Norths extend series champs in semi-final
AFTER an emotion-charged premiership success in September, Norths players could have spent the off-season continuing one big party.
However, the Ipswich A-grade hockey grand final winners showed why they are a class outfit.
In their first TigerTurf Cup tournament in Brisbane, the Devils finished third overall after a limited preparation following their grand final celebration.
By beating grand final opponents Easts 5-3 on Saturday morning, the Devils qualified for the semi-final.
The Devils led title favourites Labrador 2-0 in the nine-a-side competition playoff after goals by Jeremy Dalais and Tom Douglas.
However, the eventual tournament champions hit back to win 4-2.
Despite missing the grand final, coach Jamie Burns was delighted how the Devils fared overall contesting the south east Queensland series.
"It's a different format but we'll be back next year for sure," Burns said, planning a three-week holiday after a long season.
"I was very stoked. The boys were happy with themselves.
"They (Labrador) are just a quality side. My boys ran out of legs and they got over us.
"It was a good learning curve for them."
With former international great Brent Livermore leading the way, Labrador beat Queensland Academy of Sport 3-2 in extra-time in the final at Carina.
Norths finished third, ahead of Burleigh.
Among Norths' best players over the two weekends of matches were Dean Jeffrey and Nick Maddocks.
Dangerous striker Jeffrey played fullback for something different and kept some big-name opponents in check.
Maddocks continued his terrific form in the Ipswich competition by netting eight goals in the TigerTurf Cup series.
Ipswich savoured more success on the final day of the tournament at the Clem Jones Sports Centre.
Ipswich Easts won the men's plate final 4-1 against Easts Brisbane.
David Llewelyn netted a hat-trick in the plate final after Jay Pavitt scored the opening goal.
In their earlier game against Norths, Easts led through Dean Pavitt before Anthony Woodward and Maddocks gave the Devils the lead.
Maddocks scored again to give Norths a two-goal buffer before Mark Llewelyn scored Easts' second.
Wil Dalais restored Norths' two-goal lead and Jeffrey extended it soon after.
David Llewelyn scored a consolation goal for Easts.
A third Ipswich team Wests lost their final two games 4-2 to Labrador and 3-2 to Easts Ipswich in the plate semi-final.