WE’VE known it all along and after Orange City’s memorable Blowes Clothing Cup victory on Saturday now everybody else in the Central West know it too.
Orange is the home of sport in the region after claiming wins in all three major football codes, while also remaining the dominant force in the Regional State League Central West competition, notching an 18th-straight title.
It’s the first time since 1999 Orange has boasted the Group 10, Blowes Clothing Cup, Central West AFL and State League netball champions all in the one year.
What made 1999 all the more special was Canobolas Rangers won the Central West Soccer League title.
In 2013 no regional soccer premiership was contested.
Orange City councillor and sports fanatic Jason Hamling said Orange would be “the envy” of every regional city in the state after a sporting year to remember.
“It’s absolutely sensational,” Hamling said.
“We’ve cleaned up Group 10, the aussie rules, rugby union ... it’s been a very successful year for our sporting clubs.
“I’ve been very proud to see all the headlines.”
It’s been a month-long ride of sporting success stories.
On August 24 the Orange Tigers pulled off the upset of the winter season, defeating the previously untouchable Bathurst Bushrangers to claim this year’s Central West AFL title, the black and golds’ first since 2002.
Then on September 1, Orange A took out its 18th-straight Regional State League Central West title with a comprehensive 58-39 victory over Bathurst A, continuing the most dominant run in Central West sport.
Then, two of the biggest weeks Orange sport has seen eventuated.
On September 8, Orange CYMS defeated Orange Hawks 22-14 in the Group 10 premier league grand final, the first derby decider seen in the competition.
Over 5000 people flocked to Wade Park to be part of it.
And on Saturday the quadrella was complete when the Lions defended their Blowes Clothing Cup title undefeated, quashing a massive Parkes Boars outfit 32-16 in front of a parochial Pride Park crowd.
The win extended City’s unbeaten run to 38 games over two years.
Each triumph is individually brilliant.
The result as a collective is even more remarkable.
Hamling’s advice is to enjoy the moment.
“I remember four or five years ago it was the other way around,” Hamling recalls.
“It’s a big merry-go-round. You’ll have successful times and then, the good with the bad, there will be times when success is hard to come by.”