Ipswich success at state hockey titles
IPSWICH’S trademark tenacity and team spirit shone through when both the city’s under-18 teams finished top four at the state titles.
The Ipswich under-18 men’s side enjoyed the most successful tournament, losing 3-0 to Brisbane in the gold medal match at Tweed on Tuesday afternoon.
Ipswich’s youth-laden under-18 women’s team also performed strongly, beaten 1-0 by Toowoomba in the playoff for third in Townsville.
First-time Ipswich under-18 coach Adam Spry praised his leadership group for guiding the side to its successful campaign.
“They did really well. They played with a lot of guts and determination,’’ Spry said.
“Each game they progressively got better and stronger.
“The senior guys really stood up.’’
The team was led by captain Mitchell Moran, vice captains Blake Douglas and Ryan Smith, along with Tom Picton and Kyle Dolan.
Spry rated Moran the standout player for his work in the backline.
Smith and centre midfield/striker Aaron Dodds also impressed.
In the final, Ipswich conceded three first half goals before holding Brisbane scoreless after the break.
“The most pleasing part was they really worked hard,’’ Spry said.
Ipswich’s goal scorers were Smith, Tekoda Andrew-Sharrad, Daniel Westphal, Hayden Michel, Ben Darby and Nicholas Schostakowski.
Ipswich under-18 women’s team manager Lauren Casey was also delighted with how her young team performed in Townsville.
“We’re so thrilled,’’ Casey said.
She said one of the team’s best results was beating Cairns 3-0 in the middle of the tournament. That set up Ipswich’s shot at third after they finished second in their pool.
“It was a tremendous effort,’’ Casey said. “They just got better and better as the tournament went on, which was very encouraging.’’
The team was captained by the manager’s daughter Casey, with Brook Pavitt the vice captain.
Pavitt battled on in the final match after rolling her ankle.
But perhaps the best example of team spirit came from Kelly McNamara who returned to play after being sent to hospital with mild concussion.
She was cleared to rejoin her teammates the next day and “came back and played stronger than ever’’.
Ipswich’s goal scorers included Pavitt, Gabby Nicholls and Tayla Gray.
Ipswich also provided three players to other centres at the state titles.
Alicia Grieve lined up for Tweed in the Division 1 final.
Bradley Walker played for the Gladstone side that contested the Division 2 final.
Daniel Walsh helped Redlands during the state titles.
In other representative news, a talented group of Ipswich-based players is preparing to contest national championships.
At under-21 level, Layla Eleison is representing the Queensland under-21 side in Sydney starting on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Cade Banditt is playing for the Northern Territory side at the men’s championships at the same venue.
Lining up for Queensland at the under-15 nationals are Zac Profke, Abby Eleison and Mackenzie McAvoy (number one teams), with Matthew West and Talicia Canty in the number two sides.
The under-15 nationals are in Wollongong starting on Saturday.
Ipswich under-18 men: def Tweed Border 2-1, def Rockhampton 3-0, drew Fraser Coast 2-2, def Townsville 3-1. Lost 3-0 to Brisbane in playoff for gold.
Ipswich under-18 women: def Sunshine Coast 1-0, lost 4-0 to Brisbane 1, def Cairns 3-0, def Fraser Coast 2-0. Lost playoff for third 1-0 to Toowoomba.