Every orchestra needs a maestro and for Bathurst St Pat’s, that was halfback and skipper Mish Somers in Sunday’s Group 10 league tag grand final win over Orange Hawks.
She directed the Saints with aplomb, but more than anything it was her right boot that had the biggest influence on the game, and thanks largely to it she was named player-of-the-final for the second straight year.
All three of St Pat’s tries in the 16-6 win came directly after Somers hoisted bombs in the air, that were then spilled at the back by the two blues.
She kicked high and often at Cowra’s Sid Kallas Oval and, outside leading to those three tries, her nudges consistently put Hawks’ back three under pressure, which told as the two blues often struggled to get out of their own half.
She also kicked two of her three conversion attempts.
“I didn’t think I’d win it, I thought it was a big team effort and I didn’t really think anyone was actually too much of a standout, everyone played pretty well. I couldn't be prouder of all of them,” Somers said, explaining the option to go high was her plan from the start.
“We’d seen them a few times and at times they hadn’t been all that confident under the high ball so we thought we’d test them out and see how it went, it worked out in our favour obviously.”
St Pat’s coach Mick Armstrong lauded his skipper, saying she’d executed that plan perfectly.
“Hawks’ back three are very, very good players but they’re young too so we thought we’d try and put them under some pressure and see if it paid off,” Armstrong said.
“Mish kicked beautifully, it was a plan and she put it into action really well.”
Somers went on to credit her side’s mentor too, with the win being her side’s second on the trot after being beaten 7-6 in the 2016 grand final by Blayney.
“It’s awesome, to go undefeated with these girls is pretty incredible too,” she said.
“It’s a big credit to Mick (Armstrong, St Pat’s coach). He’s puts all our plans in place and gets us in the right mindset, it was good we were able to execute them [on Sunday].”