An in-form Jack Ellis and Riley Moran led Benalla All Blacks to their 11th victory of the season on Saturday.
The 51-point win over Bonnie Doon was sparked by Ellis’ eight-goal haul and Riley Moran’s midfield masterclass.
Panthers playing coach Harry Moran said his brother Riley’s and Ellis’ contributions to the team turned the game in favour of the home side, and led to the win.
‘‘(Ellis had a) pretty good game all round, we got the luxury of him at full forward this week, which made it easier for us up top, but more difficult around the ground and the midfield,’’ Harry said.
Harry said he was happy Riley was performing for the side, and was not concerned his brother was taking the limelight away from him at the club.
‘‘He’s had the limelight ever since he came to the club to be honest,’’ he said.
‘‘We needed someone to do a job in there, so we put him though the midfield on the weekend.
‘‘It adds another string to his bow really, we didn’t know if he could play there, so we’re stoked.’’
With six games remaining in the Ovens and King Football League, and with 11 wins under their belt, the Panthers have all but sealed their spot in the finals.
This weekend’s action sees the second-placed Panthers travel to wooden-spoon hopefuls North Wangaratta, a side yet to record a result other than a loss this year.
But Moran said he would not be taking the match for granted and would be taking a strong side to ensure a win.
‘‘It’s still not a game we take lightly, we want to win and we want to win well,’’ he said.
‘‘We can’t go in with a mindset of ‘we will win the game’. We’ve got to be ready to earn the win.’’
Talented Panthers player Al Jacka is expected to return this weekend, while Mick Donehue is still ‘‘not 100 per cent’’ and will not be risked.