Wide Bay’s Pialba on the surge against St Patrick’s School in Emerald. INSET: Emerald classmates form a tunnel of honour in celebration.
Wide Bay’s Pialba on the surge against St Patrick’s School in Emerald. INSET: Emerald classmates form a tunnel of honour in celebration.

Victory for young guns

EMERALD’S St Patrick’s School has secured a semi-finals berth in the Queensland Primary School’s Development Cup, after a thrilling, touch-and-go quarter-final win

over Wide Bay’s Pialba on Monday.

With the weight of the Capricornia region on their tiny shoulders, Emerald held out a resurgent Pialba side 22–18 much to the delight of the mums, dads, school teachers and classmates who cheered on the young representatives from the

sideline at McIndoe Park.

Despite Emerald’s classy display in the first-half to pick up a handy 18–4 lead, the pressure was on to maintain a comfortable buffer.

Pialba bounced back with a try of their own seconds into the second-half, followed in quick succession by another soon after.

Before they knew it, that buffer was reduced to a stifling four points and Emerald could feel the momentum starting to shift.

From here it was anyone’s game as the ball went from one end of the park to other, often within the same set of six.

Emerald extended its lead again with a try in the far corner, before a line-break and quick hands from the Wide Bay outfit had them back in the hunt with a try in the opposite corner.

But it was Emerald’s to win and the 22-point scoreline was just enough to hold out the spirited Pialba side and book their place in the semi-final clash with Tully State School in Proserpine.

Amid the solid tackling techniques and top-rate handling, both teams demonstrated a level of maturity and sportsmanship far beyond their age.

One illustration of goodwill in the game’s furious final minutes came when an Emerald player was given a hand-up by a Pialba player following an accidental high tackle, a gesture that would have brought a wry smile to even the most hardened spectator.

Emerald coach Max Martin said the quality of football on show was something to be admired and a credit to the teams participating.

He named Blake Pyle, Will Kleinschafer, Mitch Holzwart, Lachlan Scarpelli, Joe Fabish and Dylan Johnson as among the best on field for St Patrick’s.

The Development Cup is a state-wide knock-out competition held annually between primary schools in co-operation with the Queensland and Australian Rugby League.


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