The Forbes Magpies have secured a 22-20 win in their first game of the season and the new Peter McDonald Cup.
The Magpies hosted Mudgee Dragons, a Group 10 side, in a physical contest that the Magpies only secured with a penalty goal in the final four minutes.
"Mudgee just kept coming at us and coming at us," coach Cameron Greenhalgh acknowledged, and Forbes had to keep repelling them.
The day opened with the Under 18s contest, which Forbes dominated with a 50-12 victory.
Mudgee and Forbes clubs then paid their respects to our service men and women with a commemorative service before the game, with the bugler sounding the Last Post and the reading of The Ode before a respectful silence.
In the first grade contest the Dragons took first points and held onto that lead deep into the first half.
There was 10 minutes left in the first half when a clash saw Forbes' number 14 Tongia Fox knocked out and there was a half-hour break in play while he was attended and then transported by NSW Ambulance.
On Sunday night, it was reported on the club's Facebook page that he had suffered facial injuries but was on his way home, with the possibility of needing surgery later.
Forbes returned to the field galvanised.
"We were guilty at times of spilling balls and making mistakes here and there that kept Mudgee in the game," Greenhalgh acknowledged.
"When we had that break - and we are hoping T's all right - it was all about starting really well for that nine minutes."
Forbes did just that: the Magpies were putting all the pressure on Mudgee and Nick Greenhalgh broke through their defences to level the scores at 10-10.
A fleet bit of footwork from Toby Hurford earned Forbes the first points in the second half after a shortened break, with Greenhalgh adding the extras to give Forbes a 16-10 lead.
It was Mudgee's turn to hit back, through number 12 Chad Chandler, to level the scores again, then the visitors' number 16 Toby Forrest grabbed the ball from the kick and ran almost the length of the field to give Mudgee the momentum again.
The visitors had a 20-16 lead seven minutes out from full time but the hosts weren't done: Henry Willis dived over in the corner and the scores were level at 20-20 once again.
In the final fours minutes, it was a penalty kick to Forbes that saw the hosts claim victory.
"It was toe for toe," Greenhalgh said, and that's ok. A two-point win is a win.
Hanging in there in these games is something the coach hopes the experience in the side this year - captained by Nick Greenhalgh and with the experienced Jake Grace and Brad McMillan among others coming on board - can pass on to the next generation.
"They'll get a lot out of that today," Greenhalgh (senior) commented at the game's end.
"We responded, and responded well to everything that threw at us, and that's what we want from this team this year."
There are certainly things the team will be working on in when they gather for training this week, but they've made a start on their first goal for 2022 of winning their home games.
"It doesn't get much better than that - a win at home in front of our fans was something we talked about in the pre-season," captain Nick Greenhalgh said.
"We worked really hard, so to be able to come here and get the two points against a quality Mudgee side - we're really happy."