HE came second in the leading goal scorer for 2013 and the under 18s side he coached finished as runners-up, but on Saturday afternoon Orange Tiger Tim Barry was still able to celebrate being a winner.
Barry was co-captain of the Orange Tigers first grade Central West AFL side which defied the odds and beat Bathurst to claim the Elders CWP Cup.
In a season where the Tigers had pushed but never beaten the Bushrangers and in which Barry himself had battled injury, the 14.8 (92) to 13.11 (89) victory was a sweet one.
“It’s nice to finish on top for once,” Barry said.
“I know there are a lot of people who have worked hard for it. It was just a matter of getting it right on the day. Bathurst had beaten us all year, but we knew if we got things right we could certainly be on top at the end of the day.”
As Barry indicated, Orange had not been able to topple Bathurst prior to Saturday’s George Park decider.
However, they had gotten within nine points of the undefeated minor premiers in one of their regular season matches and held the lead at quarter-time against the Bushrangers more than once.
There was no denying the Bushrangers were red hot favourites given they had won 16 consecutive games on the way to the grand final, but the Tigers never gave up hope.
Barry said they knew a consistent effort across the entire four quarters was required and finally the Tigers managed to do so.
“Pressuring the entire game - that is something we had been looking at,” Barry said.
We had been able to sustain it for two or three quarters, today it was just a mater of getting that effort for the four quarters.”
“That is what our main goal today was. We don’t have next week so we just gave it our all today.
“I kept saying it, we had the belief that we are as good a side as anyone on the day, it was just a mater of sticking to it and our application.”
Barry kicked five majors for the day as he showed why only one man - Bathurst’s Paul Jenkins - had scored more goals than him during the regular season.
He was strong on the lead, took a host of contested marks and importantly, finished most of his chances.
Saturday’s match might be Barry’s last for the Tigers - he is currently unsure about playing in 2014 - but for now he will simply relish one of the biggest upsets the league has seen in recent times.
Orange’s first top grade premiership since 2002 was also the first grand final success for many of the Tigers who took to the field on Saturday.
“This is the first one I’ve played in and I think Corey [McKenzie] has been playing footy for 25 years and hadn’t played in a grand final. It is very special to win it for him and Pearcey [coach Nathan Pearce],” Barry said.