Jack Hartwig and Tom Phillips cemented their status as the best young forwards in the region by leading the Forbes Magpies to Western Youth League glory on Sunday.
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The Magpies star duo each scored doubles at Spooner Oval to lead their side to a commanding 22-10 grand final win over a Dubbo CYMS side which was never allowed to get going.
Phillips scored the first and last tries of the game, each to huge cheers from the Magpies faithful, while man of the match Hartwig's second quarter double put his side firmly in control.
Noah Ryan crossed for CYMS early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 16-4 but that was as good as it got for the Fishies, with the fullback's second right on full-time nothing but a consolation.
"That was unbelievable," Hartwig said.
"There's nothing like winning a grand final in your home town with all the supporters here and we're very thankful to have them here."
While Forbes went into the grand final undefeated they hadn't been without blemishes in recent weeks.
The semi-final win over Parkes the week before was crappy and the Magpies were slow out of the gates in that one.
But on Sunday there was no such issue.
Phillips' rampaging effort in the first quarter after Matt Noakes forced a line dropout sent them on their way and then Hartwig twice powered over from close range to set-up a 16-0 lead at the main break.
"All we wanted was a really, really good start. To start fast and to start hard," Hartwig said.
"We came out firing and then we stuck to it."
It was always going to take something special for CYMS from there but the Magpies were relentless, barely allowing the Fishies a sniff.
Errors and penalties were also a massive issue for CYMS and after gifting the ball to Forbes again in the final quarter Phillips made them pay.
"He shows how good he is. No one needs to talk for him," Hartwig said of Phillips.
"He's an unbelievable player and a key player in our team all through the years I've played with him and especially today. Incredible player."
The CYMS players were understandably devastated after the match.
I knew we'd be up against it but I thought we'd be a bit more competitive.- Bret Fisher
While paying full credit to Forbes, CYMS coach Bret Fisher admitted the most disappointing aspect was the best version of his side wasn't on show on the biggest day of the season.
Early errors put the side under immense pressure while at times they struggled for direction and gifted the Magpies too much ball.
"We're hurting," he said.
"We probably played our best football last week and the week before.
"You can't take it away from them (Forbes) because they're a quality side and have a quality system with Red Bend (College) so I knew we'd be up against it but I thought we'd be a bit more competitive."
While Ryan finished the match with a double the dangerous fullback was well handled by Forbes for the most part while Braye Porter again stood tall and continually urged them on with his words and actions in the second half.
"They're a great bunch of boys," Fisher added.
"They're all young and a lot are only 16 so they've got a big future ahead of them.
"CYMS will keep building and we'll be competitive."
It had been a strange year for all involved with both the Group 11 and Group 10 competitions cancelled because of COVID-19 before the Western Youth league was formed to give the younger players the chance to compete and develop.
Crowd restrictions remained in place on Sunday but Hartwig was delighted by the amount of Forbes fans still in attendance.
"Under these circumstances you can't have the crowd we'd like but what we've got today we're more than thankful for," he said.
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