Luke Griffin was Player of the Final as QNZLDer Touch claimed their maiden Bundaberg Touch Men’s title with an upset 8-7 victory over two times defending champions Ankle Bullies in a pulsating Season 1 grand final at Greg Duncan Fields.
Brilliantly led by captain and club doyen Blake Hornbrook, the bridesmaids of the previous two seasons reversed a 9-4 semi-final loss to Ankle Bullies to inflict their only loss of the season, establishing a 5-4 half-time lead and never relenting in a match which went down to the very last touch.
Blake and Sam Thompson each notched doubles but while Luke missed out on a try, he was chosen as the best in a highly spirited team performance.
Ankle Bullies’ Cooper Mortensen received some consolation when he took out the award for the Men’s Season Best and Fairest.
In the Women’s Division, Candice Higgins and Lola Wood co-starred, each touching down twice as Weekes Property Group completed back-to-back titles with a 7-2 blitz of All Stars, but another of their scorers, Lily Mitchell picked up both the Player of the Final (POF) and Season B&F.
QNZLDer Touch I also met Ankle Bullies in the Mixed Division 1 decider, but they went down 7-3 with Oliver Moreny, who later took out the Season B&F for the Division, racking up a hat-trick of tries for the winners and Will Hamilton chipping in with a double.
But they were both beaten for the Player of the Final gong by team-mate Cooper Mortensen, while Ankle Bullies completed a clean sweep of Mixed D1 awards with Tegan Mason the Season Female B&F.
NADS successfully defended their Masters Division 1 crown, again beating Spartans 5-3 in the grand finale, with Craig Holden grabbing two tries for the second straight MD1 final, while last season’s POF Nathan Russo also featured again with a double, but their other scorer Matt Churchill was the Player of the Final this time.
The Sticky Bandits accounted for Purple Plan 7-4 in Mixed Division 2, with Travis Munckton, who claimed the Season Male B&F, a match winner with three touchdowns, but their dual-scorer Jessica Fuller the Player of the Final, and Purple Plan’s Demi Pressler-McHugh the Season Female B&F.
The QNZLDer Touch II team, which included Blake’s wife Cassie and brother-in-law, another dynamic all-rounder Sam Pearson, had too many guns for Ankle Bullies B in Mixed Division 3, with Sam the Player of the Final after scoring twice in a strong all-round performance, but his best mate Mitch Parsons led the charge with a three-try haul, and Corrina Haynes, who was a joint-winner of the Season Female B&F, also touched down twice.
Sebella Marano was the other joint-recipient of the Female B&F while her Crickets team-mate Archi Halford was the Male B&F for the Division.
Grasshoppers flew away with a 6-2 victory over Touchy Feelys in Mixed Division 4 with Xander Hills the only multiple-scorer with a double, but Riley Pimm the Player of the Final, and another of their stars Isabel Peres the Season Female Best and Fairest, but Touchy Feelys’ Lachlan Andrew was the Male Best and Fairest.
Baz Cutmore was a four-try hero as defending champions Hot Crab again reigned supreme in Masters Division 2, hailed as the Player of the Final in an 8-4 dispatch of Never Onside, while Wade Knott registered a double.
The next season will start on 19 of July.
Men: QNZLDer Touch 8 (Blake Hornbrook 2, Sam Thompson 2, Nathan Harvey, Joel Keune, Noah Klowss, Rowan Mitchell) d Ankle Bullies 7 (Luca Felesina, Trey Hubert, Cooper Mortensen, Josh Pole, Hamish Young). Player of Final: Luke Griffin (QNZLDer Touch); Season Best and Fairest: Cooper Mortensen (Ankle Bullies).
Women: Weekes Property Group 7 (Candice Higgins 2, Lola Wood 2, Brittany Edwards, Ella McLucas, Lily Mitchell) d All Stars 2 (Riley Dingle, Sophie Moore). Player of Final: Lily Mitchell; Season Best and Fairest: Lily Mitchell (Weekes Property Co).
Mixed Division 1: Ankle Bullies 7 (Oliver Moreny 3, Will Hamilton 2, Cassandra Ash, Cooper Mortensen) d QNZLDer Touch I 3 (Riley Gill, Nathan Harvey, Lucy Hooper). Player of Final: Cooper Mortensen. Season Best and Fairest – Female: Tegan Mason (Ankle Bullies), Male: Oliver Moreny (Ankle Bullies).
Mixed Division 2: The Sticky Bandits 7 (Travis Munckton 3, Jessica Fuller 2, Demi Giovannoni, Stuart Munckton) d Purple Plan 4 (Rowan Mitchell, Demi Pressler-McHugh, Shannon Sundblom, Luke Turnbull). Player of Final: Jessica Fuller. Season Best and
Fairest – Female: Demi Pressler-McHugh, Male: Travis Munckton.
Mixed Division 3: QNZLDer Touch II 12 (Mitch Parsons 3, Corrina Haynes 2, Sam Pearson 2, Lydia Branch, Xander Bulbert, Joshua Bulbert, Cassie Hornbrook, Olivia Klowss) d Ankle Bullies B 2 (Josh Pole 2), Player of Final: Sam Pearson; Season Best and
Fairest – Female: Sebella Marano (Crickets) & Corrina Haynes (QNZLDer Touch); Male: Archi Halford (Crickets).
Mixed Division 4: Grasshoppers 6 (Xander Hills 2, Pauline Churchill, Aaron Hills, Paitan McDonnell, Riley Pimm) d Touchy Feeleys 2 (Caleb Redshaw, Keith Redshaw), Player of Final: Riley Pimm; Season Best and Fairest – Female: Isabel Peres (Grasshoppers); Male: Lachlan Andrews (Touchy Feeleys).
Masters Division 1: NADS 5 (Craig Holden 2, Nathan Russo 2, Matthew Churchill) d Spartans 3 (Tom Murray 2, Daniel Finter). Player of Final: Matthew Churchill.
Masters Division 2: Hot Crab 8 (Baz Cutmore 4, Wade Knott 2, Tony Gaze, Josiah Manteit) d Never Onside 4 (Michael Gordon 2, Patrick Cassidy, Lindsay Medley). Player of Final: Baz Cutmore.
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