Even in defeat, Ipswich teams earn greater football respect
FOOTBALL: Having seen his club push both competition-leading sides all the way, Ipswich Knights head coach Andy Odgen couldn't have asked for much more.
As much as he wanted Ipswich's Queensland Premier League Firsts and under-18 teams to reach grand finals, both sides fought all the way in Saturday's semi-finals.
After the under 18s lost 2-1 to Logan at Cornubia Park, Ipswich's senior side went down by the same margin against Sunshine Coast that night.
"It would have been nice to go one more but I think we've probably put a stamp on the way we're looked at through the league at the moment,'' Ogden said.
"A little bit more positive.''
The Knights under 18s equalised through a goal by vice-captain Jordan Simpson before Logan found a winner.
"The 18s were more than competitive with Logan who had only lost the one game all year,'' Ogden said, having watched the match before preparing for his team's encounter.
"We created probably more chances than them but it was just who got the (winning) goal basically.''
The QPL men's game was a similar affair with Emmanuel Peter equalising from a goal mouth scramble in the second half before Sunshine Coast netted a late winner.
That was a lucky goal as Sunshine Coast received an unexpected ball after it hit the referee from a clearance.
"For 25 minutes, we had pushed really really hard and we looked like getting a winner,'' Ogden said.
"The Sunshine Coast coaching and playing staff were really complimentary about what we've done this year. We've had three games against them (this year) and all of them have come down to the wire.
"Compared to what we were last year, they're basically saying 'what a turnaround'. That's nice to hear.''
The Knights top side also battled hard after losing captain Jack Cabassi to illness before the semi-final.
Ipswich-bred footballer Lincoln Rule captained the side.
In Capital League 1 matches at the weekend, Western Spirit and the Ipswich City Bulls kept their finals' hopes alive with wins on Saturday night.
Spirit beat Annerley 4-2 at Elder Oval after the Bulls tamed Mt Gravatt 2-0 at Sutton Park.
In CL3, Springfield beat Jimboomba 4-0 to remain in the finals' hunt.
State of play
QPL semi-final 2: Sunshine Coast 2 def Ipswich Knights 1 (Emmanuel Peter).
U18 semi-final 1: Logan 2 def Ipswich Knights 1 (Jordan Simpson).
CL1: Western Spirit def Annerley 4-0; Ipswich City def Mt Gravatt 2-0.
CL3: Springfield def Jimboomba 4-0.