Ecstatic Kingaroy Red Ants celebrate after their first A Grade Grand Final victory in eight years

September 6, 2023

The Red Ants proved why they were the 2023 Minor Premiers with a decisive 28-12 victory over Cherbourg in the South Burnett Rugby League Grand Final on Saturday.

But Hornets’ fans disappointed by the A Grade result could take some comfort from Cherbourg’s 22-8 win over Chinchilla earlier in the afternoon in the Under 14s Grand Final.

Kingaroy’s T.J. O’Neill Oval was packed for both games (see reports and photos, below).

While the local league competitions are over, there’s still one important South Burnett game to go … 

The South Burnett Eagles Under 16s have earned a spot in the Toowoomba JRL Grand Final.

They defeated Toowoomba Souths 30-12 in the Preliminary Final at Oakey on Saturday and will now take on Valleys Roosters in the Grand Final at Clive Berghofer Oval this Saturday.

This is a reprise of the semi-final played on August 26 which the Eagles lost 36-18,  so they’re keen for revenge this week and to lift the trophy!

The game is scheduled to start at 4:35pm.

UPDATE September 15: The Under 16s were defeated 30-28 in what looks to have been a close game but unfortunately no further information is available.

Supporters and team officials greet the A Grade Kingaroy Red Ants as they run on to their home ground
The Hornets’ Under 14s waved their trophy to inspire the Cherbourg players as they took to the field for the A Grade Grand Final
Kingaroy fullback Harry Sterling with Courtney Thompson and their three-month-old baby Haisley after the A Grade Grand Final … Sterling kicked three conversions and one penalty goal
Red Ants supporters Clinton Hancock, Brenda and Clinton Stretton, and Carley and Matt Heit with South Burnett Acting Mayor Gavin Jones
Cherbourg Mayor Elvie Sandow with her grandson Ashton
Hornets’ fans Elgan Saunders and Shane Dynevor
The triumphant Hornets’ Under 14s brought the trophy over to show Aunty Hazel Speedy, from Cherbourg
Chloe Sellin and Shane Dynevor with one of the Grand Final banners that greeted the Hornets in Kingaroy
A large crowd packed into the hill and across the front of the clubhouse to watch the two Grand Finals

* * *

A Grade Grand Final

Kingaroy Red Ants players and officials pose with their trophies after the A Grade Grand Final

The final score in the A Grade Grand Final didn’t reflect the closeness – or the toughness – of the contest, especially in the first half. 

Both teams ran on to the field through tunnels of cheering supporters.

Kingaroy opened the scoring with a try under the posts by Lachlan Price, which was duly converted by Harry Sterling, the first of three conversions he kicked during the game.

The Hornets then stopped a Kingaroy charge to the posts, before Vincent Law went over in the corner.

Alex “Bunyip” Speedy’s conversion tied the scores at 6-all.

Cherbourg stopped another Kingaroy attack short of the line with desperate defence just before half-time.

However, as the siren sounded, the Hornets were penalised right in front of the posts.

Sterling kicked the goal, taking the half-time score to Kingaroy ahead 8-6.

The Red Ants shifted gears after the restart, with unanswered tries to Killian Klease, Toby Schmidt and Connor Sullivan.

As the game wore on Cherbourg were stung by penalties, losing players to the sin-bin, but still managed to put on another try with eight minutes to go when Vincent Law scored his second for the day.

Speedy’s kick cut Kingaroy’s lead to 24-12.

However, in the last three minutes Nikolao Petueli landed the final blow for Kingaroy, with a try under the posts.

The final score was 28-12.

Footnote: A minute’s silence was held before the start of the A Grade game in memory of Darryl Harrison who had a long involvement in local rugby league.

Kingaroy’s Lachlan Price dives under the posts to put the first points on the board in the A Grade Grand Final
Harry Sterling successfully kicks a penalty goal for Kingaroy after the half-time siren sounded
Somewhere under this pile of bodies, Vincent Law successfully scored his second try for the Hornets
The Charles “Chaz” Williams Memorial Shield was presented to Kingaroy’s Connor Sullivan by Aunty Rosetta Williams; Chaz, a well-known local footballer, died in 2015 and the shield is presented every year in his honour by the Williams family for the “Best & Most Respected Player” in the Grand Final

* * *

A Grade Gallery

* * *

Under 14s Grand Final

Cherbourg’s Under 14s after their Grand Final victory over Chinchilla

The clash between Chinchilla and Cherbourg in the Under 14s Grand Final was an arm-wrestle for the first 15 minutes.

The Bulldogs drew first blood with a try to Robert Hardy-Thompson.

Just before half-time, a desperate try-saving kick over the dead ball line by the Bulldogs gave back possession to Cherbourg from a goal line drop out.

Kobe Saltner made the most of the opportunity and his try was converted by Lewis Hopkins.

Cherbourg almost scored again but were just short, leaving them ahead 6-4 at half-time.

Hornets scored first in the second half, via Lewis Hopkins, with Quayden Langton taking the successful kick.

Ethan Underwood then hit back for Chinchilla, taking the score to 12-8.

But Cherbourg weren’t finished.

Lewis Hopkins converted his own try with two minutes left, and Marlon Cobbo scored in the corner after the full-time siren.

The final score was 22-8.

Lewis Hopkins flies over the line to score for Cherbourg, two minutes before full-time
Elijah Langton was presented with the U14s Player of the Match trophy by South Burnett Rugby League president Greg Pomfret

* * *

Under 14s Gallery


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.