Magpies' finals hopes still alive after downing St Pat's

ST Pat's were on the verge of celebrating a clean sweep of all grades on their 1989 premiership Group 10 premier league reunion day when Cowra Magpies spoiled the party.

Saints held an 8-6 half-time lead in the premier league fixture at Jack Arrow Oval - following wins for league tag, under 18s and reserve grade - before the Magpies fought back.

Cowra went ahead to win 22-14, keeping their finals hopes alive while leaving the Saints' chances close to tatters with just over a month remaining.

It's a cruel blow for the Saints who also let a half-time lead get away from them in the previous round's meeting with rivals Bathurst Panthers.

"We played some good footy in patches and got ourselves out to a 14-6 lead after the half but probably bombed a few chances in attack and there were some poor misses in defence," Pat's player-coach Luke Branighan said.

"That's when the game got away from us."

Mitch Squires latched onto a kick from Branighan to open the scoring before Cowra quickly hit back with a converted try to take a 6-4 lead.

The same Pat's combination linked up again before the break to give the hosts the advantage.

Things were looking up for the Saints when a Jack Mackey try from close range, converted, pushed the margin out to six.

From there the Magpies fought back into the match, taking advantage of several defensive lapses from the Saints to get themselves ahead.

Branighan said decision making went out the window for his side in the second half.

"We had a couple of chances to extend the lead further and probably took a couple of wrong options," he said.

"Unfortunately the game turned and Cowra scored some tries off some poor defence and they were able to hang on in the end."

With just one win from their last nine matches the Saints now need everything to fall their way if they're to remain a chance of reaching the top five.

Branighan said the loss to Cowra stings but the team can't lose hope.

"That was a massive game but we'll start again this week and keep swinging until the end of the year," he said.

"If we can put a few wins together then we'll see what happens at the end of the year.

"Saturday's game definitely hurt us but all we can do is worry about our next game, which is against Oberon."

Saints will need a big turnaround from their previous game against the Tigers where Oberon ran out 36-10 winners.

Meanwhile Cowra will take on Orange CYMS at Sid Kallas Oval on Sunday.