MARYBOROUGH rising stars Jack Tucker and Keelan Goodall walked off the field after Queensland's grand final loss to New South Wales on Wednesday ruing the one that got away.
But, on reflection, the tournament was a major success for the pair.
A goal from a penalty after the full-time siren gave NSW a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Queenslanders at the Australian under-15 boys' indoor hockey championships in Launceston, Tasmania.
The Queensland girls' team, meanwhile, went down 3-1 to NSW in their final despite a strong display from Maryborough's Jess Switzer in the goal.
For Queensland forward Tucker, the four-day tournament marked the first time he had donned the maroon at a competition.
The Aldridge State High School student said all his teammates stepped up and played beyond everyone's expectations.
"It was disappointing (not winning gold), but no one expected us to even get to the grand final so even though we lost we did really well," he said.
Tucker, 15, helped Queensland get off to the perfect start in the decider, scoring after just six seconds.
He continued to pressure NSW's defence, linking well with his fellow forwards, while goalie Goodall excelled between the sticks, making his opposition work for their goals.
Tucker believed preparation was the key to Queensland's success.
"I reckon we formed better as a team than any other team," he said. "We had some good chemistry and played really well together and that definitely put us ahead of the competition."
Queensland's girls also ended their campaign with silver after a gallant effort against NSW in the grand final. Switzer played a starring role as goalkeeper, repelling a number of shots and minimising any potential opportunities in the circle.
Switzer will be in action again today when she is joined by locals Samantha Hansen and Lauren Scholl for the second day of the under-18 indoor national championships.
Maryborough duo Brooke Savage and Trudi Pedersen didn't have quite the same success at the open indoor women's championships, with Queensland finishing fifth.
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