Ipswich teenagers share in memorable football glory
FOOTBALL: Two impressive grand final victories out of three with a national final series to come is a superb effort in any school's program.
And while Ipswich Grammar's First XI players were disappointed with a golden goal defeat to Brisbane State High on Wednesday, they had no need to be.
It took seven-on-seven extra-time play to break the Uhlsport Cup grand final dead-lock between the schools with IGS only denied by the sudden-death goal.
"It was a massive effort, unbelievable effort,'' IGS coach and soccer master in charge Andrew Catton said.
IGS beat AIC champions Marist College Ashgrove 2-1 in the semi-final to reach the grand final at Annerley.
"We competed really well but probably didn't get what we were after,'' Catton said.
IGS were chasing a rare hat-trick of titles after the school's under-15 side recently won the Queensland round of the annual Bill Turner Cup. The IGS boys are off to Lake Macquarie for the national finals on September 10/11.
The second leg of Ipswich Grammar's remarkable success was on Wednesday when the under-14s won the ISSA Cup grand final at Annerley.
IGS beat St Laurence's College 2-0 in the decider after advancing undefeated through the competition featuring independent schools from Ipswich, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Toowoomba.
"They played really well,'' Catton said of his gun young side. "They only conceded two goals in the whole tournament.
"They are much like the Bill Turner side. We are lucky with the boys that we've got coming through so we're excited to see what they can do in the years to come.''
To qualify for the grand final, IGS beat Kings Christian College (Gold Coast) 5-2 in the semi-final after a 7-0 quarter-final victory over St Mary's College Toowoomba.
IGS started its undefeated run through the tournament by beating Westside Christian College 7-0, The Springfield Anglican College 12-0 and St Augustines College 3-0.
The grand final goal scorers for Ipswich Grammar's under-14 team were Zayde Smith and Callan Van Walsum.
Smith scored 10 goals in six games.
The winning IGS ISSA Cup team was: Henry Blackledge (captain), Callan Van Walsum, Kye Van Walsum, Cher Deng, Daniel Lindsay, Seth Lowndes, Logan Harmer, Bailey Brown, Zayde Smith, Oliver Purcell, Will Booth, Angus Lynch, Charlie Webster, Tama Harrison, Rhys Roser, Orlando Corrie and Caleb Butler.
Catton said it was a fine feat to win two highly competitive tournaments.
"Two out of three is good,'' Catton said, proud of all three teams he oversaw.
"My understanding is we are the first school to ever win the ISSA and Bill Turner Cup (grand finals) in the same year, which is a pretty cool achievement.''
Having so much success in the junior ranks shows IGS has a bright footballing future.
But what also pleased Catton was the camaraderie shown by the school's boarders who supported the players at Wednesday's carnival.
"The best thing about it for me, other than the fact that they won, was a lot of older first squad players came and watched,'' Catton said.
"They all cheered them on, on the sideline, and they just made the experience for the young boys really memorable.
"It's something they'll take with them for a fair while now and just shows the spirit of the place.''
State of play
ISSA Cup (under 14) grand final: Ipswich Grammar 2 (Zayde Smith, Callan Van Walsum) def St Laurence's College 0.
Uhlsport Cup grand final: Brisbane State High def Ipswich Grammar Firsts 1-0 in golden goal extra-time.
IGS is representing Queensland at the Bill Turner Cup national finals on September 10/11 at Lake Macquarie. IGS play Hunter Sports High in the second semi-final.