Panthers take charge in second half to score semi win
AUSSIE RULES: Panthers booted 16 second-half goals to storm to victory against Brothers in the first week of the AFL Capricornia semi-finals.
Just two points separated the teams at the main break before Panthers took charge of the contest, running over the top of an under-manned Brothers outfit to score a 91-point victory.
Coach Tommy Kneen was a happy man, saying the team had exceeded his expectations after winning just two games last season.
"I wasn't expecting to make it this far this year. I was just hoping to win a few more games than we did last year,” he said post-match.
"Last year was a big building block for what we're doing this year. We blooded a lot of young players and I guess you could say it's paying off and we're still blooding young players as we go today.”
Among the young talent to emerge this season is Andrew Kapernick, who Kneen nominated as one of his team's best against Brothers for his non-stop effort in the backline.
Panthers went into Saturday's knock-out semi having lost the last three games of the regular season but Kneen was always confident they could turn that form around.
"I think we still knew what we were able to do and I think we went out there and were able to do things a bit more consistently today,” he said.
"It was a really good win. It started off really tight in the first and second quarters but it was good to see the boys really kick away in the last.”
Sam Gudgeon and Clinton Evans were on song up front, leading the Panthers' scoring with seven and six goals respectively.
Levi Davenport was strong in the middle, while ruckman Haidyn Thomas led the way with his chase and tackling pressure.
The Panthers next game is in a fortnight's time against the loser of next weekend's major semi between minor premiers Yeppoon and BITS.
Saturday's loss marks the end of the road for Brothers but coach Michael Rose said his players could hold their heads high after coming from competition wooden spooners in 2016 to being in the finals mix this year.
SEMIS WEEK 1
A-grade men: Panthers 2.2, 5.4, 11.10, 21.11 (137) d Brothers 0.0, 5.2, 6.3, 7.4 (46)
A-grade women: Brothers 1.2, 4.4, 4.4, 5.7 (37) d Gladstone 0.1, 0.1, 0.1, 0.1 (1)