Junior League | Lavington Panthers go back-to-back

LAVINGTON has claimed back-to-back premierships in the under-16s with an exciting 10-point win over Corowa- Rutherglen in yesterday’s division 1 grand final.

The Panthers, who went into the clash as favourites, showed why with a 12.4 (76) to 9.12 (66) victory in a cracking contest at the Albury Sportsground.

Corowa-Rutherglen took the lead briefly in the second quarter but Lavington wrestled back control from there to surge to a comfortable 19-point lead at half-time.

They were never headed.

But the Roos never gave in, with Will Robinson best on ground in defeat.

Robinson did plenty of damage in the ruck and up forward for the Roos.

Ryan Garthwaite booted five goals for the Panthers, with Bryton Garth, George Johnston and Caleb Myers also prominent in the Panthers’ hard-fought victory.

“We certainly had to earn it,” Lavington coach Rod Garthwaite said after the game.

“Our kicking kept us in the game.

“They really came hard at us.

“They’re a tenacious side, Corowa, and I have nothing but respect for them.

“It was an arm-wrestle all game.”

Garthwaite said the Panthers played like they were feeling the weight of expectation.

“We played ugly and won,” he said.

“Last year, we came from nowhere and won and nobody expected it.

“This year, we had to carry the burden of being the stand-out side in the competition.

“But the boys got it done.”

Meanwhile, in Division 2, the Yarrawonga youngsters proved far too strong for their Scots opponents.

The Pigeons ran out winners 12.12 (84) to 6.4 (44).

Ryan Bruce was best on ground with five goals in a brilliant display.

Matt McCabe chipped in with four of his own, while Jordan Nelson, Will Robinson and Damon Hemphill also impressed for the Yarrawonga side coached by Ross Mulquiney.

Dominic Bunton and Charlie Spargo were Scots’ best in defeat, with Campbell Elliott booting four goals for the losing side.