It took until the third and final day of competition, but Wauchope High School has successfully retained the Parsons Memorial Shield in the 44th annual Cumberland Interschool visit.
This year's event was closely contested throughout, with Cumberland seeking to achieve their first ever win on Wauchope soil, but again they fell agonisingly short, as the locals won every contest on Friday, when the shield was on the line.
Day One began straight after the Welcome Assembly with Wauchope claiming victory in the Junior Boys Touch 7-5 and the Open Girls Hockey 2-0. Jade Millward scored both goals in the Hockey. Cumberland countered with an emphatic 6-0 win in the Open Boys Soccer and a victory in the Mock Trial.
This took us to the first ever Futsal night held at Wauchope as part of the competition, and as was the case last year, the action was fast and furious in all four matches and provided excellent entertainment for the large crowd in attendance.
These games were also split 2-all, as Wauchope won the two Girls matches 3-0 and 2-0, while Cumberland dominated the Boys 7-1 and 8-0. At the end of Day One, the scores were level at 8 points each.
Some morning drizzle on Thursday was fortunately not enough to cancel the Athletics, and there were some tremendous performances by athletes from both schools. Brave runs from Ellie Raymond, Callum Jones, Molly Styles and Grace Kucera contributed to a terrific team effort by Wauchope which allowed them to take both the Boys and Girls Athletics points.
Cumberland seemed deflated after the losses and this seemed to set the tone for the day as Wauchope went on to win the Open Girls Touch 17-0, Open Boys Touch 12-3, Junior Girls Touch 8-2, Open Girls Softball 12-4 and Open Girls Netball 44-9. The only bright point for Cumberland was another big win in the Junior Boys Soccer 6-1 with Kurt Ward scoring the lonely goal.
At this point, it appeared that Wauchope was powering to victory with the score at 20-10, but the second night session changed the complexion of the visit completely. The visitors decimated Wauchope in the basketball particularly, winning the Junior Girls 18-10, Junior Boys 61-1, Open Girls 25-23 and Open Boys 39-19.
They also took the Open Boys Volleyball 3-1, but Wauchope managed to win the Open Girls Volleyball with a polished 2-0 result, leaving the overall score delicately poised at 22-20 going into the final day.
Wauchope started the last day on the front foot to easily win the Junior Girls Netball 27-7 and then pulled off a nailbiter in the Open Boys Netball to escape 17-15.
The Open Girls Soccer team were simply too classy in a 6-0 win and the Open Boys Tennis finished in a 3-all draw, making the final overall score 29-21, giving Wauchope yet another victory.
Recent retiree Neville Parsons came in on behalf of the Parsons family to present the shield to the Wauchope captains, Flynn and Caitlin, and spoke about the history of the visit after it started in 1976.
Neville also presented the Most Valuable Team Member plaques to Reece Anderson and Charlotte Wilton for Wauchope, and Tim Marks and Jocelyn Lay for Cumberland.
Wauchope High and the team members from both schools would like to thank the Parsons family for their ongoing commitment to this event, as it remains the highlight of the school calendar and a source of pride for the participants and the Wauchope community.
We would also like to thank the families who took billets in this year, as this is critical to the organisation of the event. As always, a great number of friendships were created, which is why the visit continues to be so successful.
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