BATHURST Bulldogs maintained bragging rights over CSU Bathurst, and gave themselves a good springboard into the Blowes Clothing Cup finals with a 40-25 win over the students on Saturday.
Bulldogs opened the scoring early on through five-eighth Steve Locke, who marshalled his back line expertly in the opening 40 minutes.
His conversion made it 7-nil, before James Tooth opened CSU’s account and Tom Pegler added the extras to lock things up.
However, parity didn’t last long for the home team, as Phil Tonkin scored Bulldogs’ second.
When Izaak Breen crashed through, Locke’s conversion made it 21-7 with 10 minutes remaining until half-time.
Tom Joseph scored his team’s fourth then, to rub salt into the wound, Josh Lees went over for Bulldogs’ fifth, with Locke’s sideline goal making it 33-7 at the break.
After half-time, CSU were a different side.
With the ball permanently locked in Bulldogs’ half, Tooth grabbed his second before Tonkin badly misjudged a Nick Rutherford bomb, with Tom Keft latching on the free ball to score. CSU second rower Sam Robertson continued to keep his team’s hopes alive with a good try after a well-worked lineout move.
At 33-24 the feeling was starting to build with Jack Roberson sin-binned for a lifting tackle.
However, handling errors cost the students and Tidswell took advantage, sealing the win with his late try.
BATHURST BULLDOGS 40 (Hayden Tidswell, Steve Locke, Tom Joseph, Josh Lees, Izaak Breen, Phil Tonkin tries; Steve Locke 6 conversions) def CSU BATHURST 24 (James Tooth 2, Sam Robertson, Tom Keft tries; Tom Pegler 2 conversions)