ST Pat's were unable to get their hands back on the Brendon ‘Stubby’ Collits Memorial trophy after going down in their annual pre-season clash against Forbes Magpies at Ashwood Park on Saturday.
Defending Group 11 premiers Forbes were 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.
Despite the result it was still an ideal pre-season hit out for the Saints against a very strong Magpies lineup.
“They had a really strong side. We had a big mix of first and second grade players whereas they looked like they were at full strength,” Pat’s hooker Hudson White said.
“They just started off stronger than us … but was a really strong, close contest through the middle of the park.
“It was good too get the fitness up though and get a few kilometres under the belt.”
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.
“Greg Behan was our man of the match. He was a mountain of strength, was making two or three runs each set and did a lot of work with the ball. He was excellent in defence too.
It was sloppy in parts ... as you’d expect at this time of year, but was played in great spirit.
“I guess the focus for us now is finding a partner for him in the front row now that Jack is out, but it still wasn’t a bad hit out for us. It was a great chance to give a lot of players a run.
“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.”
Saints now turn their attention to the Bathurst Panthers Knockout this Friday.