Youngsters keen to make history in quest for DEX Shield
THE Clarence Valley's rugby league stars of the future hit the ground running at Maclean Showground tonight for the first round of the 2015 DEX Shield.
Days after Lower Clarence named its Legends team at its 100-year reunion, students from Maclean High, South Grafton High, McAuley Catholic College and Grafton High will aim to start etching their own names in history, with the DEX Shield long considered one of the ultimate pieces of local schoolboy silverware.
Indeed Maclean High has sacrificed its position in the Country Cup Under-13 North Coast final at Ballina next Tuesday, to allow seven players from that team to fulfil DEX Shield Under-14 round two duties against McAuley at McGuren Field on Monday instead.
"The Daily Examiner is the one they want," Maclean High coach Nathan White said.
Maclean is the defending champion in Under-14s while South Grafton High currently holds the title in Opens.
"We're really desperate to win the Opens," White said. "We've won the 14s every year I've been here but somehow South Grafton keeps coming up with a side to beat us in the Opens."
Maclean takes on Grafton High in the Opens at 6.30pm to start a very busy period for the side, with round two against McAuley on Monday followed by the Far North Coast final of the University Shield later in the week.
Meanwhile, an attempt to make the competition fairer for all schools involved by having three rounds hosted by the three local clubs has backfired. Grafton High will not make the 30-minute drive up the road in Under-14s, forfeiting to Maclean. The first match will kick off at 5.30pm between South Grafton and McAuley in Under-14s.
At Maclean Showground, today
4.30pm: Maclean HS v *Grafton HS
5.30pm: South Grafton HS v McAuley CC
6.30pm: Maclean HS v Grafton HS
7.30pm: South Grafton HS v McAuley CC
Rd 2 at McGuren Field, Monday June 15.
Rd 3 at McKittrick Park, Wednesday June 24