Ipswich takes state crown as fierce rivalry continues
IPSWICH and Townsville may be at opposite ends of the state, but there's no love lost between the two cities when it comes to sporting rivalry.
Four months ago, the Ipswich Jets won their maiden Intrust Super Cup rugby league title after an upset 32-20 victory over minor premiers Townsville Blackhawks.
However, the rivalry between the two cities goes back further than rugby league.
Ipswich and Townsville have been the dominant associations of the past decade in Queensland vigoro, squaring off in the last six senior grand finals.
The latest chapter in the south versus north battle was written yesterday at Boonah when Ipswich claimed its third state title in four years at the Queensland Vigoro Championships.
Ipswich blitzed the highly-rated Townsville to capture a first innings win and end the three-day tournament undefeated.
Clare Gillett, in her first tournament as Ipswich captain, was delighted with her players.
"I have to put that win up there as one of the most momentous moments of my vigoro career," she said.
"It was an honour to lead this bunch of girls and see them put 100% into every single game; I'm over the moon."
Having been bowled out for 62, Townsville's bowlers were always against it as the crucial partnership between Gillett and Karen Devin, and then Kirsten Ihle and Rachel Savage virtually sealed the title.
Ipswich was eventually bowled out for 91.
Batting a second time, Townsville made 47 which meant Ipswich needed 19 to score an outright victory.
Time denied them the chance to make a decent run at the total, but it mattered little as the Ipswich players celebrated their win.
"To keep Townsville under 100 is a great achievement," Gillett said.
"I felt we showed great discipline and worked together as unit."
Before the tournament, Gillett spoke about the importance of Ipswich's young players stepping up in the absence of experienced trio Deanne Lawrie, Kerryn Graham and Rebecca Foley.
One of those who fired in the final was Ihle, who came through for the side with bat and ball.
"This is quite a young group, but they all stepped up as a group, which I hoped they would," Gillett said. "From the first game right through to the grand final they held it together and they should all be proud."