A THUMPING major from beyond the 50, a spectacular banana kick and a pressure goal from a 50 gamer - all were key moments as the Bathurst Giants posted one of the grittiest wins of their AFL Central West history on Saturday.
With a huge list of unavailable regulars, the Giants fought back from a six-goal deficit at quarter-time to beat the Orange Tigers 9-14-68 to 9-5-59 at Waratahs Sports Club.
It was not until Sam Sloan, playing his 50th senior game for the Giants, booted a major in the dying minutes that Giants coach Mark Kennedy knew his men would walk off the field as victors.
"We had a number out, we had under 17s playing for us and a couple of reserve grade guys ... then in the first quarter I thought 'This is going to be a long day in the office boys'," Kennedy admitted.
"But we had a bit of a chat at quarter-time, made a few changes, threw a few magnets around the board and Broesy had one of his inspirational talks and the guys came out a different side in that second quarter.
"I don't think they kicked a goal in that second quarter and we kicked three goals and a couple. The third quarter we set up defensively again as we knew they were coming in the wind, and we kicked another three goals.
Sloan's goal was one of three he kicked on the day and took his tally for the season thus far to 20, but his major was not the only one which was a highlight for the Giants.
Emmitt Carr-Smith and Jordan Ashcroft - who was playing just his second match in the top grade - provided inspirational moments of their own as the visitors clawed their way back into the contest.
"Emmitt had one of the best games I've seen him play in a couple of years, he kicked an absolute bomb from about 60 out, it was a cracking goal," Kennedy said.
"He was copping it from the sideline, they were giving it to him because he lined up for a shot but we backed him. If he gets hold of one it goes, it's not coming back. This thing just sailed through.
"There was also Jordie Ashcroft's goal which was against the wind, deep in the pocket and at an impossible angle and he's done the ole boo-na-na and curved it around. That really lifted the guys."
He was copping it from the sideline, they were giving it to him because he lined up for a shot but we backed him.Giants coach Mark Kennedy on Emmitt Carr-Smith's long bomb
After their slow start, the Giants coaching staff opted to make some key positional changes.
Firstly Simon Kay and then Max Currie were given licence to drop into space between the half-back line and the centre to make it difficult for the Tigers to clear the ball.
Cooper Traves, in his men's tier one debut, was also solid on the wing.
"We put a lot of pressure on the ball carries coming out of their defensive 50 to make sure they couldn't hit targets and had to rush kicks. We just cut it off," Kennedy said.
By three-quarter-time the Giants trailed by just one point, the three goals five they kicked in the final term enough to give them the lead and the win.
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