TACKLED: Brothers’ Dean O’Dowd and Dan McConnell tackle Roosters’ Mick Harris.
TACKLED: Brothers’ Dean O’Dowd and Dan McConnell tackle Roosters’ Mick Harris. Mike Richards

Tight finish as Brothers take out Mac Baker Shield

WITH scores level and 10 minutes left in the Brothers and Calliope Roosters match, there was no telling who would walk away with the Mac Baker Shield.

But a converted try by Brothers halfback Dean O'Dowd changed that.

The score was 18-12 to Brothers with fewer than six minutes to go, but O'Dowd said the team wasn't convinced they had won the match yet.

Two minutes before the final whistle the Roosters were over the line again, leaving Brothers fans on the edge of their seats.

The crowd grew silent as the Calliope kicker lined up the goal in the right corner, but he narrowly missed.

"I was just hoping they wouldn't get on the board again, so when they did, I was glad to see they didn't convert the try," O'Dowd said.

The Brothers player of more than 20 years held his head high as the team walked away with the coveted Mac Baker Shield.

The Roosters dominated the first half of the match, leading 12-0 at halftime.

Brothers had several attempts at a try but a tight, strong defence from the Roosters nullified all of the team's efforts.

O'Dowd said they returned to the second half determined.

O'Dowd was coached by Baker when he played for Brothers under 13s-16s, making this match the second most important game of the year for him.

The first, he said, was the grand final.

He said Baker had a strong influence on the way he played the game.

"We were feeling fairly confident before the match but because of the importance of it everyone is going to play the absolute best they can, so there's no telling who's going to win the game," he said.

This is the sixth time Brothers have won the Mac Baker Shield.