Queensland Triumph at Nationals

Last month the Queensland Open Team brought home the gold medal at the School Sport Australia National Championships at Olympic Park in Blacktown, Sydney.

It has been 15 years since their last first-place finish.

From the start of the week-long event, it was clear that NSW and Queensland were the teams to beat, with the Blues progressing undefeated into the final, and Queensland losing only to NSW.

But, after a gritty 7-4 loss to NSW on the last day of the round robin format, the Queensland crew agreed that they had NSW’s number.

The final was a terrific testament to this self-belief, with Queensland running out victors in a come-from-behind 8-6 performance.

Queensland Coach Chris Norrie praised the determination of the team: “We had done the work,” he said after the game, “and we were riding high from some great individual and team performances all week. It’s like it just clicked. We hit the seventh inning, and we just rolled over them.”

And roll they did, following a strong start by Beau Allsworth, the team notched up 15 hits to NSW’s 7, rotated three well-rested relief pitchers over five innings, and played flawless defence.

Assistant coach Jared Long: “I think there’s a lot to be said about the grit of these guys. They have been helped by recent involvement in the Futures League, for sure, but they walked onto that field today determined that if NSW were to beat them, they would have to really earn it.”

Following the historic win, six Queenslanders were named in the All-Australia squad: Jake Calver (OF), Damien Feagaiga (2B), Joshua Marshall (DH; also Tournament Silver Slugger), Edmund Crotty (C), Kylan Pearce (OF, Final MVP), and Tom Chessell (3B; Tournament MVP).