WINNING away from home - it's something that is a constant challenge for sporting teams across the Central West but there are teams in the Peter McDonald Premiership that have done well on the road.
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Bathurst Panthers has won each of its four away games so far this season and averaged 30 points on the road as well.
Given the way the draw has scheduled clubs to play a bulk of their games against sides from their Group 10 or Group 11 regions, Panthers' furthest road trip was the 148 kilometre haul to Wellington in round one.
The men in black won that clash 32-12.
Two other clubs - Dubbo CYMS and Orange CYMS - have also impressed away from their home grounds.
Dubbo CYMS has lost just once from four away games - that came against Orange Hawks at Wade Park which is a 250km round trip.
As for Orange CYMS, it has won on the road five times and only once lost once.
The green and golds emerged triumphant from their biggest trip - a close to 600km round trip to Nyngan - in round one when beating the Tigers 24-22.
Orange CYMS also won in Wellington.
At the other end of the scale Wellington, Nyngan and Lithgow have not been able to win away from home, while Cowra and Orange Hawks have only managed to do it once.
Lithgow Workies have played away five times thus far so it's been 1,500km of travel with no reward.
As for who has made their home ground a fortress, both Dubbo CYMS (four from four) and Mudgee Dragons (five from five) hold the honours.
WELLINGTON will win this season.
Although we may be 11 rounds through the season and Wellington hasn't won a game yet, the Cowboys are showing signs a win will be coming soon.
Over its last two performances against Dubbo CYMS and Macquarie, Wellington has taken it right to two of Group 11's best sides and were unlucky not to have won on Sunday.
With one of the competition's best players Justin Toomey-White as their leader, Wellington should get their first win over the coming weeks.
Playing Lithgow this weekend won't be easy, but if they continue to play with confidence then the Cowboys should start getting the results.
Halves Randel Dowling and Timmy Boney along with hooker Richard Peckham are starting to form a nice combination, one which has already proved it can ask questions of the best teams in the Central West.
This might seem strange to say considering Parkes has now won six matches in a row, but captain-coach Jack Creith has a real problem on his hands.
And, more strangely, that problem is himself. Creith suffered a broken eye socket in the round seven win over Macquarie and hasn't played since.
In that time the Spacemen haven't lost and Joey Dwyer has slotted seamlessly into five-eighth alongside Chad Porter.
Creith is due to return in next round's clash with Orange Hawks and he admits he doesn't quite know what to do with himself yet.
"I probably don't know where I'll play yet and where I'll slot in," Creith said after Sunday's hard-fought 10-6 win at Nyngan.
"But I'll find somewhere. It's been such a good problem to have. A couple of guys are going to potentially miss out next weekend and it never feels good, but I can only sit on the sideline for so long.
"I think I've bitten my fingers down to the elbow, so I can't wait to rip in with the boys."
As challenging as it will be, the captain-coach's return comes at a perfect time for Parkes as it faces a testing final few weeks of the regular season.
After the Orange Hawks game and a bye, Parkes host Group 11 leaders Dubbo CYMS in a bumper contest, before a crossover clash with Orange CYMS, a game against fierce rivals Forbes, and then a final round meeting with the improving Wellington.
ON Saturday night St Pat's fell short in its quest to beat Orange CYMS for the first time in 1,176 days.
Though the Saints had chances to end a drought that dates back to round one of the 2019 Group 10 season, CYMS' defence in the cold, wet and mud stood firm when it mattered.
The question now becomes how long will Pat's have to wait to get another crack at beating their Orange rival?
They are only drawn to met each other once during the regular season and the format for the finals - should both St Pat's and Orange CYMS qualify - begins with crossover matches against Group 11 based outfits.
There is still the chance the pair could meet in finals, but it is unlikely.
The more likely scenario is St Pat's will have to wait until season 2023 to get a crack at ending its run of defeats against Orange CYMS.
The Saints do know about having to wait for success - last July when beating Bathurst Panthers 16-14 it was the first time they had won a Group 10 local derby in six years.
They'd lost 10 games against Panthers in that losing streak, no doubt the Saints will be keen to halt CYMS' run of success against them well before that.
IT'S no great secret that Lithgow Workies have copped a brutally tough run in recent times - but on Saturday the wolf pack finally got some joy.
The Wolves notched up their first win of the Peter McDonald Premiership.
It is also Lithgow's first on-field win since season 2019.
The entire 2020 Group 10 competition was cancelled due to COVID-19, while last season Lithgow had its struggles too.
The Wolves played seven Group 10 Premier League games before COVID-19 forced the premier league side to withdraw from the remainder of the season.
Those games included 88-6 and 52-0 defeats at the hands of Bathurst Panthers and a 50-4 loss against Hawks.
Though they were later declared victors of their round two clash against Mudgee, the Dragons had walked off the field that afternoon as 38-10 victors.
This season Workies joined the Peter McDonald Premiership and it has been a tough initiation.
But after nine consecutive defeats Workies are now on the board thanks to an 18-6 win on home soil against Cowra.
It came in bitterly cold and wet conditions, but with Jesse Lualua, Ryan Jervis, Isaac Thompson and Lomano Lufe all crossing for tries it was an afternoon to savour.
The result actually keeps Lithgow in with a sniff of making finals - the Wolves now are seven points outside the top four.
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He's tough to catch on the field and Desi Doolan is also proving tough to catch in the Peter McDonald Premiership's leading try scorer's race.
The Bathurst Panthers winger has brought up 14 tries in the space of 10 matches, with Corin Smith (Mudgee Dragons) and Jeremy Thurston (Dubbo CYMS) the only other players who can boast scoring at better than one try per game (both 11).
Mitch Andrews (Forbes Magpies) and Chad Porter (Parkes Spacemen) are the next closest with nine tries each.
On four occasions this season Doolan has scored two or more tries in a game, proving to be a greater threat on the wing than ever before.
St Pat's scoring machine Matt Ranse, currently with seven tries for the season, is rekindling some of his try scoring form his 2018 campaign with the Blackheath Blackcats where he picked up 26 tries in just 12 games.
There are some dynamic duos also featured among the top of the 2022 list.
Orange CYMS' Josefa Lasagavibau (eight tries) and Jordan Clark (seven) along with Dubbo CYMS' Thurston (11) and Billy Sing (seven) are the two pairings who have scored at least seven tries for the same club.
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