St Pat's has booked itself a spot in the grand final of the Western under 21s grand final after defeating a resilient Parkes Spacemen on Sunday.
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The last game played in a massive six-game schedule at Parkes' Pioneer Oval, St Pat's defeated the hosts 24-12, which was just enough for them to finish minor premiers and go directly through to the decider.
St Pat's finished top on six points, the same amount as rivals Dubbo CYMS, with the two separate by just +1 in terms of point difference.
St Pat's coach Tyson Medlyn said he didn't really know what to expect from Parkes.
"We didn't really know what to expect from Parkes because they're new to the competition but they've had some pretty close games with other teams," he said.
"But that didn't really give us a gauge of where we were in comparison with them.
"We started off a bit slack. I think they put in a kick first and scored, so we knew straight away they were going to be pretty good.
"We managed to get another try, being end-to-end for a little bit. It was 6-all at half-time and with about 15 minutes to go it was 12-all but we were lucky enough to score some late tries."
Even though it was a tough game at times, Medlyn said he enjoyed the match.
"It was a pretty good game but we were pretty gritty, up for the match," he said.
"Parkes had a pretty good forward pack and a good kicking game. They also had some good outside backs.
"It happened so fast, just being one of those games where it's all just action. What I can remember of it was pretty good. I liked it."
The Spacemen got off to the perfect start, forcing a mistake from St Pat's on the opening set of the game, before a perfectly-weight Mitch Wright grubber put Sonny Knight over in the corner with less than 90 seconds on the
The roles reversed when the Spacies spilled a grubber in the in-goal area, with Cooper Nunan capitalising for the first try of the day for St Pat's.
The intensity was really high from both forward packs despite the hot conditions, with Pharr Nicholson and Nic Barlow making some big metres for their respective sides.
The defences held strong in a captivating arm wrestle, with the scores locked up at 6-all at half time.
Despite some solid goal-line defence from Parkes, big St Pat's prop Josh Hanrahan crashed over from short range early in the half, on the back of a number of repeat sets.
Parkes were able to hit back five minutes later through hooker Billy Simpson, who was able to go over next to the posts following a weaving Knight, who beat four defenders before offloading to the gleeful Simpson.
It meant the scores were locked at 12-all with 20 minutes to go, but from there it was all St Pat's, who enjoyed a huge weight of possession.
Brodie Gaio, Cooper Earsman, Mitchell Collins and Barlow were mightily impressive for Pat's, with the latter scoring a crucial try with 10 minutes to go.
Somehow though the Spacemen, who were conceding considerable size in the forward, just kept holding on with dogged defence and their backs to the wall.
Despite the best efforts of a rampaging Cale Dunn and Wright in attack, Parkes could not break through, with Jack O'Neill eventually sealing the game for St Pat's from dummy half in the shadows of the siren.
"I don't think the scoreboard did justice to the way the boys defended," he said after the match.
It's fair to say the scoreboard didn't reflect the effort of the Spacemen boys, and Clyburn was a bit deflated after the game that his side couldn't get reward for their effort.
"I don't think the scoreboard did justice to the way the boys defended," Clyburn said after the match.
"Repeat set after repeat set on our own line...I can't be disappointed in their efforts, that's for sure,
"Parkes has probably never been the biggest club, but we always fight well above our weight and I think we did that today.
"St Pat's are the best team in the comp and we certainly measured up to them so we just have to pick ourselves up and go again."
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