Saturday’s Central West AFL loss could hardly have been more painful for the Dubbo Demons.
It was an under-strength Demons side which made the trip to Orange’s Waratahs Sportsground on the weekend but despite that, it showed plenty of fight.
But in the end, the final kick of the game from the Tigerettes’ Bec Ford decided the contest.
Ford’s kick on the run from just inside the 50 rolled over the line for a behind, giving the hosts a 5.10-40 to 6.3-39 lead just as the final siren sounded.
The Tigerettes kicked less goals than the Demons but lifted when it mattered, and barely gave the visitors a chance in the final term.
As well as being a heartbreaking loss, the result could have huge ramifications for the Demons on the ladder.
They remain second with three rounds remaining but are level with Bathurst Giants.
The Giants travel to Orange next weekend while the Demons face the Bathurst Bsuhrangers, who have lost just once this season.
A top two place is major thing for the Demons to hold on to as it would guarantee a second bite of the apple comes finals time.
To ensure they hold on to second, Dubbo will be desperate to get all their players back on deck in the coming weeks.
Saturday’s game at Orange’s Waratahs Sportsground was played out tactically with only 13 a side due to Dubbo running short, as the Tigerettes played an extra on a wing with the Demons dropped a spare defender to play loose across half back.
Dubbo are a decent team and to get a win over them was special.Tigerettes star Emma Clark
In the end, the extra midfielder allowed Orange to lock the ball inside their 50 for nearly the whole final quarter, which let them run over the top of tiring Demons.
Forward Emma Clark, who kicked one of the Tigerettes’ five goals, was thrilled.
“We were so excited, we were really happy because Dubbo are a decent team and to get a win over them was special,” she said.
“Everyone played really well, our midfield kept their midfielders in check, they kept them really quiet in that last quarter to get the ball deep into the forward line.”
The win gives Orange massive belief heading into finals, with Dubbo sitting second on the ladder and comfortably beating the Tigerettes twice this season.
Ford’s decisive kick on the run from just inside the 50 was the culmination of one of the Tigerette’s best quarters of the year, which was sparked by stand-in skipper Jacqui Harris’ three quarter time address, according to Clark.
The result makes it consecutive victories for Orange, which provides a huge boost leading into another big challenge this weekend against the Bathurst Giants.
It’s a game that has plenty of extra meaning for the Tigers, they’ll be playing for the Katrina Hobby Memorial Shield, named after the former Tigerettes vice-captain who lost her battle with cancer last year.
- ORANGE TIGERETTES 5.10.40 (Nita Noble, Alayne White, Jenny Whiley, Emma Clark, Bec Ford goals) def DUBBO DEMONS 6.3.39 (Lauren Hazell 2, Matilda Asser, Trudy Sloane, Emily Warner, Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook