Panthers blow away the Cowra Blues in AFL encounter | Photos

Parkes Panthers Men's team were at home to the Cowra Blues on Saturday at Northparkes Oval. Panthers Coach Peter Webb was excited at the numbers at his disposal.

New players John Urquhart, Chris Voller, Johno Morell and Haziq Ahmed signed up during the week and they were joined by Bass Clarinetist and former player Gordon Richter returning for a one day only performance.

The Cowra team were a few short, so the game was played with each team starting sixteen on the field.

Brent Tucker was relieved when Cowra skipper, Chris Day called the toss of the coin incorrectly, which allowed Brent to choose to kick to the Railway Hotel end of Northparkes, with the aid of a 30 km/h gale.

The Panthers started strongly with Branden Clinton and Brent Tucker playing well in the centre and providing the forwards with a numerous opportunities.

Unfortunately despite the six goal breeze, the Panthers were a bit wasteful and supporters had to wait until half way through the quarter, when forward Daniel Flanagan snapped truly.

Ruckman Nick Baird was able to steer another through close to the end of the quarter, which gave the Panthers a 20 point lead at quarter time.

In the second quarter the Cowra Blues responded with two goals and kept the Panthers scoreless to be only down by three points at half time, 20 to 17.

Panthers defended well, with Nathaniel Dixon providing plenty of vigour.

Clark Melbourne was lively across half back with Brad Kelly popping up for a few kicks.

The Cowra coach employed a tagger for Brent Tucker all game and despite some crunching tackles by the Number 1 for Cowra, Dimas Bikini, Brent still gathered plenty of kicks.

Dimas was so dedicated to his job that he continued to shadow Tuck after the game.

He was right there at the after match victory song and at the Railway after the game, just hanging off Tuck's right shoulder.

In the second half the Panthers began to take control, despite injuries to Evan Ralph and Haziq Ahmed, the Panthers had too much firepower for the inexperienced Cowra Side.

During the third quarter, Flanagan, Webb and Tucker all kicked majors to take the Panthers lead out to 22 points at three quarter time.

Both Travis Carte and Malcom Bruce were having good games, with Mal enjoying laying a few strong tackles which led to his first "Pink Panther" award.

He was chosen as Best Player by his teammates receiving the High Honour of wearing the Pink Panther costume at the Railway Hotel for the post game celebrations.

There was still a good breeze for Cowra to use in the last quarter, but they looked a beaten team with only Frankie Bright being able to snap an incredible goal from the boundary line to give them a glimmer of hope.

Not long after, the Panthers sealed the game with a sensational goal against the wind.

Brent Tucker bounded up the middle of the Northparkes Oval with a 60 metre dash with Dimas on his tail, but fumbled the ball with the goals in sight, Leroy Bolt was on hand to swoop on the loose ball and dribble one through from a tight angle.

The Crowd erupted and the Siren sounded and just as a few drops of rain began to fall as the Panthers and their supporters celebrated a great victory.

The final score was Parkes 6 - 10 - 46 to Cowra 3 -7 - 25, Goal kickers for Parkes were Dan Flanagan 2, Nick Baird 1, Peter Webb 1, Brent Tucker 1 and Leroy Bolt 1.

Next Game will at Bathurst on the 13th July against the Outlaws.

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