HomeSportAnkle Bullies hat-trick in Bundaberg Touch Finals

Ankle Bullies hat-trick in Bundaberg Touch Finals

Ankle Bullies hat-trick at Bundaberg Touch Grand Finals
Ankle Bullies completed a hat-trick of Bundaberg Touch Men’s Premierships. Photo: contributed.

Nicholas Barrett was the Player of the Final with a hat-trick of tries, including one in the drop-off in a polished all-round performance, as Ankle Bullies completed three straight Bundaberg Touch Men’s Premierships.

Ankle Bullies took an 8-6 victory over arch-rivals QNZLDer at Greg Duncan Fields despite being without their two best players Luca Felesina and Oliver Moreny, who both missed the season with knee injuries.

Nicholas struck twice as Ankle Bullies opened up a 4-2 half-time lead.

But QNZLDer simply refused to surrender, and they drew level with two tries early in the second stanza.

The two sides continued to trade tries in a pulsating end-to-end duel, with scores locked together at 6-all at the end of regulation time.

QNZLDer also went agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock a few times in extra-time, but ultimately Nicholas scored on the right, before Nick Mason sealed the deal, outpacing the cover and going all the way for his second touchdown on the left flank on the siren to end the first drop-off period.

Will Hamilton also featured with a double, while Rowan Mitchell and Jesse Young also grabbed two each for the Queenslanders.

Ankle Bullies had beaten QNZLDer 8-5 in regulation time last season.

Another Ankle Bullies young gun Tyler Ash was the Season Best & Fairest for the division.

It was the third season in a row that Luca had missed the final after missing last November’s decider due to work commitments and suffering his injury weeks before their mid-year final in June.

But he and Oliver stayed heavily involved in the team throughout the season as co-coaches.

It was still a great night for QNZLDer as they claimed three titles – in Mixed Division 1, defeating two-times defending champions Ankle Bullies 7-4, Mixed Division 2, outgunning Flick Pass 9-6, and Masters 1, accounting for Never Onside 6-3.

In Mixed Division 1, Will Hamilton also crossed twice, and Nicholas Barrett was among the scorers for Ankle Bullies.

QNZLDer got home with a three-try haul to Monique Larsen, and two to Noah Klowss, but another QNZLDer Riley Gill was the Player of the Final.

QNZLDer doyen Blake Hornbrook grabbed the Male Season Best & Fairest, with the Female Season Best & Fairest going to Gin Gin Hawks Rugby league Women’s League Tag dual premiership winning star Ruby Tobin, of B-Transformed, after she had been the Division 2 Mixed Female Player of last Season.

Blake led the charge for the “Maroon Machines” as they completed back-to-back Mixed Division 2, chalking up four tries in their blitz of Flick Pass, while his wife Cassie grabbed a double and was the Season Female Best & Fairest, with Levi Hack, of Flick Pass receiving some consolation when he was the Player of the Final and Male Season Best & Fairest.

The QNZLDer Masters 1’s simply had too many guns for reigning champions Never Onside, with doubles to Shannon Sundblom, Kale Johnson, and Matt Dobbie, and a Player of the Match display from Matt Craven, who took out the Les Somerville Medal for the Bundaberg Rugby League Player of the Grand Final in Brothers’ victory in August, but Michael Gordon, who was among Never Onside’s try getters, snaring his second straight Season Best & Fairest for the grade.

Shalom McGrath successfully defended their Women’s crown, pipping All Stars 4-3 with a second-half double to Sophie Moore, but Sebella Marano, who touched down once for All Stars, was the Player of the Final, and Lola Wood, of Punishers, was the Season Best & Fairest.

The youthful Next Jen Jackhammers turned the tables on River Rats 5-4 in Mixed Division 3 after being edged out by them 8-7 last season, with their senior team mentor Nickolas Edwards scoring his second try for the winner in the Drop-off.

Their last Season’s Best & Fairest Baylin McKay was the Player of the Final this time, with his sister Evella the Female Season Best & Fairest, and the Male gong going to Tim Baker, of QNZLDer.

Hot Crab turned up the heat in Masters 2, downing Show Us Your TD’s 6-3, with two tries each to Josiah Manteit, who picked up the Player of the Final, and Jomar Gustilo, but team-mate Adam Lovett was the Season Best & Fairest.

Nickolas Edwards’ wife Brittany chalked up two tries for Show Us Your TD’s, but the Crabs clawed their way to honours.

Adam also received the Jakey Award, which is presented annually in honour of the late Steve Jacobsen for all-round excellence.

Other Club Award winners included Toy Jacobsen (2023 Clubperson of Season), Levi Hack (2023 Junior Representative Player of the Year), Paul Mason (2023 Senior Representative Player of the Year), and Julie Bugeja (2023 Referee of the Year).


Men: ANKLE BULLIES 8 (Nicholas Barrett 3, Will Hamilton 2, Nick Mason 2, Hamish Young) d QNZLDer 6 (Rowan Mitchell 2, Jesse Young 2, Blake Hornbrook, Noah Klowss). Player of the Final: Nicholas Barrett. Season Best & Fairest: Tyler Ash (Ankle Bullies).

Women: SHALOM McGRATH 4 (Sophie Moore 2, Zoe Stone, Riley Dingle) d ALL STARS 3 (Lily Mitchell, Rakaia Kaye, Sebella Marano). Player of the Final: Sebella Marano. Season Best & Fairest: Lola Wood (Punishers).

Mixed Division 1: QNZLDer 1 7 (Monique Larsen 3, Noah Klowss 2, Asha Hutchinson, Markayla Hutchinson) d ANKLE BULLIES 4 (Will Hamilton 2, Nicholas Barrett, Kharla Hills). Player of Final: Riley Gill (QNZLDer). Season Best & Fairest – Male: Blake Hornbrook (QNZLDer), Female: Ruby Tobin (B-Transformed).

Mixed Division 2: QNZLDer 9 (Blake Hornbrook 4, Cassie Hornbrook 2, Mitch Davidson, Mitchell Parsons, Nikki Shield) d FLICK PASS 6 (Archie Halford 2, Matt Hardman, Levi Hack, Luke Turnbull). Player of Final: Levi Hack. Season Best & Fairest – Male: Levi Hack, Female: Cassie Hornbrook.

Mixed Division 3: NEXT GEN JACKHAMMERS 5 (Nickolas Edwards 2, Byron Higgins, Tamara Sward, Baylin McKay) RIVER RATS 4 (Jackson Howard, Adam Forgacs, Jesse Hoger, Emma Patterson). Player of Final: Baylin McKay. Season Best & Fairest – Male: Tim Baker (QNZLDer), Female: Evella McKay (Next Gen Jackhammers).

Masters 1: QNZLDer 6 (Shannon Sundblom 2, Kale Johnson 2, Matt Dobbie 2) d NEVER ONSIDE 3 (Robert Hooper, Michael Gordon, David Andreoli). Player of Final: Matt Craven (QNZLDer). Season Best & Fairest: Michael Gordon (Never Onside).

Masters 2: HOT CRAB 6 (Josiah Manteit 2, Jomar Gustilo 2, Wade Knott, David Bonser) d SHOW US YOUR TD’S 3 (Brittany Edwards 2, Luke Shilton). Player of Final: Josiah Manteit. Season Best & Fairest: Adam Lovett (Hot Crab).

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