Townsville rugby league nursery Kirwan State High School has won the Cowboys Challenge under-15 rugby league tournament with a 24-18 victory over Cathedral College in Rockhampton.

Kirwan led 12-8 at half time after Rockhampton’s Cathedral jumped out to an early 8-0 lead.

In the second half, the visitors dominated play with two more tries to take out the title.

For Kirwan, Marty O’Brien scored two tries, while Jake Mara and Kallum Dellacour also crossed.

Zac Baker and Evander Hewson each kicked two goals, while Kirwan’s Curtis Dempsey was named man of the match.

The Cowboys Challenge – supported by the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys – is run in conjunction with the Aaron Payne Cup, an open schoolboys competition involving teams from seven schools in the Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville regions.

The final for the Aaron Payne Cup – for which the round robin phase of competition is still being contested – will be held at 1300SMILES Stadium on Monday 27 July as a curtain-raiser to the Cowboys v Eels round 20 NRL match.