The pre-match game plan by Scott Fox and his Dubbo Bulls to throw everything at Westside Panthers in the early stages paid handsome dividends when they came away with a 2-0 win and the Jim Auld Shield at Lady Cutler on Saturday night.
The Western Premier League local derby in round 11 football promised a lot and produced plenty, especially if you were a Bulls fan.
“This was the one we wanted to win and full marks to everyone we achieved that,” Fox said.
“We wanted to frustrate the hell out of them early and not let them get into a pattern. I think it worked pretty well.
“Nelson Flick put us one up early and Mark Blyton added the second one so after 30 minutes we were two up and travelling okay.
“At half-time we talked about retaining our composure and possession and limiting their chances.
“There were probably a couple of times when we let ourselves down but overall it was a pretty good all round team effort.”
Fox singled out sweeper Tom McKeon in the backs as his best.
He worked well with his support and put pressure on the Panthers’ forwards when they did get a chance.
The Bulls attacking duo up front Nelson Flick and Mitchell Coxsedge were also outstanding and made the Westside defence suffer on the two occasions when they scored.
Despite the defeat Panthers’ captain Alan Auld said it wasn’t the end of his team’s bid to retain their WPL first grade premiership.
“To be honest I thought we had a lot of chances but the bounce of the ball didn’t go our way, which was disappointing,” he said.
“However I can see some positives. We created a lot of chances and in the second half we had most of the ball but didn’t convert those chances into goals.”
Auld conceded that a defensive mistake of his own opened the door for Nelson Flick to put the Bulls 1-0 up and on the second occasion Blyton made the goal his own with a superb strike from 25 metres out.
“Being down 2-0 we had to try and make things happen but when you do that it doesn’t always turn out right,” he said.
“Looking back though I think if we could have got a goal early it would have made a lot of difference to the way we finished and in turn put more pressure on them as well.
“However, I don’t think one loss is going to mean the end of our season. We’ll have a look at what we did wrong and take that on board for next weekend’s game on the road against Lithgow Workies.”
But the match of the weekend in round 11 will be at Waratah Park in Orange when the competition’s two heavyweights – Waratahs and Bulls – go head to head.
It should be a beauty.
In Dubbo Orana Spurs play Canobolas Rangers at Lady Cutler.
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