SHATTERED following his side’s eight-point loss in yesterday’s grand final, Orange Hawks captain-coach Tim Mortimer believes experience won out on the day.
Playing in the club’s first decider since defeating Mudgee 34-30 at Jubilee Oval in 2003, the two blues went down 22-14 against a CYMS side playing in its fourth-straight Group 10 premier league grand final.
“It’s tough to take, but someone has to,” Mortimer said after the loss.
“It’s pretty disappointing. There’s no doubt about it, we put in 100 per cent but maybe we were a bit excited. We weren’t nervous, it just might have been that lack of experience and the experience CYMS had.
“We kept throwing it on the fourth and kept dropping it, and you can’t do that in grand finals. The other team will punish you and that’s what happened.”
Hawks toughed it out in the first half with their defence, but ultimately had to play a fair amount of catch-up football as CYMS raced out to a 22-4 lead by the 46th minute.
Mortimer, though, gave his side every chance of running down the score.
“We’ve had some good second halves this year, we knew we could come back,” Mortimer said.
“A few things didn’t go our way in the first half and that proved the difference.
“As I said, 100 per cent effort was there so I’ve got to credit the boys with that, unfortunately it wasn’t our day.”
Just their third loss of the 2013 season, Hawks had their best premier league campaign since 2010 when Todd Barrow led the side to the preliminary final before going down to Mudgee one game shy of the grand final.
CYMS won the decider that year as well.
In 2013, Hawks defeated CYMS 18-10 in round one, 18-14 in round 10 and then 12-11 in the major semi-final two weeks ago.
They just couldn’t manage a fourth derby victory this season.
Already a close knit group, Mortimer said he was hopeful of everyone returning to the club in 2014 for another shot at glory.
“From what I know, I think everyone wants to stay and keep Hawks strong,” the first year captain-coach said.
“I’d like to stay, we’ll just see how things go. That’s all for the future. I’m not going to worry about footy for another month or so, I’ll take a breather for a while. It’s different coaching.”