By Shane Jones
For Branyan Road State School their win in the school boys was years in the making.
And the win in some ways was a surprise as well.
The school took out the Bundaberg primary AFL Queensland schools cup earlier this month when it was held at Bundaberg’s two football grounds, Brothers Sports Complex and Frank Coulthard Oval.
Branyan Road State School defeated Norville in the final 26-6, after dominating the second half.
Norville, one of the powerhouses in primary schools AFL, won the girls competition and has previously won the boys competition as well.
“We have been involved with AFL now for a few years at the school,” Branyan Road State School’s coach Mark Pelusi said.
“We’ve been in every one since I took on the AFL side of things when I did physical education at school.”
“It’s the first time we’ve won it at this level.”
Pelusi said it was a team effort that got them the win.
“I’ve had some really good teams but this was a well rounded team,” he said.
“We’ve got a couple of good players in the team but didn’t have a reliance on those players, we spread the load around.
“Everyone did their job.”
The two teams got to the final without losing a game and topping their pools.
After a close first half, the underdogs, Branyan Road State School got on top and were never threatened in the final part of the contest.
“It was a close first half, they had the wind advantage and the momentum,” Pelusi said.
“But we had some really good defence and scrapped and didn’t allow them to kick a goal.
“Difference was getting the ball down the other end and get a goal late in the first half and then getting that breeze in the second half.
“All their points were behinds in the end.
“We could have won by a few more, we took some good marks in front but didn’t convert and one hit the post.”
Pelusi said that Riley Cooper played well for the team as did Braith Hall, who was the youngest in the team and kicked three goals.
The teacher said he could be a future star and would have a chat to him about playing AFL instead of football that he currently plays.
The team now could face the best in Hervey Bay but no dates have been decided yet.
Meanwhile the rugby league titles for boys, the Kaufusi Cup, was decided on Wednesday with St Patrick’s Catholic School taking on Norville State School.
There will be coverage of the final in next week’s Bundaberg Today.