Ankle Bullies claimed back-to-back Bundaberg Touch Men and Mixed Division 1 titles despite being without their captain Luca Felesina for the Grand Final for the second season in a row, with wins over QNZLDer teams 8-5 and 7-3 respectively.
The Ankle Bullies Men had lost to QNZLDer in the Major Semi-final, but after defeating EW in the Preliminary Final, they established a 3-1 half-time lead in the decider, before going right on with the job, with Will Hamilton finishing with a hat-trick of tries and last season’s four-try grand final hero Tyler Ash grabbing a second-half double.
However, they were both beaten by team-mate Lachlan Runge for the Player of the Final, while Jomar (Junior) Gustilo, of Renegades, took out the Men’s Season Best and Fairest
Ankle Bullies also put their stamp on the Mixed D1 finale in the first half, establishing a 5-2 buffer at the break with Oliver Moreny and Kharla Hills both touching down twice, and they too never relented with Oliver picking up the Player of the Final, Luca crowned as the Mixed D1 Season Best and Fairest, and the Female award going to Lily Mitchell, of QNZLDer.
Will Hamilton was also among their scorers, along with Riley Dingle, who received the Women’s Season Best and Fairest after also grabbing a try in Shalom McGrath’s 8-4 Grand Final dispatch of All Stars to also complete a successful title defence.
But team-mate Taylor Driver was Player of the Women’s Final with a three-try five-star performance.
Oliver was also an integral part of the Ankle Bullies’ Men’s team, and he achieved the distinction of featuring in a hat-trick of premierships for the night, starting with their Mixed D1 title, before backing up to notch three tries in the second half in a Player of the Final performance for Fumble This and be a match-winner as they came back from a 4-1 half-time deficit to pip Crickets in Mixed Division 2B.
The Masters Division 1 decider was locked at one-apiece at the break, but Aaron Von Deest scored the match winner for Never Onside as they edged out Show Us Your TD’s 2-1, with another of their stars, Michael Gordon picking up the Season Best and Fairest.
NADS, who were Masters Division 1 champions for the past three seasons, made it four straight titles, this time in Division 2, holding on to prevail against Spartans 3-2 after leading 2-0 at the break.
A Mick Parsons second half touchdown was the difference, but Spartans’ Chris Norris was the Player of the Final.
QNZLDer reigned supreme in Mixed Division 2 after their Mixed D4 success of last season, outgunning Get ‘Em Onside 9-3 with Cassie Hornbrook leading the charge with a three-try haul and her husband and QNZDer doyen Blake also among the scorers, along with her brother Sam Pearson, and his best mate and 2022-23 Bundaberg Cricket Tallon Medalist for Division 1 Best and Fairest Mitch Parsons, who was also Player of the Final.
Northern Districts Rugby League points machine Ruby Tobin, who grabbed a double for Get ‘Em Onside, received some consolation when she was awarded the MD2 Female Season Best and Fairest, with the Male gong going to Shannon Sundblom, of Purple Plan.
River Rats edged out Next Gen Jackhammers 8-7 in Mixed Division 3 with a hat-trick to Jayk Dick and a double to Emma Patterson, and one of their young guns, Baylin McKay the Male Season Best and Fairest for the division, but Eli Lammin, who scored and was outstanding in a beaten side, the Player of the Final.
Men: Ankle Bullies 8 (Will Hamilton 3, Tyler Ash 2, Sam Bull, Nicholas Barrett, Seb Woodland) d QNZLDer 5 (Nathan Harvey 2, Luke Griffin, Casey Collins, Tayin Ogilvie). Player of Final: Lachlan Runge. Season Best & Fairest: Jomar Junior Gustilo (Renegades).
Women: Shalom McGrath 8 (Taylor Driver 3, Bella Glass, Riley Dingle, Emily Straub, Summer Rae, Courtney Driver) d All Stars 4 (Cadence Taylor 2, Sienna Nugent 2). Player of Final: Taylor Driver. Season Best & Fairest: Riley Dingle.
Mixed Division 1: Ankle Bullies 7 (Oliver Moreny 2, Kharla Hills 2, Will Hamilton, Cooper Mortensen, Riley Dingle) d QNZLDer 1 3 (Luke Griffin, Lily Mitchell, Monique Larsen). Player of Final: Oliver Moreny. Season Best & Fairest – Female: Lily Mitchell, Male: Luca Felesina (Ankle Bullies).
Mixed Division 2: QNZLDer 2 9 (Cassie Hornbrook 3, Sam Pearson, Mitch Parsons, Blake Hornbrook, Corrina Haynes, Brad Blackwell, Matt Dobbie) d Get ‘Em Onside 3 (Ruby Tobin 2, Bobby Wilson). Player of Final: Mitch Parsons. Season Best & Fairest – Female: Ruby Tobin, Male: Shannon Sundblom (Purple Plan).
Mixed Division 2B: Fumble This 5 (Oliver Moreny 3, Kyiah Hills, Trent Potter) d Crickets 4 (Mitchell Shorten, Sarah Sorbello, Emily Stevenson, Matthew Churchill). Player of Final: Oliver Moreny. Season Best & Fairest – Female: Jessica Galea (Turf Trotters), Male: Tony Hoger (Crickets).
Mixed Division 3: River Rats 8 (Jayk Dick 3, Emma Patterson 2, Adam Forgacs, Kody Barrett, Hayley Loeskow) d Next Gen Jackhammers 7 (Nickolas Edwards 2, Carter Bush 2, Brittany Edwards, Byron Higgins, Eli Lammin). Player of Final: Eli Lammin. Season Best & Fairest – Female: Maddison Brennan (QNZLDer), Male: Baylin McKay (Next Gen Jackhammers)
Masters Division 1: Never Onside 2 (Lindsey Medley, Aaron Von Deest) d Show Us Your TD’s 1 (Michael Lederhose). Player of Final: Aaron Von Deest. Season Best & Fairest: Michael Gordon (Never Onside).
Masters Division 2: NADS 3 (Matthew Russo, Matthew Churchill, Michael Parsons) d Spartans 2 (Jack Rahaley, Chris Norris). Player of Final: Chris Norris. Season Best & Fairest: Michael Millington (Lawn Grubs).
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