Depleted Knights run out of steam in extra-time defeat
FOOTBALL: It simply wasn't meant to be despite battling hard in an extra-time grand final.
After winning seven games in a row to make the season decider, the Ipswich Knights under-20 side ran out of steam after three crucial injuries and having a player sent off.
Sunshine Coast eventually clinched the Queensland Premier League grand final 5-1 after scoring four goals in extra-time at Underwood Park on Saturday.
Knights coach Bob Maclot was proud of his team's year despite the grand final setbacks.
"It was a fantastic season,'' Maclot said keen to return for the Knights' 2020 campaign.
"Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be on the day . . . everything just went wrong really.''
The Knights troubles started when they lost influential centre backs Nelson Hurry and Nathan Garcia to injury in the first half.
The Knights then had Alex Golding also come off hurt in the second half before having Darren Barton sent off late following a fiery passage of play.
Having led 1-0 through a goal by Mathew Drummond, the depleted Knights hung on until Sunshine Coast equalised in the 82nd minute.
After missing two late one-on-one chances to win, the Knights were unable to sustain the pressure with 10 players.
"In extra-time, the boys just ran out of legs,'' Maclot said.
The Knights under-20 coach was happy to continue working with the side next year with most of the players eligible to return after such a positive season.
"Hopefully they will all come back,'' he said.
"It was a good opportunity. We put a couple of under-18s on the field, which was good.''
The Knights under-18 and senior teams also qualified for this year's Queensland Premier League playoffs.
QPL U20 grand final: Sunshine Coast 5 def Ipswich Knights 1 (Mathew Drummond) in extra-time.