Mater Dei Catholic College (MDCC) is celebrating its first Preston Butcher Cup touch football title after coming up with the perfect combination of players for this year's Wagga high schools competition.
With students from year seven through to year 12 in their open girls squad, MDCC produced a powerful grand final display on Monday night to down Kildare Catholic College, 9-3, and break their rivals' recent stranglehold on the competition.
"That's our first one. Kildare had won the last four," Mater Dei sports coordinator Nathan Irvine said.
"We've won the Diocesan under 15s the last three years so we've been waiting to get over the line (in the Preston Butcher Cup)."
Coached by Virginia Baggio, Mater Dei set the tempo early, crossing for the first couple of tries and keeping their defensive line tight.
However Kildare kept them accountable as the half wore on, taking advantage of some fatigue to be right in the game at the break, down just 4-2.
Mater Dei came out after half-time and left nothing to chance scoring five tries to one in a dominant display that quickly put the game beyond reach.
"We had some really strong defence throughout the game, getting up off the line quickly and forcing them into errors," Irvine said.
"We had some very good touch players out there who were controlling the game."
Winger Tilly McCrone (year 12) finished with four tries, getting into good position to support her side's scoots from dummy-half as Kildare tired.
Cleo Buttifant (year 10) also had a strong game in a team that included two year seven students, Zara Hunt and Inez McPherson.
Alicia Johnson and McCrone were the only players in their final year of school. Jess Wendt led the team along with fellow year 11 student Caitlin Wheeler.
For many players, there was no time to wallow in success back at school. Eight members of the winning squad headed off on Tuesday morning to represent Wagga Diocese teams at a schools carnival this week.
John Preston was on hand for the final of a tournament which is named in honour of him and Helen Butcher, for services to touch.
Wagga High beat The Riverina Anglican College 5-4 in the third place playoff.
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