Sixth cup win was for Jimmy
Convincing sixth Hamersley Cup winSTU PIDDINGTON
Celtic's convincing sixth Hamersley Cup win in a row on Saturday was dedicated to a team-mate who died during the season.
Celtic captain Nick Strachan said the sudden death of Jimmy Bown was a big motivating factor for the team.
"He was in our hearts and we got over the line for him."
To honour Bown, Celtic had retired the hooker's No 2 jersey for the season.
But it was worn on Saturday at Alpine Energy Stadium when Chris Bown, Jimmy's father, led the side on to the field and then sat on the bench with the team.
The game was played in perfect conditions in front of a large crowd.
Celtic deserved to get home with a much better team effort after Harlequins' big guns failed to fire a shot, going down 25-15.
The win extended Celtic's record of consecutive wins since the grand final format was introduced and edged them closer to Temuka's record.
There was plenty of colour in the finals crowd, with many young fans with face paint of their team's colours.
The win was special for Matt Fetu, Kali and his brother Tevita Latu, Jason Rooney, Patola Tupuola, Sekope Maea and captain Strachan who have won all six in a row, while 10 of the 22 players got the taste of a first title.
Celtic president Bede O'Driscoll said the boys were rapt with their win. "It was one of their hardest efforts."
O'Driscoll said the celebrations were tempered with thoughts of Bown. "They certainly did it for Jimmy."
O'Driscoll believed Celtic's senior success was a reflection of a strong club and team culture.
"Everyone plays a part, the hard work and dedication of the committee, the coaches and management, who are up with best best around.
"The structure of the club is important as well and it starts with a strong JAB."
O'Driscoll also thanked Harlequins for their part in an excellent game.
St John Ambulance had a busy day, taking several players to hospital for checkups.
It was good news for Temuka halfback Josh Rooney yesterday after spending more than 10 minutes prone on the ground in the Scott Cup final, for the bottom four senior teams.
There were worries Rooney may have had a serious neck injury and he was taken away carefully by the ambulance but later discharged from hospital with only nerve damage.
- The Timaru Herald