If Dubbo College is to go on and win its Astley Cup tie against Orange on Thursday, it will owe a lot of that to the boys’ football side.
The side showed exactly why it’s the western area champion and NSW Combined High Schools quarter-finalist when scoring an emphatic 5-1 win at Hans Claven Oval on Wednesday.
Making the win even more impressive is the fact the Dubbo side was backing up after the NSW CHS round of 16 win a day earlier.
“We had a tough game yesterday and got up and today we just played out of our skins,” captain Will Grant said.
“Warm-up was a bit how-you-going but we pulled through.”
It was frustrating for the hosts early as plenty of possession failed to result in any genuine chances.
It seemed the Orange defence would continue to thwart Dubbo when Grant, who roamed across the front third of the field in style all game, got a cross in a dangerous area, only to see it headed away,
However, the clearance only got as far as Hamish Grant on the edge of the box and he slammed home an unstoppable shot and brilliant opener into the roof of the net.
That saw the hosts go up a gear and two further goals created a comfortable half-time lead.
Some were tipping Dubbo to go on and score a massive victory but they were soon quiet when Orange High’s Will Cooney scored early in the second stanza to spark the game into life.
But Orange’s surge didn’t last long as a swift counter-attack from Dubbo left Ethan Hyde one-one-one with the keeper and he made no mistake.
The icing on the result was added late on when Trey Richardson smashed home a penalty, the 5-1 win resulting in a massive 83-17 Astley Cup split.
“We had a talk before the game and we didn’t want to go out big-headed and then lose,” Grant said.
“We got in and played hard. A big win like this gives us a load of points so that’s good.”
The captain singled out Hyde and Logan Cracknell and Ethan Willetts who have stepped up and impressed in the CHS competition and Astley Cup.
Grant added he had no doubt Dubbo College has what it takes to play in the NSW CHS decider.