Recruits sparkle as East Malvern opens Southern league season by thrashing St Pauls
East Malvern’s prudent recruiting campaign paid early dividends when the Panthers demolished 2014 preliminary finalist St Pauls by 64 points in the SFL Division 1 season-opener at Lucas Oval on Saturday.
Shaping as the big improver this season, the Panthers outplayed the Doggies in most departments, with the irrepressible Tremaine Tohiariki at the forefront.
The experience of former Broadbeach (Queensland) skipper Matt Fife was also evident and Fife showed he will be a huge asset for the Panthers this season.
Fellow newcomers Ryan Fitzgerald (ex-Kilcunda Bass) and Shaun James (Tasmania) also excelled, with James booting three goals. The lively Benji Neal was also in the action for the winners with four goals of his own.
If not for the return to the ranks of former league best-and-fairest winner Liam Wilson, the story may have been even worse for the Doggies. Wilson was immediately back to his best form, with solid support from Tim Blackwood, Jarryd Allen and Tim McIntyre.