Published on Sunday, April 29, 2018

Author : Jarrad Gardner

Eltham continued its unbeaten start to the 2018 A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 season with a dominant 63-point win over Thomastown in Round 3.

An eight-goal to two first quarter set up the 19.12 (126) to 9.9 (63) win for the Panthers at Eltham Central Park.

Brandon Freeman was the star up forward for the home side, booting 7.5 on his way to a best on ground performance in his first senior match for 2018.

Eltham coach Paul King was full of praise for the forward post-match.

“Last year in Division 1 we really struggled to kick goals, but coming in today he (Freeman) had 12 shots on goal,” he said.

“What he brings as well as goals is pressure in the forward line. He works both ways so seven goals is a good return from a mid-sized forward.”

Thomas Burns and Lewis Glasgow were the only other multiple goal scorers for the Panthers with three and two goals respectively, while Tim and Paul Currie were named among the best alongside usual suspects Anton Woods, Brent Macaffer and Tom Rogers.

For the Bears, Salvatore Mamone was the only multiple goal scorer with three majors and was one of his side’s best players in defeat, joined by David Folino, Adrian Natoli and Daniel Chadwick.

Eltham got off to a flying start despite being a man down early after in-form swingman Luke Wachinger was forced from the field within the first ten minutes.

That didn’t stop the home side however as they went on to boot the first six goals of the match, before Anthony Capeci was able to put one through for the Bears.

A 34-point quarter time lead wasn’t enough in the eyes of the Panthers, as they kicked four goals to one in a much more congested second quarter to stretch their lead out to 54 points at the main break.

It looked as though the lead would once again balloon in the third quarter after Freeman kicked his fourth in the opening minutes, however Thomastown then managed a fightback and kicked five of the next six goals in a 20-minute purple patch.

Eltham coach Paul King credited the Bears pressure in the third term.

“Thomastown, to their credit, all day they competed really hard and we probably took the foot off the pedal a little bit and we weren’t as intense. We started to turn the footy over and when we did that they got on top of us,” he said.

“I gave the boys a wrap at half time and said they were going well, and they probably got a bit conscious of that and just thought it’s going to be easy.”

Freeman was able to boot goals number five and six late in the third term to give his side a 48-point lead going into the final change.

Macaffer and Freeman booted goals in the first five minutes of the final term before Mamone and Burns each booted their third goal for the match.

Eltham travels to Watsonia in Round 4, where the Sains will be looking to cause an upset for their first win of the season. Meanwhile, Thomastown will travel to Banyule in an important clash for both sides as they look to stay within reach of the top teams on the ladder.

Final scores: Eltham 19.12 (126) def Thomastown 9.9 (63)