Kildare thumps Mater Dei to set up Hardy Shield final with Wagga High

Kildare Catholic College’s dream of a third straight Hardy Shield title remains alive following a big semi-final win over Mater Dei Catholic College.

It was a one-sided affair as the two Catholic schools faced off for a place in the grand final at Parramore Park on Tuesday.

Courtesy of a mistake from the kick-off, Kildare opened the scoring after three minutes and were never headed in the 28-0 victory.

Coach Andrew Morton was happy with the effort.

“I think last game we gave them a bit of a sniff so we were pretty determined to put that game to bed and put them to bed,” Morton said.

“It was good to do that.”

Sam Heffernan scored the first try when he was able to capitilaised on some nice work from five-eighth Ryan Mascini.

Mascini made 30 metres off a big step before putting Heffernan over.

A strong offload from Tomasi Baravilala then put Liam Moon over before Heffernan scored off a nice short ball from Mascini to give his team a 16-0 lead at half-time.

Mater Dei struggled to make inroads into the Kildare defence and were put further on the back foot when Jack Schubert scored six minutes after the break.

A double to Austin MacDougall, including a 100-metre intercept effort, sealed the win for the defending champions.

A sour note was the serious injury to Matt Knagge.

The fullback came off with a suspected fractured wrist and Morton admitted he will be hard to replace for the final against Wagga High.

Meanwhile, Wagga High captain Matt Fellows led his team’s charge into the Hardy Shield final after a 20-12 win over Kooringal High School on Tuesday.

Fellows made a big impact as his team set up a grand final showdown with Kildare Catholic College next week.

Wagga High got off to a perfect start when Luke Herman scored from dummy half after three minutes before Kooringal High hit back as captain Tyson Hodge crashed over.

Foster then scored the first of his two tries to hand his team a 10-6 lead at half-time.

Ryan Cronin broke the deadlock after the break before Foster’s second sealed the win.

Jaylem Byrnes hit back with four minutes left but his team ran out of time.

Wagga High coach Brent Merritt is looking to his team to bring a more polished effort in the final.

FULL-TIME

KILDARE CATHOLIC COLLEGE 28 (Sam Heffernan 2, Austin MacDougall 2, Jack Schubert, Liam Moon tries; Matt Knagge 5 goals) d MATER DEI CATHOLIC COLLEGE 0

WAGGA HIGH SCHOOL 20 (Bowie Foster 2, Luke Herman, Ryan Cronin tries; Jordan Little 2 goals) d KOORINGAL HIGH SCHOOL 12 (Tyson Hodge, Jaylem Byrnes tries; Leon Carmichael 2 goals)