Inverell High School put up a cracking fight against Saint Mary’s Gunnedah to win the annual Sam Naismith Cup.
In its second year, the cup was played at Varley Oval on Thursday after the two teams qualified at a number of regional gala days.
North West development manager Matthew Crawley was impressed with both teams and said if the Saint Mary’s boys had straighter kicks it could have been a different ball game.
The final score was 14. 8. 92 to Inverell High, and captain Angus Lindsay could not have been more proud.
“Not quite double the score but the boys played well. Probably second quarter would have been best, we worked well as a team and didn't drop the ball much,” he said.
Saint Mary’s captain Hayden Baker said considering they had a lot less training sessions and boys who didn’t know how to play the game, he was happy with the result.
“I think the third quarter was our most dominate. Everyone picked up the game and learned the rules a bit and did well.
“Our commitment to the ball stood out, no one was scared of it or the contact everyone just went as hard as they could.”
Crawley said the idea of calling the gala comp the Sam Naismith Cup was a brainwave of AFL extraordinaire Sonia Martin.
“I then approached the Sydney Swans to ask Sam if we could use his name and he was cool with it,” he said.
Since then interest had grown, as the competition is open to any school in the North West. Schools participate in the gala days and the winners of each qualify for the grand final.
Unfortunately McCarthy College Tamworth had to pull out of the youth girls grand final on Thursday against Inverell High School, but it should be played at a later date.