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By Casey O’connor

It is that unusual time of the year when sports fans are caught between the end of the cricket summer and the start of the footy season.
This year, however, we have a couple of new players vying for our attention. The women’s AFL competition is a huge success and the revamped netball season got underway last weekend with a bang. Women’s sport is certainly a big mover in the sporting stakes at the moment and grabbing their share of the supporter base.
The NRL trials continued last weekend while the Poms sent the Sharks and Broncos home with plenty of homework to attend to before the start of the NRL season as Wigan and Warrington wrapped up the World Club Challenge.
The AFL is also in full preseason mode, and this week Warwick became Lions territory with Brisbane Lions players Michael Close and Oscar McInerney, Sabrina Frederick, Delissa Kimmince conducting a skills session at the Redbacks sign on day. Kimmince, of course, is better known to us as a cricketer but with the end of the cricket season is in training with the Lions. The group joined Lions coach Chris Fagan and general manager David Noble at a very well supported Sportsman’s Breakfast in Warwick on Wednesday morning.
I was fortunate to attend the breakfast and was impressed by the AFL contingent especially their coach and the commitment they have to growing the grassroots level of the game in our area.
Rugby League administrators at the highest level have for too long been far too complacent in their treatment of grassroots football. The AFL now has a strong foothold in many areas including locally. The Lions officials and players showed Rugby League this week how things should be done.
– Casey
ST MARY’S RACE DAY A WINNER
The Warwick Turf Club and the St Mary’s P & C hosted another successful St Mary’s School Race Day on Saturday. In the very hot conditions, most of the punters opted for shady vantage points close to refreshments as the six-event programme unfolded.
The main race the Magic Millions March Yearling Sale Benchmark 50 Handicap over 1500 metres was won by Oakey visitor and top weight I’m No Ruby. Starting at $3.60, the seven-year-old led the field into the straight and showed plenty of fight in the run to the judge to hold off second place getter One More Twist.
Another Oakey galloper Coalbank Caviar opened the meeting, winning the Kerry Scanlan Concreting / Hanson maiden for trainer Bradley Hudson and Jockey Hannah Phillips.
Roger That the winner of the second event the McNally Constructions Benchmark 50 over 110 metres started at the good odds of $9. Jockey Paul Hamblin sat the eight-year-old behind the leader Pressway and kicked clear in the straight. Toowoomba trainer Ron Bremmer said after the race the horse had been working well and responded well to the strong riding of senior rider Paul Hamblin.
In the third event, Freezen Easy was last into the stalls and travelled three wide for most of the journey before he reeled in the leaders in the home straight. Under vigorous riding from Alannah badger, the Beaudesert-trained galloper won, going away from Front Foot and Just A Sec.
Major Scoop provided Toowoomba trainer Michael Nolan with the first leg of a race to race double with a good win in the Raheen Stud / Malt House benchmark 60 over 1350metres. The Publishing gelding was last out of the barriers and jockey Rick Bell allowed the horse to settle before making a forward move coming to the home turn. Bell switched the horse to the outside in the straight and held off the fast finishing Our Clarky who finished with an eye catching run.
Magazine Miss also by the Raheen Stud sire Publishing wrapped up the programme in fine style for the Nolan family who bred and race the mare. The five-year-old mare beat the field out of the boxes and crossed to the fence. She hugged the rail in the early stages and when Rick Bell balanced her up in the straight, she kicked away finishing strongly and was not troubled in the run to the line.
It wrapped up another successful meeting for the St Mary’s P&C and Warwick Turf Club partnership. Warwick Turf club officials were delighted with the support from the public for the meeting and thanked the P&C committee for their hard work in gaining sponsorship for not just the race programme but also the Fashions on the Field event and the children’s activities.
FR RANGER OVAL IN TOP ORDER
Warwick like all other Southern Downs centres has experienced weeks of heatwave conditions, but you would never know it looking at the Fr Ranger Oval which has never looked better.
The hard work of a handful of dedicated volunteers has certainly paid dividends. Under the guidance of John Newley, Hilton Horne and Ross Kingston, the ground is now one of the best in the TRL competition. There has been hours of voluntary work put into the upgrade of the ground, and Cowboys players should be grateful to be playing on such a great surface.
