ORANGE Hawks has narrowly missed out on claiming the CYMS under 18s knockout, going down to Bathurst Panthers 9-0 in the final last Sunday

The closely fought decider win was the men in black’s fourth straight under 18s knockout crown, with the Panthers outfit recovering from an early 16-12 defeat against Oberon to take out the 2013 crown over the two blues.

“I wasn’t too worried about the final score,” Hawks coach Jared Brodrick said.

“It was a long day for the boys and both teams were out on their feet. We were down to one reserve.”

But the positive results earlier in the day gave Brodrick plenty to smile about.

Hawks accounted for Blayney 18-6 in their first clash before defeating CYMS 24-6 in the second round to progress through to the semi-final.

There, Hawks knocked over perennial under 18s powerhouse and last year’s Group 10 premiers Bathurst St Pat’s 24-16.

The two blues mentor said all the signs were positive for 2013.

“We were missing a few blokes as well. It’s largely the same side as last season but we’ve picked up a few good forwards from last year’s under 16s. They all go to school together and clicked really well on the weekend,” Brodrick said.

CYMS used the home knockout as a means to trial a number of players and kick start its 2013 campaign.

Lock Cody Lang shone while five-eighth and 2012 Western Rams representative Jarrod Robbins stood tall in an otherwise lacklustre showing from the green and golds’ juniors.

CYMS went down 16-0 to St Pat’s in game one before losing to Hawks in the second round.

Still, CYMS coach Kurt Beahan was optimistic about his side’s hope this winter, adding a top four berth was within reach.

“Every team there looked beatable,” he said.

“I wasn’t all that impressed with my team in the first game, but there was massive improvement in the second game from us. “We had five fairly good players out with injury and cricket and what not, but that’s all over now and our focus is on round one.”

BUSTING THROUGH: Liam Brodrick in action for Hawks under 18s on Sunday. The two blues made it through to the final of the CYMS knockout. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0324knockout3

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