ORANGE CYMS held off a fast-finishing Lithgow Workies to win their Group 10 match 24-20 yesterday.
The two sides played some excellent football in the first half despite rain, wind and sleet at Wade Park.
The kicking game of CYMS player-coach Mick Sullivan made a difference and helped the home side to a 14-6 lead at the break.
This grew to 24-6 early in the second half before Lithgow came back and threatened to steal victory.
Sullivan was pleased with most of the game.
“I’m really happy with our performance in the first half and probably the first 50 minutes,” Sullivan said.
“Unfortunately we let them back in. They are a quality side and they come back and they take their chances when they get them and they made a really tight contest. Lucky for us we aced up in defence and they had an error or two in them.
“It was pleasing to get away with the win but I would have liked it to have been a bit more comfortable.”
The player-coach said the opening half was as entertaining for the players as it was the spectators.
“I thought it was one of the best halves of football I’ve been involved in,” he said.
“Both teams had minimal errors and we were completing our sets, kicking long and waiting for the other team to crack.”
Lithgow were first to crack when Sullivan delivered a beautiful ball to fullback Tim Bassmann who dived over in the 13th minute.
CYMS were up 10-0 after 18 minutes when centre Dom Maley scored and Sam Hill converted.
A Sam George try and Jono Van Veen conversion pegged it back to 10-6 before CYMS replacement Epa Navale scored on the buzzer for the home side to go up 14-6.
After the break CYMS kept their roll going with tries to Maley and Cody Robbins giving them a 24-6 lead.
With just over 20 minutes to go Lithgow found their mojo and Blake Shepard was first to score.
Corey Willmott and Scott Fittler also ran in tries to reduce the margin to four.
The final 14 minutes were an arm wrestle and CYMS were able to hang on.
Lithgow coach Graeme Osborne said the slow start cost his side but he wasn’t disappointed with their performance.
“There were a lot of good efforts put in by all the players,” Osborne said.
“We had two blokes injured who went back out there a couple of times. I’m very happy with them.
“It was just a good game of footy.”
One blow for Lithgow was the loss of forward Brendon Van Veen with a hamstring injury.
Sullivan praised Maley, Pat Gibson and Bassmann as well as forward Kiel Vardanega.
CYMS’ victory makes this Saturday’s derby against Orange Hawks more interesting as both sides are coming off two wins.
“They really look like a side that’s shaping up and making a bit of a charge,” Sullivan said of Hawks.
ORANGE CYMS 24 (Dom Maley 2, Tim Bassmann, Epa Navale, Cody Robbins tries; Sam Hill 2 goals) def LITHGOW WORKIES 20 (Sam George, Blake Shepard, Corey Willmott, Scott Fittler tries; Jono Van Veen 2 goals).