Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Danielle Jarvis

ST MARYS Saints put up a valiant ef­fort against Moun­ties at Pirtek Sta­dium on Sun­day, but Ron Massey Cup rugby league glory was not to be.

The Saints made his­tory – de­spite go­ing down 36-16 in the de­cider – by be­ing the first St Marys team in the com­pe­ti­tion.

While they had earned their place in the grand fi­nal with a spec­tac­u­lar nine-game win­ning streak, they were up against the team to beat and a fairy­tale end­ing eluded them.

Coach Brad Drew said the team would use the ex­pe­ri­ence to be ready for next year’s com­pe­ti­tion. ››

The Saints went down fight­ing against Moun­ties, and should be proud of their ef­forts of mak­ing the grand fi­nal in their in­au­gu­ral year in the elite com­pe­ti­tion.

St Marys came out fir­ing with an early 6-4 lead, thanks to some ex­cel­lent team­work be­tween An­to­nio Pe­le­sasa and Nathan Smith, but the two teams were quickly locked at 10-10.

By half­time, the Moun­ties had claimed a 16-10 lead, which they quickly ex­tended to 26-10 when play re­sumed.

De­spite a nine-game win­ning streak, the St Marys side fell just short of the ti­tle – the 36-16 score­line a de­fin­i­tive win for the mi­nor pre­miers and favourites.

Drew con­ceded the Moun­ties were the bet­ter team on the day.

“They’re a good side,” Drew said.

“I knew it was go­ing to be a tough game for us. We tried hard, but there were a cou­ple of mo­ments where we could have stepped up and didn’t.

“They de­served to win; they have been the best through­out the sea­son.”

Drew said there had been plenty of lessons learnt through­out the year.

“It hurts los­ing, but to get to the grand fi­nal in our first year is ob­vi­ously a big achieve­ment for the club,” Drew said.

“We know where we need to be for next year. I don’t think we were at all at our best (in the fi­nal). It’s cer­tainly a big learn­ing curve for the boys. On the day, we just weren’t good enough.

“Hope­fully, ev­ery­one im­proves – me as the coach and them as the play­ers.”

Pic­ture: Justin San­son

St Marys’ Tom Eisen­huth charges through the Moun­ties de­fence.

Pic­tures: Justin San­son

Clock­wise: Cam Collins is lifted by team­mate ate An­to­nio Pe­le­sasa to cel­e­brate a try; lan Eisen­huth takes up the ball; Tom Eisen­huth tack­les Moun­ties’ Fin­lay Di­b­ley.

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