Panthers earn an easy win
SWINDON Panthers started their new campaign with an easy victory in a challenge match against the RAF Blue Wings.
The Panthers this year have added to there league winning team with the addition of three former Wildcats in Robin Davison, Gareth Endicott and Wayne Fiddes, taking the Link Centre side’s number of Cats in the team to seven.
The Panthers, who are looking to retain the league title and win the play-off final that they lost by two goals last season, were not sure what to expect from the RAF turnout.
However, it became evident that the RAF had not brought their strongest team and it was looking like a long night for the service men with the first Panther goal being scored by Drew Chapman at 2.02 on the clock.
Then the Richards-Gough-Jones line hit a quick three goals with only 7.06 on the clock before the fist reply form the RAF at 8.39 by import Capuhano.
Panthers quickly restored their advantage through Rob Croucher before Loveday gave the hosts a 6-1 lead at the end of the period.
The second period started in the same fashion with a couple of quick fire goals from Dean Baker and a rare slapshot goal from Gough and two more from Croucher set up on a plate by ex-Wildcat Davison.
The RAF replied with one marker at 24.26 and then the Panthers came back with a home debut goal from Kenny Redmond, who also played in the EPL some years ago.
With only three seconds left, RAF player Hobbs ripped one past the Swindon netminder to reduce the arrears to 14-3.
In the final period, Baker completed his hat-trick and sharp shooter Croucher sealed his double hat-trick.
The Panthers now face the Streatham Nighthawks at the Link Centre on Saturday in their opening league match.