By Laura Mitchell
This Saturday afternoon sees a top of the table clash between GPS and UQ Rugby. With 13 points between the two teams, GPS have currently only lost once in 2021, to the Red Heavies, who are so far undefeated and will be fighting to keep it that way. Kicking off at 3:10pm on Field 7 at St Lucia, there are three trophies up for grabs to the winner; the Keith Horsley Cup, Thomas Welsby Cup and the Geoff ‘Bunter’ Shaw Bowl.
The Keith Horsley Cup is the Minor Premiership trophy. The trophy was donated by the Family of Sgt Keith Thornton Horsley who was Killed in Action during WW2. In 2020 the Minor Premiership was won by Easts, who went on to win the Grand Final against the Red Heavies. Although there are three rounds of the season left, if the Red Heavies beat GPS on Saturday, they will secure the Keith Horsley Cup for the year. Should the Red Heavies lose to GPS, the Minor Premiership will be on the table in the last round against Wests.
The Welsby Cup is contested by the two leading clubs at the end of the first round of fixtures, commemorating a leading figure in the early history of Queensland Rugby Union. Thomas Welsby was a Captain and Half-Back of the first Queensland team to compete inter-state against New South Wales in 1882. Upon the conclusion of his playing days, he entered into the field of administration. Thomas Welsby was one of those instrumental in a revival of the code in Queensland in 1929 and was President from that time until 1939. At the Meeting conducted in 1928 to consider the reviving of the code, Mr Welsby generously offered to donate a Trophy which he later provided and is played for annually.
One of the more recent trophies created, the Geoff ‘Bunter’ Bowl follows the tradition of the Ranfurly Shield in New Zealand and the Horan-Little Shield in Australia’s domestic provincial competition beginning in 2018. The Cup is up for challenge at every scheduled home game of the bearer, and each Club has the opportunity to a Contested Challenge once in the season at a bearer’s scheduled away game. When the Red Heavies defeated GPS at GPS in May, the Bunter Bowl was transferred to UQ and has been theirs since. If the Red Heavies loss against GPS this weekend, they won’t have the opportunity to regain the Bunter Bowl in 2021.
1st Grade Head Coach Mick Heenan knows it’ll be fight to bring it home. ‘Like every clash with GPS, we know it is going to be a tough contest. Although we are aware of the significance of this weekend’s clash, we just need to stay focussed and concentrate on doing our job. If we do that, the results will come.
‘We are hoping for a big home crowd and would encourage all Red Heavy supporters to get out there and support your team.
The 1st Grade game between UQ and GPS will kick off at 3:10pm on Saturday 24th July at UQ, St Lucia. If you’re unable to make it, you can watch it LIVE on 9GEM and Stan.