CHALLENGING CONDITIONS BUT GOOD SCORES
The unprecedented hot and dry conditions in recent weeks have been challenging for not only golfers, but also the Stanthorpe Golf Course greenkeeper who has done a great job to keep the greens to a very high standard. The fairways are showing the effects of the weather, however the conditions did not prevent golfers from returning some good scores in the Single Stableford event sponsored by Hello World Travel Agency, Stanthorpe on Saturday.
Club captain Matt Waterworth finished 44 points for the round. He carded 35 on both the front and back nine, and included an eagle 3 at the eleventh hole, a par 5. His round of 70 off the stick was two under par for the day. Not to be outdone, Rod Werner also finished with a score of 44 but after a countback Matt Waterworth was declared the winner. Werner’s score of 26 points for the front nine was the best for the day, but 18 points on the back nine was not enough to get him to first place. Waterworth also claimed the pro-pin at 1/10 to round off a good day.
Lyle Bryant held the men’s pin shot at three and the pro-pin at 5/14. Mark McCosker held the pin at 12 and Stephen Kay collected the pin shot at 17 as well as the pro-pin at 9/18. Max Hunter was the sole winner of the birdies’ nest at No 11 collecting the balls on offer.
In the run down, it was a ball each to Mick O’Brien (40), Ron Batterham (39) and Angelo Maugeri (39).
Kay Webb produced the ladies’ round of the day, returning 38 points and winning the event by six points. It was a welcome change of luck for Webb who has been stalking the winners in recent weeks. Madeline Jarman was the runner-up with 32 points. Jarman also picked up the ladies pin at three. Nikki Waterworth had best pin shot at the ladies 12th hole and Helen Jones earned a ball in the run down.
Saturday the club has scheduled a 4BBB stableford and barbecue. As it is the last event of the month, play will commence with a shotgun start at 11.45am. There is a time sheet is on the board.
Members are reminded that fees are due by the end of this month. Dues must be paid prior to the start of the new season. The 2017 ‘Golfer of the Year’ gets underway with the monthly medal in March.
BATTLE IS ON
With just three regular rounds remaining in the Stanthorpe Cricket season, the battle for the top position is on in earnest.
On Saturday Valleys had a win over Souths while Tenterfield upset the competition leaders RSL.
Tenterfield batted well, setting RSL a target of 172 after a fine innings from Marchant who came to the crease with the score at 2/32 and steadied the innings. He scored 86 before being caught off the bowling of Anthony Di Bella in the 32nd over. His knock included nine boundaries and three sixes. The Tenterfield tail wagged after the dismissal adding another 22 runs.
Dave Becker and Anthony Di Bella led the way with the ball, taking three wickets each.
In a surprising batting collapse, RSL were dismissed cheaply for just 72 runs with Greg MacKenzie (33) scoring the bulk of the runs.
Despite the loss, RSL remain at the head of the rankings on 47 points but cannot afford another loss like that with Valleys still capable of grabbing the minor premiership.
Souths had first use of the CF White wicket in the game against Valleys, and once again Jordan Lanza was the backbone of the innings. Lanza came to the crease with the score at 1/8 after the Souths opener Tom Bonner was dismissed for a duck.
Lanza was joined shortly after by father Mark and the pair pushed the score along to 3/87 before Lanza Snr was out, off the bowling of Kirby Morunga. Jordan Lanza was the innings lynch pin and remained not out 64 as Souths wickets tumbled. Steve Martin and Kirby Morunga were the best of the bowlers. Valleys were set a moderate run chase of 137.
The Valleys innings did not get off to an ideal start with both openers dismissed without troubling the scorer.
Valleys were struggling at 3/20. Harris came in at first drop and saw the score along to 4/41 before he was caught by Tom Bonner off the bowling of Carriage for 25. Some good middle order batting saw Valleys home in the 32nd over. It was the bowlers Steve Martin (21) and Kirby Morunga (29) who followed up good performance with the ball to guide the team to what in the end was a pretty comfortable win. Valleys are now on 41 points in clear, second place on the ladder ahead of South (32), Tenterfield (17) and Wanderers (7).
VISITING GOLFERS DESCEND ON ‘GARRA
A big weekend of golf in Wallangarra got underway on Saturday with the usual Saturday competition which was won by K. Williams (42). Williams had a big day out and cleaned up taking the pin shots at the third, 9th and 11th. He did leave the approach shot on the second for J. Purcell. Runner-up with a score of 40 was J. Green (40).
