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In sport as in life, the outcomes are not always the fairy tale endings we yearn. In the past few days, we have certainly seen that in the world of athletics. At the World Championships, we all expected to farewell the best we have ever seen – Usain Bolt with another gold in the 100 metre sprint. It was written in the script and what should happen. Enter stage right, the villain, two-time drug cheat Justin Gatlin out to prove the party pooper, and so he did. Bolt was slow out of the boxes, and despite the huge crowd in the stadium and those watching around the world willing another win, he had to settle for an unfamiliar bronze. While the fans expressed their dismay loud and clear towards Gatlin, Bolt as always was the class act.
As we tried to digest why the sporting gods had served us up that disappointment, Australians and athletics followers around the world were saddened to hear that our greatest ever athlete Betty Cuthbert had lost her long battle with illness.
Like Bolt on and off the track, Cuthbert proved she was a true champion. While her extraordinary courage on the track is well documented, it is for the courage she showed in her on-going struggle against multiple sclerosis that perhaps best defined her. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1984, for her campaign to raise awareness of MS after she was struck down by the disease not many years after retiring from athletics.
An enduring memory for many will be her appearance as one of the final torch bearers at the Sydney Olympics with fellow sprinter and close friend Raylene Boyle. It had many reaching for the tissues.
Boyle perhaps best summed it up earlier this week saying Cuthbert’s medals were won with “humility and distinction.” She also voiced what many of us were thinking when she added, “A lot of athletes today could take a great deal of learning out of the way she did it.”
How true that is.
– Casey
EVENTFUL DAY ON THE RANGE
It was certainly an eventful day at the Inglewood Range with Cattle Rustlers and an attack of Clay Pidgeons. Thank heavens the cattle thieves were despatched by the winner Pat Himie, second placegetter “Wild Billfisher” and Doc Solomon who finished in third spot but a big hand in the outcome. The rights to the remaining cattle were decided after a series of shoot-outs – “Sure Shot Simon” won the bragging rights.
Further down the range, it was the battle of the birds. Stephanie Dudgeon sent the clay feathers flying. Greg Page and Michael Dudgeon filled the minor placings. After regrouping, they were back at it again, but this time it was Michael Dudgeon who won the event with Tom Donald and Greg Page place getters.
This week members face different challenges with Single Action and Rimfire Rifle 50m and 100m events scheduled on Sunday. A reminder that visitors are always welcome.
COMFORT LEVELS IMPROVE
Mallet players found themselves in much more comfortable surrounding this week now that the new storage shed has been completed and the playing equipment relocated.
Additional covered space will also provide extra room outside to shelter from inclement weather or to simply enjoy good conditions.
The association croquet players certainly took full advantage last weekend. Heather Widderick and Pat Schnoor had a win over Grace Howard and Effey Russel. Pat Schnoor played an excellent game and had two breaks of five while on the losing team Grace Howard also played well, scoring a break of three. Andrea Denkewitz and Sharyn Roser scored a 26-16 win against Val Shephard and Can Richardson. This was the first time Sharyn pegged out since taking up the game not too long ago, a great effort.
RUNNERS ANSWER THE INVITATION
Runners from across the Southern downs region enthusiastically responded to the invitation from Bullecourt Bounders to join the first of a series of street orienteering events last weekend. Last weekend’s event was held in Federation Park Warwick and this Sunday the club will host their second street run Killarney. The run will be based out of the Killarney State School.
The Killarney event will be followed by a bush event on property north of Dalveen off the Old Stanthorpe/Warwick Road.
Organisers are anticipating a big roll up of a good roll up of orienteers from the Southern Downs and Toowoomba will join Brisbane Orienteers for Sunday’s event.
The Bullecourt Bounders Club in conjunction with Toowoomba’s Range Runners Club, is busy organising the Queensland Orienteering Championships which will be held in the Amiens Forest, on 9 and 10 September. Competitors are looking forward to the change to challenge themselves on the granite terrain this weekend in preparation for the Championships.
Once again, organisers of both events welcome newcomers to join them at both of this weekend’s competition. There will be suitable course for beginners as well as the experienced orienteers and there will be suitable instruction for those new to the sport. Further details of both of these weekend events are available by visiting the website www.oq.asn.au/event-calendar or by calling 4683 6374.
TRAVELLERS WELCOMED BACK
Chilly conditions once again greeted gateball players on Friday morning. Back from their recent travels were two of the regular players, Bill Golding and Val Fancourt,
The white team played with four players against a Red team of five.
Andrea Denkewitz, Margaret Dickenson, John Draper and Val Fancourt made up the White team while their opponents on the Red team were Sharyn Roser, Bill Golding, Jenny Tunbridge, Pat Schnoor and Heather Widderick. Games throughout the day were generally close.
