STAUNCH defence - it was key when St Pat's won last season's Group 10 under 18s grand final and on Wednesday night as they opened their Western Youth League campaign it was again critical.
The Saints' determination to protect their line in the first half set up a 28-7 win over Bathurst Panthers at Jack Arrow Oval.
While Panthers pressured inside Pat's quarter on a number of occasions in the first half - some Saints errors and Noah Griffiths' strong kicking game helping them to good field position - took until the 32nd minute for the boys in black to score.
By then St Pat's had notched up 24 points.
"Our defence in the first two quarters was unbelievable I thought because they had a fairly good crack at us in both those quarters and we held them out," Grimshaw said.
"The first 15 was backwards and forwards a bit and a bit of dropped ball, but you expect that.
"Defence is really what won us the game, they only scored one try and kicked a field goal. It was great."
For Panthers coach Mick Carter, the performance was an improvement on his side's season-opening 36-16 loss to Orange CYMS. But as was the case in that match, errors again cost them.
"Maybe we shouldn't have had half-time, we came out a totally different side. There was no discipline, no urgency and in the end that's what blew the scoreboard right out," Carter lamented.
"I thought our attack was a lot better and our defence in the first half was way better than it was against CYMS. But I guess it is still a work in progress, they've got to learn. We've just got to build on it, keep working on it.
"They gave it everything to the final whistle, but arguing with the referee, dropped balls and silly penalties, they're the things that cost us in the end."
Typical of a Bathurst derby, Wednesday night's match lacked nothing in terms of physicality. Both forward packs made good yards with strong running up the middle of the ruck, and the rivals also brought plenty of energy to their defensive work.
For Pat's that defensive work came early after putting the kick-off out on the full, an error which gifted Panthers an attacking scrum 20 metres out.
But the Saints stood firm.
Likewise Panthers were good when under pressure in their own half, forcing star Saints fullback Ash Cosgrove into touch when he tried to find space on the right edge and holding prop Tod Rodham up over the line.
But just 38 seconds into the second quarter Saints five-eighth Terry McLean sliced his way through Panthers' defensive line, Tyler Colley's conversion making it 6-0.
Determined to respond, Panthers renewed their attacking efforts. Prop Lachlan Large took multiple carries and helped drive his side deep into Saints territory, but one there they could not capitalise.
Even when having to defend consecutive sets the Saints held on, hooker Jack O'Neill coming up with a strong hit which forced the ball to spill from the arms of a Panthers rival.
While just one try had come in the opening 30 minutes of play, the the third quarter was all about the Saints' attack as they went from a 6-0 lead to a 24-0 advantage.
Two minutes after the resumption of play Colley, who created plenty at halfback, sold Panthers' right-edge defence on a dummy to score then converted to make it 12-0.
Three minutes later Pat's prop Josh Hanrahan dragged multiple defenders over the line with him as he crashed through between the sticks.
Panthers struggled to get out of their own end as errors and penalties meant their completion rates, when they did have the football, were low.
When Pat's winger Noah Cooney crossed in the left corner with 54 seconds of the period remaining the contrast between the two sides could not have been clearer - the blue and whites celebrated while the boys in black argued.
However, while that try gave Pat's a 24-0 led it also served to spur Panthers on.
They renewed their efforts in the final quarter and were rewarded when hooker Tom Large dived over between the posts. Griffiths' conversion made it 24-6.
Some slick back line passing saw Pat's reply with a fifth try - this time via centre Josh Belfanti - but in the seven minutes that remained Panthers enjoyed the better of the field position.
Panthers again made good yards up the middle of the ruck and were willing to spread the ball wide, but they could not find a way through Pat's line.
A Griffiths' field goal with five minutes left was small consolation.
"We've had minimal contact in the build up, but they just were all really keen and got stuck into," Grimshaw said.
"Our attack was a bit rusty I thought, but Tyler Colley was really good, he ran the ball really strong, Ash Cosgrove at the back - Ash is Ash - he was hard to control.
"A bit of experience from our guys helped too I thought, but I was very happy with them. A credit to them too, they're a developing side, they've got a lot of bottom age kids, and the contest was close."
The Saints' next match is against Orange Hawks at Jack Arrow Oval this Sunday, with a 1pm kick-off. Panthers have the round three bye, their next assignment to come against Lithgow on Wednesday.