The Jersey Flegg Panthers faded in the second half to be beaten by Mounties 32-10 at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday.
The young Panthers enjoyed a four-point lead at halftime but some clinical Mounties attack after the break handed them their first defeat of the season.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the 12th minute through centre Shannon Harris. Dean Blore couldn’t convert from out wide, leaving the visiting side ahead 4-0.
Former Panther Setefano Hala attempted to impose himself on the contest for Mounties but only succeeded in giving away back-to-back penalties and being put on report for a late shot.
As the first half wore on, more attacking opportunities presented themselves. Cutting back against the defensive line, Harris found just enough space to bounce his way over in the 26th minute. The successful conversion from Blore put Panthers ahead 10-0.
Mounties hit back in the 37th minute as Corey Horsburgh broke clear and found Brendan O’Hagan back on the inside. The halfback threw a loose pass that was athletically reeled in by Darby Medlyn to dive over. O’Hagan slotted the conversion to reduce the visitors’ lead to four points at the break.
HALFTIME – Panthers 10-6 Mounties
Five minutes into the second half a floating cut-out ball from Panthers fullback Daine Laurie put James Conroy into space, but a last-ditch tackle saw the winger taken into touch.
Instead it was Mounties who scored next after capitalising on an error from Harris under the high ball. With the Panthers defence scrambling, some improvised passing saw Horsburgh burrow his way over in the tackle in the 53rd minute. O’Hagan’s attempted conversion sailed wide, leaving the game locked up at 10-all.
The home side hit the lead seven minutes later as a well-weighted grubber from five-eighth Lachlan Cooper sat up perfectly for Joshua Stuckey to score. The conversion was successful from O’Hagan and Mounties led 16-10.
Mounties were in again in the 65th minute after a tired kick chase from Panthers was caught out by a quick spread to the right edge. Winger Semi Valemei linked up with Mathew Lyons for the centre to run 60m down the sideline to score. The successful conversion made the score 22-10 to Mounties.
Mounties made the final scoreline even more convincing with a late try to Cooper and Valemei grabbing his second of the game.
FULLTIME - Panthers 10-32 Mounties