It?s the stuff of dreams
By DARRYN NUFER - firstname.lastname@example.org
IT was a fairytale finish of epic proportions for the CQU Panthers faithful.
Boasting just one win from the past five seasons and trailing the defending premiers (albeit winless in 2005) by two points with less than 60 seconds remaining ? an unexpected hero arrived.
Barry Stanley, meant to be playing as a loose man in the backline, kicks from an acute angle outside the attacking 50m for a match-winning goal.
"No, he wasn't meant to be there. He just wanted to win, everyone wanted to win,'' Panthers coach Darrell Dunnett said after the Trend Interiors Carpet Court AFL Capricornia round five clash with Gladstone at Rockhampton Cricket Grounds on Saturday.
"It was just absolutely mind-blowing for the players.
"To win like that is absolutely terrific.''
Even match time-keeper and CAFL stalwart John Broad had goosebumps.
"There was 43 seconds left when the ball went through the posts,'' he said.
"It's one of the most thrilling finishes to a game I've seen since I started in 1981.''
Panthers trailed by 15 points at half and three-quarter time before snatching a thrilling 7-9-51 to 5-17-47 win.
Dunnett said Stanley's heroics aside, defender Barry Morris and captain Clinton Evans, who scored two goals, were his team's best.
"Barry shone like a light in defence and Clinton was probably our best on-ground.
"The last few games we've led and let the lead slip.
"It shows a bit of character to do what they did out there.''
In a beaten side, Greg McCallum, Rick Coles and Damon Alchin were the best for the Mudcrabs.
In other games on Saturday, Glenmore kept its unbeaten 2005 season record in tact with a comprehensive 21-14-140 to 7-143 win over Yeppoon at Yeppoon's Swan Park.
BITS maintained top spot on the competition ladder with a 22-10-142 to 2-6-18 demolition of Brothers at Boyne Island.
BITS, along with Gladstone, have played one more game than the other teams in the competition after playing their round six match early, on Thursday, April 28.