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A 3-0 victory to kick off Panthers’ 2022 campaign

IT was a dominant start from Portland’s most senior sides in round one of the South West Victoria Football Association with their three top teams earning victories on Sunday.
Portland’s division one men’s side claimed their win against Warrnambool Rangers with a 3-0 score reflective of a solid first game performance.
Dylan Murray has come into the season with as much form as last year, scoring Portland’s three goals.
Playing coach Jake Davies was happy with his side’s efforts and their ability to build on their game in the second half.
“I was very happy with the game and we played really well,” he said.
“We started pretty well; we delivered on what we had spoken about at training which was retaining possession as much as possible.
“The first half was a bit sloppy compared to the second half; we gave up a couple of chances early and had to recover defensively – we have a lot of younger guys coming up to the senior side so I think it was about settling the nerves.
“At half time we spoke about settling into the game and maintaining composure when we’ve got possession and in the second half the young guys were sensational.”
Portland’s game lifted in the second half with their defensive unit covering plenty of Warrnambool’s attack and their forward half setting up some confident scoring opportunities.
Davies said his side will take plenty of positives out of the win against an improved Warrnambool line up.
“Dylan Murray played really well for us and he knows how to find the goals; Beau Stafford was sensational in the midfield and set up a lot and Sharn Robinson also played a great game,” Davies said.
“Warrnambool were really young last season but this year they definitely have more men in their line up and have improved so I think that’s a bit of a testament to how we’ve built as well still winning by three.
“Our defensive structure was really good on the weekend; it’s probably something we’ve lacked in the past. We’ve had good defensive players but haven’t played with much structure or together so I thought we did that really well on the weekend.”
Moving forward the Panthers will face reigning premiers Corangamite who are expected to be one of the tougher teams in the competition.
With Deakin pulling their team out of the Association for 2022 some of their players have merged with Corangamite.
Davies said it will be a tough match but after spending the week cleaning up errors from Sunday he is excited to see how his side matches up.
“Corangamite are still the current premiers of the league so we expect them to be good,” he said.
“They’ll have some players from the Deakin side so that will boost their line up a bit with Deakin’s best players probably playing with them now.
“Last year we only played them once and we won 4-2, but we know it will be a tough game.
“This week we’ll look at being more clinical in front of goals; there was probably three or four more players who could have hit the scoreboard on Sunday but we just need to have some more composure.”
Division two
Portland showed their depth in the division two match on Sunday defeating Hamilton Raiders 9-0.
The impressive victory highlighted Portland’s strength across both senior sides this season.
Sunday was the first time the division two competition has been on display in the South West Victoria Football Association with the new competition introduced this year.
In the under-16 match Portland continued to show its dominance defeating Stawell 3-0.
It was a tough hit out for the under-14 team with Portland going down to Warrnambool Rangers 0-13.
In the under-12 clash it was another tough match up with Portland’s youngsters finding the back of the net but unable to stem Warrnambool’s impressive attack seeing them go down, 2-13.

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