St Patrick's College one win from fifth-straight Herald Sun Shield title

St Patrick's College pictured after their BAS grand final win. Now it is on to another Herald Sun Shield grand final.
St Patrick's College pictured after their BAS grand final win. Now it is on to another Herald Sun Shield grand final.

ST PATRICK'S College is one win away from adding another Herald Sun Shield to its rich tradition of football success.

SPC thrashed Sunbury's Salesian College 18.15 (123) to 2.2 (14) in the semi-final at Cragieburn's Highgate Arena on Wednesday to book a place in the final against Box Hill Senior Secondary College on August 8.

Should it win, St Pat's would surpass the run of four Shield titles won by Kilmore's Assumption College from 1987-1990.

Wednesday's belting of Salesian was dubbed "the best brand of football we've played all year" by coach Howard Clark.

Any contest was effectively put to bed in the first-quarter, when St Pat's held its opponents scoreless to open a 49-point lead.

The advantage was extended over the next two quarters, despite injuries to key players Tom Templeton and Liam Duggan.

Templeton suffered a dislocated finger that was immediately put back in while Duggan left the ground with a migraine.

The pair took no further part in the game after the main break, but will be fit for the upcoming final.

St Pat's extended the margin to 98 points at three-quarter-time, leaving Salesian to kick its only two goals of the match in the final term as the front runners began to tire due to limited rotations.

Dan Butler dominated in the middle and around the stoppages for St Pat's, kicking two goals in a clear best-on-ground performance.

Jesse Palmer bagged two majors in a dominant performance across centre-half-forward while Matt Johnston was also influential.

Clark praised the work of his midfielders, who gave St Pat's a 46-9 advantage for entries into the forward 50.

The coach's attention now turns to capturing a record-breaking fifth title.

By Clark's estimation it's been five years since St Pat's has faced Box Hill, which emerged a surprise finalist after defeating last year's runners-up Whitefriars College (Donvale) by 20 points in a low scoring affair.

"We know very little about them," Clark said.

"We watched the first-half of their semi-final and they certainly have a lot of strong-bodied players."

"Our motto is one school, one goal, one chance.

"They've (the players) got one chance of creating history and make a legacy for our younger students to strive towards."

The final will be played on the MCG as a curtain raiser for the Essendon v Richmond clash.


GOALS - St Pat's: L Spiteri 3, J Palmer, D Butler, M Martin 2, M Walsh, M Johnston, L Duggan, R Stuhldreir, J O'Beirne, T Constable, T Templeton, T Hutt, B Payne.

BEST - St Pat's: D Butler, J Palmer, J Cowan, N Weightman, M Walsh, M Geary, J O'Beirne, J Hopper, R Stuhldreier.