The winning run of the Boorowa Goldies has come to an end, with the Goldies losing 21-7 in a fiercely contested derby against local rivals the Harden Red Devils.
While the score line would suggest a relatively comfortable win, it was in fact the Goldies who shot out of the blocks early, delivering strong work in the scrum before Brendan McGrath struck the first and only blow for the home team, with Joseph Banks converting.
However, from there, Harden willed its way into the game, taking advantage of multiple penalty kicks and the accuracy of outside centre Ben Lenehan to get themselves into a winning position, leading 10-7 at the half-way mark.
With characteristic pluck, the Goldies fought back with significant tackle pressure, but the Red Devil's cleanliness with the ball helped them pull away to a 14 point win.
The Red Devil's Jack O'Connor was happy to get the win, which puts the team at 3-1, in touch with Cootamundra and on level pegging with Boorowa, in a year where he believes the competition has improved.
"I think the difference is this year, it's a such a stronger comp, you've got teams like Boorowa coming in... and the score today didn't really reflect how tight that game was," he said.
Meanwhile, Boorowa coach Andrew Corcoran said the Harden were simply "smarter" than the Goldies were.
"They just kept chipping the scoreboard over... we just couldn't quite finish our build-ups."
Boorowa will turn their attention to a trip Temora this week, while tickets for the club's 50th anniversary Gala on Saturday, May 25 - "Come one, come all" - are available at www.123tix.com.au or by calling 02 68818632 by May 10. Attendees must RSVP for catering purposes.