A DEVASTATING golden- point loss in the final robbed Farrer of taking back to back University Shields yesterday at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah.
Bathurst High kicked a field goal in the second half of extra-time to win the Shield 27-26.
Farrer got off to a slow start and was chasing the scoreboard the entire game after Bathurst jumped out of the blocks to score two early tries.
Last weekend’s Group 4 grand finals may have taken a toll on the Damien Kenniff -coached side which looked flat.
“They (Bathurst) were the better team on the day,” Kenniff said.
“We just made too many unforced errors and they didn’t make a mistake.”
“You have to play close to perfect footy to win a grand final and we didn’t do that.”
The coach summed the game up when he said that Bathurst did not knock-on once in the entire match, and Farrer knocked on in the second tackle of the game.
Farrer found itself down 20-6 at half-time before courageously fighting back to 20-20 with 15 minutes to go.
Bathurst scored again and then Farrer scored on the bell, with the conversion setting up a grandstand golden-point finish.
A very tight first period of extra time had the teams playing in the middle and matching each other, but then Bathurst’s Nick Loader potted a field goal to break Farrer’s dream of back to back Shields.
Farrer expected its rivals to be tough after Bathurst convincingly beat Gorokan with an excellent completion rate, which it once again displayed in the final.
“They just didn’t make a mistake and we were making unforced errors early in the tackle count,” Kenniff said.
“Bathurst had a good forward pack which just kept coming at us all game and took its opportunities early.
“We got away with it a few times this year but they just really made us pay for our mistakes.
“We learnt a tough lesson out there today.”
Farrer captain Zander Smith stood out for the side and Year 10 student Cory Manicaros came off the bench in the second half and injected some intensity and direction into the team.
A lot of the Farrer side tasted success in last year’s final when it smashed Tumut, and half the side will get to have another crack next year.
Kenniff hopes they can take what they learnt from this game and put it into next season.
“You just can’t make unforced errors like that and win.”