It was an appetiser for Sunday’s Wallangarra Open Single Stroke Event. A big field of local players and visitors from City Golf Club (Toowoomba), Stanthorpe, Texas, and Oakey headed out in pleasant conditions.
The A Grade Gross went to City visitor M. Smith. The nett winner was Oakey visitors C. Shields and the nett runner-up another City visitor G. Lewis.
The B & C grade winners all came from the Wallangarra Club. The B Grade gross winner was J. Purcell (Wallangarra) and the nett winner T. Murphy. After a good round on Saturday, K. Williams was the nett runner-up.
In the C Grade, B. McMillan another Wallangarra player took out the Gross win with W. Davis also of the “Garra winning the C Grade nett. J. Green, who continued his good solid form from Saturday’s round,
also was nearest the pin at 3/45 and Texas visitor I Long at the ninth.
In the A grade competition, C. Shields had the longest drive while in B Grade, it was J. Purcell and In C Grade, City visitor G. Shepherd.
In the Ladies event, the visitors dominated. Winner of the Women’s gross was D. White from Texas). The Ladies nett winner was Madeline Jarman Stanthorpe and runner-up another Texas visitor A. Fearby. Jarman was nearest the pin at nine and White had the longest drive.
The Wallangarra Golf Club would like to thank the big contingent who travelled to the event and hope to see all the players back in the near future. Wendy Williams, who put a lot of time in during the week prior to the event to ensure everyone had an amazing meal and were made to feel very welcome, deserves a very special thank you.
It is back to normal competition this weekend with the club hosting a single stroke event. All members and visitors are welcome
A reminder that the club is hosting the Open Single Stableford on 5 March. Tee off from 9am to 9.30 QLD time.
TANNY CLASSIC DECIDED
After six weeks of competition, it all came down to Friday night’s results to determine the winner of the inaugural Tanny Classic.
Reputations were not the only thing on the line -0, there was cash to be won and there was another great roll up for week six of the Classic.
The round winners were Geoff Famer, Richy Tartan Neil Rickard and Tadpole Banditt with a big 17-4 win over Geanie Lambert, Lorna T, Grumpy and Mick O’Leary.
Runners-up were Jan Walsham, Fritzy, Sue Butz and Tuck d Brett Grayson, Marg T, Thommo and Ant Butz 14-9.
Other winners on Friday night were Lloyd Johnson, Jimbo Lamb, Dan Coulten and Peter Gynther who beat Mick Watt, Kushla, Walshy and Darren Rabbitt, 11-8.
Maria Macca, Venus, Myrtle and Pete Gynther also had a 15-11 win over Vic Nelson, Shep, Veronica and Jimbo Rickard.
After six weeks of battle, plenty of laughs and some tears, the winner of the $500 prizemoney with 18 points was Tuck.
Venus also finished in the money – 15 points earning her second place and $250 in prize money. Also in the money were Jimbo Rickard (13) who picked up $100 Geoff (12) taking home $65.
The balance of the loot was shared between Geanie, Marg T, Myrtle, Pete Gynther, and Lorna and Vic Nelson.
If you enjoyed Tanny Classic One but missed out on the cash – don’t despair – the second Tanny Classic will begin on 3 March. There will be another $1000 up for grabs and a new scoring concept to make it even more fun. Be sure not to miss it.
COOLER CONDITIONS FOR PLAYERS
Croquet players from all three forms of the game certainly appreciated the slightly cooler conditions last week.
In association croquet, Effey Russell played well and pegged out with a 26-12 score line against Val Richardson who was returned from the sick list and Heather Widderick.
Jenny Tunbridge and Margaret Dickenson played an exciting draw with scores finishing at 15-all. In the other game, Val Shephard and Joy Newman were narrowly defeated 18-15 by Andrea Denkewitz and Grace Howard.
With 13 players on the field this week, groups were adjusted to ensure everyone got a game. After some modifications, two groups played with two pairs and the third group with three pairs.
John Castles played well, scoring in both his games. Judy Lock top- scored with seven in her opening game. Shirley Page, who scored two hoops in one, also played well as did visitor, Johnno, who claimed his first hole in one.
There have been good player numbers in recent weeks for all forms of the game and there were plenty of players lining up for gateball last week.
