ORANGE CYMS have earned a major semi-final date with defending Group 10 league tag premiers Bathurst Panthers after the green and golds defeated St Pat’s 18-6 on Saturday.
Kicking off the 2014 Group 10 finals series in style, the green and golds swept to the 12-point qualifying semi-final win thanks to tries to Sam Laing, Sarah Archer and the speedy Olivia Patterson and will now play for the right to progress through to this year’s league tag grand final next Sunday.
It’s a game CYMS coach Mick Gibson has no doubt been waiting for.
“The arch rivals, Panthers,” Gibson smiled, Panthers claiming last year’s title courtesy of a 20-0 thumping last September.
Their last regular season meeting, however, was a 6-4 Panthers win.
“We came close last time,” Gibson continued.
“We had a try each and they kicked their conversion, we missed ours. They’re always the team to beat, them and Mudgee I think this year.
“We’ll see how we go.”
Storming to a 12-0 lead thanks to strong tries from both Laing and Archer, CYMS were made to sweat just a little at the half-time break when Jess Scadding crossed in the corner for St Pat’s as the siren echoed across Wade Park.
Mish Somers then nailed the conversion from the sideline chalk to edge St Pat’s to within striking distance at 12-6.
An arm-wrestle of a second-half ensued, and with 10 minutes to go CYMS centre Patterson broke the game open, showing a clean pair of heels to race 60 metres and score a great try.
D’Aquino converted and that was the last of the scoring.
Far from complete, CYMS left Wade Park on Saturday simply happy the first week of the finals was an improvement on a lagging back end to the regular season.
“We didn’t play overly well I didn’t think,” Gibson added.
“We didn’t have much continuity with our sets, but we got a few points in the first half and a late try in that second half was enough to get away with it.
“We need to get off the line a bit more in the middle as well and defend a bit better, it was better than last week though.”
Happy to concede CYMS were the better side, St Pat’s coach Mick Armstrong believes his side has to complete the basics better to be a force in this year’s league tag race.
“I thought it was a pretty good game of league tag actually. Credit to the girls,” he said, Emma Cormack and Bridgid Rhynehart two of St Pat’s bright sparks.
“Hopefully we can get a win next week and play either them again or Panthers.”
ORANGE CYMS 18 (Olivia Patterson, Sarah Archer, Sam Laing tries; Nikki D’Aquino 3 goals) def BATHURST ST PAT’S 6 (Jess Scadding try; Mish Somers goal).