MAKING PROGRESS: Ipswich coach Brendan Eleison discusses tactics with one of his under-15 players in yesterday’s playoff for fifth at the state titles.
MAKING PROGRESS: Ipswich coach Brendan Eleison discusses tactics with one of his under-15 players in yesterday’s playoff for fifth at the state titles. Claudia Baxter

Young talent shines to earn state team berths

IPSWICH hockey's promising nursery was recognised with five under-15 players named in Queensland teams after yesterday's state titles.

After finishing second to Brisbane, the Ipswich boys team was rewarded with Caleb McCoombes, Mitchell Moran, Cade Banditt and Ryan Smith selected in the Queensland team.

Kyle Dolan and Thomas Picton were named shadow players.

That came after Ipswich suffered its first loss for the week - 3-1 to Brisbane in Murwillumbah yesterday.

Manager Bruce Robertson said the talent-rich side created enough chances to win the Division 1 decider.

"We had it over them. We just didn't finish our opportunities,'' he said.

However, Robertson and coach Ken McCoombes were pleased how the boys toiled.

"They had a good week and the representation in the Queensland team showed selectors thought they were a pretty good team,'' Robertson said.

Ipswich's under-15 girls side finished their state campaign on a high by beating Townsville 2-0 to secure fifth place at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.

Inside left/midfielder Hannah Casey scored both goals from penalty corners yesterday.

Exciting prospect Layla Eleison was named in the Queensland team with tenacious defender Kelly McNamara picked in the state development team.

The boys and girls state players have national titles in Darwin and Busselton (Western Australia) respectively in September/October.

McNamara was named for a development series against NSW in Grafton.

Ipswich girls coach Brendan Eleison was thrilled to see his team finish the way it did after two 1-0 losses on Tuesday denied them a shot at state title glory.

"The biggest thing was there was never a lack of effort. The girls just kept putting in,'' he said. "They put on a great show and should be very proud of their efforts.''

Eleison said about six of his players were eligible to represent Ipswich again in next year's under-15 state championships.

"And there's some good girls coming up from the 13s, and they had a great result (equal third) when they were away too,'' he said.

"It's all good for junior hockey in the girls. They are always very competitive.

"If they keep learning and keep putting the effort in that they just showed this week, they should do real well.''

Ipswich's number two team finished eighth in Division 2 after losing 2-0 to Mackay yesterday.



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