A mega fourth-quarter comeback from the Dubbo Demons has seen them beat Parkes to claim their first win of the season.
The Demons trailed by 27 points heading into the final quarter but were able to keep the Panthers scoreless and utilised the wind at their backs to land six goals and snatch the win 8.9-57 to 6.15-51.
Demons stalwart Mick Daly said the victory was a morale-booster for the side and came from sticking to the game plan.
“They’d be devastated to lose that one. I was thinking back and trying to figure out how they lost it but we just kept coming at them,” Daly said.
“It’s a good win for us. It’s probably better to lead wire-to-wire but a win like that always lifts the spirits.”
The Demons started the game against the wind, and with so many changes from previous weeks, they were again getting used to playing together.
Parkes made the most of the circumstances, going to the break 4-6-30 to 1-1-7 and they were able to maintain the gap, leading 5-9-51 to 2-5-17 at half-time.
However the third quarter saw the Demons start to find their feet. Despite going against the breeze they restricted the Panthers to just one goal for the quarter and gained plenty of confidence.
After kicking three goals for the first three quarters, Dubbo came out and booted five in the final period, delivering Parkes a crushing blow as they took the lead with just minutes to go and were able to hold on.
Daly said the side was better at sticking to the gameplan of coach Will Bunt in the second half, and that sparked the resurgence.
“The win was a real factor. We ran into it in the first quarter and the third. We didn’t take advantage when we had had it in the first half but the second half was much better,” he said.
“When we held them to one goal while against the wind in the third quarter, that gave us confidence.
“At no stage did the team throw the towel in. There were a couple of old heads who helped there,”
Daly said Bevan Charleton-Shields, Chris Bell and Joe Hedger were among the standouts for the Demons.
“I think Chris Bell deserves a lot of recognition. He did about 5000 kilometres for work and then he comes over here and played with the Demons,” he said.
“He brings a lot of experience to the side and Bevan Charleton-Shields has been another good addition.”
Dubbo will now get a test of how it is travelling when it has consecutive road trips to Bathurst, starting with the Bushrangers Outlaws on Saturday.
Meanwhile the match between the Orange Tigers and Bushrangers Rebels on Saturday was postponed because of a section of Waratah Sportsground being declared unfit for play.