Edmund Rice College have continued their golden run against Holy Spirit in rugby league by retaining the prized Tom Anderton Shield in style at Collegians Sports Centre.
Edmund Rice made it three straight wins in the 27th annual carnival between two of the top rugby league schools in the region.
The Mt Keira-based high school enjoyed a rare clean sweep in under 13s, 14s, 15s and opens division.
Edmund Rice teacher and carnival organiser Dene MacDonald said it was a magnificent day for his school.
‘’The rivalry between us is huge and we both love this day on the calendar. This year our boys were really well prepped right through the age groups,’’ MacDonald said.
‘’The win was set up by the under 13s who smashed them.
‘’The other teams followed suit and it was emphatic overall. We’ve won it three years now and 2015 was washed out, so we’re on a good run with some talented teams right through the age groups.’’
Edmund Rice began brilliantly with a 38-6 win in under 13s. Flynn Allen was player of the match and Most Valuable Player for ERC, with Josh Walker MVP for the Bellambi-based school.
Edmund Rice produced a defensive wall to shut out Holy Spirit 20-0 in under 14s. Liam Constable was MVP for the winners, with Jarrah Henderson-Jackson MVP for Holy Spirit.
ERC then wrapped up the Shield for 2017 with a 26-8 win in the under 15s. Ernie McCarthy (ERC) and Darcy Jerez (HSC) were the MVPs.
Edmund Rice finished off the day in style with a 30-10 win in the opens division. Liam Macpherson (ERC) and Duane Willemsen (HSC) were the outstanding players.
This year’s carnival was particularly poignant following the passing of Tom Anderton’s wife Gert in recent months.
Gert Anderton was a major supporter of the day; presenting the Shield to the winning school and was deeply missed in the first year without her presence.
Gert’s grandson Matt Dignall presented the Shield to Edmund Rice and awarded the Open’s MVP honours.
Brian O’Rourke from Collegians RLFC was also involved in the presentation, with his club strong supporters of the carnival as hosts.
And while 2017 was a clean-sweep for ERC it’s rare the carnival is not decided in the final opens game; worth three points for the winner, with the other matches worth two points each.
Edmund Rice’s victory means they lead the Shield head-to-head 18-8, with 2015 a wash out.
Holy Spirit’s last victory in 2013 marked their sixth triumph in eight years.
Edmund Rice dominated the rivalry through the late 1990s and early 2000s, before HSC began their own golden era which ended in 2013.