Forbes brought home the Brendon ‘Stubby’ Collits Memorial Trophy after winning the annual pre-season clash against Bathurst St Pats at Ashwood Park on Saturday.
The defending Group 11 premiers were described as “always in control” against the hosts as they ran away to a 24-10 victory.
The win is the first time a side has defended the memorial crown, and the first time the home side hasn’t left with the spoils.
Magpies president Greg Grogan said Forbes took a smaller than usual squad and all played exceptionally well.
“They threw the ball very well and they tackled very well,” he said.
Grogan added the annual event was a really good day for both players and spectators.
Man of the match honours went to five eighth Mitch Burke and the Collits family award was presented to Ben Maguire.
In the other grades on Saturday, Forbes’ league tag team went down to 2016 premiers Bathurst.
“Bathurst also just won the Canowindra challenge, they’re a strong side, our girls played well,” Grogan said.
The Magpies under 18s put in a strong performance to win three tries to two.
Pat’s hooker Hudson White said Forbes started stronger but the game did have a really strong, close contest through the middle of the park.
Pat’s president Dave Chapman said it was a mixed day for the Bathurst club on the field.
“Unfortunately Jack Mackey dislocated his elbow … and he’s likely out of action now for around eight weeks,” he said.
“It was sloppy in parts from both teams, as you’d expect at this time of year, but the game was played in great spirit.”
Next up for the Magpies is the Nines competition at Parkes next Sunday. Forbes kicks off at 9am against Parkes.
On Friday, March 31 the Magpies meet the Spacemen at Parkes.
The Group 11 competition commences with a home game against Wellington.
Western Rams under-18s coach Cameron Greenhalgh finally got the Country Championships performance he wanted on Saturday when his side ran out convincing 24-4 winners over the Bidgee Bulls.
Despite heading to Parkes’ Jock Colley Field on the back of two wins, Greenhalgh was yet to see his side put it all together.
But, on the back of a powerful performance up front and another classy showing from Dubbo CYMS halves Matt Burton and Bayden Searle, the Rams controlled the match for virtually the entire 80 minutes and wrapped up top spot in the Southern Pool.
Forbes’ Farren Lamb was one of the try-scorers.
The under-16s coach went down to Bidgee Bulls 20-6.