St John’s triumph in Schoolgirls’ Challenge

IT WAS a cross-town rivalry like no other, when Roma's most promising young female athletes ran out on to the field for the grand final of the inaugural Outback Secondary Schoolgirls Challenge.

After weeks of hard-fought matches against girls from across the west, it was St John's who ultimately emerged victorious in both age groups on Friday afternoon, with their under-14s winning against Roma State College 38-8, and the under-17s scoring an overtime try to win 34-26.

The victory was sweet for St John's, who at the start of the competition never thought they would have won against the formidable RSC, who had been top of the ladder all season.

"Thank you to everyone who has put this carnival together, especially to our girls," St John's U17 captain Beth Edwards said in her post-game speech.

"The majority of our team had never played before, and we just came together, trained hard, and worked hard."

Edwards was also named player of the final, and in a bittersweet ending, the win was her last with the school.

Beth Edwards.
Beth Edwards.

"I'm feeling really good right now," she said.

"I actually graduated today, so this is a good way to finish the day, and the final game for St John's.

"It's awesome."

Of course, Edwards couldn't have done it without her teammates, and for the final, the ranks were bolstered by two dedicated players from Cunnamulla.

Abbey Pender and Poppy Collins of Cunnamulla State School played for St John's Roma in the Outback Secondary Schoolgirls Challenge U17 grand final.
Abbey Pender and Poppy Collins of Cunnamulla State School played for St John's Roma in the Outback Secondary Schoolgirls Challenge U17 grand final.

Poppy Collins and Abbey Pender travelled five hours just to play one last game in the Schoolgirls Challenge.

"I feel so happy that the girls have won, because I have heard some really good news about them," Collins said.

"And I'm just so happy that we got to be a part of their team when they did win the grand final."

During this carnival, the pair had originally joined the Charleville State High School side, but jumped at the chance to play for St John's when the opportunity came knocking.

"There are heaps of girls playing footy in Cunnamulla," Collins said.

"What we loved about this carnival is that we got to meet new people and play the game we love.

"Football is live for us, I guess; especially when we've got to travel five hours away just to play - it obviously says something about how much we love it."

Players and organisers are hopeful the carnival can run again in the future, having proven its popularity among young women from Taroom, all the way out to Cunnamulla.

 

Players of the Outback Secondary Schoolgirls Challenge grand final were:

 

Roma State College U14

•Rheeannah Volker

•Zoe Partridge

•Charlize Stanford

•Annie Zellers

•Jahlika Volker

•Imogen Thorpe

•Maddisyn Green

•Natasha Nelson

•Koria Hendry-Ratima

•Lillie Brand

•Lacey Harth

 

St John's U14

•Sophie Spinks

•Pru Johnson

•Bronte Jones

•Reyna Core

•Bel Lucas

•Bella Harth

•Zali Hyde

•Jonti Collinson

•Amy Meade

•Maggie Kendall

•Maya Jackson (player of the final)

•Abbi Small

•Sophie Lee

 

Roma State College U17

•Tyra Mitchell

•Gemma Jones

•Georgie Phillips

•Annie Zellars

•Antonia Hendry-Ratima

•Lily Upton

•Maddy Jukes

•Amy Heath

•Ellie Watson

•Tanea Jones-Brennan

•Darcey Patterson

 

St John's U17

•Ciara Jackson

•Charlotte Brand

•Reyna Core

•Eden Pavia

•Bethany Edwards

•Emily McNulty

•Poppy Collins

•Abbey Martin

•Abby Pender

•Maya Jackson

•Rileigh Lawson

•Jasmine Moore

•Caitlin Steel

•Caitlin Williamson

•Madeline McInnerney


Tributes pour in following Chinchilla man’s untimely death

premium_icon Tributes pour in following Chinchilla man’s untimely death

Contracting company deeply saddened by the tragic death

Insurance price hikes on the way

premium_icon Insurance price hikes on the way

$600 million lost in Queensland's recent weather events

Murder case awaits disclosure of CCC material

premium_icon Murder case awaits disclosure of CCC material

The case couldn't progress without CCC material, solicitor said.