Round 1 of the 2020 Christie and Hood Castlereagh League competition finally kicked off on Saturday with the Cobar Roosters’ three teams making their first road trip to play at Gilgandra.
And while the hosts may have recorded wins in all three grades, each match was close and hard fought.
The Youth League fixture set the scene for the rest of the day with the home side coming away with a 16 to 12 win.
Cobar’s three tries were recorded by Ash Davies, Zeb Coughlan and Jacob Christie.
Seven new Roosterettes made their debut for Cobar in the Ladies League Tag game that followed. The team also welcomed back Zoë Egan as a senior member, and her kicking (and that of Brianna Watson) was 100 per cent in Saturday’s game.
The match was a thrilling affair with the lead swapping throughout and the game was locked up at 24-all as the final minutes counted down.
It was to be a booming 30 metre field goal from Shian Chatfield in the remaining seconds that had the Pink Panthers claim the two competition points by virtue of a 25-24 final score line.
Cobar’s Best and Fairest points went to Players’ Player Naomi Whitehurst (3), Brennah Aumua (2) and Jezebel Hitchins (1).
The first grade encounter opened up with a try to the Panthers in the second minute and they took an early 6-0 lead but it was to be the Roosters who dominated the first quarter of the game and they raced in for three unanswered tries and were looking good with the scoreboard reading 16-6 in their favour.
The tide turned when a Gilgandra 40/20 kick gave them great field position which was soon followed by the Roosters conceding a penalty close to their own line. Their defence was not up to the task of denying the Panthers who duly scored a converted try, followed by a trio of rapid fire six pointers and they went to the break with a handy 30-16 lead.
It appeared that Gilgandra might go on with the job after they registered another six pointer early in the second half proceedings, but the Roosters were not going to lay down.
They came roaring back into the contest and looked to be finishing the stronger of the two sides but in the end the home side came away with a 40-20 win in a high scoring game.