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Wollongong Mens Open A Champions 2012

Wollongong Touch football's purple patch of form in the NSW Touch Football scene has continued following the 2012 State Cup tournament where the club's Men's and Women's Open teams contested their respective grand finals on Sunday.

The Wollongong boys took out the Men's Open title for the first time ever by defeating hot-shots Hornsby Lions in a fiercely contested final that finished 5-3.

A Player-Of-The-Match performance from Joel Willoughby partnered with solid contributions from the entire team put the Devils in a comanding position for the entirety of the match. The professionalism and clinical display shown by the Men's Premier League in the grand final was a true illustration of the Devils' dominance of the Men's competition, the Penrith Panthers claiming the only victory over Wollongong for the weekend.

Unfortunately, the Joel Willoughby coached Women's Open team didn't experience the same success in their Championship grand final against Easts Roosters, the Devils lost their third consecutive State Cup final 5-4.

The Roosters, who also took out the 2012 Women's Premier League Vawdon Cup final against the Devils, were helped by some very dubious refereeing decisions. Wollongong admittedly didn't do enough to shut out Easts' Ash Quinlan and Madison Studdon and evidently fell short of winning their first Women's Open State Cup title.

Unlike the Men's Premier League's grand final, the performance of the girls didn't truly show the impact which the Wollongong side had on the 2012 competition, and furthermore nor did it illustrate the unmeasurable impact the side has had on Women's touch football in Australia in recent years. Nevertheless, the girls will be back bigger and better next year, with Nicole Beck set to return to the paddock shortly.

Finally, Steven Sopher's 2nd division Devils took out the 2012 Plate title, finishing off a rather haphazard 2012 season. The Devils 'ressies' took on Nelson Bay Neptunes in the final, and after being down by 2 at one stage, fought back to win the match 7-6.

After 11th hour omissions from key personnel led to last minute call-ups, the boys played as though they had been together for months, sticking by one another despite the unfavourable lead-up. The grit and determination shown by the seconds encapsulated all this is Wollongong Touch Association.

Men's Open Coach and Wollongong Touch Association Coaching Director Barry Jackson was fittingly applauded by both men's teams in the sheds following the Men's Open final, the two Men's titles providing some physical reward for the time, effort and passion Barry puts in to each tournament.

Wollongong Touch Association congratulates all players on their admirable display on and off the fields at Port Macquarie over the weekend, and wishes all injured players a speedy recovery over the brief off season.

Referee Jamie Banfield was also awarded a Level 4 State Grading and WTA congratulates him for this achievement.

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