Axemen cut up after defeat

ORARA Valley has managed to steal defeat from the jaws of victory when a last-minute Jeremy Lang field goal stole two points for the competition-leading Port Macquarie.

When Chris Shears barged his way over the try line on the hour, the Axemen were leading 14-6 and looking good.

Ten minutes later, a Daniel Tempest penalty goal from virtually right in front made the score 16-10 and the Axemen’s hunt for a finals berth was about to receive a much-needed boost.

But the final moments of the match went horribly wrong for Orara.

Tempest missed another penalty goal from the same position that would have sealed the win.

Joel Asher then scored to tie the game up before Lang made himself the hero of the day for the Sharks.

“Tempest missing that goal I think gave us a bit of a lift and they don’t give up this year,” Port Macquarie coach Tony Pascoe said.

“They (the players) are tight and every time you need them to lift, they do.”

Still shaking his head over the capitulation, Axemen coach Darryl Fisher said there were several errors made late that cost them the two points, not just the missed penalty goal.

“To be honest there were things that we should’ve done in the game to get it down this end of the field that don’t let them score that try to make it back to 16-all,” Fisher said.

“There’s things that we could’ve done to avoid them being in a position to get a drop goal as well.”

The Axemen players were visibly heartbroken on the field after letting such a golden opportunity slip but their coach did add that positives could be taken from being in a winning position against a quality opponent.

“It’s a step in the right direction, though,” he said.

“We’re definitely heading towards playing the style of football that the team is capable of and not beating ourselves.

“They put us under pressure at the end and got the result but we hung in there, we didn’t make it easy and that’s all I want them to do, make teams earn their wins and a lot of the time we’ll get the win because of that.”

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