De La Salle Caringbah make history to win 2019 Tommy Bishop Shield

Little champions: (From left) Harley Gardner, Jaxon Sorensen, Harrison Turner (kneeling), Finn Thompson, Zuma Wever, Pax Caine, Lochie Schumacher, Kody Gallen, Sven Sorensen (trainer), Ryan Gardner (coach). Picture: Supplied
Little champions: (From left) Harley Gardner, Jaxon Sorensen, Harrison Turner (kneeling), Finn Thompson, Zuma Wever, Pax Caine, Lochie Schumacher, Kody Gallen, Sven Sorensen (trainer), Ryan Gardner (coach). Picture: Supplied

De La Salle Caringbah have created history, becoming the first shire club to lift the Tommy Bishop Shield since 1982.

The prestigious competition started in 1971 for under-7s, named after the then captain-coach of the Cronulla Sharks, the legendary Great Britain international Tommy Bishop.

Engadine won the first two tournaments but no shire team had kept the shield at home since the Dragons won it for the third time 37 years ago with a side featuring a young Mat Rogers.

That all changed on Sunday when De La Salle took out the title at Illawong's Blaxland Oval.

Penrith clubs have dominated the shield in recent years, winning eight of the last 12 tournaments with 28 teams taking part in the 2019 competition, 24 coming from outside the shire.

Gymea, Cronulla Caringbah, Engadine and De La Salle represented the Cronulla Sutherland District Junior Rugby League in the now under-8s competition.

Using just the minimum eight players on the day and playing short when leading in some games to give their players a rest, De La scored 12-0 wins over Penshurst, Colyton, Greenacre and Asquith in their opening four rounds before downing Leichhardt 20-0 in round five.

That saw the Caringbah club advance to the semi-final where they beat Concord Burwood 20-0. Without conceding a point, De La reached the decider against Penrith club St Mary's.

De La Salle downed the six-time champions 12-8 in an epic grand final to secure the shield for the shire for the first time in almost four decades.

Kody Gallen, son of legendary Sharks captain Paul Gallen, was named player of the tournament. The De La team had some impressive lineage, also featuring the son of former Wests Tigers player Joel Caine and grandsons of former Sharks Chris Gardner and Wayne Smith.

It was a fine end to an impressive season for the De La Salle Caringbah under-8s side, who also won the Lionel 'Spud' Comans Memorial Knockout earlier this year.

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