The White team was successful in the opening game, winning 13-9 but the winners only gained the upper hand in the final minutes of the game. Game Two was also a tussle and a low scoring game in which the Red team won 9-6
In game three, the Red team scored a one point win (11-10), thanks to some accurate shots by Heather Widderick. In the final game of the day, the tables were turned with the White team grabbing a one-point win- Margaret Dickenson was the star in the final game for the White team.
WIN LOCKED IN
Marg Locke scored a win at Sporters on Sunday ahead of runner-up Angelo Maugeri. Run-downs went to Ian Anderson and Terry Byrnes. Ian Anderson scored the Best Gross. Paul Armstrong and took the pin shot on the third. There were no takers for the pro pin. The meat trays went the way of the winner, Marg Lock and Terry Byrnes. Players will be hoping for more pleasant conditions next Sunday when they tee off at the normal time of 8am- 8.30am.
PYNE WELCOMED BACK
Golf croquet numbers were bolstered by the return of Teresa Pyne who has been on vacation. Despite not having played for several weeks, Teresa was in good form and had the top two game combined score of 14. Other players who stepped up and played very well were Bev Sullivan (13), and Shirley Page (12). Both of these ladies also shot a hoop in one.
Pauling Inglis, Liz Ellway and Sharyn Roser combined to play triples, and despite playing well they were defeated 11-9 the winning combination of Bev Sullivan, Dianne Wren and Justin Liddy 11. In the second game, Teresa Pyne and Elaine Brown had a 13-9 win in their game against Shirley Page and Marian Castles.
Several players withdrew from the later games because of other commitments; those remaining played doubles. Sharyn Roser and Shirley page won the first game 13-8 and defeated Dianne Wren and Pauline Inglis. In the final game, Bev Sullivan and Marian Castle had an 11-8 win in their game against Teresa Pyne and Liz Ellway.
TOP SIX STILL UNASWERED
The TRL competition has been filled with twists and turns all season and Round 18 the final round was no different. In a sensational finish to the regular season. The top six places were not decided until the last few minutes of the round and a playoff is still needed on Wednesday night to stitch up the final spot.
Valleys win bagged the Minor Premiership after they snatched a win over Wattles in a thrilling game at Platz Oval.
Souths win over Gatton gave the Cowboys a chance to force their way into a playoff for the last spot in the finals, but Highfields stalled the Cowboys tilt at a finals spot when they rained on the home side’s parade at Fr Ranger Oval on Saturday night. Gatton and Souths will now take part in a playoff on Wednesday night after both finishing the season with Wednesday night play off after Souths snuck into the finals.
The TRL Ladder looks like this at the end of 18 rounds of fixtures:-
Toowoomba Valleys 28; Dalby 26; Pittsworth 24; Highfields 22; Wattles 18; Gatton 16; Southern Suburbs 16; Cowboys 14; Brother; 4; Oakey 4; Goondiwindi 4.
The draw for week one of the TRL final series is:
WATTLES DOWN BUT STILL IN WITH A CHANCE
Wattles took on the competition leaders at Platz Oval on Saturday and the minor premiers put a halt to Wattles recent winning run in what was not the prettiest game of the season.
The first half was a scrappy affair with both sides failing to secure the ball. Despite some poor ball handling, it was a thrilling game as the lead changed five times throughout the game. In the latter part of the second, the Roosters began to exert their authority, forcing some real coach killers from Wattles. Roosters lock Hnaloan Budden won the Hutchies Player of the Round and proved a real headache for the home side. He scored to level the game at 20-all deep in the second half, and it was the start of a try-scoring spree for his team.
Lock Luke Menhennitt touched down in the 58th minute; it not only levelled the scoreboard at 20-all, it was the first of a three-try rush across a 13-minute spell that shot Valleys to a 32-20 lead. Captain Ryan Stevens slotted a field goal to put the game beyond the Warriors reach. Jake Johnson scored a late consolation try for the Warriors. The final score 33-20. The win for Valleys gave them the Minor Premiership and their ninth win on the trot. They head into the finals as warm favourites for the premiership trophy having beaten all of the top sides this season.
Wattles are certainly not out of contention- they finished the season in fifth place, and this weekend take on Highfields in a replay of their round 17 clash. In a blow to their finals chances, Matt Duggan appeared to suffer a season-ending knee injury in the game, and there are also serious concerns for Gardner, Jarred Bradfield and Brodie Frizzel.
