Day two of the National 18 Years Touch Football Championships was another of picture perfect conditions. Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) and NSW Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) continued their dominance in both the Mens and Womens competition, but there are certainly other teams setting themselves to challenge for a finals berth on Saturday. MENS: In the Mens division NSWCHS, Sydney Mets, QSST, Central Queensland and North Queensland are looking like they will all be fighting for the title, although an upset or two can never be discounted. The Sydney Mets are looking to challenge the school sides, with Youth World Cup 20’s member Jai Ayoub leading the way with seven touchdowns for the tournament. NSWCHS have also had a relatively easy run, scoring double figures in each of the first four matches; Alyd Owen is leading the side with nine touchdowns for the tournament. QSST have not been troubled except for a 5-5 draw against Central Queensland, who look like a side that may just cause an upset in the finals. The local Northern Eagles side has played well and may just scrape into the top eight finals with matches against South Australia and Victoria still to play. South Australia and Victoria have struggled throughout the tournament, beaten severely most matches, and will no doubt be anticipating their match against each other. NT broke through for their first win at the Championships beating the ACT 7-3. WOMENS: In the Womens division a QSST side stacked with Australian representative players looks difficult to beat, scoring a remarkable 43 touchdowns for the tournament in just the first four matches. Gemma Etheridge and Belinda Hammett have each scored six touchdowns after four rounds, but with all of the QSST side able to score and do so multiple times, it seems the QSST side are red hot favourites. South Queensland Border Districts (SQBD) will be one side looking to challenge their Queensland competition, undefeated in pool three so far. The ACT look like they will miss out on a position in the top eight finals, disappointing considering the improvement they have shown in the past two years. TouchWest (WA) appear to be taking up the challenge to the dominance of NSW and Queensland however, after challenging the top ranked NSWCHS side in a tough 6-4 encounter. If TouchWest can beat NSWCCC in their match tomorrow, they will be virtually guranteed a top eight final and the highest finish of any non-Queensland or NSW side. NSWCHS had another tough match against the NSWCCC side before finishing round four with an easy 15-0 win over SA. Ashleigh Dobbins and Jessie Shea are leading the NSWCHS side, with six touchdowns each for the tournament. The afternoon borught some of the tighest competition so far, NSWCIS and SunCoast playing out a 4-4 draw, while the Southern Suns and the Scorpions also recorded a 4-4 draw. SWQ held off NT 5-4, denying the NT their first win of the 2004 Championships. The final round matches will be played on Friday morning, followed by the qualifying finals Friday afternoon. Play-offs, semi finals and grand finals will be played on Saturday from 8:00am. The Womens grand final will begin at 3:00pm Saturday, followed by the Mens grand final at 4:00pm. Entry to the Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium is free. For all individual statistics and team positions on the ladders please use the links to the Sporting Pulse results page. This is found on the ATA results story. By Rachel Moyle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Both teams started off strong with opportunities but due to solid defence could not get the ball across the line.When it looked like the Mets would score the first touchdown after five minutes, the Cobras Emily Hopkin put everything into a diving touch to stop the half before the pass could be thrown. The Mets eventually scored the first touchdown of the game after a well planned half runner picked up Megan Campbell getting away from her winger.Both teams continued to pressure each other’s lines but with strong defence and touchdown saving touches Mets kept the lead at 1-0.The Cobras got the scores to 1-all with a few minutes to go in the first half with a diving touchdown to Stevie-Lee Thompson on the wing.Cobras started off the second half with the first two touchdowns to get out to an extremely handy lead, both scored by Stevie-Lee Thompson on the wing with one being a controversial decision with the wind playing havoc. The Mets were equal to the challenge thrown down by the Cobras and found themselves in the lead with three quick touchdowns. Nicky Albery started the second half scoring with a touchdown on the wing, which was followed by a dive over touchdown to Kate Fitzsimmons after a middle link switch. The third straight touchdown was scored by Kristen Boss bitting a hole between the two middles.Sam Hopkin came to the rescue, scoring in the link to get Cobras back to level pegging late in the second half. Comments were already starting to make their way around the fields question if the game would go to a drop-off or not? The Cobras and Mets then traded touchdowns through Louise Winchester and Nicole McHugh for the Mets and Sam Hopkin and Kirsty Quince for Cobras.The drop-off only lasted three sets of six, with Cobras holding Mets off in the first set of six touches but were unable to score themselves. The Mets took the ball down to the Cobras line and Louise Winchester scored a similar touchdown to her one during the match switching in from the link and diving at the line. The Touchdown secured the win for Mets.