ST PATRICK’S College has again confirmed it is king of Ballarat school football, but there are bigger things in mind.
The St Pat’s boys secured a 30-point win over Ballarat Clarendon College in Wednesday’s Ballarat Associated Schools’ firsts grand final and now eyes a Herald Sun Shield semi-final with Sunbury’s Salesian College next week.
This is the next hurdle as the school chases a record fifth consecutive state schoolboy title.
St Patrick’s College was always in control of Wednesday’s decider, leading the contest at every change despite a gallant performance from the Clarendon side.
The hosts held a 14-point buffer at half-time, which was closed to seven early in the third term before St Pat’s took a handy four-goal advantage into the final term.
And while Clarendon did close the margin to within three kicks with the first two goals of the last quarter, the home side rallied to run out comfortable winner at the final siren.
“It’s really important we win our own local competition and now we move on to the semi final of the Herald Sun Shield,” victorious coach Howard Clark said.
“They are both important and it is really important we tick this one off.”
Clark said the game was a testament to both schools, but wished his side had made better use of its inside-50m dominance.
“We just didn’t capitalise on the opportunities that we probably had. We certainty felt we had control of the game, but we just couldn’t break away on the scoreboard,” he said.
St Pat’s was best served by skipper Liam Duggan, Leigh Spiteri and Kane White in defence and Jacob Wheelahan, who led the forwards with two goals.
Clarendon joint-coach Shaune Moloney said he couldn’t be prouder of his side, which was led by Conor Barnes across half back, onballer Adam Johnson and full forward Sam Dunstan.
“We took a bunch of players who were not big names, not in too many squads, but they are very, very proud to represent the college and they did represent the college incredibly well,” Moloney said.