ST MARY’S Dubbo and Orange’s Calare Public dominated the David Peachey and Russell Richardson primary schools finals held in Dubbo yesterday.
Coached by Justin Yeo and led by man of the match Jono Davis, St Mary’s Catholic School defeated Holy Family School Kelso 20-12 to claim the Peachey Shield for year 5-6 teams; while a very good Calare outfit, coached by Darren Kead, eclipsed St Augustine’s Catholic School Narromine 8-4 in the year 3-4 final of the Richardson Trophy.
Narromine was coached by Brett Smith.
With a tenacious come-from-behind effort ,St Mary’s reigned supreme over Holy Family, a team coached by Brent Dennis.
They now advance to the state final NRL Legends day in Sydney to be staged on August 22.
Although it wasn’t all smooth sailing in the final trailing 8-0 after two quick tries to Holy Family through Tye Siakisoni and Ryan Campbell, it looked like the Bathurst school would come out on top.
But a double to Paddy Haycock saw St Mary’s claw their way back, squaring level at the break.
Then Kobi Wilson stamped his mark on the match crossing twice just after half-time to give his team a 16-8 lead.
Some determined St Mary’s defence kept Holy Family’s attacking raids at bay but they eventually struck. A bustling effort from Bryce Rue made it a four point ball game.
However, any hopes of a Holy Family resurgence were dashed when a Samuel Thompson-try sealed victory for St Mary’s.
Outstanding halfback Ben Blimka was man of the match for Calare. The clever playmaker bagged two tries and was brilliant all day.
Tournament co-ordinator and Western ARL development officer Mick Armstrong reflected on yet another successful tournament and forecast the emergence of some new household rugby league names.
“It was a great finish to the competitions. We had nine localised gala days involving almost 3000 primary students,” he said.
“Not too long ago there were players like Jack Wighton, Daniel Mortimer and Harry Siejka competing in this carnival.
“These players have now reached the NRL and I’m sure with the talent on display today we’ll see some kids follow in their footsteps.”
David Peachey and Russell Richardson were on hand for presentations along with injured Manly Sea Eagle Ben Farrar.