IT was a season in which potential did not translate into much sought after Group 10 premierships, but Bathurst Panthers president Dennis Comerford is still rating 2017 as a success.
All four senior Bathurst Panthers teams – under 18s, women’s league tag, first division and premier league – qualified for this year’s finals series.
Panthers was the only club in the competition to do so.
However, from such a strong showing in the regular season, not one of those sides progressed to grand final day.
The under 18s fell in the second week of finals with a 38-26 minor semi-final loss to Mudgee.
The three other Panthers sides all exited the title chase at the preliminary final stage.
The league tag outfit went down 12-6 to Orange Hawks, the first division side suffered an agonising 13-12 defeat against St Pat’s, while the men in black lost 24-12 to Oberon in premier league.
That top-grade defeat marked the second consecutive year Panthers had fallen one win short of a grand final appearance and came after the outfit had only been defeated once during the regular season.
Still, Comerford was pleased with the effort of all four Panthers sides and offered particular praise to Todd Barrow.
“We’re happy with our achievements this season, no doubt about it,” he said.
“Obviously there was some disappointment we missed out on making a grand final, but it’s still been a good year, to win the club championship was a great achievement.
“All four of our sides made the semis and they were all in the top three [in the minor premiership].
“That is a massive effort from the club and I give a lot of credit for that to Todd Barrow. He is our first grade coach, our premier league coach, and everything flows down from what he does.
“It was a shame not to have a side in the grand final, it’s probably been a long time since we’ve not had at least one side there on grand final day, but that’s just footy I suppose.
“The good thing about it is that we get to give it another crack next year.”
Across the grades, Panthers won 52 of 70 games in 2017.