It was a hard, tough game - as Byrne-Long clashes always tend to be - but the Orange Tigers fought their way to claim a gritty 38-point win over Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws on Saturday.
In Central West AFL club's annual square-off for the cup dedicated to legends of the league, it was debutant Pete Byrne, the son of Tigers' legend Mark, who stood up and kicked three crucial goals to push his side to a 13-7-85 to 7-5-47 win at Waratahs Sportsground.
While Pete Byrne said there were nerves heading into the game, he didn't show it on the field as he started down back and moved his way forward in the second and third quarters to hit the scoreboard.
"It was a little bit faster and harder than I'm used to but it was good to get the first goal, it felt good," he said.
While it was not the result Outlaws co-coach Steve Grundy was hoping for, he was proud of how his side fought hard against the defending premiers until the final siren.
"We kept fighting right to the end, it was one of those games where the ball didn't bounce our way but we didn't drop our heads, the tackling pressure was there all day and we kept fighting for the footy," Grundy said.
He lauded his brother Peter Grundy's effort and that of midfielder Hamish Keith, who was playing his first CWAFL game after crossing from rugby union.
"On half back and through the middle his [Keith's] attack on the ball was fantastic and just what we wanted," Grundy said.
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Alex Krajcer was also impressive on defence in his first game in Bathurst colours in nearly a decade.
"Early on in the season, probably not our best performance but a real arm-wrestle of a game. Orange probably did the little things better than us," Grundy said.
"We knew the lead-in to Easter was going to be tough for us. I think we showed enough today, it was initially getting to Easter and then we get enough blokes back after that.
Despite the Tigers kicking the opening goal, the Bushrangers held the upper hand in the opening break having booted three majors from free kicks.
The whistles kept blowing all day making for a stop-start affair, but the Tigers slammed on four goals to zip in the second quarter kicking with the wind.
In a similar vein to the side's round one win over Parkes Panthers, the Tigers' young guns stood up, with Byrne kicking three, Charlie Kemp being thrown directly into the midfield, Callan Naden proving dangerous in space and Angus Henderson proving a crucial influence on the wing.
Andrew Adams and James Leven were strong in the Bathurst forward line with three and two goals respectively.
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In the third quarter Pete Grundy and Ben Horne started dominating with Seb Matheson in the ruck.
Horne was a clearance machine while Grundy was dangerous in the midfield or up forward, and the impressive trio sparked a third-quarter fightback with the breeze.
They made the most of Matheson's dominant hit-out craft, kicking three goals to cut the Tigers' lead to 14 points at the final change.
However, five goals in the final quarter with the wind from the hosts put the game beyond doubt.
The win leaves the Tigers on top of the ladder two rounds into the season.