Interesting to read this week that as the Cricketers and Cricket Australia finally get their ducks in a row, the Bradman Centre in Bowral is preparing to host a lunch and Writer’s Forum to celebrate “The Don’s” 109th birthday on 27 August. At the centre of the discussion will be the changing face of cricket and cricket journalism.
Cricket lovers and followers from around the world admired Bradman for not only his batting prowess, but also his abilities as an administrator. You have to wonder how differently he might have handled the most recent crisis. In 1987, Sir Donald Bradman said, ‘Inevitably the face of cricket changes with the passage of time. The game must adapt to the social era in which people live.’ Shame some people in the current era on both sides of the fence did not pay more heed to his words.
In sport, we seem to lurch from one crisis to another and the latest is the disaster at the Titans. While we look at Bradman’s words and marvel at his insight, I can only think Graham Annesley is a little like the captain of the ill-fated Titanic if, as has been quoted he truly was “surprised” at the depth of the feud between Hayne and Henry. Talk about the elephant in the room.
This Titanic disaster might just be heading for another iceberg, and we all know how that ended.
Back to the cricket, with the dispute finally sorted, players put the emphasis on preparation for the summer and the upcoming touring season this week.
The Australian squad headed for Darwin and some match practice. It may have only been an intra-squad match, but there was no love lost when the two sides came out to play at Marrara Oval.
On day one of the game, former Territorian Jake Weatherald stole the show. The dashing bat fell agonisingly short of a fairy tale century in front of his home crowd upstaging his international team-mates with a blazing 96 off just 52 balls. Weatherald who currently plays for the SA Redbacks caught the eye after coming in at number six for the David Warner XI, before falling LBW to Marcus Stoinis within sight of his ton.
His quick fire innings was littered with fours and sixes, including launching several maximums over the Marrara clubhouse.
The David Warner XI finished the day’s play on 6/360, with Peter Handscomb striking a classy 106 and Hilton Cartwright hitting 81.
Australian captain Steve Smith said Darwin was chosen for the training camp due to the outstanding facilities in the Top End.
Staff at the Marrara cricket ground have prepared pitches to help players in what will be a challenging series in Bangladesh.
In an interesting aside, you have to wonder how Andrew “Roy” Symonds took the news that the team would be enjoying a spot of “barramundi fishing and crocs watching” during their stay.” Roy was sent packing after “going fishing” rather than going to a team meeting during the Australian team’s training camp in the Top End in 2008.
Barramundi fishing and crocodile watching are two of the main things on the Australian cricket team’s agenda during their visit to Darwin.
FOOTBALL NIGHT OF NIGHTS
The Stanthorpe Football Association held their presentation night on Saturday, and it brought together another huge crowd filling the Stanthorpe Civic Centre. The annual event is one of the biggest sporting celebrations on the Southern Downs.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of Life Membership to Ballandean Club and Football Stanthorpe stalwart Neil Newman. Newman was rightly recognised with the award for his contribution to football over the past two decades.
Steve McEvoy, also a life member of Football Stanthorpe presented Newman with his Life Membership and paid tribute to the work he has done for his club and for the betterment of the game in general. McEvoy said, “Over the years Neil has held various roles within Football Stanthorpe and has always put football first – the foundation stone of a good sport’s administrator”.
Among a myriad of awards presented on the night, United’s Matt Purcell and Ballandean’s John Spiller shared the award for the Men’s Player of the Year.
Any Condrick has played outstanding football for Tenterfield this season, and it was no surprise when she was announced as the Women’s Player of the Year.
Dillon Poltich, Inter Club picked up the Senior Colts Player of the Year. The Junior Colts Player of the Year was shared between City’s Hunter Clark and Brayden Spiller from the Ballandean Club.
The Fillies Player of the Year was Danielle Musumeci of United.
