AFTER two narrow defeats the Oberon Tigers broke through for their first Group 10 win of the season defeating the dangerous Lithgow Workies 24-10 at Tony Luchetti Oval.
With star back Jackson Brien out resting an injured ankle, the Tigers' local favourite Lochie Gilmore stepped in to the fullback role in an impressive display.
New young guns Tye Siakisoni and Elias Dukes were sensational on the wings and repeatedly helped Gilmore diffuse the many Workies bombs that were sent their way.
Up front it was captain/coach Josh Starling leading by example, tearing into the big Lithgow pack and continually bending the defensive line.
Off the back of one dominant Starling charge, five-eighth Farren Lamb stepped around a couple of Lithgow defenders to give Siakisoni a clear run to the line to open the scoring.
Lamb converted to jump Oberon out to a 6-0 lead early in the game.
With the Tigers pack working in unison, the visitors found themselves camped on the Workies line and in-form hooker Richie Peckham took advantage by surging over from dummy half in a display of raw power. Lamb again converted to stretch the Tigers' lead out to 12-0.
Oberon supporters were again on their feet as Blake Fitzpatrick forced his way over the tryline but was held up according to the touch judge as the referee was about to signal a try.
The pace and intensity of the game to this point was energy sapping. Richie Peckham's tactical kicking game out of dummy half has been a feature so far this season and it was a 40:20 kick from him that gave the hard working Tigers pack a much needed breather with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Lithgow, however, were desperate to put points on the board before half time and regathered for a concerted effort in the shadows of half time.
Dukes, Siakisoni and Gilmore were called upon time after time to diffuse soaring bombs that were dropped with pin-point accuracy by Workies as the clock wound down.
In the sheds at half time Starling was happy with the effort that his team had put in and urged his men on to keep the intensity up. They were obviously listening with Matt Ranse, Lamb and Siakisoni all causing early second half problems for Workies.
However, Lithgow managed to regain composure and on the back of sustained pressure and repeat sets of tackles were finally able to cross out wide at the 15-minute mark to close the gap to 12-6.
At that point Starling, after a break on the bench, injected himself into the game and immediately made an impact by using his size and strength to barge over and get the Tigers back on track leading 18-6.
Shortly after big centre Abel Lefaoseu added salt to the wound inflicted by Starling by bursting through the Workies line to set up another attacking play on the host's try-line.
Again it was that man Peckham, who is so dangerous close to the line, crossing for his second try of the game to give the Tigers a 24-6 buffer inside the final ten minutes.
To their credit Workies kept trying to the end and were rewarded with a late try to close out the game 24-10.
For the second week in a row Richie Peckham was voted best and fairest and also players' player, with Siakisoni and hard working 80-minute second rower Andy Adams also picking up points.
THE first division side came crashing down to the ground with a crushing 48-0 defeat.
With in-form prop Liam Walsh sidelined with a broken foot and team general Joey Coughlan missing, the Tigers woes were further exacerbated with the sending off of stand-in captain Jason Corliss for dissent.
THE under 18s rued an earlier missed goal in going down 18-16 in a close affair with Robbie Walsh, Jake Foley and Jacob MacCullagh putting in strong displays and Charlie Bailey crossing for a double.
THE League Tag girls were well in the match at half time trailing 8-4 and remained competitive to eventually fall short 22-10.
Jade Taggart was voted best and fairest with Shannon Fisher and Danielle Fisher also figuring in the awards.
The Tigers sit just out of the top five on points differential and will be looking to carry last week's form into Sunday's game against the visiting Orange Hawks at Oberon.
League Tag starts at 10.30am and the Premier League at 2.15pm.
The Leagues Club and canteen will be open so come down and help the Tigers continue their climb up the ladder.