No better feeling.
That was how Narrabri coach Dylan Duncan described beating Moree in Saturday’s first elimination final.
“There’s no better feeling than beating Moree at Moree,” Duncan said.
The Blue Boars again proved that form means little in the finals, especially when it comes to Narrabri and Moree, upsetting their arch rivals 22-18.
It was another titanic and brutal battle between the two sides, the Blue Boars clawing their way back from a 12-point deficit late in the first half to trail by five at the break and then from eight points down in the second half to hit the front with just over seven minutes remaining.
“We did it the hard way,” Duncan said, also alluding to the number of penalties they missed.
Twice after Jydon Hill had stepped his way through the defence to score and with the conversion bring the Blue Boars within one, they had opportunities to claim the lead, but Will Morley’s radar wasn’t quite on.
But then with just over seven minutes to go, Jacob Booby clapped on the pace and cut through the Bulls defence. Looming in support Peter Meppem burst away down the sideline, and then as the cover defence came across flung the ball back inside to find Wade Maloney.
The Bulls did have one final fling in the dying seconds but coughed up the ball, as the Blue Boars secured another win for the ages.
Duncan had stated heading in he thought they were “a massive chance” and was encouraged by what he saw from his side early on in defence.
“When we defended for that first 10 and defended well I knew it would be a very good game and we were right in it,” he said.
“It was just that hunger for the ball and hunger to defend.”
They were aggressive, and for the most part blunted the Bulls’ forward momentum.
It was a game of two halves with the Bulls having the better of the possession and territory in the first half, and the Blue Boars dominating the second after working their way back into the game late in the first half, and scoring right on half-time through Daniel Kahl.
“That was coming and came through good phase play. The holes were there we just had to find them,” Duncan said.
His message at half-time was along those lines, telling his side if they could hold onto the ball they could win the game.
Ball security was one of the Bulls’ downfalls. The other was discipline, losing three players to yellow cards.
“You can’t have 30 minutes of players off the field,” coach Dave Silversides said.
Not only does it put extra stress on the players on the field, but also disrupts your rhythm.
“It’s just difficult to get any continuity when you have players coming off the field,” Silversides said.
“At the end of the day Narrabri played a solid game of football.”
They controlled the possession at the right end of the field, he said, and were very good at capitalising on their illdiscipline.