JUST THREE ROUNDS TO GO
With just three rounds of NRL fixtures remaining, Melbourne has tightened its grip on the minor premiership after a gutsy win over the Roosters. It was not the prettiest game and neither side was at their best. Melbourne showed that even when not playing at their spectacular best, they can hang in and get points when they are needed. Suliasi Vunivalu figured in two of the biggest talking points in the game. The first the penalty try awarded to the Storm winger after he was taken down by Latrell Mitchell. The second the big winger’s hurdling attempts as he sprinted off his line and tried to fly over two opponents, or something. It had coaches, commentators, players and spectators gobsmacked and rather than a gold medal Sally Pearson performance, it has cost him a hefty fine.
The story of the week has been the feud between coach Neil Henry and Titans marquee player Jarryd Hayne.
As this column is finalised, the impasse continues. Rumours are strong that it is Henry who will pay the ultimate price. No doubt a solution of some sort will be reached by the time the team takes the field on Thursday night against the Eels. It is understood Hayne who left the ground in a moonboot last week is an unlikely starter against his former club. Either way you could not have the Titans at any price. While some are still trying, there looks to be plenty of passengers in the side.
The Bunnies looked world beaters last week when they beat another club in turmoil the Bulldogs.
This week they meet the Warriors at ANZ in that ludicrous 6pm time slot. The Warriors had no answers against the Raiders and their home press and supporters are baying for blood following another disappointing season. Another Bunnies win here I think.
One of the games of the round must be the Suncorp clash between the Broncs and the Dragons. It should have been no surprise that the Broncos and Suncorp rained on Paul Gallen’s parade last week as he celebrated his 300th game milestone. Brisbane looked slick, and the players are coming into their own when the whips are cracking. Ben Hunt comes up against the club that will be his home from 2018 and adds another level of spice to the game. Brisbane will be keen to hold on to second spot on the ladder while the Dragons are trying to force their way into the eight.
On the strength of recent performances, the Broncos in a tough game.
The Knights caused a few flutters last week and cruelled a few tipsters with an upset win over the Eels. This week they host the competition leaders and if they put them to the sword, it will be an upset for the ages although they are playing great football. Who knows – is this the loss Melbourne needs before their run to the finals. I doubt it, but stranger things have been known to happen.
The Roosters looked likely winners against Melbourne before a last-minute try sank their chances. This week they take on the Tigers at Allianz on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers set the cat among the pigeons themselves last weekend when they came from what looked an impossible position to upset the Sea Eagles. The Roosters will need to be on their toes here. Any napping, and they will find their feathers flying.
Although Cowboys coach Paul Green won’t entertain the idea, the captain’s curse got another in Round 23 as Michael Morgan succumbed to a concussion injury. It is unclear if he will be fit to play this weekend. The injury concerns don’t end with Morgan, Lachlan Coote showed plenty of ticker to play on last week after suffering a leg injury in the game and Justin O’Neill looks to be gone for the rest of the season with an ugly elbow injury. Despite the doom and gloom, the coach refuses to write them off. I wish I shared his confidence. This week they host the Sharks smarting after their loss to the Broncos. If the Cowboys win this, then I will become a believer that they are still in the race to the big dance.
The result of the Canberra clash between the Raiders and Panthers will be a telling one. The Raiders sit outside the eight, but aren’t done with yet and if they miss the cut can still be nuisance value. I think they have been playing well enough to stop the Panthers prowl.
The round starts on an underwhelming note, and will possible finish that way as the Sea Eagles and Doggies go head to head at ANZ. The Eagles should have won last week and will be keen to erase that memory. As for the Dogs, they are simply a walking disaster.
ROOSTERS SEAL SEASON
The Inglewood Roosters finished the BRL fixtures off in style last weekend on their home turf at McIntyre Oval. The Roosters finished minor premiers, and are hot favourites to win back-to-back premierships.
On Saturday in the final of the BRL double headers, the home side was far too strong for the Killarney Cutters who the week before upstaged the Tigers.
The Roosters Brent “Bronco” Osbourne was best on ground again, and is having an outstanding season. The Cutters had only 13 players at the start of the game and trailed 30-4 at half time.
Forward Jakob Hoffman left the field with suspected broken ribs, and things did not get better for the visitors when Ian Brown suffered an ankle injury. Inglewood, in the meantime, piled on the tries. Killarney finished the game with only 10 players on the paddock. The score line 66-8.
