Thursday, July 11, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

History Made For St Pat’s Girls

By Chris Karas

St Patrick’s College Mackay is celebrating a historic Confraternity Shield Girls Rugby League championship.

In one of their proudest achievements, the famous sporting nursery has toppled The Cathedral College Rockhampton to bring home the school’s first-ever girl's title.

Played as a curtain-raiser to the women's State Of Origin decider at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the St Patrick’s whiz kids edged out their Rockhampton rivals 8-4 to snap a 21-year drought.

Strong running forward Lucy McKendry bustled her way over to score the match-winning try for St Patrick's with sixteen minutes left on the clock.

Emerging Mackay half-back and inspirational skipper Paige Mooney was judged Player of the Final for her masterclass performance in the trophy decider.

It was St Patrick’s maiden Girls Shield title after finishing runners-up to Marymount College Burleigh Waters in the inaugural girls’ final in Mackay during 2022 and to The Cathedral College in last year’s Grand Final in Brisbane.

A team from St Patrick’s hadn’t won a Confraternity Shield since Troy Rovelli’s boys’ team claimed the
title back in 2003.

Triumphant St Patrick’s coach Imogen Healy praised her charges for their commitment and wholehearted team efforts throughout the Carnival.

Promising playmaker Mooney was a revelation at half-back and sparked the attack with her vision and ball skills and was rewarded with a spot in the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League (QISSRL) Girls All Stars Merit Team.

St Patrick’s powerhouse second-rower Ebony Temple and dynamic fullback Ava Wheeler also gained selection in the Merit Team for their stand-out performances.

Wheeler showed plenty of flair in attack and was a key player in a classy backline that featured talented prospects in Mooney and five eighth Keely Pitt, centres Anthea Campbell and Ella Webb and flying wingers Scarlett Foord and Maddie Simon.

The St Patrick’s forward pack laid the foundations with non-stop displays from the likes of Temple, lock Cianna Faulkner, back-rower Sophie Searle, props Jada Cahill and Kelsi Hazledine and hooker Jaymie Clancy.

Interchange players McKendry, Ruby Watt, Tayla Camilleri, Keely Logan, Brielle Contor, Ruby Lucas, prop Charlotte Large and Tailor Meredith also showed their value in a tremendous team effort.

St Patrick’s topped Pool A with victories over Mt Maria Mitchelton (26-4), Shalom Catholic College Bundaberg (10-4) and Emmaus College Rockhampton (10-4) before eliminating a talented Marymount College 10-0 in a quality semi-final.

Hard running forward Meredith crossed under the posts in the first half and the promising Searle scored after halftime to keep a spirited Marymount College at bay.
Coach Healy turned to her three most experienced campaigners in Mooney, Webb and Wheeler to lead the way.
The outstanding trio lined up for their third successive Shield final – a rare feat – and demonstrated their value and class in the championship triumph.

Ian Schifilliti’s boys team bowed out in the semi-finals after a 6-0 loss to eventual Shield champions Ignatius Park College Townsville.

The reigning Aaron Payne Cup champions were later beaten 18-0 by Iona College Lindum in the play-off for third place.

Jubilant St Patrick’s College Mackay players celebrate their historic Confraternity Shield Girls Rugby League championship win over The Cathedral College Rockhampton in Townsville

Outstanding St Patrick’s Mackay half-back and skipper Paige Mooney accepts the QISSRL Confraternity Shield Girls Championship trophy after steering her team to an 8-4 Grand Final victory over The Cathedral College Rockhampton in Townsville. Mooney was named Player of the Final and gained selection in the QISSRL Merit All Stars Team with second rower Ebony Temple and fullback Ava Wheeler

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