THE Lindsay Williams Shield has come and gone, with a series of highly entertaining games from four clubs not often seen in the Western Downs this time of year, but once again Roma has swept the field.
Following a day of junior footy, the senior tournament kicked off with a game between the hard-hitting Tara side and Roma Cities.
Tara pushed hard but was unable to contain Roma on several occasions, big runs seeing the young Roma side dole out a 26-16 loss to the challengers.
Then it was time for the Taroom/Wandoan Battlers to stick it to the rough and ready Surat/Wallumbilla Red Bulls.
The Battlers' Paul Blanchard got them off to a good start with a try in the first few minutes, Captain/coach Luke Baker providing solid on-field co-ordination despite a recent knee-reconstruction.
The sides were locked 4-4 with only a few minutes to go, when Bulls player Nathan Martin blasted through the Battlers to score, giving them a 4-10 win and putting them into the finals with Roma.
In the meantime, a small contingent of Miles players, backed by ring-ins from other clubs, took on Taroom/Wandoan's Battlers in an over-35s game, resulting in a 10-0 win for the Battlers.
It was a bloody affair for Wandoan junior coach Mike Ellem, who waited on the bench with blood drooling from a broken jaw for more than 20 minutes before being seen by ambulance personnel.
There was no love lost in the between Roma and the Red Bulls as the final got under way, Roma shrugging off some aggressive language from the Bulls to take the game 14-6.
Dan Lucas, Roma Cities' captain, was pleased to see an almost completely new side compete so strongly against seasoned players.
"We brought a very young side over this year, a lot of 17 and 18-year-olds, only two players from last year's A-grade side, so it's really good to see the boys dig in deep and play really well to win," he said.
Tony Baker, president of Wandoan Sport and Recreation, said while it was disappointing not to take the shield this year, the home side's mid-January training had paid off.
"The home side played well enough to win that first game, but they had a few things not go their way, which is a shame," he said.