top of page
  • Writer's pictureApril O’Neil – Reporting Correspondent

Saints Suffer Heartbreaking Exit from 2024 Eels Cup in Golden Point Drama

In a gripping showdown at TIO Stadium, the Saints Open Boys faced a devastating defeat in the 2024 Eels Cup, falling to SEDA College in golden point drama. Despite their incredible resilience, the Saints couldn't overturn the odds in an extra-time thriller.

The day kicked off with high anticipation as the Saints clashed with long term rivals, O'Loughlin Catholic College, in a much-awaited Catholic Derby. However, frustrations mounted early as OCC capitalized on the Saints' handling errors to seize an early lead. Despite the setback, the Saints rallied, with debutant Errol McCoy's last-minute try securing a hard-fought 8-8 draw at the full-time siren.

The battle against OCC proved to be grueling for the Saints, compounded by injuries sidelining four key first team players like debutant fullback Kian T'Lam, veteran winger Cohen Patch, the up and coming, Jackson Jones, and team Captain Will McCallum. Nevertheless, the Saints showed their mettle, with standouts like Dan Murphy stepping up in a courageous display.

Entering their next encounter against Katherine High, the Saints exhibited renewed vigor, dominating proceedings from the outset. Led by stellar performances from Nathan O'Sullivan who scored a double, and Ralph Lonsdale, they secured a resounding 16-0 victory, solidifying their position atop Pool A.

With momentum on their side, the Saints faced an elimination clash against SEDA College, knowing only victory would secure a coveted Grand Final spot. Despite a slow start, the Saints clawed their way back, with late tries from Dan Murphy and Deacon Summerville pushing the game into extra time. However, injuries continued to hamper their efforts, with Nathan O'Sullivan becoming the fifth casualty of Saints' tournament. Despite a valiant effort, a controversial call for a Summerville no try and Koen Hughes being held up over the line, a spirited push for a try from SEDA College off the back of an offside penalty saw the Saints narrowly miss out on progression.

Reflecting on the heartbreaking defeat, Coach Matthew Sharp lauded his players for their resilience amidst adversity. He commended newcomers like Brodie Peacock and Year 12 debutants Will Prest and Errol McCoy for their standout performances.

Despite the disappointment, Sharp remains optimistic about the team's future, emphasizing their continued competitiveness despite setbacks. "Not many sides would be able to lose five starters and still make the playoffs" Sharp stated. Looking ahead to future competitions, including the Palmerston, Knights, and Catholic Cup ties, as well as the Ross-Bryers Bowl for juniors, the Saints are determined to reclaim their spot at the top of school rugby league.

In conclusion, Sharp expressed pride in his team's resilience and vowed to continue their pursuit of excellence, eagerly awaiting future challenges to showcase their talent. 'Well done to both Grand Final teams,'' Sharp offered. "We've been at the top of the totem pole in NT schools Rugby League for a while now and a win for the other school teams is a good thing for long term development in the sport" he added, before offering an ominous ending remark, "Our Open Boys will be very eagerly waiting by the phone for a call from the finalists for Round 2 at full strength after the big dance is done". 

Congratulations are extended to Daniel Murphy, Nathan O'Sullivan, Angus Cram, Deacon Summerville and Trent Harvey who were selected for representative honours as a result of their efforts in this tournament. 

Extra congratulations are extended to Trent Harvey who was nominated as best on ground for the tournament by his peers. 

April O'Neil - Reporting Correspondent

140 views0 comments


bottom of page