The only Intra-Division Carnival left in the State was run at Marley Brown Oval in Gladstone over the weekend.
More than 320 players showcased their skills and entertained a few thousand supporters over the two days of football.
Men’s A Grade and Under 20 teams, along with Women’s A Grade sides from both outback and coastal areas represented the Leagues throughout the Division. The end result was a great spectacle of the ‘grass roots’ talent around the State.
At the end of the Carnival after the Men’s Final between Toowoomba (38) over Bundaberg (4), the Central Division Men and Women’s teams were named to compete in the upcoming A Grade State Carnival at Southport on June 7-8. The final produced some great attacking football from a well drilled Clydesdales team who steamrolled the young defending champions Bundaberg. The win saw the Toowoomba team regain the prestigious trophy for the second time since the expansion of the Division.
The Women’s A Grade team was dominated by the strong performances of the Beerwah Sunshine Coast girls (Champions again) and the strong Capras Capricorn team with encouraging performances from some in the Bundaberg and South West Mustangs teams. The team has a good mix of experience, youth and new faces and should perform well under the guidance of coach Steve Savage at the Carnival.
The Under 20 competition again highlighted the importance of this age group with many of the players from the past three years of the Mal Meninga competition competing. It is to be hoped that a further representative game can be organised to reward the efforts of these players from all corners of the Division and offer another opportunity for those players who cannot commit to the Under 20 State competition through work and study in their outback areas.
The Division A Grade team is similar to the Women with a good mix of ‘old heads’, young blood and youthful enthusiasm. Coach Darryl Horstman will have a good crew to work with and this team should once again prove very competitive at the State titles.
Next year the Carnival will travel to the grass roots home of Roma and will no doubt prove to be very attractive to country fans who are starved for football of this calibre and higher.