Dubbo CYMS Under 21s have fallen at the last hurdle going down to Bathurst St Pats 20-16 in the Western Under 21s grand final.
In a fitting match, the two best sides from the pre-season competition battled it out at Orange's Pride Park.
In the end, only one try would be the difference but CYMS coach Paul Yeo admitted a lack of execution cost the side in the end.
"We just didn't take the opportunities that were there, but that's footy though, you've got to take them when they are there and we didn't do that," he said.
"The effort was pretty good, we were just a little bit wobbly in terms of direction and you can't afford to do that in grand finals.
"It was just was one of those nights, there had to be a winner and we were just a couple of metres off the speed."
After scoring first in Thursday night's grand final, CYMS conceded the next 16 points of the match to the Saints.
But rather than that situation making CYMS players drop their heads, it spurred them on. In a sign of their quality, the Dubbo outfit fought back to lock it up at 16-apiece.
While it was Pat's who then managed to score the match-winner, CYMS' effort could not be faulted. Yeo was proud of his entire squad, many of who had never played together before.
"It was a bit hard to gel obviously and as well as that, at the start 10 of them didn't know the other 10. So they've got new mates now and played in a grand final together," he said.
"It's been a good concept we love it and will be back again next year hopefully bigger and better as they say."
CYMS had highlights across the entire park in both the grand final and the games which had come before it, but Yeo nominated skipper Tom Stimpson and James Stanley as two of the best.
"Tom, he's been a good leader for the boys, he's got a sensible, thinking head on his shoulders and James just adds that extra bit of dynamic which helps us a lot," he said.
Stimpson will be one of the young forward pack who will be pushing for a spot in the CYMS, first grade side come round one against Parkes on May 2.
The majority of the squad will also feature throughout the season.
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