Clean slate for Panthers, West

Lui Zacher
August 13, 2022 / 11:57 pm

BELL Post Hill coach Justin Tarr believes we shouldn’t read too much into Saturday’s final-round win over Geelong West ahead of next Sunday’s elimination final between the two clubs.

The Panthers, who were marking the milestones of club great Travis Fursland (300) and fellow premiership stars Tim Barton (200) and Nick Costello (100), claimed a 16-point win at Myers Reserve, 10.9 (69) to 8.5 (53).

“We probably had a bit more to play for than West because of the boys’ milestone games,” Tarr said.

“If we didn’t have the boys’ milestone games and Trav’s 300th, it would have been more of a flat feeling.

“I wouldn’t say we held anything back, but we probably didn’t show all our cards.”

Bell Post Hill went into the clash without reigning co-Whitley medalist Dylan Witney who will return next week, while the Giants were without leading goalkicker Blake Dye, ruck Jye Bohm and veteran defender Justin Carey.

“I think it’s a clean slate,” Tarr said. “Both teams are pretty even.

“We’ve had some really close games against them.

“They had a few guys out as well.”

Bell Post Hill forward Jayden Ettridge may be watching on next week after receiving a knock to his kidney/rib area in the third quarter.

The Panthers may also have to replace Zane Jones after he was reported and offered a two-week suspension for kneeing Giant Sam Edwards.

Witney will be a definite return, with Tarry also throwing up Dylan Morton and Brody Hecker as potential inclusions.

Will Ford kicked three goals to finish the home-and-away season on 83, with defender Beau McNamara, Ben Muir and Matt James the Panthers’ best.

With Dye absent and Brayden Mitchell held goalless, Matt Ianelli stepped up for West with a five-goal haul.

Tom Richmund, Harry Smith and Justin White were solid contributors for the Giants, who could be without Tom Burke (ankle) for next week.


Image: Bell Post Hill coach Justin Tarr. (Al Packer)