The Ipswich and Queensland playing contingent with sports trainer Sally Crawford and manager Barry Sandford at the national titles in Canberra. Queensland over 45 captain Robbie Cockerell was absent.
The Ipswich and Queensland playing contingent with sports trainer Sally Crawford and manager Barry Sandford at the national titles in Canberra. Queensland over 45 captain Robbie Cockerell was absent. Contributed

Ipswich masters still have national title-winning skills

THREE more national titles, six Aussie representatives and a Trans Tasman challenge coming up.

Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre cricketers and officials have helped Queensland maintain its dominance at the latest Australian masters championships in Canberra.

Queensland's over 35, over 40 and over 50 men's teams won their respective finals to clinch national indoor cricket titles.

That secured over-35 trio Brendan Kleidon, Craig Cumming and Luke Waters spots in the Australian side.

They'll be joined by Ipswich-based representatives Robbie Cockerell as captain of the Aussie over-45 combination and Lee Morphew, who was chosen in the latest over 50's national team.

Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre co-owner and Queensland over 35's coach Kevin Ala-Outinen was named Australian coach for that division. He had previously coached at World Cup level.

Ala-Outinen has coached the state team for 10 years, winning six national titles but losing the previous two finals.

He'll take the national team to New Zealand in October to contest the next Trans Tasman series.

Other Ipswich players like Peter Bellingham and Stephen Wilson shared in the delight of winning a national title with the over 50s.

That Queensland team won 12 straight matches, sealed with an 83-72 victory over NSW in the final.

The Queensland over 50's have won four national titles in a row.

Respected coach Ala-Outinen was also pleased to see his over 35 and Queensland's over 40 teams complete successful championships in style.

The Queensland over 35s beat NSW 106-61 in the final after a fierce major semi-final encounter.

Queensland newcomer and former Brothers cricketer Cumming played a leading role, helping rescue his side from just six runs after eight overs in that final.

"He was a bit of a secret weapon,'' Ala-Outinen said of recently retired outdoor cricketer Cumming.

Ala-Outinen was pleased with his state team's commitment.

"They gelled together,'' he said. "There was a lot of new players and changing of the guard with our age group.''

Queensland's over 40 combination beat ACT 112-62 in the final.

The state's over 45 side, managed by Ipswich-based Barry Sandford, lost 124-83 to NSW in their final.

The Aussie representatives will continue preparations for the Trans Tasman series in Tauranga.

"Any time we get Australian representation, it's fantastic for people playing our sport in this city,'' Ala-Outinen said.

The open men's and women's national indoor cricket titles are in Mackay next month.



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