THE massive two day Paul Bowman challenge attracted 54 teams to Proserpine, and this afternoon it all came down to two fiercely determined sides in the fight to claim the title.
The Under 9 Whitsunday Brahmans took on Mackay Brothers in a nail biting final at the Junior Proserpine Rugby League Grounds which ended 12-12 with three tries apiece.
However, having scored the first try, it was the Mackay Brothers which claimed the Paul Bowman Cup, despite excellent sportsmanship and talent from all teams involved in an epic sporting weekend.
This year saw two additional teams join the junior rugby league action with players from as far north as Cairns and as far south as Brisbane.
About 840 junior players took to the field across eight pools of seven teams with 3000 visitors making the trip to see the juniors battle it out for the tenth anniversary of the Paul Bowman challenge.
While the Brahmans finished second best, they were offered strong words of encouragement from Cowboys Star Paul Bowman, who made the trip to Proserpine following the Cowboys win over the Paramatta Eels in Sydney on Saturday night.
"It is a tough way to lose for the Brahmans, but after making the finals two years in a row hopefully next year (they) can get up and running,” he said.
"To the two sides, well played, it was a great final. Brothers played tremendously for the whole carnival.”
Bowman also handed out medallions to the junior players in an awards ceremony this afternoon.
Paul Bowman challenge co-ordinator Stacey Bernett said the Brahmans put on a performance which would have made Proserpine rugby legend Sam Faust proud.
Faust played 24 games for the Cowboys before passing away from cancer.
"Sam Faust was a junior Brahmans player who came up through the ranks,” she said.
"His nephew played in the carnival today and also played in the grand final.”
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