Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Star Mackay Cutters rugby league half back Brandon Finnegan is celebrating his first win of the 2023 season.
The skilful playmaker coached the St Patrick’s College Year 9/10 Girls Blue team to Karen Murphy Cup success last week at the Mackay Junior League Fields to snap a lengthy personal losing streak.
It has been a frustrating period for the 25 year old maestro number seven who last tasted victory in the QRL Hostplus Cup with the Cutters on August 6 last season in a 34-16 win over Central Queensland Capras at BB Print Stadium.
After missing early round matches with a knee injury, the clever half has tried valiantly to lift the struggling Cutters, who are still chasing their first triumph in the 2023 competition.
But his fortunes changed when the St Patrick’s Blues eclipsed the St Patrick’s Reds team 16-8 in the schoolgirls final to regain the Karen Murphy Cup trophy.
Promising half back Courtney Harris and second rower Lucy McKendry – both products of the Walkerston Wanderers JRLFC – were officially named Players of the Tournament.
They were ably supported by talented lock Cianna Faulkner, dashing fullback Zoe Ziegeler and tireless hooker and middle forward Tilly Clark.
Both St Patrick’s sides topped their respective Pools to qualify for the trophy decider with the Blues toppling Mackay Christian College (24-0), Pioneer High (12-0) and Mackay State High (12-8) in preliminary matches and the Reds rolling Holy Spirit College (8-0), Sarina High (20-0) and Moranbah (24-4).
Under the guidance of coach Lauren Jones, the Reds led 4-0 in the Grand Final after an early try from half Keeley Logan and added another by middle Kelsi Hazeldine before the Blues demonstrated their class with a four try blitz from Harris, McKendry, Clark and middle Scarlett Ford to clinch the title.
The Reds were best served by playmaker Logan, dashing fullback Madi Mooney and prop Sophie Searle.
Contributed by Chris Karas
Brandon Finnegan’s all conquering St Patrick’s College Blue rugby league team celebrate their Karen Murphy Cup Year 9-10 schoolgirls trophy win over St Patrick’s College Red last week at the Mackay Junior League Fields
Karen Murphy Cup-winning coach Brandon Finnegan and team manager Vikki McGrath with Players of the Tournament – St Patrick’s Blue second rower Lucy McKendry and half back Courtney Harris