WHEN Bathurst Bulldogs goal kicker Kurt Weekes successfully struck home a penalty goal with 25 minutes to go in Saturday's Blowes Cup grand final he could never have imagined that he had just found the winning points.
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Those three points would give the Bulldogs a 15-13 lead - an advantage that his side would be able to hold onto right until the full-time whistle, under a wave of Orange Emus pressure and several close calls in defence.
Weekes himself was responsible for two of those crucial plays, first chasing down Emus' AJ McNiven after he penetrated the Bulldogs line near half way and then helping hold up Orange skipper Nigel Staniforth in goal.
Such was the impact of those moments that Weekes was the first person who player of the match, Adam Plummer, mentioned in his post-game interview.
Weekes' successful penalty goal came less than four minutes after Weekes had missed a tough conversion attempt.
The kick, which followed on from Plummer's try down the right wing, was not just a test because of its location on the field.
Weekes was contending with the Orange Emus faithful at the northern end of the ground, who were happy to let him know how pleased they were with the missed effort.
"I was copping a fair bit of slack after that one," he laughed.
"I've got a few friends over there in green who let me know about it, but they're a great team to play. You leave it on the field and you can have a beer afterwards and enjoy it."
No-one would have envied the kicker's job during Saturday's play at Ashwood Park.
The swirling breeze and occasional strong gusts made both in-game and goal kicking a nightmare, especially for those fighting the wind when running towards the eastern end.
Josh Weekes had found that out the hard way in the second grade grand final when a penalty attempt, which looked on the money, curled heavily away from the uprights at its peak.
On account of both the conditions and the strong defensive plays from both teams in the first grade decider Kurt Weekes knew that every point earned was invaluable.
"Getting in front with that penalty was huge because we knew we'd be able to come home strongly," he said.
"The wind was such a huge factor today so it was great to be able to finish with it. The boys really put in.
"We backed our defence and we could carry the ball out of the area, we didn't have to kick it away. If we held onto the footy we knew we could build phases and come out on top.
"All in all, it's been an amazing year."
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