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The Western Suburbs Mackay Tigers have won this year’s Shorty Moffatt Cup, defeating the Shorty 9ers 28-4 in the decider.

In the first year of the new format, six teams from across the Central Highlands joined Mackay in Dysart; putting their off-season training and preparation to the test in exciting and fast-paced nine-a-side matches.

It was a tough day for all teams having to battle four seasons in one day with the scorching heat through the day followed by a downpour in the late afternoon and evening, but the weather didn’t hinder the footy.

Games were played across the day with every team playing six regular pool games in the hope of qualifying for the finals series and a chance to play for the Cup.

It was a thrilling end to the pool matches with the last two games deciding the makeup of the finals series.

These were the pinnacle of the day with the crowd on the edge of their seats for both matches.

The Dysart Bulls needed to defeat the Wests Tigers to be in with a chance of making the finals and despite trailing by two tries with only six minutes left, the home side levelled the game by fulltime and stayed alive with a win as they were the first try scorers.

This set the last pool game up as a do-or-die clash for the Emerald Cowboys against the Clermont Bears.

Despite losing a number of players through to the day to injury, the Cowboys showed true courage without any interchange players to fight to the death with the Bears, but it wasn’t enough, losing 8-4.

The Wests Tigers (1) were in control from start to finish in the semi-final against the Dysart Bulls (4), winning 24-8.

In the second semi-final, it was a much closer affair with the Shorty 9’ers (2) edging out a strong Clermont Bears (3) side 18-16 in a tit-for-tat contest.

Despite the torrential rain, the crowd were in numbers anticipating a close grand final, but Wests Mackay had other ideas.

From the kick-off, the Tigers looked determined to lift the trophy and after 40 seconds, fullback Cedric Georgetown crossed the try line for his first of three tries in the final.

From that moment on, the game was all but over as Mackay bagged four tries in the first half, followed by another two in the second half to win 28-4.

Speaking after the carnival, Central Highlands Rugby League President Frank Lambley thanked all who were involved following a great day of footy.

“It was a great preseason hit out for all the teams and it was played in good spirits in all types of weather,” Lambley said.

“Thanks to all of the players for putting on a good display of footy, the teams’ support staff, the referees and touch judges, volunteers and spectators.

“I’d also like to extend a massive thank you to our host club, the Dysart Bulls, for preparing the grounds and running a seamless carnival.”

The Central Highlands Rugby League premiership season is set to kick-off on Saturday, April 22 with the official draw being released on Thursday.

For full results of the Shorty Moffatt Cup, visit the Central Highlands Rugby League website.