Thursday, May 9, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Townsville Takes Home The Victory In Foley Shield Tournament

Over the weekend, spanning from Saturday, May 4 to Monday, May 6, the hotly contested Foley Shield tournament took place. Each day featured two games, where women’s and men’s teams from Mackay, Townsville, and Far North Queensland competed for the Foley Shield title. Selections for the Queensland Country Team were made based on performances during this weekend's matches.
Mackay Regional Mayor, Greg Williamson expressed the importance of not only having the Foley Shield in Mackay for local rugby enthusiasts, but also to show young players, both male and female, the foundation of Rugby League over the years.
“The Foley Shield is part of the trophy mechanisms that grew Rugby League in our region, so this is just absolutely outstanding to have it here in Mackay,” Mayor Williamson said.
As for the results, Townsville emerged victorious in both the men's and women's divisions of the XXXX Foley Shield, with the men's team securing a nail-biting win based on try countback. In a tense showdown at BB Print Stadium, Townsville, Cairns, and Mackay battled fiercely for the men's title.
The home side, Mackay, initially held the advantage, leading 22-8 midway through the second half. However, Townsville staged a remarkable comeback, with fullback Lennix Tovo's try offering hope before Christian Gale's crucial score secured the win in the 72nd minute. The sideline confusion turned to elation for the Matt Bowen-coached Townsville team, with prop Faron Morris describing the experience as nerve-wracking yet immensely gratifying.
Reflecting on the victory, Morris emphasised the significance of reclaiming the Foley Shield for Townsville, attributing the triumph to a collective effort and a determination to honour the shield's rich history while forging their own legacy. He also praised Townsville's women for their back-to-back titles and acknowledged their influence in motivating the men's team.
In the women's division, Townsville dominated with a 24-8 win over Mackay, showcasing resilience and teamwork to overcome a determined opponent. Hooker Mateeka Neilson highlighted the team's belief in each other and their commitment to disciplined defence as key factors in their success.
Individual accolades were also celebrated, with Ataliah Love and Marmin Barba of Mackay Sea Eagles earning women's and men's player of the carnival honours respectively. Looking ahead, the XXXX Foley Shield carnival is set to return to its traditional home in Townsville in 2025, promising continued excitement and competition in the years to come. Overall, Townsville's triumphs in both divisions underscored the region's depth of talent and the enduring spirit of rugby league in North Queensland.

Results - XXXX Foley Shield
Cairns 28 def Mackay 24
Marmin Barba wowed the home crowd with a hat-trick before Cairns mounted a spirited comeback, taking advantage of their opponent losing a man to the sin bin in the final 10 minutes. Fullback Lachlan Biondi-Odo scored the match winner in the 75th minute.
Townsville 22 def Cairns 18
Townsville dominated field position for much of the game and thwarted Cairns' last-tackle options with desperate defence to sneak away with a five-tries-to-three victory.
Mackay 22 def Townsville 18
*Townsville awarded the 2024 XXXX Foley Shield on a try countback (Townsville 9, Cairns 8, Mackay 8)
Mackay 28 def Cairns 0
Melody Tass scored a hat-trick in a commanding victory.
Townsville 40 def Cairns 0
Townsville centre Gagie Mackie Namok and lock Jordii Mahendrarajah scored doubles as Cairns struggled to contain a rampact pack in the daytime heat.
Townsville 24 def Mackay 8
*Townsville wins the XXXX Foley Shield

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson announced the official Foley Shield event a few days prior to the highly-anticipated game. Photo credit: Hannah McNamara

Mackay held a 22-8 lead after 42 minutes in front of their home crowd. Photo: Marty Strecker

Mackay started strongly against Townsville in the women's match on Monday. Photo: Marty Strecker

XXXX Foley Shield 2024. Townsville was awarded the men's competition on a try countback. Photo: Marty Strecker

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