ORANGE Tigers coach Tim Barry was left lamenting a lacklustre fourth quarter from his troops in Saturday’s Central West AFL under 18 major semi-final as the black and golds lost to Bathurst Bushrangers at Country Club Oval.
After holding a narrow two-point lead at half-time, and then a 10-point buffer at three-quarter-time, the Tigers were blitzed by a motivated Bushrangers unit in the final stanza, eventually losing by eight points.
The Bushrangers kicked 4.2 in the final quarter compared to the Tigers’ 1.2, reeling in the deficit and securing an unlikely 11.10 (76) to 9.14 (68) victory.
“I think we just ran out of legs a bit in the final quarter,” Barry said.
“We definitely had opportunities to put it away in the third quarter, and the fourth, but we missed them.”
Barry said the Tiger cubs’ coaching staff will look at several positional changes before this weekend’s preliminary final clash against Dubbo at Bathurst’s George Park.
“We persisted with a few match ups which in hindsight, were not working,” Barry explained.
“So I think, with a full squad, we’ll have a look at a few different positional things before this weekend.
“I think having the extra run will be good for us.”
Barry highlighted Toby Polkinghorne as a standout in the losing Tigers team. Polkinghorne kicked two majors, and along with Caleb Campbell (three) was the Tigers only multiple goal kicker.
“He also gave us very good drive when we moved him to centre-half-forward,” Barry said.
Former Tigers, now Bushrangers, Dan and James Donato became Orange’s worst enemies, kicking five and three goals respectively to lead their side to victory.
Later in the afternoon the Tigers’ reserve grade side also lost out to Bathurst - 11.19 (85) - 9.7 (61).
The reserve grade will play Cowra Blues in this weekend’s preliminary finals at Bathurst’s George Park.