The visitors made it a clean sweep with wins in both Reserve Grade (56-4) and under-18 (78-6). A GRADE: Valleys 33 (Luke Menhinnitt, Johnson Viane, Anisi Finau, Marc McGrady, Steven Rodgers, Jacob Ryals tries Brett Seymour 4 goals) defeated Wattles 26 (Ty Gardner 2, Matt Duggan, James Johnson, Brenden Wilson tries Matt Duggan 3 goals)
KILLARNEY SAVE BEST FOR LAST
The BRL double header in Killarney last weekend saw the home side pull out their best performance of the season for their last home game as they upset the more fancied Tenterfield side 30-26 in a thriller.
Jamie Watts was perhaps the best on ground but found plenty of support from his team mates. If Killarney can field a similar team throughout the upcoming finals series, they will ask some serious questions of their opposition.
In the earlier game on the programme, the Gremlins were simply outclassed and outplayed by the more experienced Inglewood side. The young Gremlins outfit to their credit kept tyring, but the roosters put on a master class sending an ominous warning that they are serious about defending their premiership crown as they marched to a .90-0 score line.
This weekend the double header action moves to MacIntyre Oval at Inglewood for the last fixture round of the season. Tenterfield will play Stanthorpe in the first game, and Inglewood will test Killarney in the main game.
The finals series begin in two weeks with the grand final to be decided on 26 August.
COWBOYS BOW OUT IN THRILLER
Warwick Cowboys took on Highfields in front of a big home crowd on Saturday night, but the Hawks proved the party spoilers and ended the Cowboys hopes of a spot in the finals. After a scrappy performance against Wattles in their previous game, Highfields made amends on Saturday.
Highfields winger Aaron Hooper opened the scoring using pace to and pit the visitors on the board after only four minutes. Warwick were quick to hit back with the first of three tries to winger Kai Etherington.
In an entertaining clash, the score was 8-all after 26 minutes, but Highfields showed plenty of class, scoring three quick tries and led 26-8 at half-time.
Highfields looked to fall into a flat spot in the second half, and with their season in the balance the Cowboys hit back to get to within six points of Highfields. The scores 26-20 in Highfields favour with seven minutes left in the game.
Speedster Aaron Hooper showed plenty of fancy footwork in the game and crossed for this third try soon after to give the visitors a handy lead. Cameron Sweedman put an end to the Cowboys dreams of a finals berth when he closed out the game, scoring a late try taking the score to 36-20.
The Cowboys never stopped trying and winger Kai Etherington was one of the side’s best, scoring a hat-trick in the final game of the season. Darren Pettiford, Craig Donn and Paul Cantwell also worked hard for Warwick.
The Cowboys had wins in the two other games, defeating Highfields in the under-18s, 20-10 and a win in Reserve Grade sees the team playing in a knock out game against Souths on Wednesday night as they fight for a spot in the finals competition.
A GRADE: Highfields 36 (Aaron Hooper 3, Nick Bainbridge 2, Josh Birch, Cameron Sweedman tries Jarrod Lee 4 goals) defeated Warwick 20 (Kai Etherington 3, Mick Bloomfield tries Dan Watson 2 goals)
TIES ALL ROUND
The August monthly medal and putting competition was decided last weekend in Stanthorpe, and golfers played in near-perfect conditions. Thanks to Gino’s Floor Coverings for their ongoing support of this event. Ties (and not the neck variety) were the order of the day. Keith Barnett and Hayden Smith both returned nett 67 for the round. It was Keith Barnett who swooped on the main prize after a countback and Smith had to settle for the runners-up spot.
There was another Smith featuring in the next tie for best gross. Wes Smith and Stephen Kay both returned scores of 78 for their rounds and shared the balls on offer.
The ties continued as Tom Fittock and Matt Watterworth shared the spoils for the best pitting performance of the round – 26. The pin shots were a little more straight forward – Richard Reardon at three, Hayden Smith at 12 and Keith Jones at 17. Pro-pins claimed by Hayden Smith at 1/10, Rino Piovesan at 5/14 and Matt Waterworth at 9/18.
The Ladies event was more individual as Madeline Jarman collected the ladies medal with nett 72, Lyn Ludlow accepting best gross of 96 for her round. Newcomer Annelle Batterham who has only recently joined the club and was playing in her first Saturday competition returned the least putts of 31 for the round.
There were no takers for the ladies pin at three but Lyn Ludlow held 12 and Madeline Jarman had best approach at 17.
In the run down, a ball to scores of nett 71 and better for the men and nett 79 for the ladies.
This Saturday Tom and Tric Fittock combine with Madeline Jarman to sponsor the club’s single stroke event. There is a time sheet on the board at the clubhouse and tee off is from 11am.
RUSTY WHO? WOOF
We don’t often read of Senior NRL football clubs, their boards or their owners supporting junior rugby league unless, of course, it is to raid their enviable war chests of $$$. Bunnies’ owner Russell Crowe showed recently that he is cut from different cloth, rocking up unannounced to a junior league game at his local suburban ground in Sydney.
