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Parkes Cobras go down to Dubbo Bulls in tight Western Premier League clash

ALL it took for the Dubbo Bulls to beat the Parkes Cobras on Saturday was capitalising on a basic error, giving them a 1-nil victory and cementing their spot in the top two.

Dubbo's Kobe Rapley finished a cross with precision in the 13th minute after a bumbling mistake from the Parkes defence, and from there the Bulls just could not be bested.

Cobras coach Meaghan Kempson was left to lament her side's slow start, which ended up costing them the game.

"Our first half patch was awful, we warmed up poorly and that was highlighted in how we started the game," a disappointed Kempson said.

While Brent Morgan, Marty Doherty and Mitch Hutchings all returned from injury to play some minutes for Parkes, all three looked hobbled at times.

Kempson was impressed with the contribution with Doherty in particular though, despite the midfielder not being at 100 per cent

"He has that aggression that we really need in the middle but he also has the ball on a string at times."

It was a very exciting and tense game despite the 1-nil score line, but frustratingly for Parkes supporters the Cobras often held on to the ball too long, making some uncharacteristic errors in defence - something Kempson attributes to a lack of confidence.

"The backs sometime doubt their own abiIity and think the easy ball isn't good enough.

"A lot of the boys are so hard on themselves that they think playing a basic brand of football isn't good enough.

"For us going forward, it will be trying to execute on one-touch, two-touch football; essentially we want win the ball then play the ball," she said.

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Kempson was full of praise for the Bulls, who didn't let up for the entire 90 minutes.

"The Bulls will be consistent for many years and have a lot of depth in their club at both junior and senior level - they are always a hard side to come up against.

I really believe we are capable of beating them but I think today we might have played the underdog card a bit much and almost tried a bit too hard at times," Kempson said.

Fresh off coaching at a Young Matilas camp, Kempson is about to embark on a B-Licence course - a qualification which only 26 other females in Australia hold.

This would enable her to be a W-League assistant or coach a State youth team - but her sole concentration at the moment is on making sure her Cobras make the finals.

"Next week we take on the Orana Spurs in Dubbo, and if we win that we will keep that fifth spot (it is a five team finals series) leading into the second round of games."

Bulls manager David Williams was pretty pleased to come away with the win in what had been proving to be one of the toughest away games in the WPL.

"We were extremely happy with our defence, it was a very hard fought game," he said after the win.

It was a very even team performance across the park from the Bulls, though Williams was able to single out a couple for special mention.

"James Lennard in the backs was really important, Kobe Rapley had a fantastic game through the middle and Tommy Busch worked hard all day."

It was a game that could've swung either way, but the Bulls will take some valuable momentum heading into a big game this weekend that will be a top of the table clash.

"We've got the (Orange) Waratahs at home next week so that will be a big test for us and I'm looking forward to seeing how we go," Williams said.

In the other Western Premier League clashes for Round 8, the Orange Waratahs continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 win over Panorama, while Barnestoneworth United and Orana Spurs also recorded wins that keep them in finals spots.

Parkes Cobras 0 defeated by Dubbo Bulls 1 (Kobe Rapley 13')

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