WHEN St Pat's belted out 'Oh when the Saints go marching in' at Jack Arrow Oval on Saturday afternoon, it was not only the fact that they had won the inaugural Bathurst Nines league tag crown which put passion into the song.
It was because the team they beat 4-0 in that decider - Dubbo CYMS - was the outfit which had ended the Saints' remarkable winning streak 17 months earlier.
Pat's had won every game - pre-season, regular season and post-season - in brilliant run from 2017 until Dubbo CYMS beat them 24-10 in the 2019 Western Premiers Challenge.
It was a defeat the Saints remembered and were happy to avenge.
"They got us in the Premiers Challenge so it was good, I think they had a few out, but it was still good to win," Pat's coach Mick Armstrong said.
"We only had one training run before that, so we're lucky we have a good squad. We were missing a couple of players, but the girls we did have came here and put it together on the day."
The Saints went undefeated through their three pool games then beat Bathurst Panthers 14-0 in the semi-final to go into the decider as the favourites.
But Dubbo CYMS, who had earlier lost 8-0 to Pat's and needed a buzzer-beater to down Mudgee in their semi-final, fought hard in the finale.
It took a Sarah Watterson try with 1:28 left on the clock - an effort which came after earlier copping a knee to the face when diving on a loose ball - to decide the contest.
"I always thought we had them defensively, I didn't think they were going to score and I just knew that the points for us would eventually come," Armstrong said.
"We were a bit unlucky a couple of times, like Darcie [Morrison] just put her foot on the sideline and there was a forward pass, but anyway we got it.
"She's good Watto, she's great to have in the club, she's a lot of fun and very hard to tag. That sort of stuff fires her up so it was good to see her score that try."
As Armstrong indicated, the Saints had chances go begging before Watterson finally sealed the deal.
In the third minute Paige Hay threw a pass over the heads of CYMS' right edge defenders into the arms of Morrison, who then ran away to score under the sticks. It was only then it was ruled the pass had travelled forward.
Hay again showed attacking spark just before half-time when slicing through CYMS' defence, but her 60-metre run was halted with a brilliant diving tag from Nic Grose.
Another desperate diving tag - this time from Jinnara Tyson - denied Danielle Fisher as the clock ticked down in the second half.
But when CYMS made an error just out from their line in the dying minutes, Watterson pounced to nab the match-winner.
Though coming up short, CYMS were still happy with their efforts at the tournament.
"It was a very tight one. I think it was a good hit-out for the girls, you know there were nerves towards the end, but in games like that the girls stand up and really push each other," Kaitlyn Mason said.
"We had a few girls who had to work, so we chucked a few girls in there from juniors and a few from Macquarie, so it was really good. I was very, very happy.
"It just goes to show those juniors coming through, they've got that mindset that they can play seniors. It sets the tone now for the rest of the season and what we have to work on and I think we'll get there.
"Most of the older girls really stood up today. Kim Gordon kept a cool head and she really set that tone with the younger ones, she gave them that calmness, and it helped to bring the best out in everyone."
Pat's fullback Erin Naden was named player of the tournament.
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