Three late tries for the Magpies were not enough to rein in Wellington Cowboys at Spooner Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The two squads appeared evenly matched in the first half of the Round 6 Group 11 clash, grinding it out until Wellington's Aidan Ryan got a break and set up a 4-0 lead the visitors held at half time.
Wade Peachey grabbed the ball from the kick and scored behind the posts for a 10-nil lead, Josh Griffiths took it out to 16-0 and crossed again to give the visitors a convincing 22-0 lead.
The crowd was ominously quiet, but Forbes lifted in the final 20 minutes and suddenly the win looked within Forbes' grasp.
Bailey Hartwig grabbed the ball from a kick and dived over, Josh Toole also found space to bring the score to 22-8.
As the clock counted down Jake Hadrill dived on the ball on the Magpies' line - the fans had a short wait while the referee consulted the linesman but the try was awarded for a final score of Forbes 12 Wellington 22.
The loss was Forbes' third at home and disappointing, coach Cameron Greenhalgh said, but there were promising signs for the Magpies too.
Sunday's first grade fixture was a hard-fought game.
"Wellington came out to play," Greenhalgh said. "They went really hard, credit to them."
Both sides were excellent in defence: the difference for Wellington a couple of tries from bounces that got them over the line.
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The day also held injury disappointment for the Magpies when Jordan Hartwig broke his leg, play paused in the second half while an ambulance was called to the ground.
Earlier in the day the Forbes Reserves had a hard-fought win over Wellington Cowboys 16 to 10.
The under 18s came out hard against their visitors and powered to a convincing win. Wellington scored two late tries for a final score of 44-8.
Forbes also dominated the league tag with a 50-nil win.