Tenacious Thistles girls display quality under pressure
HOCKEY: After consecutive grand final successes, Thistles have a terrific junior team rich in promise for senior hockey.
That's the hope for one of Ipswich's oldest clubs still focused on junior development and providing opportunities for senior players.
The Thistles' C-Grade girls survived a mighty second half challenge from Wests to hold on and win their latest grand final 1-0.
That came after the club's D-Grade girls cliniched last year's premiership in another enthralling battle. Thistles' 2017 win was also over Wests, need-ing shoot-outs to split the sides.
A-Grade player Erin Alchin coached both teams and was full of praise for Thistles' latest achievement.
"We've had a couple of minor changes and a couple of girls that came back to play with Thistles but a lovely group of girls going through,'' Alchin said.
The minor premiers were unbeaten this year until Wests won the qualifying semi-final 3-0.
On Saturday, Thistles repelled the determined Magpies who were chasing their third junior premiership of the day.
Thistles' player of the final Jannali Davidson-Fewquandie scored the only goal.
Alchin said the team had worked hard on its defence.
"We had to hold them out the whole game and they did really well to stay strong and hold possession,'' she said.
"That's been the talking point all season and credit to Georgie (Greig) our goalie. She definitely helped with the talk and that.''
Alchin said the main focus was encouraging the girls.
"Our juniors are strong so hopefully they will all come back again next year and develop juniors again,'' she said.
"They are a very talented team across the park and just believe in themselves and have fun.''
Alchin expected about half her team to move into senior hockey next year.