CYMS hold off fast-finishing Panthers in Thursday night thriller | Photos, videos

An opening half blitz and some steely, desperate goal-line defence in the dying stages proved enough for Orange CYMS to hold off the fast-finishing Bathurst Panthers on Thursday night for a 22-16 win.

Weight of possession told in the opening 45 minutes of the Group 10 premier league match at Wade Park as CYMS shot to a 22-0 lead.

Then as the men in black finally held on to the ball, they scored 16 unanswered points and so very nearly stole victory from the jaws of defeat.

But despite being down to 12 for the final stages after injuries hit - captain-coach Mick Sullivan had used all CYMS' interchanges - and Panthers enjoying all the momentum, the green and golds held strong.

"The slow starts are killing us, you can't afford to give teams like CYMS that kind of start," Panthers fullback Jeremy Gordon said.

"That's just young fellas trying a bit too much too early I think, we just need to settle down a bit. If we can, and we get our starts right, I'm sure we'll go deep into this competition.

"We finished well, but we need to fix up our starts and then we can start competing a bit more with teams like CYMS. A few kicks got us in the end."

Panthers' run started when Jack Siejka scored in the 45th, diving on a grubber from Gordon.

Then Panthers halfback Doug Hewitt crossed from another Gordon kick, which was also tapped back by the mercurcial fullback.

Gordon iced his performance with a try in 65th minute, kicking two of three conversions too, but Panthers couldn't cross again.

JUST SHORT: Jeremy Gordon helped spark Bathurst Panthers comeback on Thursday night, but his side could not reel in Orange CYMS. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

JUST SHORT: Jeremy Gordon helped spark Bathurst Panthers comeback on Thursday night, but his side could not reel in Orange CYMS. Photo: MATT FINDLAY