By Ant Wingard
Coolangatta and Robina earned themselves a slice of women’s football history at the weekend when the two clubs were crowned the inaugural Alpha Sport Women’s Showdown champions in their respective divisions.
Coolangatta’s QWAFL side outlasted QWFA Division 1 powerhouse Aspley in the final, winning 3.1 (19) to 1.0 (6) to claim first place in the tournament on Saturday at Leyshon Park.
Saturday’s leg of the tournament featured five teams from the QWAFL, some of which also featured players from their club’s Division 1 team, and four teams from QWFA Division 1.
The Bluebirds topped their respective pool, winning each of their two games against Kedron and the University of Queensland to progress to a best-of-three finals tournament against Aspley and Bond University.
Each side played a further two games in the showdown decider – once against each other team – and after Aspley defeated Bond University and Coolangatta followed suit immediately after, the stage was set to crown a winner.
Outside speed was the catalyst for the Bluebirds’ triumph, as an ability to evade the contest gave them an edge over the Hornets in the 18-point victory, claiming the Alpha Sport Women’s Showdown trophy and a $500 Alpha Sports starter pack.
Coolangatta Head Coach Matthew Bedford said the preseason competition was the perfect segway to the season proper.
“For us, we’ve been training since mid-November and it’s been a really good chance to see the progress we’ve made and put it in action on the field,” he said.
“It allowed us to make sure we’re on the right path. It was a good test for us.
“We hoped to get a good hitouts and the chance for the girls to roll through a variety of positions. You always come into these sorts of things wanting to win, but that’s always the cherry on top.
“We’ve had a really strong focus on conditioning and trying to match game conditions at training and I think today we really showed that.”
Sunday’s leg of the showdown featured 14 teams from the QWFA Division 2 North and QWFA Division 2 South leagues – six of which were new to their respective competition; playing in their first competitive game as a team.
After going through the day undefeated, Robina were announced the winners of Sunday – defeating Coomera in the final by 37 points.
The Roos kept their opposition scoreless in all five games and will now enter the season in a month with unbridled confidence following their dominant performance.
AFL Queensland State Operations Manager, Barry Gibson, lauded the teams’ sportsmanship throughout the day.
“What stuck out to me today was just the spirit in which the games were played. Everyone’s just here to enjoy the day and that was fantastic,” he said.
Gibson also thanked Alpha Sports for their continued support and involvement with AFL Queensland.
“Again, thanks to Alpha Sports – they’ve been a fantastic supporter of ours and we really appreciate it,” he said.
“It’s great that we can put on a day like this. It’s the first time that we’ve done it and I’m sure it won’t be the last.”