The Killarney players never took a backward step even when they were reduced to 10 players. In a great effort, winger Clayton Frank crossed for Killarney’s second try during this period.
In the earlier game, the Tenterfield Tigers also went into their game against the Stanthorpe Gremlins with plenty of injury concerns and only 14 players for much of the game.
The Tigers finished the regular season with a 52-26 win over the Gremlins. It was one of the best games the Gremlins have played all season, and it was pleasing for officials to see good player numbers turn up for the game after their shellacking the previous week. It is the end of the road in 2017 for the young Gremlins side, but they will be a better side in 2018.
The action moves back to Rugby League Park this weekend for the knock out semi-final. Both the home side and Killarney will be hoping to get some of their wounded back on the paddock. Tenterfield will start favourites in the game despite their recent loss to the Cutters.
ON THE GREEN AT THE ‘GARRA
Wallangarra golfers have been very active over the past two weeks. The Wallangarra Railway Cafe once again sponsored the Monthly Medal and putting two weeks ago. Wayne Davis won the big prize with Steve Hampstead, picking up the runner-up spoils. There were several really interesting holes; a number of osbtructions from tee to green, but all players had an enjoyable and interesting day.
Last Saturday, the winner and runner-up from the previous week teamed up to play a Two Ball Ambrose competition.
The winners scored nett 58 runners-up Jamie Purcell and his swinger scoring nett 61 1/4. Captain Stakes went to Kevin Williams and Brendan McMillan with 65 1/4 Nett.
This weekend, members will play a single stableford and the following week the club has scheduled a four club event (as if the game isn’t hard enough already with 14).
A reminder that all vistors and juniors are always welcome to join the fun and frivolity.
THREE EVENTS MAKE FOR A BUSY DAY
The Inglewood Sporting Shooters held three events on Sunday, making it a busy time for shooters. In the single action, Iain Bowen came up trumps with a win, filling the places were Peter Solomon and Tom Donald.
Down on the benches, it was a battle of wills in the 100m. Monika White eventually took out the vent with an impressive score, relegating Stephanie Dudgeon and Richard White to second and third place. Monika then went on to take out the 50m shoot out, scoring Richard White and Ross Jackson.
This weekend, members and visitors are invited to join in the Pistol Practical Shooting Match, Muzzle loading and Centrefire. Why not check out all the action on the Bosnjak Road Range.
WIN FOR BYRNES
Paul Byrnes made the most of the perfect conditions on Sunday morning at Stanthorpe Sporters and finished the round with a winning score ahead of runner-up one of Sporters stalwarts Ray Thorn. Michael Thompson scored the best gross and Terry Byrnes and John Rawlings figured in the run downs.
Runner-up Ray Thorn also took the pin shot on the 12th and Mark Lynam picked up the pin at the 17th. The pro pin went the way of Paul Byrnes as did one of the meat trays. Ray Thorn slipped out with the remaining meat tray.
Tee off is at the regular time of 8am – 8.30am. Why not join the Sporters for an entertaining Sunday morning hit.
COURTSIDE AT CROQUET
A scheduled club meeting meant that association croquet last week was cut short. Jenny Tunbridge was in blistering form when play got underway. She scored a 20-5 win over Val Shephard and Effey Russel. In other games, Margaret Dickenson and Val Richardson combined for a 13 – 11 win over Heather Widderick and Andrea Denkewitz and Sharyn Roser had an 8-4 win over Grace Howard.
Golf croquet players later in the week enjoyed almost perfect playing conditions, and there was a great vibe around the club. Good to see most players scoring evenly. There was only five hoops between the highest and lowest scorers of the day. Once again, Bev Sullivan gets special mention. Her outstanding form continued this week. Sullivan had the highest score and also claimed a hoop in one.
In the first round of games, Shirley Page and Justin Liddy defeated Elaine Brown and Marian Castles 13-7. The inform Bev Sullivan played two balls to score and defeated Judy lock and Pauline Inglis 13-6.
