By RORY O’NEILL
PASCOE Vale used accurate short kicking and concise handballing to outscore Maribyrnong Park five goals to four in the face of a howling wind in the opening term on Saturday.
The Lions kept in touch thanks to a couple of free kicks in front of goal but at quarter time, Pascoe Vale led 5.4.34 to 4.4.28.
The Panthers then took full advantage of kicking with the wind in the second quarter.
They piled on six goals including two to Ben Warren and took advantage of several 50-metre penalties.
The Lions could manage only one goal after Ben Jones scored after a brilliant pass from Chris Muratore.
Both teams showed intense desperation and the smother count was exceptionally high.
At halftime, Pacco prevailed 11.6.72 to the home side 5.8.38.
In the third quarter, Marby were harder at the ball and were rewarded with four goals.
Late in the quarter, they came within six points of the Panthers but a late goal by Ben Ross from a snap 20 metres out saw Pascoe Vale head to the last break leading by 14 points, 12.8.80 to 9.12.66.
Marby withheld many forward thrusts in the first 10 minutes of the final term and Pascoe Vale could only score four points in a row.
Then the floodgates opened.
The Panthers used their wind advantage and piled on nine goals and ran out eventual winners 21.14.140 to 10.13.73.
Both teams have now recorded two wins and two losses for the season and are separated only by percentage.
Former Western Bulldogs player and Panthers’ coach Adam Contessa praised his players’ first quarter effort, which set up the victory.
“The players were hard and tough, won contested balls and kept up the tackle count,” Contessa said.
He praised individual performances from Ben Ross, Daniel Harris and Luke Foster.
Former Werribee captain and Lions captain-coach Robert Castello felt his team lacked intensity, made skill errors and didn’t play “free flowing footy”.
On a positive note however, he said that when his team played “one-on-one, they played much better”.
Maribyrnong Park | 10.13-73
Best: J. McKenzie, R. Castello, C. Vearing, L. Johnston, W. Hanson, S. O’Brien
Goals: B. Jones 3, N. Prowse 2, D. Schibeci, R. Castello, L. Johnston, W. Hanson, S. O’Brien
Pascoe Vale | 21.14.140
Best: B. Ross, L. Foster, D. Soncin, G. Urquhart, N. Keating, B. Warren
Goals: B. Warren 4, B. Ross 4, D. Soncin 3, D. Harris 3, R. Jackson 2, J. Polizzi 2, J. Wells, M. Vesnaver, L. Foster