The Southport School are 2012 Clarke Keating Cup premiers after defeating Somerset College in the senior boys final Monday.
Hosted by Somerset College, the cold and overcast conditions didn’t keep the crowds away with plenty of supporters turning up to support their teams.
The match was eagerly anticipated after a close encounter earlier in the season between the two schools, with TSS just getting up on that occasion after scores were tied in the last quarter.
The final was indeed an exciting affair with both teams bringing a high level of skill and physical strength, putting their bodies on the line and fighting hard from the first bounce.
TSS opened the scoring early and dominated the rest of the quarter with their bigger bodies out-muscling their opponents. Somerset lost three valuable players early to injury and were unable to return leaving the home side with only one player on the bench for the remainder of the game. At the end of the intense opening quarter TSS led 3.2.20 to 0.0.0.
Somerset’s Coach Greg Penfold encouraged his team to use their skills in the tough conditions and they did just that, coming out firing in the second quarter with the advantage of the wind. They put on 3.3 before TSS managed two late goals to steady the ship and register a half time score of 5.2.32 (TSS) to 3.3.21 (Somerset).
The wind played a decisive role in the third quarter with TSS using it to their advantage with a barrage of goals after some great work by their midfield. Kicking six unanswered goals, it was always going to be a hard task for Somerset to claw back the 41 point deficit with scores at three quarter time 11.2.68 (TSS) to 3.3.21 (Somerset).
Despite being three men down Somerset made some key positional changes which allowed them to control the last quarter and fight back, but TSS hung on to win 12.3.75 to 6.5.41.
The Southport School are back-to-back premiers in this senior division, and with their strength and athletic depth may challenge Marymount College’s six straight premiership record in the future.