Diamond Valley Leader
July 27, 2015 3:27PM
UPSETTING Division 1’s top sides is becoming the norm for Eltham.
The Panthers earned a terrific four-point win over reigning premier Greensborough on Saturday to add to its victories over Macleod and Northcote Park.
Coach Mario Bandera’s side held a narrow lead for the last 23 minutes after conceding five goals on the trot to win by four points at Eltham Central Park, 9.12 (66) to 8.14 (62).
They also survived a set-shot from 45 metres after the siren but that escape was no more than their play in the first three quarters merited.
They kicked the only four goals of the first term and led by 32 points at the last change but four Borough goals within seven minutes put the fat in the fire.
The tireless James Kroussoratis kicked four goals to take him to 62 for the season. Braydn Taglieri and Billy Glasgow also starred.
Bandera put the superb early performance down to workrate and credited his side for holding on.
“It’s all about us and our pressure,” Bandera said. “Even offensively, when the ball’s in the forward 50. Our boys understand that that has to be maintained.”
Bandera conceded that that level of intensity may have taken a toll as Eltham lost two players to injury, leaving it down rotations for 2½ quarters.
“In fairness I think Greensborough restructured as well,” he said.
The gloss from the victory was tarnished by the news that one of those two, James Reid, has torn his ACL. For his teammates, the season is well and truly at the pointy end.
Eltham is fourth, not yet guaranteed finals, but also not afraid to entertain the possibility of jumping to third and earning a double chance.
“I suppose we are in bonus territory a bit, but we also tell the boys not to underestimate themselves. We’re a chance against anybody,” Bandera said.