St John's Dubbo were never troubled by James Sheahan Catholic High School in the under 13s final of the Country Cup on Wednesday at Parkes, but the 30-10 triumph wasn't the focus for coach Ben Williams.
The school side brought together a host of mates who regularly play footy against each other on the weekend but lap up the opportunity to play on the same side with their school.
"They had a good time, which is the main thing," Williams said.
AJ Isbester won man of the match honours after starring in the 20-point win over the Orange school.
"They're a good group of kids split between three club sides in Dubbo - two St John's sides and there's a few kids from Narromine - but they all go to school together so it's a good opportunity for them to play together rather than against each other," he added.
Williams said his side made the trip to Parkes with no expectations given there's quality kids running around in just about every junior footy competition in the region.
Sheahan's Harry Wald proved exactly that in the decider and provided his Dubbo opposition with a number of headaches but across the board the eventual victors were a class above.
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"We knew we could play but there's a lot of good kids around under 13s. We probably did the little things right and came away with it in the end," Williams added.
Sheahan coach Tim Mortimer said the 2019 Country Cup was the first chance his side has had to play school footy.
"And there's some positive signs there," he added.
"We let them get through early on and it was hard to crawl back but they showed plenty of good signs and should develop well as a team into the future.
... there's a bit of a carrot for the kids there.St John's coach Ben Williams said looking ahead to a Country Cup final at Dubbo.
"It'll be exciting to see them mature as the years go on."
The next stage of the competition will pit St John's up against the southern champions at Cootamundra on August 1.
The Country Cup grand finals are then in Dubbo in term three.
"So there's a bit to look forward to if we can do well; there's a bit of a carrot for the kids there," Williams added looking at the potential home final.
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