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Bush booms in unforgettable Adrian Vowles Cup

A record number of teams has doubled the population of Charleville for a weekend in another memorable Adrian Vowles Cup on February 23-24.

While temperatures in the mid 30s, high humidity by western Queensland standards and a shower each afternoon made it challenging for all teams, players and coaches thrived in snappy 15-minute matches.

For the first time, in the 11th year of this calendar highlight, an Under 14 girls division was contested, adding to the fanfare of an event that started with three Under 14 boys teams all those years ago.

It was mentioned on several occasions over the weekend how much the quality of footy has improved over those years, with so many talented and committed players from across the state having enjoyed the unique experience.

The Under 14 girls 'Dream Team' named at the conclusion of the competition. Photo: Peter Rafter
The Under 14 girls 'Dream Team' named at the conclusion of the competition. Photo: Peter Rafter

It always amazes everyone in attendance the spirit in which the games are players, including seeing how many players put their hand up to help other teams when they are running short after the usual injuries start to take their toll.

There was one game where the nominated team was down to six of their own players on the field, so players from three other teams came to their aid so the games could go on.

The 2024 version also had more referees - under the guidance and organisation of NRL referee development officer Jarrod Bailey - than any other year thanks to a lot of teams who brought out their own to help out on the weekend. 

The Under 14 boys Dream Team. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL
The Under 14 boys Dream Team. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL

QRL CEO Ben Ikin cut a popular figure as one of the attendees, with his presence making a huge impact on all parents and players who took the opportunity to speak to him.

The games were split over two venues for the weekend, but when all teams came together for the finals on Saturday afternoon, the atmosphere was electric and the cheering for teams was as loud as you would hear at any venue.

All four finals came down to the wire, with Souths Toowoomba, Outback, Highfields-Stanley River celebrating wins alongside Redcliffe, who won the Under 16 boys division in double extra time over Valleys 8-4.

But the lasting memory will be the fun and friendships, which many will be reliving next year when the Adrian Vowles Cup returns on February 21-22, 2025.

Adrian Vowles Cup wrap-up


Under 16 boys final: Redcliffe 8 def Valleys 4

Under 14 boys final: Souths Toowoomba 12 def Redcliffe 4

Under 14 girls final: Outback 8 def Blackbutt-South Burnett 4

Under 17 girls final: Highfields-Stanley River 8 def City/Country Mt Isa 4

Best and fairest awards

Under 16 boys

Best and fairest - Cohen Cochrane (Stanley River)
Best back - Damien Hewitt (Redcliffe)
Best forward - Rocky Smith (Mitchell)

Under 14 boys

Best and fairest - Nate Golding (Souths)
Best back - Caleb O'Neil (Valleys)
Best forward - Jai White (Highfields)

Under 14 girls

Best and fairest - Nevaeh Horswood (Outback)
Best back - Paige Miles (Outback)
Best forward - Tiahna Dean (Blackbutt)

Under 17 girls

Best and fairest - Phoebe Knight (Highfields-Stanley River)
Best back - Indy Blissner (Dalby)
Best forward - Jadee Denton (Highfields-Stanley River)

The Under 17 Dream Team. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL
The Under 17 Dream Team. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL

Dream Teams

Under 14 boys

1. Jasper Filewood (Dalby), 2. Jeriah Slade-Suemai (Redcliffe), 3. Ryan Donadel (Wattles), 4. Harrison Pollard (Valleys Red), 5. Charlie Iraci (Wanderers), 6. Ty Betts (Wattles), 7. Caleb O'Neil (Valleys Red), 8. Riki Neale-Rowe (Redcliffe), 9. Jack Burton (Wattles), 10. Nate Golding (Souths Toowoomba), 11. Jai White (Highfields), 12. Levi White (Highfields), 13. Hunter Tate-Roache (Souths Toowoomba)

Under 16 boys 

1. Damien Hewitt (Redcliffe), 2. Jack Davis (City Country Mt Isa), 3. Thomas Bassett (Mackay), 4. Xavier Newtown (Valleys), 5. Ronald Fing (Dalby), 6. Liam Marshall (Valleys), 7. Thomas Beresford (Collegians), 8. Kaleb Strange (Stanley River), 9. Cohen Cochrane (Stanley River), 10. Israel Faialaga (Redcliffe), 11. Rocky Smith (Mitchell), 12. Trent Martin (Mackay), 13. Maison Egel (Dalby)

Under 14 girls

1. Ruby Gould (Outback), 2. Emaleigh Huth (Blackbutt), 3. Lakelyn Hunch-Dempsey (City Country Mt Isa), 4. Zoe Birch (Outback), 5. Tiffany Williams (Blackbutt), 6. Callin Darcy (Outback), 7. Paige Miles (Outback), 8. Tiahna Dean (Blackbutt), 9. Ava Henry (Outback). 10. Riki Lee Logan (City Country), 11. Amber Rose Bumstead (Blackbutt), 12. Ali Parker Egel (Outback), 13. Nevaeh Horswood (Outback)

Under 17 girls

1. Sophie Beetson (Outback), 2. Indy Blissner (Dalby), 3. Isabella Trost (Highfields-Stanley River, 4. Shenaye Barbeler (Dalby), 5. Chantel Wilson (City Country Mt Isa), 6. Phoebe Knight (Highfields-Stanley River), 7. Eiesha Simmons  (City Country Mt Isa), 8. Tarmieka Melville-Ranki (City Country Mt Isa), 9. Maddison Marchant (Highfields-Stanley River), 10. Isabel Gibbs (Dalby), 11. Brook Lemon (Outback), 12. Charlotte McLean (Outback), 13. Jadee Denton (Highfields-Stanley River)

Main image: Adrian Vowles Cup 2024 Under 16 boys Dream Team. Photo: Peter Rafter/QRL

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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