By: Ben Pascuzzi – nfl.org.au
Sunday, June 19, 2016
ELTHAM produced an upset away win over second-placed Greensborough, with a nine-point triumph at War Memorial Park in Round 9.
Leading all day, the Panthers were able to convert more opportunities than their extremely inaccurate hosts as they came away with the 10.6 (66) to 9.21 (57) win.
The victory improves Eltham’s record to 5-4, leaving last year’s preliminary finalist just percentage outside the top five at the halfway point of the season.
Greensborough had the majority of the possession and attack throughout the match, but its inability to convert opportunities cost it dearly. The Boro had 30 scoring opportunities to Eltham’s 16 – almost double the number of scoring shots – in the defeat.
Nevertheless, the Panthers earned every bit of their remarkable victory.
Their rebounding style of play often caught the Boro on the hop, with the Panthers surging style of football reminiscent of what the young side produced in the second half of 2015.
Leading the way for Eltham were Bailey Taglieri, Billy Glasgow and Mikael Avramov. For the Boro, defenders Nick Riddle and Daniel McLinden and ruckman Jamie Cracker were best in defeat.
Early on it was Greensborough doing the majority of the attacking, however, its inability to put goals on the board proved costly. As it was, Eltham nailed the first three goals of the match through Avramov, Josh Merkel and Kieran Malone.
Matthew Hayes finally put through the first goal for the Boro, kicking a superb running goal with an emphatic celebration to go along with it.
However, Harrison Burns replied instantly for the Panthers, giving the visitors a 12-point buffer at quarter time.
It took Greensborough 10 minutes into the second quarter before it was finally able to convert one of its numerous opportunities, with a goal to Josh Riddle moving the Boro within three points of the lead.
Jack Johnston then put another through as the home side hit the front for the first time of the day. Tom Rogers, however, was able to goal for the Panthers to hand them back the advantage.
A couple of goal exchanges saw out the term, with Eltham midfielder Anton Woods able to square proceedings right on the half-time siren courtesy of a 50m penalty.
Eltham came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter, with goals to Malone, Merkel and Adam Brovedani helping the Panthers race out to an 18-point lead.
They would be the only goals for the term as the Panthers went into the final with a 17-point buffer, despite having eight less scoring shots than their host.
Johnston had the Greensborough faithful hopeful of a comeback after he put through an early goal in the fourth quarter to reduce the margin to 11 points.
However, after more missed opportunities by the Boro, Burns was able to kick what turned out to be the sealer with a running goal at the opposite end.
Greensborough got another goal late through Johnston to give itself a sneaky chance, however, it proved to be the last major of the day as the Panthers walked away victorious.
Eltham will be hunting consecutive victories for the second time this season when it travels to Northcote Park.
Eltham Best Players: Bailey Taglieri, B. Glasgow, M. Avramov, M. Evans, M. Williamson, E. Gilbert