Orange CYMS righted the wrongs of last year’s Group 10 premier league grand final by demolishing the Mudgee Dragons in Sunday’s decider rematch at Glen Willow Sporting Complex, thanks largely to a scintillating first half blitz.
The green and golds piled on 22 unanswered points in the opening half, blowing the Dragons off their home paddock to remain unbeaten on top of the competitions standings.
They scored first in the second period as well, the 28-point buffer proving more than enough as CYMS ultimately ran out 32-12 victors.
Granted, the Dragons side CYMS walked over on Sunday afternoon was a far cry from the one which won last year’s premiership – nine of the Dragons’ regulars are out – but even so, as any coach in the competition will tell you, any win on a Mudgee road trip is a pleasing one.
Then there’s the obvious redemption aspect for CYMS, following last year’s grand final loss.
With the barnstorming Jack Afamasaga returning, many billed his battle with Chris Bamford as one for the ages.
Bamford won it though, he also opened the scoring for CYMS in the 10th minute. Lachlan Munro, Ryan Griffin and Bronx Goodwin also scored in the first period, with fullback Ben McAlpine kicking two from four to give his side a 22-0 lead at half-time.
Mudgee’s only real hope came through Tim Condon, who found space midway through the half but fumbled over the line.
Goodwin touched down again straight after half-time before Mudgee finally opened its account, with Joel Bodium crossing and Sam Wooden nailing the conversion.
It’s just a pity it was too late.
Lee Hicks crossed not long after for the hosts as well, but CYMS held firm for the remainder of the game and Joey Lasagavibau capped off his side’s electrifying performance with a last-minute four-pointer.
Dragons head coach Peter Hickman always knew the game was going to be tough and praised Mick Sullivan’s outfit.
“Mick won't want to drop one game in the season,” Hickman said.
“We have to be ready for them when the finals come around, and we came from deep last year but that’s not to say that it could happen again this year.
“We started behind the eight-ball in the first half and didn’t start the way that we wanted to,” he said.
“They were getting a lot of forward momentum through their forwards and capitalised on the back of that ruck after ruck.
CYMS host Oberon Tigers next weekend at Wade Park.