District Sides – Day 2
Southeast districts dominate Sides sectional play, but Tropical Far North women keep the dream of a regional win alive. Queensland’s 2015 District Sides Championships are shaping up, with southeast powerhouses wresting control of the competition after two days of sectional play.
A clash of the coasts looks destined in the men’s competition, with defending champs Gold Coast Tweed and host district Sunshine Coast A the ladder-leaders heading into tomorrow’s third and final day of sectional play.
Coast sides dominate the women’s comp also, with 2013-2014 champs Sunshine Coast going for a third consecutive title, just 16 shots clear of the Goldie girls in Section A.
However, there is still hope of a regional win at this year’s championships, with the Tropical Far North women topping the table in Section B, just three rounds away from a coveted slot in Wednesday’s Division 1 play-offs.
Men Section A
It was another sunny day at Coolum Beach for Gold Coast Tweed, with the 2014 District Sides champs edging out Cunningham in Round 4, 67-55, before easing past North Queensland, 91-50, and Caboolture, 93-67.
The loss was Cunningham’s first of the tournament, so they’re still sitting pretty in second place on the Section A ladder, following wins over Maranoa/Warrego 111-44 and Burnett 96-40 this afternoon.
However, Brisbane North isn’t far off the pace, trailing Cunningham by just 15 shots to take out third place with three rounds to play.
Battling it out for the lower division berths are Brisbane (8 +42), Caboolture (6 +37), Port Curtis (6 +33), Fraser Coast (6 +9), Southern Downs (6 -65), Sunshine Coast B (4 -3), North Queensland (2 -86), Burnett (2 -133) and Maranoa/Warrego (0 -328).
Men Section B
Sunshine Coast A also came through Day 2 unscathed, surviving a nail-biting Round 4 clash with Bundaberg, 67-64, before cruising past TFNQ 79-51.
But the hard work wasn’t over for the hosts, with Condamine putting in a surprise performance in Round 6, almost toppling the coast’s A-team for the upset win of the tournament.
But it wasn’t to be, with the hosts prevailing at the death, 63-58.
Sunshine Coast A is the only undefeated side in Section B, with Mackay (10 +88) and Bundaberg (9 +65) battling for second place and a spot in Division 1 finals.
Surprisingly Central Queensland is also still in the hunt for a Div 1 berth, just one win behind Mackay and Bundy on 8 +43.
However, with those two sides (and Downs) on the cards tomorrow, Day 3 could prove a difficult one for CQ.
Other Section B standings: Downs (6 +47), Gateway (6 +20), Condamine (4 -102), TFNQ (3 -35), Leichhardt (2 -211), North West Qld (0 -86).
Women Section A
It’s a familiar story in the women’s comp, with Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast Tweed the only undefeated sides after six rounds.
There is one major difference, however, with both of these sides battling for supremacy in Section A, where the hosts currently have the edge by just 16-shots (Sunshine Coast 12 +197, Gold Coast Tweed 12 +181).
One thing is for sure, it’s going to be interesting tomorrow when these sides clash in Round 8.
Two wins clear of their nearest rivals with just three sectional rounds to play, it’s almost certain the coast sides will go through to Wednesday’s Division 1 play-offs.
Of course there’s still the chance of an upset, and should that happen, Brisbane, Gateway and Brisbane North are waiting in the Section A wings, all on 8 points apiece.
At the end of Day 2, Mackay, Southern Downs and Downs are running 6th, 7th and 8th, all on 4 points each, with Burnett and Maranoa/Warrego without a win so far.
Women Section B
Tropical Far North Qld are carrying the torch for the regional districts at this year’s championships.
As it stands, the northern girls are the only contenders for Division 1 play-offs from outside the southeast.
With five wins from six rounds (their only loss coming in Round 4 to Wide Bay Gympie 54-33) the TFNQ girls are leading Section B on 10 +92.
Their lead is slim though, with Cunningham just 10 shots behind (10 +82) and doing their best to knock the northerners off their perch.
North Qld, Bundaberg, Wide Bay/Gympie and Central Qld are vying for third on the ladder, all of them on 8 points each.
From there the contenders drop off quickly, with Port Curtis on 4 -35, Caboolture on 2 -33, Condamine on 2 -55 and Leichhardt on 0 -180.
The final day of sectional play kicks off on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow, with divisional play-offs on Wednesday.
Click here for more information, including draws, team names, full results, venues, etc.
Photo: Downs girls pick up four against Mackay