ANOTHER Western under 18s match, another win for Bathurst Panthers.
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Panthers moved to joint-top of the competition ladder following a commanding 32-10 win over local rivals St Pat's on Saturday, joining five other clubs on 12 points after seven rounds.
Panthers coach Mick Carter said it was pleasing to see his team put in another great shift, to claim a sixth win in seven matches.
"It was a really good game of footy," he said.
"It was a really tough, physical game, which you expect in a local derby."
Haydn Edwards scored three tries in the 22-point win over St Pat's, while Jesse Limon, Logan Dufty and Mitchell Lamb crossed the line for one try each.
"Haydn was certainly very good, but Mitch Lamb was great too," he said.
"Going back a few weeks, [Lamb] was a regular centre/winger for us but I moved him into lock. Mitch has really improved, outstanding on the weekend.
"Drew Hope in both the back row and front row played some big numbers for us."
The under 18s were the only senior Panthers team to win on Saturday, with both first and reserve grade finishing in draws, while the women's league tag team forfeited its match.
"There's a bit of pride for us under 18s to get a win, but it was just disappointing that those other games finished up in a draw," he said.
"It's good for our boys to get that win and stay within the leaders at the top of the ladder."
While six teams are all on 12 points, Forbes Magpies lead the way in first based on points difference.
In second and third is Nyngan Tigers and Macquarie Raiders in second and third respectively, followed by Carter's boys in fourth. Cowra Magpies and Dubbo CYMS round out the top six.
While it'll be competitive for the top spots, Panthers will only play against Forbes and Macquarie in the run home to the finals.
"It's certainly very crowded up the top there," he said.
"It seems like Nyngan and a few of the others up there, we're actually not playing them. It'll be tough to go up against them come semi-final time.
"I think the only sides we go up against is Forbes and Macquarie. It'll certainly be tough and it's an unknown for us, but we can only play what's in front of us."
Heading into Sunday's game away to Orange CYMS at Wade Park, Carter said he wants to see his boys improve their ball security and completions after scoring points.
"The next set after scoring points is the problem we're having," he said.
"We either don't catch the kick-off or don't complete that set. It'll leave the opposition in good field position to score points on us.
"That's the main thing I think we need to work on."
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