DALYSTON has recovered from a slow start to record a 13-point win over Kilcunda-Bass in a hotly contested match at Bass.
Both sides had their fair share of the Sherrin in the opening term, but it was the Panthers who held the upper hand.
Kilcunda-Bass coach Brent Macaffer looked dangerous early and found Jason Wells in the forward pocket who kicked the first goal of the match after 12 minutes.
The Panthers forward pressure was rewarded when Jaidyn Burgess broke away and nailed a running goal to give his side the early advantage.
Dalyston had a number of forward entries throughout the quarter which were repelled by the Panthers’ defence, led by Matt Edwards and Dale Crawford.
Consistent rain fell towards the end of the quarter and made conditions greasy underfoot.
Although the Panthers won the battle and held a 14-point lead at quarter time, they let themselves down with missed opportunities from rushed kicks forward and lacked a deep target in the absence of forward Luke James.
Both sides struggled to hit the scoreboard to begin the second quarter, before Chris Endres sharked a stoppage near goals and kicked a goal to give the Panthers a handy lead.
Dalyston started to get on top and a free kick to Anthony Bernando at the top of the goal square and subsequent goal shifted the momentum.
The Magpies started to cut into the lead with two clever goals via Travis Krause and Michael Marotta bringing them within four points at the main break.
Once again, Kilcunda-Bass’ kicking for goal let them down with 1.5 for the term.
The conditions improved after half time but both sides struggled to register goals, until Jason Wells marked 35m out and converted.
With Michael Kraska leaving the field before half time with a hamstring complaint, Brad Fisher was moved forward and provided a strong presence.
Dalyston had the quick reply when Chris Graham snapped his first, starting an electric purple patch which would prove to be the difference in the contest.
A quick centre clearance saw Chris Samargis swing through a goal from 45m, before another centre clearance from Dalyston sent the Magpies deep inside 50, where Darcy Brosnan toe poked it over the line to give the Magpies a 10-point lead at the final break.
Dalyston’s magical run continued when
Fisher was on the end of Rhys Harrop’s kick off the ground for a goal to start the final term, before quick hands by Krause found Blake Carew who snapped truly a minute later.
When Marotta recovered from a heavy landing to deliver a pass to Fisher, the big man made no mistake in booting the Magpies’ sixth unanswered goal.
Jason Wells hit back for the Panthers when he launched a goal from in front of the clubrooms, before scoring was halted during a hard-fought 10 minutes.
A free kick off the ball saw Taylor Gibson kick the Panthers’ sixth major of the day, but time was quickly running out and the Magpies held on for an important win to move a game clear on top of the ladder.
Gibson once again gave the Panthers a strong target inside 50, while Edwards was a force down back.
Fisher proved to be the difference for the Magpies, Marotta continued his rich vein of form, Kristian Butler racked up disposals and Tylah Osbaldeston was solid in defence.
The Magpies will host Korumburra-Bena this week, while Kilcunda-Bass will be looking to bounce back when they travel across the bridge to face rival Phillip Island.
Full football coverage in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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