Monday, 29 July 2019
Groom Electorate: O'Callaghan Cup
Certainly it was an exciting weekend in Toowoomba, with the O'Callaghan Cup rugby game played between Downlands and Toowoomba Grammar School before a crowd of about 6,000 this year at the Grammar rugby fields. Led by the Grammar captain Dougal Grey and Downlands captain Mac Grealy, these fine young men from these schools did this 70-year-old competition proud. Named after the five O'Callaghan brothers and Downlands students Jim, Jack, Mick, Frank and Bryan, who donated the cup in 1950, it has now been won by Downlands 36 times, Grammar 31, and it has been drawn three times. This year was a Downlands victory after a five-year winning streak for Grammar. With the score at 21 to 20, the dying minutes of the game saw Mac Grealy beat multiple defenders to score the match-winning try, resulting in a 27 to 21 win. These boys should be proud. Downlands coach Garrick Morgan certainly would be. It was fitting that Dougal Grey and Mac Grealy were named players of the match. Mac's naming in the Australian Schools Barbarians team is another example of the rugby nursery in these two schools in the tradition of the Tim Horans and Jason Littles of generations past. We certainly have an exciting future.
On a personal level, as a Downlands graduate myself—I note that my neighbour, the member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, is a Grammar graduate—I was never much of a footy player. I did note that Mac's sister Frances represented our school in netball along with my daughter Marita. It was great to see young Wil Jauncey, whom I have known since he was a baby, having a run for Grammar.
I have watched this competition since I was a child. It is a good-natured contest yet a fierce rivalry. It's a tourism and economic boon for our city each year. It's a real opportunity for past students of both schools to gather and relive old memories—to remember the good times and, of course, to reminisce over the tougher times. It has been particularly as a parent that I've appreciated the true spirit of the contest during my son Kevin's playing years. These are magnificent schools and over the years the O'Callaghan Cup has seen them both congratulate one another, support each other in times of tragedy and adversity during the school year, and make their families proud. I say to both Downlands College and Toowoomba Grammar School, it was another magnificent contest this year, and you should both take a bow.