An article put together by Mick McDade
Tweed Gold Coast Free Divers (Bullrouts) came to the AUFQ State Underwater Hockey Titles with an unbroken winning streak since 1999, nineteen titles over twenty years (wasn’t held one year.) What a fantastic run, but just a little depressing for the other clubs!
Still, this year could be different. Gold Coast Uni (Marlins) was striking out on their own and had drawn off some of Bullrouts’ strength, helping to level the field. Both teams are part of TGCFD.
Barracudas, for our part, had not been idle. The “A” team players and many of the “B” team had been training hard. Mike D., Jess, Nick and Tim had been working to bring together our top-level players in time for selecting teams. As the date approached the games got harder and more of our players got on board. Morayfield and Gold Coast players came to Chandler for games, and Brisbane players went over there. In the last forty-five years, many of which I had been involved with the UAC teams at the State Titles, I could not remember any training reaching this intensity.
It looked like there were enough players to more than fill two teams. Unfortunately, Clarissa fell while vacuuming and broke a bone, and was out for the comp. On the day, Barracudas had two teams of ten.
BARRACUDAS “A” TEAM BARRACUDAS “B” TEAM
Mike Du Toit Jess Morgan
John (JP) Pickering Kay Critchell
Hendrik Pel Tony Bradley
Paul Wynne Ann Lam
Emily Shaw Cathie Barton
Nick Leahy Daniel (Whitey) White
Pierre Burgers Jo Hamer
Aidan Du Toit Naomi Janczuk
Tim Senior Russell Cox
Quinn Du Toit
(A big thank you to Nick for organizing orders of team swimmers and other gear. Our teams looked really great at the titles.)
There were two teams of young juniors, who played each other
a number of times over the two days. Toowoomba Red Claws Gunna-Bes
and Cairns Crays.
The “B” Grade comp.
We met at the Southport Pool for the State Titles before 9 on Saturday morning. Although our first “B” grade game was not until 12:40, Barracudas had to supply five people for reffing duty for the first game. I had a good run down from Brisbane but cursed the early start. The pool temperature was just perfect, not cold for refs, but not too hot for playing hockey.
The “A” games and “B” games were in different courts and we were playing full 15-minute halves. There were nine “B” teams in the comp and they were divided into three pools who played out on Saturday. Commuting a bit later, Cathie & Jo encountered heavy traffic as they drove down. They would be lucky to arrive in time for our first game. Our other problem was that of our ten players, eight were forwards. Russell and I played back with Jess and Tony. As we were lining up for the start, the two girls arrived, giving us our full team.
Our first game was against Townsville Tiger Sharks. A close tussle resulted in a 3-3 draw. Our second game against Toowoomba Red Claws Have-Beens gave us an 8-0 win. Barracudas won our pool as our for-and-against was better than that of the Tiger Sharks.
This meant on Sunday we moved into the winners’ pool (pool as in a group of teams) and played against Danny and Eric in Bullrouts… beat us by brute force 0-11. Next game was against the Toowoomba Red Claws Wanna-Bes. They beat us 0-11 as well – they had fit Australian team juniors who very unethically used superior fitness and teamwork to win. Barracudas then had to replay Bullrouts again to sort out second and third. We worked hard with a different strategy (Russell and I alternated as goalie instead of half-backs) to keep the score to 1-9… third place over-all. Naomi acquitted herself very well in her first competition and with some tough games. Daniel White (Whitey) played a fast, powerful game in the forwards. He is a member of the Bundaberg Skindivers, but is living down here now, is playing at Chandler, and has joined UAC. Jess captained the team, and Kay was vice-captain. Jess and Tony, as the “real” backs, had their work cut out keeping Russel and myself in position.
Bullrouts played Toowoomba Red Claws Wanna-Bees in the “B” Grade final. In their previous meeting that morning they played a 4-all draw. This time Bullrouts edged ahead to take out first place.
“B” GRADE RANKINGS
Tweed Gold Coast Bullrouts
Toowoomba Red Claws Wanna-Bes
UAC Brisbane Barracudas
CUA Cairns Crays 1
Townsville Tiger Sharks
CUA Cairns Crays 2
Tweed Gold Coast Marlins
Toowoomba Red Claws Have-Beens
“A” Grade comp.
The ducks lined up for a historic Barracudas win: Bullrouts has had a stranglehold on the title for the last twenty years. It was a fantastic achievement and no-one was getting close, but this year, Marlins, a second Tweed Gold Coast team based on the Griffith Uni, wanted to be a serious chance and called its players in to bat. This meant Bullrouts were down some top players, and if ever they would be vulnerable it was this titles. Barracudas had its players gathered and training hard. The competition would be close this year.
There were five “A” Grade teams. The first round would position the teams in the second round. Barracudas won the first game against Bullrouts 4-3. The next time Barracudas faced Bullrouts it was a dead rubber, as regardless of the score both teams would qualify for the final, however, Barracudas won again anyway 3-1. Actually, Marlins was giving the “A” team more trouble with their style of play, achieving a draw against us. Bullrouts had less problem with Marlins as they play all the time.
However, there the “A” team was in the final against Bullrouts. If they lost this final game the first two games would count for nought. Both teams played desperately. At half time Bullrouts were ahead 1 nil. Second half and Barracudas pulled back a goal. Then Bullrouts fouled near their goat. A player was sent out and a penalty was set up. James Rossiter successfully defended the penalty. Barracudas were having some success attacking down the middle and scored a second goal to take the lead. Bullrouts threw everything they had into it and were pressing the Barracudas near their goal with about 3 minutes to play. Emily made a long break down the side of the pool. Carl could be heard cursing loudly underwater and the Bullrouts again pushed our team back towards the goal. Our spectator group was frantic. Pierre made a fast break back up the middle, but Bullrout defence pushed him into the corner. Realizing time was almost up and the corner was probably a good way to protect their lead. The team helped him keep it there until the final hooter went. UAC Barracudas had done what seemed impossible and had beaten Bullrouts 2-1 to be Qld champions.
The dinner and presentations that night were at the bowls club. Paul Wynne was awarded best and fairest by the referees.
The “A” teams in order:
UAC Brisbane Barracudas
TGCFD Griffith Uni Marlins
CUA Cairns Crays
Some posts on our Messenger page:
Thanks, everyone for a great time and some great fun hockey with an amazing result. I found all the team was on the same wavelength and we all worked together really well. It’s one of the most enjoyable hockey tournaments I have been to and everyone helping and supporting each other is a credit to us all. Thanks, JP for keeping us calm, Aidan for your great warm-up sets and mike for your always positive support.
Thanks to everyone for training, and putting in the effort. Everyone was tuned in to the final outcome which was awesome. Really easy to motivate! Was also fantastic playing with this group, and definitely one of the best comps and easily one of my hockey highlights.
Best Comp Ever! Thank you, everyone!
Yes awesome thanx everyone. Especially the people who put in extra time to help organise and help. You guys and girls are great
That is awesome and well deserved Paul.
Everyone – what a great weekend. Mike thanks for the organising/motivating the team
And what an effort by all. Had a blast this weekend. Thanks, guys
Wow, what a great surprise (r.e. winning competition best and fairest award). A fantastic weekend of hockey and being part of the Brisbane team was a great experience in itself!
Jess gave out prizes for our B Team: “Most Improved” went to Naomi, “Most Valuable Back” went to Tony and “Most Valuable Forward” went to Whitey. Then, of course, there were prizes for everyone else and then we had to give Jess a group hug for being a great captain. Great night!
(I think Russell summed it up pretty well!