In the first two games, Joy Newman, Val Fancourt, John Draper, Les Williams and Margaret Dickenson played the White balls, taking on the Red team of Sharyn Roser, Bill Golding, Grace Howard and Jenny Tunbridge.
Red were on fire, winning both games. Andrea Denkewitz stood out to show a prospective new player some of the basics of the game.
Following the break, the teams were reshuffled. Andrea Denkewitz, Bill Golding, John Draper, Sharyn Roser and Grace Howard formed the Red team with Les Williams, Val Fancourt, and Margaret Dickenson, new player, Janelle and Joy Newman playing White balls.
After two games, it was one apiece. Red had a 11-9 win in the first game and White hit back winning the second and final game 12-9. Both games were very close with the result only decided in the last couple of minutes in each game.
Sporters win for RAWLINGS
Sporters attracted a good roll up last Sunday – John Rawlings played a great round to claim the win relegating Peter Goodsir to runner-up. Rawlings also picked up the pin shot at 12. Mark Lynam returned the Bes Gross and Dick Hilton held the pin shot at 17 and Paul Byrnes the pro pin. Ian Anderson and Jim Mitchell did not go home empty handed, each winning a meat tray.
Sporters will be teeing off at the normal time of 7.30-8.30am this Sunday and visitors and first timers are always welcome.
SUMMIT BOWLERS TAKE TANNY TRIPLES
The monthly Tannymorel Triples were played last Thursday and 12 teams fought out the result. There was some outstanding bowls played, and some very close scores. The winners were the visiting Summit Team of Robin parker, Barry Murphy and Rod Newland. A countback was necessary to determine the runners-up before Col “Ole Man“ Ragh, John Cochrane and Dougy Christensen finally got the nod.
Results were: Tom Senigar, Phil Wagner and Max Holder defeated 15 V Lorna T, Dan Coulter and Sue Butz 15-12. Grumpy, Tuck and Mick O’Leary had a 23-13 win over Barb Cross, Penny and Greg Cross. The Eventual runners-up, Col Ragh, John Cochrane and Doug Christensen had a 27-6 win over Pat Gainey, Geoff Davis and Bill Lee.
Trev Wright, Gene Rapp and Edwin Welsh defeated Gazza Farmer, Marg Thompson and Walshy 23-15.
The Summit Raiders, Robin Parker, Barry Murphy and Rod Newland had a 23-14 win over ’Paint Brush’ Davidson, Noel Fletcher and John Johnson. Billy Gibson, Marg Wright and Philpsy defeated Shep Marg Grayson and Myrtle 19-17 in a close tussle.
In the second round – skips only it was a 13-1 win for the Summit’s Rod Newland over Max Holder Sue Butz had a 25-5 win over Geoff Davie. Myrtle snuck home with an 18-17 win over Greg Cross. Mick O’Leary also had a tight 15-13 win over Brian Walsh. Philpsy had a comfortable 24-8 win over Ed Welsh and lastly Dough Christensen defeated Johnno Johnson in 13-11 in another close game. It was a great day all round.
The club was well represented in the first round of the District men’s pairs with five teams flying the Tanny flag.
Grumpy, Pete Gynther, Mick O’Leary and Pedro Collis all played well and made it through to the semi-finals.
Aaron and Dunga Sullivan have progressed to the final which will be played at Southern Cross on 4 March. Congratulations.
FINALS RACE HEATS UP
The race for final spots in the Warwick Cricket Competition is on in earnest, and despite games being transferred to the synthetic pitches big scores from the competition front runners were the highlight of the round last weekend.
Warwick Hotel Colts had an amazing win over Sovereign Animals at Queen’s Park while Maryvale bounced back from a surprise loss at their last outing to notch up a good win over Inglewood in their game which was played on the Hamilton Oval pitch. Wheatvale also had an impressive win over Allora.
Redbacks continued their winning form with a good win over Allora Rascals.
At Hamilton Oval Maryvale Condamine batsman Jason Steketee scored a season high of 166 as Maryvale went to the change of innings in their game against Inglewood at 3/276.
The Maryvale bowlers did not let their batsmen down, putting their Inglewood opponents under pressure early in the innings.
Bowler Will Gordon picked up from where he left off against Redbacks last week, backing up his hat-trick in that game with figures of 2/0 in this game. Overall, the Maryvale bowling attack was impressive. Although Gordon’s performance was the highlight, Will Ole took three wickets while Andrew Ryan and Tom Bourke each took two wickets
Shane Hooper was once again Inglewood’s best batsman and top-scored with 41.
