Myrtleford Saints mauled by Lavi giants

LAVINGTON went to Myrtleford yesterday knowing the Saints would be up and about for their big Easter Sunday crowd with former Essendon star Scott Lucas looming as a major threat.

But by quarter-time, the Panthers had made an emphatic statement to all the clubs.

They piled on seven unanswered goals for a 41-point lead.

They barely looked back, romping to a 103-27 point win against an outclassed opponent, despite losing captain Kade Stevens (calf) on Saturday.

Lavington’s giant forward line set up the victory in that dominant first term.

Adam Prior booted three goals and Justin Koschitzke finally got his hands on the ball 21 minutes in and kicked two in quick succession.

The visitors kept Myrtleford goalless to lead by 62 points at half-time.

Three quick goals to start the third term, including two more to Prior, had a 25-goal blowout on the cards.

Then the Saints finally broke through thanks to Brody Ricardi.

They also kicked the next two, but that would be their last joy as Lavington kicked the last six of the game, pleasing coach James Saker, who held Lucas to just three possessions and one behind.

Although, to be fair, it’s pretty hard to get the footy when it’s 70 metres away for most of the day.

“We were really happy,” Saker said.

“We had an intense focus on trying to quell them at the start because it was a pretty big occasion for the Myrtleford footy club.

“I was really happy with the way we responded early.

“Our usage to (Kosi and Prior) at times was a little poor.

“But when we were able to get it to advantage to a 50-50 they were really good.”

Prior finished with 6.3 for the Panthers and gave off another half a dozen in a best on ground display, while Koschitzke finished with 4.2 and a handful of strong marks.

Matt Pendergast was his quality self in the middle.

Bushranger Brydan Hodgson’s form suggested he won’t be playing much for the Panthers.

Adam Butler controlled the defence, Sam Harris was terrific under the packs, Tom Yensch and late inclusion Nick Meredith were good in the ruck and Adam Flagg (two goals) produced some quality football pushing up to the wing.

For Myrtleford, co-coach Brad Murray was a lone hand.

Murray racked up countless disposals and ensured the margin wasn’t much higher.

Kristan Height and Mitch Dalbosco were others to play well, while Ricardi, skipper Matt Dussin and big man Ben McIntyre tried hard, but they were never in the contest.

Reece Corcoran was a late withdrawal with a calf injury.

His brother, co-coach Leigh Corcoran, was philosophical about the result as he looked to Anzac Day’s showdown with fellow winless team Wangaratta.

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