Undefeated Group 10 premier league leaders Orange CYMS were given an almighty scare by Bathurst St Pat’s on Sunday, the Saints producing their best football of 2017 to come within four points of the green and golds.
Saints went toe-to-toe with last year’s runners-up for the majority of the game, eventually going down 28-24 at the Bathurst Sportsground.
A horror 15-minute period for St Pat’s after the break proved the difference.
The hosts surrendered their 14-10 half-time lead and CYMS piled on three tries to go up 28-14.
Outside of that window Saints looked like a completely different side from the one towelled up by Orange Hawks a fortnight earlier.
So much so, CYMS star Tim Mortimer admitted his side was shellshocked, and relieved to steal the win.
“The most important thing was the two points. We were under a bit of pressure at the end there so we’re just happy to get the win,” he said.
“The same thing happened to us against Blayney where we got a little bit complacent. We had the half-time chat to work out what needed to be done.
“We were able to come back out and win, just like we did against Blayney.”
Saints coach Kurt Hancock was over the moon. None expected St Pat’s to come within coo-ee of CYMS, let alone almost beat them.
“We set some new values at the club over the last few weeks and we just wanted the boys to stick to those, and they did,” St Pat’s coach Kurt Hancock said.
“We stuck together. We were positive on the field and our attitude was outstanding. If we play like that for the rest of the season we will win more games than we lose.”
St Pat’s opened the scoring just three minutes into the match through Joey Gunn before CYMS hit back quickly through Cam Jones.
The hosts grabbed a 10-6 lead as a wave of CYMS errors and penalties began to take its toll.
Rob Mortimer found a gap in the Pat’s defence to level the scores at 10-10 before a second Gunn try ensured a St Pat’s lead at the break.
The wheels came off the Saints’ bus in the second half when Tim Mortimer, Chris Bamford and Lachie Munro picked up converted tries.
CYMS went close to finding another try but when St Pat’s took the ball up the other end and scored through Greg Behan the match was back on.
A massive run by Rhys Frame led to a try for Lawrence on the end of the set, but St Pat’s came up just shy of an upset win.
75' - Chris Bamford runs into Greg Behan in the CLASH OF THE YEAR. That could have been heard from two blocks away! Oh my god. #Group10— Alexander Grant (@AlexGrantOz) June 18, 2017
- ORANGE CYMS 28 (Cam Jones, Rob Mortimer, Tim Mortimer, Chris Bamford, Lachie Munro tries; Bronx Goodwin 4 goals) def BATHURST ST PAT’S 24 (Joey Gunn 2, Nathan Lawrence 2, Greg Behan tries; Garry Reilly 2 goals)