St Patrick’s and Mercy CONFRO athletes are the pride of Mackay

Sports Monday, 11 July 2022


ST PATRICK’S College and Mercy College are the toast of Mackay after meritorious achievements at this year’s CQ University Confraternity Rugby League and QISSN Netball Carnivals. 

Co-hosted by both schools for the first time in its proud 42 year history, the 2022 CONFRO sporting extravaganza proved a resounding success on and off the field and courts with more than 2600 athletes, officials and volunteers participating in one of the smoothest run events on record. 

Sporting enthusiasts were treated to a feast of quality rugby league and netball during the five day event with the host schools carving out their own slice of history. 

In a tremendous feat, St Patrick’s College reached the Grand Final of both the Boys and Girls Confraternity Shield Rugby League competitions and finished fifth and third respectively in the QISSN Netball Division 1 Girls and Boys categories. 

The celebrations continued when Diana Bailey’s talented Mercy College netballers lifted the Division 6 Trophy after a thrilling 16-15 victory over Marist College Emerald on the final day. 

Proud rugby league nursery Ignatius Park College captured a seventh Confraternity Shield title when they overpowered a gallant St Patrick’s outfit 32-0 in the Boys decider. 

Maestro half back Matthew Hunter, power forwards Jamal Shibasaki, Jamaine Stanley, hooker Jonah Raidaveta, fullback Elijah Joe, winger Tekelu Mene and five eighth Reece Foley led the way as Ignatius spoilt the Mackay team’s bid for a ninth trophy with jarring defence and sheer pace and skill. 

Ignatius Park – who have produced Australian Kangaroo representatives Danny Moore, Scott Prince, Aidan Guerra, Valentine Holmes, Michael Morgan and Queensland Origin stars Kalyn Ponga and Coen Hess since established in 1969 – led 14-0 at the half time interval following tries by centre Jack Prior and lock Stanley and three Brodie Dinneen goals before adding three tries after the break. 

St Patrick’s just couldn’t produce the slick form that netted them victories over St Peter Claver College Ipswich (34-10); Rockhampton Grammar (20-6) and Iona College Wynnum (10-6) in Pool fixtures before tipping out St Augustines Cairns (28-0) in a quarter final and The Cathedral College Rockhampton (16-6) in a semi final. 

As a just reward four players – centre Kai Simon; five eighth Jaxon Purdue; hooker Xavier Kerrisk and inspirational lock and skipper Henry Thorpe – were named in the 2022 Confraternity Merit Team along with stalwart Matthew Paul, who was chosen as Honorary Coach after 20 years of distinguished service. 

Officials also presented industrious forward Patrick Vella with the Spirit Award while rising hooker Kerrisk took out the Best & Fairest trophy. 

Other players to shine were fullback Will Shears, winger Coby Arthur, centre Beau Jones, five eighth Harry Thorpe, props Levi Love and Matthew Watts, back rowers Liam Doherty and Bray Tait, Decy Jones and Hudson Galletly. 

ST PATRICK’S women players created history when they featured in the inaugural QISSRL Confraternity Shield Girls Grand Final. 

Marymount College in Burleigh Waters claimed the title with a gritty 18-10 triumph over a determined Mackay team that fought tooth and nail in an absorbing contest. 

Promising lock Lily Rose Kolc engineered the victory with a Player of the Match performance and was supported by hooker Hayley Sheather, centre Liberty Hoath, props Keely Harris and Piper Stockell and second rower Ellie Sommerville. 

Both sides were locked 4-all at the interval following first half tries by Hoath and St Patrick’s dynamo hooker Paityne Johns before Sommerville and winger Sienna Jones nabbed two quick tries out wide as Marymount jumped to a 14-4 lead. 

Strong running lock Gracie Watt kept St Patrick’s in the hunt with a determined try after 42 minutes that was converted by forward Lauren Jones. 

Interchange forward Zoe Gilbert sealed victory for the Burleigh Waters school when she crashed over for her team’s fourth try just moments later. 

None tried harder for St Patrick’s than hooker Johns, the tireless Watt, Sophie Novosel, Shaylee Hazeldine, fullback Isabelle Bartolo, prop Ciara Thomson, backrower Jones and the talented Abby Matsen, Ella Webb and Paige Mooney. 

Under the guidance of coach Doug Bettington and manager Samantha Nutt, the Mackay girls turned in wholehearted displays throughout the tournament – registering wins over St Margaret Mary’s College Townsville (16-10); St Joseph’s College Toowoomba (24-0) and Shalom College Bundaberg (42-6) and a narrow 10-4 loss to Emmaus College Jimboomba – to top their Pool. 

The crafty Johns was named St Patrick’s Best & Fairest Player by Carnival officials with Matsen receiving the Spirit Award. 

St Patrick’s history-making Girls squad was Isabelle Bartolo, Mikaela Hurley, Eden Falconer, Keely Pitt, Trinity Grigg, Lily May Carige, Mersades Lawson, Gracie Watt, Lauren Jones, Sophie Novosel (captain), Chelsea McLeod, Paityne Johns, Ciara Thomson, Shaylee Hazledine,. Eva Daly, Ella Webb, Paige Mooney, Ava Wheeler, Charlotte Large, Abby Matsen, Emily Donovan; Coach: Doug Bettington; Manager: Samantha Nutt; Trainers: Duncan Watt; Katrina Hazledine. 

Confraternity Rugby League Convenor Scott McSherry of Mercy College paid tribute to his tireless band of Carnival officials, College staff, volunteers and parents that helped organise one of the most successful CONFRO events in recent memory. 

“The efforts behind the scenes were tremendous and I can’t thank all those people who assisted in the day to day operations enough,” Mr McSherry said. 

“It was an outstanding team effort overall and I also would like to personally thank our valued sponsors for their incredible generosity,” he said. 

“The participating athletes showed amazing skills and sportsmanship across the netball courts and rugby league arena with bumper crowds witnessing a great spectacle,” he added.