BATHURST Panthers have capped a strong Group 10 women’s league tag season with a commanding 20-0 grand final victory over Orange CYMS.
Fuelled by a major semi-final loss against the green and golds two weeks ago, Panthers’ execution in attack and dominance when tagging was the difference, as the girls in black took their first league tag title out at Wade Park.
Panthers coach Dave Elvy was rapt with the win, redemption of sorts after the Bathurst club went down 14-10 against St Pat’s in the 2012 decider in Lithgow.
“I was down there last year when they lost and there was probably six or seven girls from last year in this team,” Elvy said.
“That does drive you a bit, but the girls have worked hard this year. They played a really good game today and grand finals, anything can happen, we turned up and a few things went our way.
“It’s unfortunate there has to be a loser. CYMS were great this year.”
Looking to atone for their first loss of the season against CYMS at Wade Park a fortnight ago, Panthers got off to the best possible start when Player of the Match Danielle Kirkland dived over from dummy half to score.
Yasmin Radburn impressively slotted the conversion and Panthers led 6-nil after four minutes.
With Panthers dominating possession, 10 minutes later it was 10-nil after Brooke Wardle darted the short side and scored.
The 10-point advantage was maintained until the half-time break, but should have been greater after Wardle plucked an attacking CYMS kick, then raced 90 metres before dropping the ball cold in the in-goal.
In the end, though, it didn’t matter.
Panthers proved too strong and with 12 minutes to go, Stacey Elvy raced 50 metres to score a converted try before the grand final victory was capped with a four-pointer to Claire Woolmington inside the final five minutes.
A dejected group following the loss, CYMS’ co-coach Mick Gibson said his side tried hard but was unable to match it with Panthers across the park.
“They were too good. They executed well with their defence and the score, 20-0, it’s good execution the way they tagged,” he said.
“We just didn’t seem to have it in attack.”
Elvy praised his side’s defence in the grand final.
“Like I said, 20-0 in a grand final, to keep a side scoreless in the regular season is hard enough, let alone the grand final against a good side like CYMS,” he said.
“The girls have worked hard since about February-March and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
BATHURST PANTHERS 20 (Danielle Kirkland, Claire Woolmington, Brooke Wardle, Stacey Elvy tries; Yasmin Radburn 2 goals) def ORANGE CYMS 0