Saturday marked the beginning of the rugby union season in Parkes, with the Parkes Boars running a spectacularly successful Rugby Sevens competition that saw Parkes Fiji and the Bathurst-based Average and Savage finishing as the Men's and Women's winners respectively.
Prior to the start of play, a minutes silence was observed in recognition of the passing of Parkes Rugby Union life member Sheila Lowe during the week.
Sheila's family and all the players, referees and organisers stood together on, and around, the field to pay their respects.
Sheila had three grandsons playing on the day: Carl Oliver (Tumut Bulls), Simon Oliver (Cobar Camels) and Dylan Phillips (Forbes Platypi).
Matches were played on both Jock Colley Oval and Spicer Field, with Ed Lowe the match announcer and time keeper while Cath Ryan managed the score cards and first aid tent.
Eight men's teams took part in the day: Parkes Boars, Forbes Platypi, Cobar Camels, Wellington Redbacks, Mudgee Wombats, Parkes Fiji, Wagga City and Tumut Bulls.
In a good sign for the strength of women's footy in regional NSW, six female sides participated: Parkes Boars, Forbes Platypi, Mudgee Wombats, Tumut Bulls, Wellington Redbacks and Average and Savage (Bathurst).
Both the men's and women's were split into two divisions, with the top two progressing to the finals.
In the men's, the Parkes Boars won Pool A, finishing with 12 points, with Parkes Fiji, also on 12 points, winning Pool B.
The Boars defeated Forbes in the first semi final while Parkes Fiji took the second semi over the Cobar Camels - who had early devised a rather entertaining try celebration!
On the day, the hit and hurry style of the Parkes Fiji team really suited the sevens format, and they won the final over local rivals, the Boars, in a tight tussle.
In the women's competition, the Boars took out the Pool A with eight points while Bathurst side Average and Savage won Pool B, also with eight points.
In the first semi final, Parkes defeated Mudgee Wombats, while Average and Savage defeated the Tumut Bulls.
The Average and Savage women were just too strong on the day for the young Boars side as they took out the final in a convincing win.
After the conclusion of play, players from all participating clubs sat and enjoyed a few quiet beverages while watching a beautiful March sunset with the sounds of 'Birdie' playing by the bar before moving on to the Coachman Hotel to dig into a well deserved meal.
READ MORE SPORTS NEWS:
Many thanks must go to the volunteer referees on the day: Chris Reynolds, Harry Orr, Alex Milsom and Brett Cooper - the games were well controlled, ran on time and demonstrated the positive spirit of sevens rugby.
The Boars want to extend a huge thank you to Bronwyn Lowe and her team of helpers who worked the canteen all day, while president Kevin Oliver packed, picked up and did whatever was asked of him; the bar was run like a well oiled machine thanks to Cooper Byrnes and Jake Elliot.
A lot of the tournament's success was down to first grade captain-coach Josh Miles, who drove the organisation of the competition, developed the pool draws and the coordinated the referees.
The Boars are looking forward to hosting the same event next year on the new Spicer grounds and facilities, which will make sure the tournament will be even bigger and better!
2021 is promising to be another strong year for rugby union in Parkes as the Boars look to defend the flag.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram