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The girls’ Confraternity Shield will again come down to rivals St Patrick’s College, Mackay and The Cathedral College, Rockhampton after gripping semi-finals in the wet in Townsville today.

St Patrick’s held out Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 10-0 while The Cathedral College survived 4-0 against an impressive Mt Maria College, Mitchelton in today’s final four.

That will leave last year’s finalists to play again for the Shield in a match scheduled for Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Thursday as a curtain-raiser for the women’s State of Origin decider.

The Confraternity Carnival, sponsored by CQ University and run by Queensland Independent Secondary Schools rugby league, features 12 girls’ teams and 52 boys’ teams and is played this year across six fields at Brothers Townsville Football Club and neighbouring Ryan Catholic College.

St Patrick’s has played in the two previous girls’ Confraternity Shield finals without winning. They fell to Marymount College in the 2022 decider before a huge Mackay crowd and lost a thrilling clash with The Cathedral College in Brisbane last year.

The Cathedral College scored with seven minutes to go in that match to claim their school’s first Shield in girls’ or boys’ competitions while St Patrick’s supporters missed out on their first Shield in either competition since 2003.

St Patrick’s has again been well coached by Mackay town planner and local A-grade halfback Imogen Healy, who has urged her players to enjoy the excitement of another Confraternity Carnival.

“It’s such a celebration of school football and girls’ football and it’s something that we really want the girls to take in because they will remember it for a long time,” Healy said.

“We want them to just enjoy the little moments and the little wins. These games can be decided by those little moments so it’s important the girls recognise that and celebrate them.”

There were plenty of little moments that went into deciding today’s matches in the rain. Points were precious in both semi-finals and St Patrick’s struck with the game’s only tries in each half.

Forward Tailor Meredith crossed under the posts in the first half and Sophie Searle scored after halftime to put a brave Marymount College out of reach.

Healy can rely on experience in her grand final team with three players – Paige Mooney, Ella Webb and Ava Wheeler – lining up for their third consecutive Shield final. St Patrick’s has a mix of Year 11 and 12 players and a few Year 10 squad members.

The Cathedral College were pushed all the way by Mt Maria College, Mitchelton before claiming another berth in the decider.

“TCC has such a good program and we know how much of a challenge they will be on Thursday,” Healy said.

“They have players who can create space out of nothing and they scramble really well so they’re tough to beat.”

The Confraternity Trophy will be decided between local team St Margaret Mary’s College and St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon after they won their semi-finals today. Thursday’s final promises to be tight after St Margaret Mary’s College won the pool match against St Ursula’s College 12-4.
Girls’ Day 2 results

Pool A
Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 22 d Emmaus College, Rockhampton 6
St Patrick’s College, Mackay 10 d Shalom College, Bundaberg 4

Pool B
The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 22 d St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 6
Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 22 d Rockhampton Grammar School 10

Pool C
Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 24 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 4
St Margaret Mary’s College, Townsville 12 d St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon 4

Girls’ semi-final results

Confraternity Shield
The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 4 d Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 0
St Patrick’s College, Mackay 10 d Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 0

Other matches
Shalom College, Bundaberg 8 d Rockhampton Grammar School 0
Emmaus College, Rockhampton 14 d St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 6

Confraternity Trophy
St Margaret Mary’s College, Townsville 44 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 0
St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon 14 d Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 0