first_imgQSST have made it a golden day at the 2004 National 18 Years Touch Football Championships, claiming both the Mens and Womens titles. The match up of QSST and NSWCHS in the Womens grand final was highly anticipated, with NSWCHS having taken the 2003 title from QSST. Queensland were out to claim it back and opened the scoring with Emily Hopkin’s great step allowing Gemma Etheridge to cross and score. An intercept from NSW’s Tegan Considine brought the crowd to their feet, which then lifted even more as Queensland’s Teneille Shaw chased 25 metres to touch Considine. With neither team able to score for the remaining time in the first half, it was Nicole McHugh who brought NSW back to even with a touchdown to open the second half. This was as close to winning as NSW would get though, with Queensland’s captain Courtney Hipperson scoring to give her side a 2-1 lead. Belinda Hammett dived across the line for a 3-1 advantage to Queensland before the NSW side could bring it back to 3-2 with nine minutes still to play. NSW looked as though they were still in with a chance as the Queensland girls failed to make the most of their opportunities and extend their lead. When Delwyn Tupuhi and Hipperson both added to the Queensland tally, a 5-2 lead was too much for the NSW girls. With five minutes to go the NSW side also lost experienced Australian representative Kirstie Jenkins to an injury and the game was all but over. For Queensland coach Peter Bell, the win was a reward for how hard his players have worked. “They’ve put in a lot of training for this and they’re a great group of girls,” Bell said. Captain Courtney Hipperson agreed. “It feels awesome, we’ve had great teamwork and really bonded as a team, we knew we were good enough to win this and we came here to do that,” Hipperson said. In the Mens match QSST were out to defend their 2003 title and opened the scoring quickly through Lyall Darby. It was a free flowing first half, with the scores locked at 2-2 after just ten minutes of play. In the Mens grand final it was again a meeting between QSST and NSWCHS, with the Queensland Men looking to defend their 2003 title. Scoring flowed freely in the first half, with QSST beginning strongly on the back of a Lyall Darby opening touchdown and a Jerome Waitohi intercept and touchdown. NSWCHS moved into gear and the score was back to 2-2 before Queensland ran in another two touchdowns to take a 4-2 lead. Australian representative Pat Smith showed some of his classy stepping to bring NSW back to a 4-3 deficit and brought the crowd into the match. Down 5-3 at half time, NSWCHS opened the second half scoring but when Queensland replied immediately through Waitohi’s second intercept and touchdown, the score went to 6-4. NSWCHS couldn’t break through the Queensland defense again, allowing QSST to take the title with the score of 6-4. For Queensland coach Peter Robinson, the relief was obvious. “I’m really proud of the way these boys have played, they’ve had to adjust to a lot of different styles of play, it’s been a long week, but they really do deserve this,” Robinson said. “NSWCHS are a great side, they have a lot of talent and they played really well, it was a very tough week.” By Rachel Moyle, [email protected]last_img

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