St Patrick’s College, Mackay rode the emotions of decades of Confraternity Carnival memories as they surged into a prized boys’ final tomorrow against the power of Townsville’s Ignatius Park College.
In front of a huge home crowd, including old boys who gathered for a “Confro” reunion, St Patrick’s rolled The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 16-6 in their semi-final at BB Print Stadium to move within one win of their first Confraternity Shield since 2003.
They will have to topple defending champions Ignatius Park College, who won a battle of attrition with St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon, 12-6 in a gripping semi-final.
This 42nd Confraternity Carnival, sponsored by CQ University and staged by Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League, brings together 48 boys’ teams and nine girls’ teams from Catholic and Independent schools across Queensland. A host of Queensland’s greatest players have emerged from the event.
St Patrick’s coach Michael Comerford said his players were buoyed by the home support, which reached its loudest level when backrower Liam Doherty stomped through The Cathedral College defence for a decisive try with 15 minutes remaining.
“It’s huge to be able to play before this crowd and it’s very special for the players,” Comerford said.
“It’s been 26 years since Mackay last hosted Confro and the whole city has got behind it. Some of these players will go on to very high levels of footy but, for some others, this will be the most important games they will play, so it’s something to cherish.”
The Mackay crowd took a breath after The Cathedral College prop Ashton Saunders barged over for a 6-0 lead. But St Patrick’s regained their spark to notch two tries from kicks, either side of halftime, before Doherty’s individual effort put away the gallant Rockhampton team.
On Field 2, the famed rivalry between St Brendan’s and Ignatius Park promised a tight match, but the Townsville team barrelled down field for a try after two minutes to prop Jamaine Stanley.
“I thought that early try really seemed to get Brendan’s focused because they really aimed up after that,” Ignatius Park coach Steve Lansley said.
“They’re a really tough team and the game became a grind with both teams trying to break through. I was really proud of the way our boys defended.”
A 38th minute penalty goal pushed Ignatius Park ahead 8-0, but St Brendan’s hit back two minutes later when Melbourne Storm-contracted fullback Matthew Hill regathered his own kick for a fine try.
That set up a thrilling finishy, but Ignatius Park edged away when their enterprising style of football led to a cross-field kick and a try in the left corner to Rayzarlin Pearson with five minutes remaining. St Brendan’s had a full attacking set on the Ignatius Park line inside the last two minutes, but a knock-on spoiled their hopes.
Tomorrow’s finals day will feature six deciders for trophies while the rest of the 48 teams will play off for final finishing spots.
The Bob Lindner Trophy final, featuring Division 1 teams, will feature Brisbane’s Padua College against Bundaberg’s Shalom College.
The highest trophy in the Division 2 rankings is the Neil Bloxsidge Plate which will pit St Edmund’s College, Ipswich against Dalby’s Our Lady of the Southern Cross College.
The Division 3 trophy final will be fought out between Mt Maria College from Mitchelton and Hervey Bay’s Xavier Catholic College for the Confraternity Cup.
After tomorrow’s final at midday, the QISSRL Merit team will be named from the best players across all divisions over the four days of competition play.
Confraternity Carnival - semi-final results
(Listed in order of rankings of divisions from top-down)
Confraternity Shield semi-finals
Ignatius Park College, Townsville 12 d St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon 6
St Patrick’s College, Mackay 16 d The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 6
Iona College, Lindum 24 d St Mary’s College, Toowoomba 12
Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 34 d St Augustine’s College, Cairns 8
Bob Lindner Trophy - semi-finals
Padua College, Kedron 36 d St Peter Claver College, Riverview 10
Shalom College, Bundaberg 26 d Marist College, Ashgrove 12
Emmaus College, Rockhampton 14 d Aquinas College, Ashmore 12
St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe 16 drew with Rockhampton Grammar School 16
Neil Bloxsidge Plate - semi-finals
St Edmund’s College, Ipswich 26 d Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers 10
Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby 24 d St Michael’s College, Merrimac 10
St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane 14 d Marist College, Emerald 4
Holy Spirit College, Mackay 24 d Assumption College, Warwick 18
Confraternity Bowl semi-finals
St Columban’s College, Caboolture 10 d St Thomas More College, Sunnybank 4
Clairvaux MacKillop College, Mt Gravatt 24 d All Souls St Gabriel’s College, Charters Towers 22
St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie 24 d Faith Lutheran College, Plainland 10
Blackheath & Thornburgh College, Charters Towers 14 d St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 12
Confraternity Cup - semi-finals
Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 30 d Chanel College, Gladstone 4
Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 26 d Good Shepherd College, Mount Isa 12
Unity College, Caloundra West 32 d St John’s School, Roma 0
St Patrick’s College, Gympie 22 d St Mary’s College, Woree 10
Men of League Challenge - semi-finals
Gilroy Santa Maria College, Ingham 14 d Trinity College, Beenleigh 12
St Anthony’s College, Townsville 4 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 0
Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia 14 d St James’ College, Spring Hill 6
Ryan Catholic College, Townsville 16 d St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights 14
The draw can be seen at www.confraternitycarnival.com.au.
All matches will be livestreamed on www.confraternitycarnival.com.au.
All scores will be updated on the Confraternity Carnival website and on the QISSRL Facebook page.