Ipswich netballers impress
GOING into their final game yesterday, Ipswich's skilful 14 years netball team had victory in their grasp.
They had performed tremendously well to win seven games and secure a draw from their opening 10 games.
Needing a final win and for Toowoomba to beat Townsville, the tiring Ipswich girls produced one last mighty effort to down MacGregor 25-16.
It was a huge feat in their 11th game of the weekend at Ipswich's Doris Howes Complex.
But such was the highly competitive nature of the annual State Age Championships, Townsville held on 30-16. That last-gasp result left Ipswich as runners-up, just one point behind the division winners.
As her 14 years girls left court 19 with their heads held high, first-time Ipswich coach Helena Nancarrow conveyed her pride.
“The girls did a fantastic job,” Nancarrow said.
“They've been brilliant, a wonderful bunch of girls.
“We are sore and we are hurting but we're still feeling on top.”
As a measure of Ipswich's achievement, they had beaten the eventual champions 25-24 in their 10th match yesterday morning.
“To keep it together all the way to the end was quite hard and they did that,” Nancarrow said of the gruelling state titles challenge.
The 14 years girls were also Ipswich's best performed team over the long weekend.
“We finished really strongly last night which we needed to do,” Nancarrow said of late Sunday wins over Tweed (22-13) and Jimboomba (27-12).
“It's a very tough competition.
“The girls are very tired by now.”
Ipswich's 16 years Division 2 side finished sixth (nine wins, five losses) after being outside top two hopes late on Sunday.
Ipswich's other two teams - 13 years Division 2 and 15 years Division 1 - came 10th after toiling hard all weekend.
After overseeing a tremendous effort by her committee, volunteers and state officials, Ipswich Netball Association president Gail Lyne was last night looking forward to putting her feet up.
“It was very successful,” Lyne said of the three-day carnival which attracted 154 teams from around the state.
A total of 996 games were played on Ipswich's impressive all-weather courts, without any sideline safety concerns.
“Everyone at the end really thought it was absolutely fantastic,” Lyne said, having overseen her third state carnival.
• Don't miss tomorrow's QT for a special photo spread on the Ipswich teams.