Foley Shield finds a new home at Mackay
FOR THE first time since 2011 Mackay has reclaimed the coveted Foley Shield.
When the Mackay Cutters came off the field from their win over Northern Pride on Saturday night, word of the historic award being returned after a near decade-long absence was spread.
The news was received with footy pride which beamed throughout the Mackay league community.
Cutters coach Steve Sheppard applauded the other factions which helped bring the shield home.
"The Foley Shield is one of the biggest prizes in the world and there was a contribution right across the board to win it,” Sheppard said.
"It's a pretty big feat, and something the Mackay Rugby League community should be proud of.”
The Cutters boasted a long local-grown player list on Saturday which Sheppard said spoke volumes for the quality Mackay could produce.
"We had 50 per cent local juniors in our team tonight,” he said.
"With our Cowboys players three of those boys are local. . . I think that shows the club is going in a really good direction at the moment.”
While the two Cutters teams were battling on home soil the Mackay A grade representative team soldiered to the Townsville Sports Reserve to do their part.
The Mackay troop beat competition favourites, Townsville 20-16 on the first day.
Alongside the Cutters wins in the Intrust Super Cup and the the Hastings Deering Colts competitions, one win was all the Foley Shield team needed.
Coach of the Mackay A-grade men's team, Wayne Barnett, said it took time for the reality to sink in.
"It's such a surreal thing. . . we were sitting on the bus coming home and it only then started to sink in,” Barnett said.
"We were actually a bit subdued after the first game where we won it. We came up here to do a job and we wanted that second win.”
The Mackay men made good on that goal, beating Cairns 26-22 yesterday.
"Across the three teams it shows we have some powerful, premier footballers in the Mackay area,” Barnett said.
"It was a good showing what we can do.”