Bundanoon Highlanders win Group 6 Shield premiership

The Bundanoon Highlanders claimed their maiden Group 6 premiership today.

Bundanoon faced Oran Park/Gregory Hills Chargers in the grand final of the Shield competition at Campbelltown Stadium.

The Highlanders showed why they were one of the top teams all year with a 36-6 win in their first Group 6 grand final.

It was a strong start for the Highlanders who were seeking to win the competition for the first time since they switched to league in 2012.

Five minutes into the match Scott Shepherd scored what would be the first of Bundanoon's four tries in the opening half.

The Chargers soon levelled the score at 6-6 but from that point on play went all the Highlanders way.

Conquest brothers Mat and Josh both scored in the first half as did Mitchell Granger.

The Chargers looked tired in defence towards the end of the first half which allowed Bundanoon  to make good metres in attack, helped by some clever offloads.

Mat Conquest led the way for the Highlanders and was a strong presence in the middle of the field.

Bundanoon showed plenty of energy in defence to lead 24-6 at the break.

The Highlanders only real mistake in the first half was a penalty that did not find touch.

Penalties and dropped ball from the Chargers gave Bundanoon plenty of possession in the opposition’s half.

And the Highlanders took full advantage of it with Tim Martin crossing in the corner early in the second half to extend his side’s lead to 28-6.

Oran Park had a player sent to the bin with just under 20 minutes left to play and Martin kicked a penalty to make the score 30-6.

Martin was named best player on ground for the match.

Neither team was able to cross the line during the 10 minutes Bundanoon had an advantage.

The Chargers had a few chances during the second half to add to their tally but could not cross the line.

But a late try to Mitchell Conquest with only a couple of minutes left in the match was the icing on the cake for Bundanoon who finished with a 36-6 victory.

Highlanders captain/coach Chris Conquest said defence had been a key part of their preparation heading into the decider.

“We’ve spoken about it for weeks defending these guys well. We haven’t defended this particular team well all season and when it mattered we did today and kept them to six points so that was pleasing.

“These guys (Oran Park) have played a lot of football the last couple of weeks and [we thought] in the end they would tire out and we being fresh would get over the top of them.” 

Along with Mat Conquest, Chris said Issac Martin defended well out wide and Josh Conquest was also impressive.

“We were pretty good all across the park. It's nice to have that winning feeling and winning culture and that’ll filter through for years to come I hope.”