The build-up to the 2022 Castlereagh League season was anything but smooth, but the weekend's opening round still delivered plenty of entertainment.
It was a tumultuous start to the season after the Coonabarabran Unicorns pulled out of the competition early last week.
That came after the Binnaway Bombshells had also announced they would not be fielding a senior men's side this season.
The withdrawals forced a number of changes to the draw as now nine clubs are part of the league tag competition while eight will contest the senior men's competition.
There was still plenty to like about Saturday's opening round, in particular the performance of the Narromine Jets.
In their first official Castlereagh League matches after previously playing in Group 11, the Jets scored strong derby wins over Trangie in the senior league and league tag.
The men won 38-14 over the Magpies at Trangie, scoring eight tries to three to build on their win in the Castlereagh League knockouts at Gilgandra earlier in the month.
Further west, a mistake riddled Gilgandra Panthers outfit paid the price against the Cobar Roosters at Tom Knight Memorial Oval, going down 34-14. The Panthers were in the match at 18-10 at half-time at Cobar but the strength of the hosts, combined with Gilgandra's lack of ball security resulted in a commanding Roosters win.
In the round's other match, the Coonamble Bears scored a narrow 26-22 win at Baradine.
Looking to round two, all three first grade games present as interesting affairs with Narromine hosting Gulgong in what will be the Terriers' first game of the season after a round one bye.
The Dunedoo Swans, who also had the bye in round one after Coonabarabran's late withdrawal, will be on the road for their first game of the season. The Swans face the difficult task of upsetting the Coonamble Bears on their own turf.
The Bears have a young side who like to give the ball have plenty of lateral movement and the Swan's defence could well face a stern test.
In the other game, the Trangie Magpies will host the Gilgandra Panthers during the club's Old Boy's Day.
In the opening round of the league tag competition there was wins for Gulgong, Gilgandra, Baradine and Narromine.
The Gulgong women started their season in style as they scored a 30-4 win over Binnaway while Gilgandra was made to work in a 18-8 victory over Cobar.
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