The Astley Cup has presented the ultimate in sporting drama after Bathurst High Campus bagged a nerve-racking 402-398 win over Orange High School on Friday afternoon.
Thursday’s boys high jump was postponed after a competitor was injured and it would only be continued if the overall tie come down to seven points or less after the rugby league match.
As it panned out, Bathurst trailed 357-336 going into the league match at Carrington Park and needed a solid victory to close the gap.
With just 10 minutes to go, though, scores were locked at 20-20 and Bathurst High Campus’ rugby league team knew they were up against it.
But two late tries saw Bathurst claim a 30-20 victory and draw within a single point of Orange in the overall tally.
It was a rough and tough game that saw four sin-bins.
With minutes remaining and the tie still in the balance, Bathurst sports organiser Josh Lawler rushed over to the Sportsground to set the high jump up for a thrilling finale.
Lawler said Bathurst were lucky to get away with the victory.
“The heart was in the mouth at the footy, when we were down 10-nil early and than the rugby league boys came back to give us a 60-40 split,” he said.
“Then we had to come over and finish the high jump.”
Lawler praised the efforts of the Bathurst students.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the kids. They played their hearts out, they played with great sportsmanship.
“As far as I can tell, they were really positive with the communication on the field.
“They just wanted it a little bit more. It was just great to see, after a couple of years without it, that we could actually get it back.”
Bathurst will travel north in two weeks to play Dubbo College.
“It’s never over. We could always go to Dubbo, they good be really strong in a couple of areas,” Lawlor said.
“They could beat us and Orange could beat them by more than a four-point split and still could end up with the cup.”
Orange sports organiser Tegan Dray was proud of her students in defeat.
“In these kind of events you always see the best of everybody, the best of competitors, the best of school spirit and it’s always an enjoyable experience to be part of,” she said.
“We got the home ground advantage next week [against Dubbo] which always work in every team’s favour. It was great to how such close competition with Bathurst, the last two days.
“All sports are equal and all sports have to do their jobs. For me, that last event is the way it is and all eight sports deserve credit for getting the job done.
“For the three schools, they realise how special this competition is and how unique it is. We always get past students to come up to Astley Cup competition to watch and always proud to carry on the tradition it has.”
Orange claimed victory in all sports on Friday, bar the rugby league.
The girls netball finished 38-31 in Orange’s favour, while Kobe Mansell win inspirational as Orange came from behind to beat Bathurst 48-38 in the basketball.
Orange won the girls hockey 4-0 with Eva Reith-Snare scoring all four goals for the visitors.