He might be the owner of the Bunnies, the Gladiator, an uber successful movie star, but it didn’t cut the mustard with the gate official at Mascot Oval. Crowe was in the company of QueBlu, a blue heeler pup. The stern super officious female gate official turned away Crowe and his trusty companion at entrance apparently not recognising him.
As the pair got the cold shoulder at the gate, a fellow dog owner waltzed past the official and Crowe declaring her poodle was a “team mascot”.
Embarrassment was averted when a friend came to the rescue, pup sitting while his owner watched the game sans dog. Crowe quipped later that he preferred his car upholstery without bite marks declaring the blue from the bush was a bit small to leave unattended in the car. (The official would probably have called the RSPCA in that case).
Crowe said later, “He’s a blue heeler. That should be revered in this state. Especially in league circles.”
And NSW wonder why they can’t win Origin. Now if you rocked up to a QRL junior league game with a cane toad on a lead, I doubt you would have to leave it in the car.
Wonder if the official has been busy watching reruns of Gladiator and Beautiful Minds committing Crowe’s face to memory.
JOCKEYING FOR POSITIONS ON IN EARNEST
Just four rounds of NRL fixtures remain, and the fight for positions within the eight is on in earnest while those who have missed the cut look likely to make nuisance value of themselves to tipsters.
On Thursday night, league fans will once again have to sit through the misery of another Bulldogs game as the Bunnies and Dogs go head to head at ANZ.
Hardly the game of the round and even Bunnies and Bulldogs supporters will be hard pressed to get the excitement level up.
The Dogs were mournful against the Eels last week, and you have to wonder if top dog Des Hasler will be let of the chain and chased out of the kennel at the end of the season. It has been another disappointing season for the Bunnies but there was some joy for their supporters last round when despite some ill-discipline, they upset the Dragons probably blindsiding more than just this tipster.
Could someone at the NRL “please explain” to fans why we have to endure 6pm starts to Friday night games. If you are in Sydney, you would be no chance of getting there for kick off. Even if you are at home on the Southern Downs, it’s hard to be settled in front of the TV in time for the game. Crazy scheduling -it must however suit the important people, the broadcast boffins with the $$$.
On Friday night before the birds have gone to be,d the Eels and Knights go head to head at ANZ. The Knights put together back-to-back wins last weekend. They showed glimpses of what fans can look forward to in coming seasons as their rebuilding programme kicks in. The Eels looked world beaters against the Bulldogs last round, but then who wouldn’t.
Their form in recent weeks also points to better times ahead for the Blue and Gold army, and although the task here is more difficult I think they will get the points. The injury to Nathan Ross a big blow to the Knights.
Game two action moves to Suncor where the Broncos host the Sharks who will be licking their wounds after the Raiders came, plundered and grabbed the two points from the Sharks own pond on Sunday.
The Broncos were made to look invincible by the Titans who might just as well have stayed in the sheds at CBUS on Saturday night.
The task for the Broncos is far different here as they face a wounded Sharks outfit. The Broncos will miss Joe Ofahengaue who has accepted a three-game ban for a dangerous tackle. It will be a tough game, but at Suncorp you would be foolish to swim against the tide and tip the Sharks.
The Titans will be looking to redeem themselves when they travel to Jubilee Oval to take on the Dragons. After last week, it is hard to see it happening. The Hayne Plane needs to get off the ground and his team-mates also owe it to their fans to at least have a go. Not much of that went on last week. The Dragons are in danger of missing the cut after leading the comp earlier in the season and will be after a win here.
The game of the round is undoubtedly the top-of-the-table clash between Melbourne and the Roosters. Melbourne were not at their best in Townsville, but still managed a comfortable win. The Roosters will be without winger Daniel Tupou for the remainder of the season after scans confirmed he suffered a bad groin tear in the game against Manly. Melbourne at home, too good again.
Things should have returned to normal in the Cleary household after the father son head to head clash between the Panthers and Tigers saw Junior emerge with emerge bragging rights.
This weekend, the Panthers are back at Pepper against the Cowboys. The Cowboys have the stronger form line for this game, and I think they can upset the Panthers.
The Raiders will be after back-to-back wins when they travel across the ditch to Mt Smart Stadium. After the performance against the premiers last weekend, you would expect them to inflict more pain on the Warriors.
The round comes to a close with the Tigers and Eagles going head to head at Leichardt on Sunday. The Eagles looked sharp against the Roosters and can improve their standing on the ladder with a win here.
CASEY’S TIPS
Rabbitohs
Eels
Broncos
Dragons
Storm
Cowboys
Raiders
Sea Eagles

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