Ruge’s heroics lead Magpies to upset win over minor premiers Parkes | Photos

At 10-all with less than a minute remaining on the clock at Spooner Oval, it looked likely Parkes and Forbes would share the points from their final round league tag clash.

That was until Jess Ruge got the ball.

The Magpies appeared set to shift the ball wide but when Ruge got the ball, about mid-field and 20 metres out, she paused, then propped and then sent the wobbliest of wobbly drop kicks over the black dot.

The field goal, which bumped the Magpies up 11-10, sent the black and whites into hysterics before they calmed and defused the Spacecats’ short kick-off to end the game and inflict their Parkes rivals with their first loss of the 2018 Group 11 season.

“Rugey, the big Ruge-dog, she nailed it,” an elated Joelene Grace said at full-time.

“I didn’t even know she was going to do it, she just took it on herself.”

The loss didn’t dent Parkes’ minor premiership hopes, with the Spacecats still wrapping up first place on the ladder and a week off heading into next week’s semi-finals.

While the win didn’t shift Forbes from fourth on the ladder, either, but Grace said it did give the Magpies girls a huge amount of belief heading into an elimination final with Macquarie.

“It’s just the biggest confidence boost. It’s going to sky-rocket us going into the finals. It’s the best way to go into the semis,” she said.

“Nyngan last week was not such a great game but to come back and play this well … it’s set us up. It’s going to be awesome.”

Forbes led 10-4 for most of the second stanza after Emma Reid and Courtney Hodge both crossed for the hosts.

The Spacecats, though, turned it on late and when India Draper swiveled her way through to score under the posts, and Lauren Chester booted the conversion, it was 10-all.

Draper then made a break off the next set before being sensationally tagged by Hodge in the back field – it was the Spacecats’ best chance to break the deadlock.

Ruge then banged home the game-winning field goal as time expired and Grace said it took a whole-team effort to get over the top of a very good Parkes side.

“We all worked together so well,” she said.

“I think honestly our attitude. All game we were just so positive, working together and backing each other up. Our heads were in it the whole game.”

The league tag win kicked off a massive day for Forbes on old boys’ day, with wins in the under 18s and reserve grade, 28-4 and 24-4 respectively, before the club’s massive 44-6 triumph in the top grade.

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