It was far from their best performance but Orange CYMS got the job done against Bathurst St Pat’s in Sunday afternoon’s final round of the Group 10 premier league regular season, cementing their much-coveted top three spot.
With the 1988 premiership side on hand for Old Boys’ Day and the current crop wearing one-off jerseys to mark that premiership and the club’s other titles, CYMS eventually ran out 48-30 winners over the spirited Saints.
The victory ensured Mick Sullivan’s final regular season game in charge – potentially his last home game in charge too – was a success as well, and set up a massive, local derby qualifying final against second-placed Hawks next weekend.
“It is a bit of a pity we’re not hosting that one, but good luck to Hawks, I’m sure it’ll be a big weekend,” Sullivan said.
“We got the job done and that’s all we had to do. It was nice to get the win with everything we had going in the club [on Sunday]. But we’ll start looking toward next week now and have a look at where we’re at.”
Sullivan’s side shot out of the blocks, Travis Adelerhof scored in just the second minute and had another disallowed three minutes later.
Although the score was only 4-nil at that point the green and golds were already threatening a blowout.
But then, inexplicably, momentum swung.
The Saints scored through Sam Dwyer and then Josh Howarth, the latter plucking a Chris Grevsmuhl cut-out pass out of the air and going 70 metres to score, to lead 12-4 at the 16-minute mark.
The two sides traded tries throughout the rest of the first half, and the start of the second, with the lead changing hands a number of times.
CYMS took it back for the last time in the 51st minute when Sullivan put Cam Jones through a hole the size of Victoria to score, Grevsmuhl converting to give his side a 28-24 lead.
With the Saints fatiguing, that’s when the floodgates opened.
CYMS scored another four tries to St Pat’s one to win the 78-point shootout comfortably and although he admitted it wasn’t a particularly good defensive effort from his side, Sullivan gave the Bathurst outfit a rap.
“They’ve got some quality players in that side, good attacking players. These games can be hard sometimes when you’ve got a team like St Pat’s who are coming over here without anything to play for really, and just having a bit of fun,” Sullivan said, referring to the fact St Pat’s were out of finals contention well before Sunday’s game.
“I actually thought our attacking play was really good for the most part. We just needed to get the job done [on Sunday] and we did, that’s the main thing.”
The defeat drew the curtains on St Pat’s 2018 season and captain-coach Greg Behan’s time in charge too, with Luke Branighan taking on the role for 2019.
“I was happy with 60 minutes of that game, but we just ran out of petrol,” Behan said.
“It’s not the result we wanted and a lot of our results this year haven’t been what we wanted, but there’s positive signs and most of the guys have signed on for next year already which is good too.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Branno and I’m excited to see what he can bring to the side, and where he can take the group. I’m excited to see what I can learn from him too.”
- ORANGE CYMS 48 (Travis Adelerhof 2, Joe Lasagavibau 2, Dom Maley, Cam Jones, Ryan Griffin, Adam Stanford, Chris Grevsmuhl tries; Grevsmuhl 6 goals) def BATHURST ST PAT’S 30 (Sam Dwyer, Caleb Wardman, Josh Howarth, Leigh Monaghan, Chris Kirby tries; Howarth 4, Wardman goals)