Following the break, a series of shortened games were played. In a tight game, Bev Sullivan and Elaine Brown had a narrow 6-5 win over Judy Lock and Justin Liddy. Sharyn Roser joined with Pauline Inglis to notch up a 9 -7 win in their game against Marian Castles and Shirley Page.
GOOD NUMBERS AT GATEBALL
There were plenty of platers on deck for last week’s gateball games. Sharyn Roser, Pat Schnoor, Grace Howard, Effey Russell and Bill Golding made up Team One. Margaret Dickenson headed Team Two along with, Heather Widderick, John Draper, Jenny Tunbridge and Val Fancourt. Andrea Denkewitz refereed.
In the opening two games, Team One played the White balls and Team Two Red. Scores were locked at 10 points all at the end of the 30 minutes of the first game. Both teams had the same number of one, two and three-point scores (no one scored a 5 pointer) and a ‘shoot-out’ was required to determine the winner. Red (Team Two) won 6 -5. In another tight game, Team One (White) won the second game 11 – 9. As the morning green dried out, it became more challenging for players to keep the ball on court or to play a ‘spark’ correctly.
After the break, teams swapped colours, and in the third game White (Team Two) scored a two-point win another tight game – the final score 11 – 8. They went on to win the final game 14-10. Heather Widderick, Pat Schnoor, Sharyn Roser and Val Fancourt all played some good shots at different stages throughout play.
On Saturday afternoon, Andrea Denkewitz and Margaret Dickenson teamed up to play Val Fancourt and Bill Golding, and won all three games.(Scores were11 – 8, 12 – 10 and 14 – 7).
ROUND OF THE DAY
Rino Piovesan pulled the round of the day out of his bag to ensure he took out a win in the stroke event held last Saturday. Piovesan returned an impressive net score of 62 to take the top honours. Following the round, the winner revealed while he was pleased with the score it could have been even better if one or two more of his close putts had found their mark. Runner-up, Rick Kelly, also carded a good score. In recent weeks nett 66 would have netted a winning score. Unfortunately, Rino rained on that parade this week and Kelly has to settle for the runners-up honours.
Matt Waterworth didn’t go home empty handed, collecting the balls on offer after winning the pin shots at 3 and 12 and the pro-pin at 1/10. There were no takers for the men’s 17 pin but Stephen Kay collected the pro-pin at 5/14 and Hayden Smith at 9/18.
A countback was required to determine the ultimate winner of the Ladies stroke event, and it was Lyn Ludlow who got the nod and took first place ahead of runner-up Helen Jones after they both returned a final score of nett 71. There were no takers for the third and 12 for the ladies, however Kay Webb had the best approach at 17.
Sponsors for Saturday’s competition were members Tom and Tric Fittock and Madeline who also provided the trophies for the winners.
The men’s run down went to nett 68 with Rob Reeves, Alan Kerr, Viv Thouard, Keith Barnett and Phil McGreevy all collecting a ball. In the Ladies comp, Nikki Waterworth and Margie Locke featured in the run down.
It should be noted that all of the above-named players are now firmly in the sights of the handicapper.
Players this week will challenge themselves to a single stableford venet which will be sponsored by club member, Ian Pickering. Tee off is from 11am, and there is a time sheet is on the board in the club house. Golfers will be hoping for another good day weather-wise and that the forecast cool change later in the week does not arrive.
TANNY CLASSIC DECIDED
The final round of the Tanny Classic was decided on Saturday 29 July, and with $500 prizemoney at stake there was plenty of banter around the traps in the lead-up to the final.
With the draw for teams done, the tension mounted as the teams prepared for action.
After a tense 14 ends, a winner emerged – to the surprise of many it was the number one larrikin Matty Shepherd who emerged winner. The runners-up went to Pete Collis, and in third place, Levi Rabbitt. Proudly accepting the “horses butt” prize as Geoff Creighton.
Word has it that although the winner is now wearing a sombrero rather than his normal black hat to accommodate his rather swollen head, he had the good fortune of some really good partners over the course of the six-week competition – bit harsh I think.
