AS under 15s they fell just short of a Group 10 Junior Rugby League premiership, but now those Bathurst Panthers are back as under 16s and using that disappointment as a motivator.
On Saturday Panthers began their season with a 30-16 victory over St Pat's at Jack Arrow Oval and coach John Griffiths felt one of the decisive factors stemmed from last season's grand final.
Panthers lost that under 15s grand final 14-12 to Cowra, but the bulk of that squad has now graduated to the next age division.
The desire to go one better in 2020, albeit a shorter eight-round plus finals format, coupled with the chance to begin that mission with a win over the Saints certainly helped them in the derby.
"I think probably we just wanted it more and getting beat in the grand final last year, that was in the back of their heads. They wanted to play footy and not get beaten by Pat's," Griffiths said.
"It was a good game, they've always been close against Pat's and it was tough, local derbies always are.
"We were in front from the start to finish, we skipped out to a good lead then let them score just before half-time and then they scored a try after half-time, but we were always in control.
"It was pretty good quality from both sides, the skill was there, they weren't scared to get in and make contact."
Lock Tom Lemmich, a member of last season's under 15s, was one of the best for Panthers while five-eighth Ronan Cameron-Hunt steered his side around nicely.
The other player to impress Griffiths was new recruit Ky Cameron, the second rower having made the switch from Lithgow.
It was Panthers halfback Jackson Carter who opened scoring in the derby, the playmaker going on to finish the match with a personal tally of 14 points as he also booted five conversions.
Centre Jesse Limon crossed twice for the victors while Lemmich and Logan Dufty also scored.
While some of those tries came off the back of Pat's mistakes, Saints coach Darren Small still saw plenty of positive from his squad.
I'm pretty confident in eight weeks' time we'll be there or thereabouts.Darren Small
They worked hard during their limited pre-season and he knows with more match time, the new Saints combinations will fire.
"We've got four new guys in the side this year that haven't played with us before and the short turnaround with COVID, we haven't had much time for the boys to gel, we only had two weeks basically," he said.
"So for the amount of time they've had together, I was pretty impressed with how they went. We've still got a few things to work on.
"Look a couple of silly errors in our own 20-30 metres and they then just rolled in for a couple of easy tries was the difference in the end.
"But the boys have doubled down from day dot, they've hooked in and had a real good crack, so the effort they've put in before the season started has shown. I'm pretty confident in eight weeks' time we'll be there or thereabouts."
Though Panthers led throughout, the Saints did test them. William Poole got the Saints on the board just before the break and second rower Emmett Freeman crossed again shortly after half-time.
The Saints also adjusted well after playmaker Blake Goldspink was forced from the field.
"Young Blake Goldspink broke his finger in the first tackle of the game pretty much and soldiered through until half-time until basically I told him 'No, you can't keep playing, I need you for the rest of the year'," Small said.
"I was pretty impressed with the way he carried himself and Jacob Cullen, he's our hooker but with Blake coming off at halfback we had to do a bit of shifting. He hadn't trained there but he took the role on and did well."