AFTER finishing at the back of the pack in 2013 Dubbo College is determined to put on a better showing in this year's Astley Cup, beginning today when they travel to Bathurst to take on the defending champions. Since Dubbo last won the annual event in 2011, Bathurst High School has become the dominant performer, winning the prestigious tri-series between the two schools and Orange for the past two years. Dubbo College held their Astley Cup launch assembly yesterday and and sports co-ordinator Tim Berry said his school was ready to get back to winning ways. "The last couple of years we've struggled a bit and haven't been able to be as competitive as we want," he said. "But it depends on the sides. We've got and just making sure that we all work together and the team spirit and enthusiasm is there so that we can all strive to get the cup back here in Dubbo." The school squad left for Bathurst at 6am this morning with the competition to begin at 9am when the tennis gets under way. Tennis and rugby league have been two of Dubbo's strongest sports in recent times but Berry said the final result would depend on the school's performance across the board. "In the past we've been very strong in those but they're not the big deciders in the Cup," he said. "It's usually games that could end up something like 4-0 and that can be a massive turnaround in points so we've got to make sure we don't concede too many goals in certain sports but obviously try and put a few in." Berry has taken over as sport co-ordinator this year and admitted he was excited by the challenge of leading Dubbo College for the first time but was well aware of how difficult it would be to defeat Bathurst on their home turf. "It's going to be very tough. The boys and girls here have been looking at the weather and we're going there and it's going to be a bit cold so that will be a change but we're all looking forward to it," he said. "The kids from last year are now the leaders and it's their time to shine and put their best foot forward so that we can try and get that cup back this way." Basketball, netball and the highly anticipated rugby league match are the other sports on today's schedule, while tomorrow will feature athletics, soccer, hockey and the Mulvey Cup debating being contested. Despite a couple of injury worries across a few sports, Berry was confident of his school's chances if the usual passion and school spirit was shown. "It's come around quickly like it does every year and it's just making sure that people play a lot of sport outside of school.?There's been injuries and those kind of things but it's really about the sportsmanship and working together to achieve that same goal," he said. o Astley Cup schedule: Today - 9am: Tennis, 11.45am: Basketball, 1.30pm: Netball, 2.30pm: Rugby League. Tomorrow: 9.15am: Athletics, 11.45am: Soccer (girls), 12.45pm: Mulvey Cup Debating, 1pm: Soccer (boys), 2.30pm: Hockey.