Gracious Bathurst High School principal Ken Barwick is hopeful Dubbo College can go on and score a drought-breaking Astley Cup victory in Orange next week.
The statement came after Dubbo secured a strong win over Bathurst on Friday.
Dubbo went into the second day of action with a 40-point lead after winning three of the four sports on offer on Thursday and the victory was set-up early on Friday as the hosts dominated the athletics.
A win in the rugby league followed before a draw in the girls' soccer while Bathurst scored a consolation victory in the boys' soccer, the final result being 1-0.
Those scores resulted in the final overall points being 449-351 in favour of Dubbo.
"It's been a few years waiting for them but it goes around and I hope they go to Orange and beat Orange," Barwick said on Friday afternoon.
"I'd rather a school win both ties than a points countback situation."
There is still some uncertainty around the cup as one day of the tie between Bathurst and Orange last week was cancelled due to snow but the result of that won't matter if Dubbo can win on the road next week.
"It was fabulous. I can't speak more highly of the kids involved with the Astley Cup and them keeping the traditions alive," Dubbo College Astley Cup coordinator Craig May said.
"But we've got a very hard job. It's a four-day turnaround to go to Orange and get some results there.
"Who knows what we can do though? We've put ourselves in the game but it's a big, big challenge going down to Orange."
While May isn't getting carried away after the win over Bathurst, the Dubbo school is now in a strong position to get its hand on the famed cup for the first time since 2011.
"I truly believe Orange will finish over the top of Bathurst in their round so we have to do everything we can to get every point we can in all the sports," May added.
"But Astley Cup is alive at Dubbo."
Dubbo College dominated the track and field events on Friday morning before the action headed to Apex Oval.
The hosts overcame the sending off of Aston Warwick to score a 20-8 win, one in which featured a stellar performance from Zac Williams.
The soccer then finished the day and while there was no win for Dubbo, May was extremely proud of the girls' side for scoring a 0-draw.
"We had positive results in everything. The highlight for me was the girls' soccer today," he said.
"We played the CHS (Combined High Schools) final (against Bathurst) and we lost 3-0 and today was 0-0 and we were probably unlucky not to score a couple of goals
"The effort was wonderful and we need the same thing from them next week because girls' soccer is very important to us. I really can't fault any of the results."
Dubbo won five of the eight sports on offer and Barwick said the hosts' consistency was the difference.
He and May were also delighted to see competition back after COVID forced the historic tri-school competition to be abandoned last year.
"Astley Cup is the pinnacle of our sporting calendar," Barwick said.
"After missing 2020 it's been good to get back on the field and the students have enjoyed it. Credit to Dubbo who were really consistent across the board.
"We're always strong in soccer but Dubbo has really improved in a lot of areas."
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