Astley Cup 2017: Tennis and athletics victories had Bathurst High in front of Dubbo College and set for glory

Bathurst High School is well placed to get its hands back on the Astley Cup after finishing day one of the tie at Dubbo with a healthy lead.

After winning just one sport at Orange last week, Dubbo College was vastly better and after going down in the tennis early, bounced back with a convincing win in the netball.

The basketball finished in a thrilling tie while Bathurst High was a bigger winner in the athletics and finished Wednesday’s competition with a 230-170 lead.

Dubbo will need a shock win in hockey, hope for a resounding victory in the rugby league and win both the boys and girls soccer to be any chance winning the Cup for the first time since 2011.

For Bathurst, it is a case of more of the same needed on Thursday to pair a win over Dubbo with a victory scored against Orange last week.

“Knowing that you’ve got a chance to win always makes you play that little bit harder,” Bathurst’s Astley Cup coordinator Josh Lawler said.

“Dubbo was very competitive today and they’re also in with a chance of getting the Astley Cup  to themselves so competition was of a high standard.”

For Dubbo coordinator Craig May, there was feelings of pride after seeing his side compete so well.

While the hosts lost the tennis nine sets to three it could have been far worse in a sport the school has often struggled with.

There’s some big sports tomorrow and we need to get results in all of them. - Dubbo's Craig May

A number of players were missing but there was effort from all those who picked up a racquet.

“We had a draw in the basketball, a win in the netball and our tennis players did what they were supposed to and were a bit unlucky,” he said.

“The athletics is one of those things … we’re pretty happy at the end of the day.

“There’s some big sports tomorrow and we need to get results in all of them and if we can do that it will be a positive.”

There was a number of standouts from both schools on day one but Bathurst’s Zen Clarke lit up the Barden Park track when running sub 10.5 seconds on his way to winning the 100m while he also won the 400m, high jump, long jump and ran the final leg in the relay win.

Dubbo had its moments on the track, Majayda Darcy and Emma Blake both performed well, but it was the visitors who finished the best.

“All the kids did really, really well. I couldn’t be more proud of their effort,” Lawler said.

“I’m sure Dubbo will be very strong in their remaining four sports so it will be a good day of competition and be hard-fought.”

Lawler was also full of praise for all the students and the huge amount of support both schools showed on day one.

May was also pleased with the attitude on show, with a huge number of Dubbo students taking part in at least one event.

“All of our kids did really well today,” he said.

“We had some injuries that hurt us but all the kids who came in did really well.”

Day two action starts with hockey at 9.30am.

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