Panthers crush Woolgoolga
By GREG WHITE
THERE'S no other way to handle such a delicate subject other than stating the facts.
The team tipped a likely premier has hit the wall while the outfit overlooked by all the 'experts' goes from strength to strength.
Sawtell blitzed Woolgoolga 48-6 at the Sports Reserve yesterday in a match so one-sided alarm bells should be ringing across the northern beaches.
Following in the wake of the devastation created by props Neal McCarthy and Brad Wykes, the Panther backline had the easiest ride of any side this season.
"I don't listen to the critics," winning captain-coach Craig Wallace said when asked if the authority of the win would silence the doubters.
"We have a job to do and as professional footballers, we do it."
The Seahorses went into the game without chief playmaker Arthur Murray, stood down for the second time this year for 'disciplinary reason'.
But even with Murray in his No. 6 jumper the Seahorses would only have drawn benefit from some extra options in attack.
In possession of the football their execution was diabolical while their inability to get past three handlings in a set of six tackles was downright appalling.
"At least we get two points for the bye next week," Woopi mentor John Cross remarked dryly.
Group 2's gentleman coach did his best to sound positive and refused to be critical but it was obvious from the way he muddled his words he had to be hurting inside.
"We still have a month to get back on track," Cross pleaded.
Anyone watching the performance suspects he'll need every day of that four-week period.
But for Craig Wallace, inscrutable as the Shinx on good days and bad, he must be feeling an inner glow.
"Everybody did their job today," he said without expression.
He was right about half the combatants on the day.
IMPACT POINT ? Anytime Wykesy (Brad Wykes) and Boxhead (Neal McCarthy) called for the ball and commenced to charge the Woolgoolga defence.
SUPPORTERS SNAPSHOTS ? "That was bloody terrible. Pure and simple." ? Kyle Hands, Woolgoolga.
"You've love to be a backline player working behind a pack of forwards like that. It was a devastating performance." ? Phil Jacobsen, Sawtell.