A brilliant defensive performance was the key for the Bathurst Giants on Saturday as they downed the Orange Tigerettes 3.13.31 – 1.1.7 in the Central West AFL minor semi-final.
Playing on their home turf at George Park 1, the Giants restricted the Tigerettes to just one major in the elimination match.
And that it came in the final five minutes when the Giants had already built up a commanding lead further highlighted the efforts of the hosts.
“Our backs really stood up – Katie [Kennedy] and Chelsea Gibbs just killed it. They just really nullified anything that was happening down there. Their forwards just didn’t have a chance,” Giants coach Liz Kennedy said.
“It took until that last five minutes of the game for them to kick a goal, so that just shows that our back line did a fantastic job.”
Having formed at the start of 2018, Kennedy said she had never imagined her side would take part in the finals.
But she has seen her squad develop as the season has unfolded and is excited at the prospect of now facing the Lady Bushrangers in a grand final qualifier.
“I was quietly confident at the start, as I had said earlier in the week, but it was good to get out there and get the win,” she said.
“They were nervous because they have never been in that situation before, but they were on. Even though we kicked all those behinds they were still on, they were pumped for the game and they were just ready to go.
“They are on a roll now and they want to roll the Bushrangers.”
But the Orange side had won five consecutive games in the lead up to the finals and Kennedy knew they would provide stiff opposition.
“They had been gathering momentum towards the end of the season, they had a few wins, and we had that dreadful run home with all those away games,” the coach said.
“But it was good to get back out on our paddock and we showed that we do know how to play footy. It was really rewarding and they were just so happy at the end of the game.”
The Giants kicked the only major of a tight opening term and while leading 2.5.17 to nil at the long break, the hosts knew it was by no means over.
They continued to work hard to restrict the Tigerettes’ inside 50s and after increasing their buffer to 27 points heading into the final term, closed things out well.
- BATHURST GIANTS 3.13.31 (Sophie Dixon 2, Elise Gullifer) def ORANGE TIGERETTES 1.1.7 (Bec Ford)
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