Bathurst High School is in the box seat to claim victory over Orange High School in the opening tie of the 2017 Astley Cup, after a strong performance Thursday’s first day.
Bathurst, the home side, won three of the four sports on offer to take a 230-163 lead going into Friday’s second day of play.
A win and a draw from the boys’ and girls’ soccer, respectively, at Proctor Park handed Bathurst an early advantage.
Victory in the athletics gave Orange an opportunity to pinch the lead towards the end of the day but Bathurst was an unstoppable force on the tennis court.
Orange was back within 17 points of their opponents heading to the Bathurst Tennis Centre but the hosts won nine of the 12 sets on offer to once again race clear.
“I’m really happy with the way our Bathurst High School teams played across the entire day,” Bathurst’s Astley Cup coordinator Josh Lawler said.
“They’ve all put in a massive effort and went out there leaving nothing to chance.
“Our tennis players did an excellent job under the fantastic tutelage of coach Paul Abbott.
“I’m really taken aback by the score there. For them to finish 9-3 is amazing. I was expecting something closer to a 6-6 or maybe a 7-5.
“It shows that Mr Abbott has certainly got his pairings right and got a great group of players together.”
Bathurst took an early lead thanks to a 1-0 win in the boys’ soccer.
An own goal from Orange just a couple of minutes into the match was all that separated the two schools.
Orange looked like it was going to repeat that score in the girls’ soccer, except in the Hornets’ favour, after scoring against the run of play in the first half.
The hosts nabbed a late equaliser to ensure the points were evenly split.
Those results gave Bathurst a 117-83 lead going into the athletics.
Orange showed its sprinting depth to gain a valuable eight points on Bathurst.
The boys’ high jump went unfinished after a head injury to an Orange participant, leaving up to seven points still on offer for either school.
That left Orange 55-38 winners from the athletics, before Bathurst’s gigantic win in the tennis.
Crucially, in OHS Astley Cup coordinator Tegan Dray’s eyes, there’s still a couple of sports her side is traditionally strong in to come.
“We’ve still got a couple of traditionally strong sports like the netball and hockey to come,” she said.
“We just have to keep the pressure on. At the end of the day you don’t know whether you’re really in front or behind until all the sports have been played.”