BATHURST High School made an ideal start to their 2017 Astley Cup campaign on Thursday thanks to a 1-nil win in the boys soccer over defending champions Orange High School.
An unfortunate own goal from Orange’s Dillon Bell just three minutes into the opening event of the cup tie proved to be the difference between the two teams.
Bell was defending Bathurst striker Ryan Peacock on a cross and in his attempt to clear the ball over the goal the Orange defender instead found the back of the net.
Bathurst went close to extending their lead on several occasions through Damien Mays and Steven Long, as well as a Ryan Peacock header off the crossbar.
The hosts had to settle for a 1-0 result, giving them a 67-33 points split.
“It’s all about maintaining pressure and having a mindset for playing the whole game out. That’s what we spoke about, for every sport, is playing the game out right to the last second,” Bathurst High School principal Ken Barwick said.
“It’s a little like State of Origin really. This is a rivalry that goes back years and years, not just at school but town level. Each of the towns want to be the best sporting town in the Central West, and it starts at school level.
“You can see what it means to them with their level of cheering.”
Orange enjoyed a large share of possession but struggled to get many shots off.
“The boys played an extremely good game and probably had possession for 60 per cent of it, but unfortunately we went down with a loss,” Orange coach Aaron Routh said.