From potential champions to a fight for survival
YESTERDAY proved heart breaking for Ipswich's under-15 girls at the state titles.
After starting day one impressively with a win and a draw Ipswich suffered a pair of 1-0 losses, to Mackay and Brisbane 2.
The championships are on at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex this week.
So while their hopes on Monday were to be competing for the title, they now have to refocus on winning their final pool game today to avoid the potential relegation to the second division.
"We went out expecting to compete really well and get some wins," coach Brendan Eleison said.
"But they were difficult to score against, and in both games they managed to get a goal against the run of play.
"They got in front of us and made it difficult to pass."
It was a bitter pill to swallow after two performances that only lacked the crucial goals.
"I believe we had a lot of control of the play, but our finishing was pretty ordinary," Eleison said.
"It has put us out of semi-finals contention.
"If we win our last pool game, we are in contention for fifth spot."
If they lose their last game, against Sunshine Coast at 10.30 this morning, Ipswich could find itself competing in the second division next year.
It means there will be no lack of motivation to play well, despite the disappointment of yesterday.
"There's plenty of incentive to prevent that happening," Eleison said.
"You've got to wipe the slate clean and go again.
"We felt pretty good after Monday. The girls knew they were a top quality team.
"Now we have to prove it.
"We want to keep away from the bottom of the pool.
"We don't want to have to fight to stay in the top division."
Ipswich's travails demonstrate the fine margins between triumph and tragedy, with Ipswich having drawn against the team Eleison rates the best, Tweed Border, on Monday.
"Yesterday they were over the moon, today they are very disappointed," Eleison said yesterday afternoon.
"The ball just didn't drop for us.
"We lacked finishing and goal shooting.
"Our defence was pretty good.
"It was just two against the run of play ... scrambling goals that cost us."
There is nothing Eleison or his girls can do about it now except ensure they learn something from the experience.
"You have to take the opportunities when they're there," Eleison said.
"That means being a bit more desperate. It's all about the pointy end of the field.
"You've got to have the desperation and skill to execute the limited opportunities you get."
Despite the two losses yesterday Eleison praised the performance of fullback Kelly McNamara and midfielders Hannah Casey and Layla Eleison.
"Kelly's defence and attack was very good," he said.
"The other girls did well by being able to come out of defence into attack and make a number of good intercepts.
"They kept going forward.
"That was the main thing."
Meanwhile, the Ipswich 2 side, competition in Division two lost 7-0 to Brisbane 3 yesterday morning and beat Atherton 1-0 yesterday afternoon, leaving them with a win and a draw from four matches.
They play Hervey Bay this morning at 8.30am in their final pool match.