Eltham continue to rack up the wins in MC Labour Division 2, this time it was a 14-point triumph over Panton Hill at A.E. Cracknell Reserve.

The visiting Panthers took advantage of the breeze in the opening quarter where they built a 22-point buffer over the goalless Redbacks, and although the hosts were much more competitive for the remainder of the game, the wet conditions in the second half slowed the scoring, ensuring Eltham would finish 7.11 (53) to 5.9 (39) victors.

Two players that returned to the side after missing the Round 9 clash starred in the match.

Thomas Goodwin was immense, rotating well in the ruck with another inclusion in Finnbar Maley, his presence was difficult to ignore, also going up forward to kick a major.

Jason McCormick also excelled with another four-goal haul, taking his season tally to 28 majors, while Daniel Horsfield had a huge influence in midfield.

Josh Callaway was a bright spot in the middle for the Redbacks, as was Riley Livingstone, who made the most of the limited opportunities presented to him by kicking two majors for his side.

Many stoppages occurred from the onset, foreshadowing a heavily contested game with sloppy conditions underfoot and grey clouds overhead.

Neither team were able to get clean possession of the ball in the early stages, but Eltham dominated territory, with the ball rarely leaving their forward half of the ground.

Panton Hill had to wait until the eighth minute mark for the ball to enter their attacking half, but the Panthers’ defensive structure was effective in limiting the scoring opportunities from their opposition.

When the hosts did eventually find the goals through Goodwin, it started a mini run. McCormick soon followed, presenting with a great lead and mark to quickly extend the margin.

Daniel Horsfield was asserting himself in the midfield, providing great centre clearance work for the Panthers, with the efforts of him and his teammates allowing McCormick to produce a slick goal on the run for his second of the game.

Down 22 points at the first change, the visitors were keen to respond to a poor first quarter.

They started to win more possession and looked more composed with ball in hand, but with their wind advantage dying down, it gave Tim Bongetti’s men the chance to pounce.

The Panthers would produce the only goal of the term 11 minutes in when Cameron Sullivan kicked truly from the goal square.

Despite Panton Hill limiting Eltham’s attack while having scoring opportunities themselves, they failed to convert any of these efforts onto the scoreboard and went into the half time break down by four straight goals.

The rain that had arrived during the break continued into the second half. But it seemed to work for Simon Amore’s men, who had started to fire up, winning the general play and creating multiple attacking opportunities.

Goals from Oliver Parks and Riley Livingstone suddenly shortened the deficit, putting Eltham on the backfoot.

Jason McCormick responded with his third, but it was clear the Redbacks were right in the game.

Both teams traded possession and territory before Declan Carson–McLennan converted a set shot from the pocket for the hosts.

But as they were looking to bring the margin to within 10, Panton Hill gave away a 50-metre penalty, allowing Finnbar Maley to kick a goal and ensure Eltham remained in control with a 22-point three quarter time advantage.

Both teams brought the intensity that developed during the third quarter into the final term. Possession was fiercely contested by each side and the difficult conditions saw the ball living in the middle of the ground.

At the 10-minute mark, the stalemate would again be broken through McCormick, dribbling the ball through from the goal square to add his fourth for the afternoon.

The five-goal lead would prove to be too big of a hill to climb for the Redbacks, but they didn’t let that margin grow, with majors from Connor Lidgerwood and Oliver Parks giving their side some more respectability on the scoreboard.

Eltham’s fourth straight win sees them remain in second spot while a second consecutive loss for Panton Hill has kept them outside of the top five.