’s ahead of us.

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