Ignatius wins shield
CAPTAIN Hayden Crowley defied the odds to hand Ignatius Park College Townsville their second Confraternity Shield in the past four years.
The North Queensland Cowboys contracted centre scored his second try of the match and the match-winner in the final minute of regular time to give Ignatius Park a 14-10 win over hosts St Brendan’s College in the 2011 Confraternity Shield final.
Surrounded by his teammates after the match, an ecstatic Crowley said there were doubts over whether the two-try hero would even play in the final.
“I got a cork playing Abergowrie yesterday and I didn’t think I would be right to play today.”
“It’s a full-on buzz. I can’t believe it. We worked really hard and came away with the win and that’s what you aim to do when you come to Confro.”
Ignatius Park coach Dave Elliott echoed Crowley’s thoughts and gave credit to the relentless St Brendan’s side.
“It’s a really good feeling. We knew that coming down to St Brendan’s it was going to be tough,” Elliott said after winning his second Confraternity Shield in four years.
“St Brendan’s are a good side and they’re at home, but we had a lot of belief in our team.
The two form sides throughout the entire week-long carnival lived up to their billing providing a crowd of nearly 3000 people a free-flowing, entertaining match.
In perfect conditions, Crowley barged over close to the line in the 13th minute for the first and only try of the first half to give Ignatius Park an early 4-0 lead.
Ignatius Park went into the half-time break leading 4-0 before lock Tyson Tawhai crashed over to the right of the uprights after some nifty work from hooker Chris Law to give Ignatius Park a 10-0 lead early in the second half.
However, an inspired St Brendan’s fought back through some determined work from Corey Oates who managed to trap Ignatius Park fullback Gary Bradtke in-goal.
Two plays later St Brendan’s winger Jye Schafer finished off some nice to score in the corner.
Oates converted the try from the sideline to close the gap to 10-6 before a determined Oates pushed his way through six defenders to find the line and score the equaliser.
The rangy back rower missed the conversion and scores were tied up 10-10 with four-and-a-half minutes to play before Crowley scored the match-winner inside the final minute.
A disappointed Oates, who was outstanding for St Brendan’s in the second row along with lock Andrew Shipway, said his team mates poured everything into the match.
“It’s a bit hard. You only get one shot at it and when you can’t pull it off it’s pretty hard,” he said.