Warwick Hotel Colts showed their liking for the Queens Park synthetic scoring what has to be close to a record 2/400 against Sovereign Animals.
The batsmen had a picnic scoring at will. Openers Nick Inmon (77) and Lachlan Gross (62) got the team off to a flyer with a century partnership. Both openers have been in good form, but the big hitting and big scores did not end with their dismissal. Kev Poole and Cameron Peterson each helped themselves to a century as they plundered the bowling attack. Both remained not out at the end of the 40 overs, setting up the massive 400-run chase.
Sovereign Animals never got into the run chase and were dismissed for 121. There were some fine bowling performances from the Colts attack.
Jacob Gross finished with 3/11 from four overs while Michael Coleman and Alastair Costello each took two wickets.
Redbacks are on a winning role after defeating Maryvale at their last outing; they had another convincing win over Allora Rascals in this round. Redback scored 8/201 in their innings with good batting from Clarkson (43), Slatter (40) and Drewery (37). Allora were dismissed for just 62. Redbacks bowled well and there was some good catching in the game with Politch taking three catches. Sam Waetford finished the game with 3/17 and Saunders 3/10.
Redbacks have certainly found form at the right end of the season.
On Sunday, the game between Wheatvale and Allora was transferred to the Queen’s park synthetic.
The change of venue did little to stem the flow of runs from the defending premiers. Batting first, Wheatvale set about building a big run chase for their opponents.
In a good team performance, two of the top made half centuries. Neil Cantwell top-scored with 59, Brendan Malone was out for 53. They were well supported by Jonno Colfs (48), Chris Cantwell (39) and Carter Bilbrough (38) as the score board ticked over to 8/296.
It was a daunting task for Allora, and things began badly when Josh Henry was run out for just eight runs early in the innings. Things went from bad to worse as the Wheatvale bowlers took control and ripped through the batting line-up.
Jack Breen took four wickets in six overs. Paul Cantwell finished with figures of 3/6 from five and Riley Doherty took two wickets for two runs from just four balls as Allora were dismissed for just 25 in just under 12 overs.
GOOD TRIAL FOR COWBOYS
Officials from the Warwick Cowboys were pleasantly surprised at the good crowd at Fr Ranger Oval for the club’s first trial games of the season last Saturday night against Brisbane side Aspley.
While it is still early days, the Cowboys showed they are going to be more than competitive this season despite losing the majority of their forward pack in the off season.
The Cowboys scored a convincing 52-18 win over Aspley in the A Grade game and in a thrilling Reserve grade game that went down to the wire, Lance McGrady scored right on full time. The successful conversion after the full time siren saw the game finish in a 22-all draw.
In the A Grade game, the Watson brother Dan and Mitch had a field day each scoring a hat-trick. Dan, also the Cowboys number one kicker, had six successful conversions. Several were difficult kicks from the sideline.
While the Cowboys work to rebuild their forward pack, there is no doubt they have a classy back line and plenty of speed on the wing.
The Cowboys have two more trial games scheduled before the start of the season proper.
DREAM BECOMES REALITY
If you dare to follow your dreams and work hard, sometimes you will reap the rewards, just ask Cameron Crestani. Crestani has dreamed of playing professional soccer since his childhood. On Tuesday night, the young defender was not out of place standing tall as he made his run on debut for the Brisbane Roar in their opening game of the APL against Thai champions Muangthong United at Suncorp Stadium.
The Roar was playing their sixth match in 22 days as they juggle domestic and international commitments and the game saw several youngsters get a chance to impress.
Commentators were full of praise for Crestani who played all his junior football in Stanthorpe and not surprisingly was a regular rep player for South West.
His commitment to his craft as a teenager has been remarkable, training in Brisbane several times a week while still based in Stanthorpe before he was signed to the Roar as a 17-year-old.
Last night’s game finished in a nil-all draw with both side picking up a point. No one could doubt Crestani’s enthusiasm and commitment – his over enthusiasm earning him a yellow card late in the game.
Crestani – don’t forget the name – it will not be the last time you see him in a Roar jersey and maybe just maybe that dream of a Socceroos jersey might yet become a reality.

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