BATHURST Giants spent their Saturday slowly reeling in the Orange Tigers during their Central West AFL match at Bloomfield Oval.
However, just when the Giants were about to catch their prize the line snapped.
The sending off of Paul Jenkins with 10 minutes to play brought the Giants’ comeback effort from the visitors to a halt.
Jenkins was ejected from the match for voicing his opinions of the officiating to the umpire.
Tigers skipped away in the remaining time to record a 16-17-113 to 11-11-77 victory, and keep their fight for second on the ladder spot alive.
“A couple of decisions didn’t go our way towards the end. We got within four points at one stage … but I think our guys got a bit disheartened by a couple of the calls,” Giants coach Mark Kennedy said.
“We were never more than four kicks away from them the whole game. I’m really proud of our guys. This year we just wanted to be competitive, and we’ve done that. It’s just a few little things we’re not executing at the moment.”
Tigers threatened to put distance between themselves and the Giants as they went out to a 36 to 14 lead at quarter time.
The home side maintained a 25 point advantage after a close second quarter but after the main break Giants made their charge.
Giants outscored the Tigers five goals to two and had the momentum heading into the last quarter.
Jenkins’ departure put an end to that run.
While disappointed with way the last quarter played out, Kennedy said his side weren’t short on spirit.
“Our plan was to make Orange change up their structure and that’s what we managed to do. Josh Bubnich carved us up through the middle, and he was the difference on the day,” he said.
“James Kennedy had one of the best games he’s played for us. He rucked all game against Ryan Nelson and Jason Adams, who are very experienced.
“Kev Walker played a great game in the backline and nullified a lot of the Orange attack. Luke Macauley and Sam Sloan were excellent. Sam’s four goals really helped us out.”