Stephanie Scott Memorial Gala Day a success in 2018

THE memory of a special Leeton teacher was honoured in the form of sport last week. 

On May 8, the Stephanie Scott Memorial Gala Day was held as part of the Bill Turner Football competitions to honour Stephanie's memory and commemorate the values she lived by.

Martin Mailey, who worked with Stephanie at Leeton High, had players from all four schools (Hillston Central, Leeton High, St Francis Leeton and Griffith High) form a circle before kickoff, and had these words to say.

“When I think about my mate Steph, I think about a person who was a dedicated teacher and a dedicated sportsperson,” Mailey said.

“She showed how as individuals we can be involved in and committed to more than one thing in our life at a time. You can be a committed teacher, police officer, electrician, lawyer, nurse, or student and also a dedicated sportsperson.”

Afterwards Martin asked players to walk around and shake hands with students from other schools in a gesture of friendship in memory of Stephanie. 

Apart from having coached Bill Turner Trophy (girls) teams for Leeton High and playing for Leeton United, Stephanie had started a women's team for Tolland Football Club while studying at Charles Sturt University in Wagga.

In the first round boys (Cup) matches, Griffith High defeated Leeton High and St Francis defeated Hillston Central, before playing out a thrilling final match to decide which school would win the boys Stephanie Scott Shield and advance to the third round to play Hay High School at a later date in the Bill Turner Cup.

In a see-sawing, end-to-end match, which either side could have taken out, full-time had the two schools locked 2-all and needing extra-time to decide the winner. In extra time Griffith High attached strongly and were able to get a goal thanks to a penalty to retain the shield they won last year.

In the trophy matches, Leeton High girls reversed the result of the boys cup match, defeating Griffith High 2-0, while St Francis defeated a plucky Hillston Central 5-0, setting the stage for a decider between the two Leeton schools. In this clash, the deciding difference was the St Francis striker, Lailani Watts, who scored four goals. LHS showed great fighting spirit to dominate the second half and stop any further scoring against them, being unlucky not to score themselves, but St Francis retained the girls Stephanie Scott Shield.

Best and fairest players for the day were Lailani Watts (St Francis) and Lachlan Wallace (Griffith High). They were presented with commemorative caps embroidered with Stephanie’s name and in her favorite color, yellow. The referees were presented with medals engraved with Stephanie Scott’s name with yellow ribbons.

- David Dunn

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