GOING into Saturday's Group 10 Rugby League Knockout reserve grade grand final Orange Hawks were just happy they were able to run out onto the field.
The previous night's action had taken its toll on the team, so much so that the team considering pulling the pin on their decider at Carrington Park against hosts Bathurst Panthers.
But not only did the team put together 13 players for their last match of the competition - they won it.
It was far from a flawless performance from both sides but given the Hawks' struggles in the player department they could be very proud of the result they came away with.
The Orange won a very scrappy contest 10-0 with one try in each half of the 40 minute contest.
Hawks captain Adam Hamling was thrilled just to take to the field, let alone come away with a win in the final.
"We only had 13 players. We had one pull up right on the bell," he said.
"We were very close to forfeiting this game. We were very lucky to get away with a win. It was a really good effort from the boys."
The first try for the Hawks before the break instilled a lot of belief in the Orange unit, and they held on to a 4-0 advantage going into half-time.
Bathurst Panthers came out strongly in the second half.
The hosts found the better field position in the early stages but they were their own worst enemies much of the time with several errors while not being under pressure.
Midway through the second term the teams went on a run of incompletions as a mixture of nerves and fatigue were evident in both camps.
Panthers continued to look the slightly more threatening side but when Hawks burst through the Bathurst defensive line for a try deep into the second half the pressure was too much.
The Bathurst men had most of the ball towards the end of the match but when a last ditch attempt on the left wing came undone the Orange side began celebrating with a minute left on the clock.
ORANGE HAWKS 10 defeated BATHURST PANTHERS 0
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