Central West AFL 2018: Dubbo Demons rekindle finals hopes with win over Parkes Panthers

The points were flowing at South Dubbo Oval on Saturday as the men’s and women’s Demons sides scored confidence-boosting wins but both teams know bigger challenges await in the coming weeks.

The afternoon began with the women’s side scoring a monstrous 17.13.115 to 0.0.0 victory over the Parkes Panthers, cementing the side’s spot at the top of the Central West AFL ladder.

The men’s side, which has endured a horror start to the season, followed that up with a much-needed 16.7.103 to 10.12.72 victory over the same opposition.

“It was a return to form and a much-needed injection of confidence,” Demons president Nick Lowther said of the men’s win.

“We had a big break (due to representative round and long weekend) and that allowed us to refocus the training strategy.

“We had the toughest start to a season in about a decade and that was through no one’s fault … but now the core group has lifted and that group is in the double digits and that’s created a much-needed lift.”

While Parkes has struggled this season and sits at the bottom of the ladder without a win, the Demons still had to get the job done on Saturday and six majors from Bevan Charlton-White helped that happen.

Four other players kicked multiple goals in the 31-point win.

“The boys are feeling good going into next weekend against the Outlaws and the feeling is we need a big scalp at home to put us in a position to make finals.

“But there’s still a lot of work (coach) Will (Bunt) and the leadership team want to do at training this week.”

While the men are four points off the top four, the women remain a huge chance of claiming the minor premiership.

Saturday’s incredible 115-point win, highlighted by a stunning 10 goals from Lauren Hazell, kept the Demons in front of Bathurst Giants on percentages and in first spot on the ladder.

“The girls came off the representative weekend with a lot of confidence but numbers are still a bit of a concern so any girls wanting to help out are still welcome to come and join.

“But we’ve got representative and grand final players and some amazing talent which could play in a much bigger area so it’s a great time to learn under them.”

The proof of that is teen talents Staci Phillips and Elouise Stanbrook being selected for the youth representative fixtures on July 7.

While they and the Demons trounced Parkes on Saturday, Lowther said the Panthers deserved plenty of credit for never dropping their heads.

The women host a battling Cowra Blues outfit while the men take on a Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws side which currently sits in the all-important fourth spot.