At one point during the second half of Sunday's Peter McDonald Premiership final, Mudgee looked to have all the momentum and was right back in the game.
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Enter Jeremy Thurston.
The star Dubbo CYMS fullback produced what could be the biggest individual moment of his career at Apex Oval, running away 70 metres to score a pivotal try.
Close to the best player on the field, Thurston took the play out of dummy half and opted to go down the short side before beating several Mudgee defenders.
The Western Rams representative beat the likes of Hayden Carpenter and Jack Littlejohn on his way to score, celebrating with a hand in the air as he crossed the try line next to some of CYMS' under 18s side.
Later on in the match, the fullback kicked a field goal with the clock winding which put CYMS out to a 25-12 lead, adding to his try assist for Ratu Peceli Roko to opening the scoring.
"It's great, it is an unbelievable feeling, especially after losing last year," Thurston said after the match.
"It makes it all the more special."
Thurston's rise to become one of the best players in the Central West has been nothing short of remarkable and he credited CYMS coach Shawn Townsend for trusting him.
"He just backs me 110 per cent, he just tells me to go out there and be me," he said.
"To have the backing of the coaches to allow me to back myself and it pays dividends at times."
Bouncing around out west, the outside back linked up with the Wellington Cowboys, winning a reserve grade title with the club back in 2019.
After COVID forced the Group 11 season to be cancelled, an opportunity at Dubbo CYMS came up and Thurston took it with both hands.
"The boys have been playing in grand finals for 10 years or so, it's been the same bunch of blokes," he said.
"They work hard for each other, they start pre-season early and everyone rips in. We all push each other."
Enjoying a solid season in 2021, the CYMS star exploded in 2022 and was deservedly named in ACM's Team of the Season.
A Western Rams jersey was handed to Thurston earlier this year and he didn't disappoint, scoring five tries in his first match.
Going close to winning Western Player of the Season last year at centre, Thurston moved to fullback for round one this season and was dangerous from the first kick-off.
Playing both sides of the field in attack, the fullback went to a new level this season.
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