It's fair to say Hawks' young gun Lilly Baker had a good day at Wade Park in last Sunday's Group 10 preliminary finals.
The Hawks centre crossed four times in two games as both her under-18 league tag and open league tag side won through to this weekend's grand finals at Bathurst's Carrington Park and she loved every minute of it.
"I'm so keen, oh my god," Baker said post-game, looking toward the prospect of winning two premierships in the space of a couple of hours.
"We're very happy but in the back of my head know we [needed] to get to training and work hard during the week."
I love the feeling of getting up from a try and the whole team is getting around you.Hawks' Lilly Baker
The young side will come up against CYMS in an all-Orange derby in the under-18 decider, while Hawks take on the daunting, two-time defending premiers Bathurst St Pats in the opens decider, the latter a rematch of last year's grand final too.
A remarkable eight of the under-18 league tag players will be backing up in the senior grand final, with Jes Pearson, Millie Lenahan, Courtney Morgan, Savannah Moore, Emily Irwin and Caitlin and Rebecca Prestwidge joining Baker in playing the both games.
Baker and experienced head Jacky Lyden have both hailed the mix of young and old as superb in the past few weeks.
Lyden said the youngsters had invigorated the more experienced players, while on the eve of finals Baker said the mixed squads felt like "a family" and gave the thumbs up to the experience and advice from the likes of Lyden, Bec Ford, Cheynoah Merchant, Em McDonald and more.
The flow-on effect of that mentoring was on full display last weekend as the under 18s dismantled the Mudgee Dragons 46-4, including three tries in the opening four minutes as Baker (three) Jes Pearson (two) and Courtney Morgan-Jones (two) all cashed in.
"We knew we had a lot of things to work on in 18s, completing our sets in particular," Baker said.
Baker added she loved the all-out attack giving her chance to score, saying it was a "pretty mad" to have four tries to her name across the day.
"I love the feeling of getting up from a try and the whole team is getting around you. It's just the best feeling to get your family around you," she said.
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Morgan-Jones the onslaught "just happened" with no emphasis on starting that hard against the Dragons.
"We worked as a team and gelled really well and wanted to work through to the grand final ... our hard work all year paid off," she said.
However, Morgan-Jones said the defensive effort was just as important, with a focus on not letting the Dragons score after half-time coming to fruition.
Sunday's under-18 league tag decider kicks off at 9am before the senior league tag clash at 10.25am.
UNDER-18 LEAGUE TAG
- ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Jes Pearson, 2 Jasmine Griffiths, 3 Elli Tamatea, 4 Imogen Drinkwater, 5 Tori Wood, 6 Courtney Morgan, 7 Lilly Baker, 8 Milly Lenehan, 9 Erin Gates, 10 Caitlin Prestwidge, 11 Josie Clarke, 12 Savannah Moore, 13 Emily Irwin, 15 Taylor Milan, 17 Rebecca Prestwidge
- ORANGE CYMS: 1 Emily Williams, 2 Maddi Thornhill, 3 Marley Cardwell, 4 India Krause, 6 Keely Prevett, 7 Ella Barrett, 8 Olivia Collins, 9 Lucy Warner, 10 Lilly Freedman, 11 Dayna McKay, 12 Saige King, 13 Hope Gibson, 14 Georgia Gibson, 15 Victoria Brown, 16 Alana Tracey, 17 Chloe Jaques
OPEN LEAGUE TAG
- ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Jes Pearson, 2 Millie Lenehan, 3 Lilly Baker, 4 Courtney Morgan-Jones, 5 Rianna Bordic, 6 Bec Ford, 7 Bridie McClure, 8 Cheynoah Merchant, 9 Em McDonald, 10 Savanah Moore, 11 Jacky Lyden, 12 Emily Irwin, 13 Jen Wensley, 14 Karina Kiley, 15 Lexi McKenzie, 16 Pania Taku, 17 Caitlin Prestwidge, 18 Rebecca Prestwidge
- BATHURST ST PAT'S: 1 Erin Naden, 2 Sarah Watterson, 3 Candice Boggs, 4 Paige Hay, 5 Elise Woods, 6 Bronte Emanuel, 7 Mish Somers, 8 Maddy Boyce, 9 Elysse Girot-Serplet, 10 Meredith Jones, 11 Emily Rhynehardt, 12 Amy Copping, 13 Hannah Kelly, 14 Tanesha Pringle, 15 Karah Armstrong, 16 Darcie Morrison, 17 Emma Dillon
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