Keely Murray from Tweed is in the thick of the action for the Queensland team in the 3-1 win against Tasmania in the Australian National Invitational Championships for under-13 boys and girls in Maryborough on Saturday.
Keely Murray from Tweed is in the thick of the action for the Queensland team in the 3-1 win against Tasmania in the Australian National Invitational Championships for under-13 boys and girls in Maryborough on Saturday. Valerie Horton

Blues are big hit in titles

NEW South Wales gate-crashed Queensland’s party at the Maryborough District Hockey Association grounds on Saturday.

Those wearing blue from south of the border were crowned national champions not once, but twice at the end of the week-long Australian National Invitational Championships for under-13 boys and girls in Woodstock Street.

The Queensland girls team, which was coached by Maryborough District Hockey Association development officer Cheryll Brown, had to settle for second after losing just one game during the tiles – a 4-3 defeat against New South Wales.

The young Queenslanders had powered through the week beating South Australia 8-0, the ACT 2-1, Victoria 2-0 and Tasmania 6-1 before New South Wales ended their hopes of winning gold.

The tournament was played on a round-robin basis – there were no finals.

Whoever finished with the most points at the end of the five games played was crowned the best in the nation.

Although disappointed not to have coached her team to victory on her home turf, Brown said she was happy with the overall performance.

“We gave it our best shot, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite good enough when it mattered the most – the game against New South Wales,” she said.

“Saying that, we played well throughout the week and we showed plenty of determination.

“The players gave it their all – you cannot ask for more than that.”

Brown’s line-up for the titles included Maryborough’s Jessica Switzer in goal and Sophie Malowiecki, the daughter of former Maryborough player, Karen Hilliard.

The Queensland boys team also finished second after losing 4-0 against New South Wales.

Maryborough District Hockey Association president Margaret Wroe said hosting the titles had been a great experience.

“The standard of play was outstanding and we certainly learnt a lot about hosting at this level,” she said.



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