THE Blowes Clothing Cup season came to an end for Orange Emus’ second grade side on Sunday.
Emus were beaten 16-11 by the Dubbo Kangaroos in the elimination semi-final.
The Orange side finished the regular season in fifth and had to win to keep their season alive.
Things were looking good when Emus were up 8-0 at the break, but the ’Roos came back to win.
Emus coach Mitch Dansey said he was proud of his boys after the match and praised Dubbo on their efforts in coming back to claim victory.
“I guess that’s rugby at the end of the day,” Dansey said.
“Best of luck to Dubbo, they played well and a very spirited performance, so well done to them.”
Emus almost took the win as they pressured the Dubbo line in the final seconds.
Only a great diving tackle from ’Roos No.8 Diarmaid O’Shea prevented a try right on the full-time whistle.
“We haven’t lost a game in about six or seven in a row now,” Kangaroos coach Andrew Lavelle said after the match.
“So momentum in definitely building towards the finals. It’s excellent.”
Emus had a great start to the game when winger Derek Thompson streaked down the line to open the scoring.
Fullback David Faul made it 8-0 when he converted a penalty goal.
In the second half ’Roos took control of the game and Dansey was disappointed his team didn’t convert their first-half dominance into more points.
“I think we probably should have been a bit further ahead at half-time had we taken those right options,” Dansey said.
“We went wide early a couple of times and looked promising and then I think the boys became a bit complacent at the end of the first half and that was when they came to the realisation that we’re in for a tough day.”
Hugh Caterson crossed straight after the restart for the ’Roos and James Mata converted and then added two penalties to put his side up 13-8.
Faul hit back with a penalty of his own before Mata added another to leave the score at 16-11 in the final minutes.
Emus hit ’Roos line with wave after wave of attack to try and get themselves back on level terms, but O’Shea’s tackle in the last seconds sealed the win for the Kangaroos.
’Roos will take on the Bathurst Bulldogs in a minor semi-final at Cowra on Sunday.