An emotional Kieran Cubby-Shipp lifted the William Hill Memorial trophy on Saturday night after leading the Mavis Shipp Memorial side to victory at the Waratahs Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout.
Named in honour of his grandmother, the team dominated throughout the day at Caltex Park, knocking out the Gulargambone Rovers, Jim Stanley Memorial (Wellington) and Terry Brown Memorial (Orange) to set up a grand-final showdown against James Ackerman Memorial (Dubbo).
It turned out to be their most dominant performance of the day as they ran away to a 46-0 win.
“It feels really good,” Cubby-Shipp said.
“You know, you play all year with CYMS and that and it’s good and you’re with the boys, but when you put on a jersey for your nan or for your family it means that bit extra.
“It’s my first KO win actually – I’ve never won a KO before – so I reckon she was right there with me to push me on so it was good.”
Mavis Shipp Memorial were never bothered in the final of the knockout, and got themselves on the board within four minutes through Jarryn Powyer.
A minute and a half later Colby Pellow snagged himself a try, stepping around defenders and sprinting 60 metres to extend Mavis Shipp Memorial’s lead.
The side extended their lead to 24-0 before some Jyie Chapman brilliance helped put Cubby-Shipp on the board.
Chapman caught the ball on the right edge and tore 60 metres down the line, fending off three would-be tacklers before drawing a fourth and sending a well-timed pass to his Dubbo CYMS teammate.
The side scored again to take a 36-0 lead into half-time, before letting the foot of the gas slightly to score just ten points in the second 20 minutes.
“I think they may have had a couple short but that’s to take nothing away from our boys,” Cubby-Shipp said.
“There was a lot of talk about who they had but our boys didn’t care, they just came out and they wanted to win.”
“They simply outplayed us,” James Ackerman Memorial’s captain and former Balmain Tiger Wes Middleton said after accepting the runner-up trophy from Uncle John Hill.
“We’ve got plenty of talented players but it’s just knockout footy.
“Full credit to them. They’ve got some great players and I hope they continue it on in their careers.”
Wade Kavanagh was named the player of the Knockout and presented with the James Ackerman Memorial trophy.
A former Dubbo junior, Ackerman became an organ and tissue donor after suffering a severe brain injury while playing for Sunshine Coast Falcons in 2015.