Eltham Vets lost by 21 points to powerhouse Vets team South Croydon Bulldogs in their first fixture of the season away at South Croydon.

Both teams made the finals last year but were each bundled out in the semi finals. Eltham also beat the Bulldogs in the first ever Vets game at Eltham Central Park in a memorable 2 point encounter that put the Panthers on the Eastern FL Vets map.

It was always going to be a tough assignment for the lads given they had 10 or so new players in the team as it takes a while to gel and work out a bit of structure. This was evident in the second quarter when we got outclassed 6 goals to 1 to open up a winning lead.

The second half was a different story as the Panthers kicked 6 goals to 3 and at one stage during the last quarter were only 2 kicks behind before South Croydon steadied and retained their lead to the finish. Unfortunately a couple went down with a niggle, Thommo hamstring, Gav and Nath knee and Brett Maylin sore knuckles!! Hope they come good and are back soon.

The Panthers have plenty of upside with some blokes to come into the side over the next few games. Hoping Lukey is eligible after a minor indiscretion last year, our B&F ‘BG’ to return, Azza back from the boxing ring, Lovey over the flu, Rudy, Sammy O’Meara, Sammy Oldfield, Burts, Smithy, SR, Lorra and Nicko hopefully not far away.

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
South Croydon 2.0-12 8.2-50 9.3-57 11.6-72
Eltham 1.1-7 2.1-13 6.3-39 8.3-51

Goal Kickers: B. Aldred 2, K. Jones 2, M. Tallack 2, R. Gardam, A. Coath
Best Players: B. Aldred, D. Karabatsos, S. Strickland, S. Kilby, S. Whiteside, M. Minney