WESTERN gave a strong account of themselves against some of the state’s best junior talent during last week’s NSW Combined High Schools Boys’ Football Championships held in Bathurst.
Western, featuring Lithgow’s Luke Thompson, finished the tournament on Thursday, June 7 in eighth out of 12 teams, going close to completing a comeback in their playoff game against the CHS Invitational side.
Considering the high standard of play Western coach Paul Waine was happy with his team’s result.
“We went down 3-2 in our last game. It was a really great performance from the team. We were down 3-0 at half-time but made some changes and gave them a really big scare towards the end,” he said.
“That invitational team have been together for a while and they’re playing at the highest level of football in Sydney.”
Western got their campaign off to a great start on Tuesday when they downed Riverina 1-0.
The hosts played Sydney South West for the right to top spot in their pool but their metropolitan opponents were a cut above in a 6-0 win.
That result meant Western had to face defending champions Sydney West in a tough quarter-final meeting on Wednesday.
Western struggled to maintain possession but their defence kept them in the contest.
Sydney West’s quality shone through by the end as they picked up a 2-0 win.
Western lost by the same scoreline to Hunter and the result sent the home side to the 7th/8th playoff.
“We purely worked on our defence at training because we knew that was where our strength would be. We played really well against some quality teams,” Waine said.
“We had a couple of training runs against some local teams and that definitely helped us prepare.”
Sydney West went on to win the final 1-0 over Sydney East in a physical decider. Both teams finished with just 10 men on the field.
It was a memorable tournament for Bathurst’s Ryan Rooke. His performance earned him a place in the CHS shadows.