Koalas win final but lose rep talent Leisemann
A STALWART retired from A-grade football after the recent Ipswich Touch Association grand finals at One Mile.
The more experienced Koalas outfit overcame a gallant and much younger United Cyclones unit 8-6 in the men's final.
The speed and skill on show in the decider left Koalas' player Mark Leisemann questioning his longevity at that level.
"That's it for me, I think," said Leisemann, who has represented Queensland and Australia.
"I think I might play in a lower grade next season rather than trying to compete at this level against the younger players. They're just so fast."
Three of the 10 Friday night finals were forced into golden try drop-offs after the scores were locked at fulltime.
In the women's A-grade final, Tigers defeated Tigers Gold 3-1.
In much the same manner as the men's final, the younger players continued to gain ground on their older and more experienced opposition.
"It's only a matter of time before the younger teams dominate the competition," said Melita Mackay, who this year competed in the National Touch League and State of Origin series.
The mixed final was a fast, furious and exciting affair.
Ball movement spanned the field and exceptional dummy half work created many scoring opportunities.
Tigers Black pounced on Black Magic to win 6-3 and claim back-to-back titles.
The B-grade men's final was another thriller.
The experience of Jeff Sherman, Peter Farrell and Rick Verrenkamp, along with the speed of Ipswich Jets player Brendan Marshall, ensured a Koalas Blue victory over a defiant Rhondda Blue outfit.
"This result proves the validity of the developmental teams in providing quality players for the future," said Rhondda Touch Club and ITA committee member Dale O'Connell.
In other finals, rep player Jake Hooper helped Blue Steel win the B-grade mixed final in extra time.
Perennial grand finalists Tonka lost narrowly to United in the C men's showdown and Cobras Green handed the Tigers club one of its few losses on the night in the third game that went into a drop-off.
Best and fairest players for each division were awarded after each final.
ITA officials are planning season one in 2013, which kicks off on February 11.
ITA's best and fairest players for 2012:
- A Ladies - Carly Leisemann (Koalas).
- B Ladies: Toni Millikin (United).
- C Ladies: Maddy Wells-Pepi (Black Katz).
- A Men: Jacob Groucott (Koalas).
- B Men: Liam Bauer (Koalas Blue).
- C Men: Ryan Mulhern (Tonka).
- A Mixed: Jake Notley (Tigers Black), Kerri Swan (Black Magic).
- B Mixed: Dean Dobson (Blue Steel) and Danny Riggs (Mustangs), Nicole McGrath (Mustangs).
- C Mixed: Nathan Laughton ( Loose Cannons), Teilia Cornwall (Tigers Gold).
- D Mixed: Aldo Villari (El Loco's), Rebekah Adams (Brian Grant's).
Grand final results
- A Ladies - Tigers 3 def Tigers Gold 1.
- B Ladies: Cobras Green 3 def Tigers White 2 (drop-off).
- C Ladies: Black Katz 5 def Tigers Black 3.
- A Men: Koalas 8 def United Cyclones 6.
- B Men: Koalas Blue 6 def Rhondda Blue 3.
- C Men: United 8 def Tonka 7 (drop-off).
- A Mixed: Tigers Black 6 def Black Magic 3.
- BMX: Blue Steel 7 def Mudratz 6 (drop-off).
- CMX: Tigers Gold 11 def Which Way 4.
- DMX: Rhondda Pink 6 def El Loco's 2.