One more to go.
Bathurst High School is one step closer to back-to-back Astley Cup triumphs after completing a dominant home leg against Dubbo Senior College on Friday afternoon.
Bathurst won five of the eight sports during the opening tie of the 2018 cup and will travel to Orange High School next Thursday hoping to clinch consecutive crowns in the competition’s 95th year.
Dubbo’s only respite during a tough opening day of competition in Bathurst was a 39-30 triumph in the netball on Thursday afternoon, while thrilling wins in the boys’ soccer (2-1) and in the rugby league (26-24) ensured the visiting college left some some pride in tact.
Other than that, it was all Bathurst and BHS Astley Cup coordinator Lachlan Blaikie believes the successful opening leg has set up his school’s quest for another Astley Cup title perfectly.
Bathurst won its tie with Dubbo by 174 points.
“We’re always confident … I think we’ve got a good shot, we’ve got some really good teams. We’re capable of winning, it’ll come down to how we manage it on the day,” Blaikie said.
“We’re confident, but as you can see, it comes down to the last 10 seconds.”
Blaikie believes BHS will have an advantage over Orange next week having already played all sports as a warm-up of sorts against Dubbo.
But he says there will be one thing working in Orange’s favour – the home crowd.
Blaikie says his school was lifted by its home support at crucial times during the tie.
“I just think the support from the crowd, the home grand advantage is massive,” Blaikie said.
“I spoke to some of the Dubbo coaches and there were certain times when games swung and the crowd got behind the teams and it rattled the Dubbo sides.
“It’s a good couple of days. Seeing the kids get around each other, seeing it go down to the wire. It can be heartbreaking for the kids but you can’t win them all. They take a lot out of this.”
Dubbo’s Craig May said his school wasn’t up to speed during the first-up day of the 2018 cup, but was hopeful of a better showing on home turf when OHS visits Dubbo College on July 5 and 6 after a spirited display on day two against Bathurst.
He was hoping the cup is still alive at that stage too.
“To win the league, we mightn’t have won the round but, by geez, that was one hell of an ending,” May said of the two-point win in the rugby league.