The national title-winning Queensland under-18 hockey team.
The national title-winning Queensland under-18 hockey team.

Qld under 18s celebrate as Swifts on the improve

TALENTED Ipswich hockey players Layla Eleison, Gaby Nicholls and Emily Witheyman-Crump have shared in the latest Queensland under-18 success.

The Queenslanders won the national championships in Launceston after beating NSW 2-1 in the gold medal match.

Goals from captain Ambrosia Malone and Charlee Livesey secured the Queensland team back-to-back national titles.

Leading into the final, Queensland remained undefeated, aside from a 3-3 draw with Victoria during the pool matches.

Meanwhile, Swifts A-grade coach Megan Bool will miss this weekend's club match.

She's coaching Ipswich's number one over 35's team at the Queensland Women's Masters Championships in Bundaberg.

Bool heads north encouraged by Swifts' recent efforts in their bid to finish as high as third for the fast approaching Ipswich finals.

A week after beating third place rivals Bellbowrie 1-0, Swifts accounted for Norths Toowoomba 2-1 last weekend.

"We're pretty happy with how we are travelling at the moment,'' Bool said.

"The last two wins are not huge wins but we've put in good performances and we've been able to shut out games.''

Against Norths Toowoomba at Raceview, Susie Marcussen scored Swifts' second goal on the halftime buzzer after Amanda Stacey put the Bluebirds 1-0 up.

Swifts held on in the second half to post an important win.

"They (Norths Toowoomba) are quite a young strong side with some really good talented girls so it was good to get the win,'' Bool said.

Defending premiers Hancocks and last year's grand final opponents Wests have the top two spots secured for the start of next month's finals.

Hancocks and Wests contest their rescheduled President's Cup (mid-season) final at 8.30pm on Friday night.

For Bool, Swifts' focus is on maintaining momentum after building a combination.

"At the start (of the year) we had meetings about if we were actually going to put a team together,'' she said.

"We did get through and we've got 12 regular A-graders so we've managed to put a full team together and a few girls from Brisbane have been really helpful.''

This year's team is captained by Ipswich stalwart Bridget McLean at the back, with experienced goalkeeper Leigh Molloy guarding the net.

After giving up A-grade following knee injuries, Bool has been "having a run'' and "doing what I can'' in Reserve grade.

She scored a goal in her team's latest 3-1 win over Hancocks.

In other A grade women's matches, Wests beat Toowoomba Rangeville 3-2, Hancocks were surprised 5-2 by Toowoomba Red Lions, Toowoomba Past High defeated Bellbowrie 2-0 and Toowoomba Newtown overran Norths Ipswich 6-0.

In A-grade men's matches, Hancocks lost 8-2 to Toowoomba Red Lion and Norths went down 3-2 to Toowoomba Past High.

In other key results, Wests beat Norths 4-3 to win the J2 grade President's Cup final.



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