There were some interesting results to come out of the final day’s play. Quinton Coleman, Brian Walsh and Darren Rabbitt had a 16-7 win over Ash Coleman Thommo and Grumpy. Levi Rabbitt, Geoff Farmer and Pete Gynther played well to seal a 19-9 win in their game against Joel Farmer, Sue Butz and Geoff Creighton. The “Old Fox” Don Neal, Gordie Assay and defeated Lyn Coleman Allen Buse and Pete Collis 21-13. Di Walsh, No1 Shep and Mick O’Leary combined for a big 21-6 win in their game against Julie Buse Gazza Penn and Koala. It wrapped up another entertaining six weeks of competition.
Congratulations to the money winners, and once again thanks to the organisers behind the concept especially T.B. for looking after the selections and to minister-in-charge of catering Gordie Assay- great job. Another successful Tanny Classic done and dusted.
There are no results available for the Club Pairs played last weekend
FINALS CARAVAN ROLLS ON FOR WATTLES
There has been some amazing footy played this season throughout the TRL competition, and it continued last week in week one of the semifinals. The knock out semi between fourth-placed Highfields and fifth-placed Wattles was an epic encounter not for the feint hearted.
The game had all the hallmarks of a thriller right from the outset, and the game was over 30 minutes old before either side could put a score on the board. It was finally Highfields Conor Nolan who finished off a set play to score for the Eagles.
Wattles reacted with a Tyrone Jowett four pointer and with both conversions successful the game was tied up at six points all.
A penalty right on half time gave Highfields the opportunity to take a two-point lead to the break. With just 10 seconds until the half-time hooter, Jarrod Lee’s attempted penalty goal went wide. Wattles took the ball in the in-goal area but Western Mustangs star Blake Appo stole the ball in “one on one” tackle and scored a gift try. Highfields led 12-6 at the break and Wattles fans were in a state of shock.
Wattles began the second half better than their opponents and were rewarded for a glut of possession with two tries and with 25 minutes remaining had taken an 18-12 lead.
In end to end action, both teams threw themselves at each other and there were only limited opportunities for both sides as the defence from both sides held.
Inside the final minute of the game, Highfields front rower Nathan Smith barged over beside the posts for an amazing try. A successful conversion levelled the scores and both teams continued the battle into extra time.
A penalty 25 metres out from Highfields line gave Matt Duggan the opportunity to win the game for his team, and he did not disappoint. The Warriors sneaking home in a thriller 20-18.
It was a top shelf game and Wattles coach Gary Lawrence’s rotation of his bench players proved to be a big success. Dale Perkins was named Hutchies Player of the Match and had a superb game.
Wattles have been plagued with injuries this season. Jamie Abbas returned from injury and played a big role in the victory.
The season might be over for Highfields, but the semifinal caravan rolls on for Wattles. On Saturday night, they take another step towards a grand final appearance. At this point of the season, things do not get any easier and they have a big task taking on the reigning premiers Pittsworth knocked Souths out of the race last weekend.
The second semi-final will see minor premiers and premiership favourites taking on Dalby on Sunday afternoon at Clive Berghoffer Oval.
A GRADE: Wattles 20 (James Johnson, Ryan Duggan, Tyrone Jowett tries Matt Duggan 4 goals) defeated Highfields 18 (Conor Nolan, Blake Appo, Nathan Smith tries Jarrod Lee 3 goals)
COWBOYS SIDES IN THE MIX
After Week one of the TRL semi Finals two Warwick Cowboys sides remain in final’s contention. The under-18s had a 39-10 win over South Burnett in week one of the finals. They led 16-10 at the half-time break and in the second half scored five unanswered tries shutting out South Burnett. It was a comprehensive victory. This weekend they play Souths who finished the regular season just ahead of them on the ladder.
UNDER 18: Warwick 39 (Dustin Close 2, Cruise Martin-Brown 2, Ben Gross, Aden Howard, Thomas Lloyd, Mitch Watson tries. Kai Etherington 2, Cody Byrne goals Aden Howard field goal defeated South Burnett 10 (Ralph Gyemore, Errol Simpson tries Ralph Gyemore goal)
In the second Under 18 semi this weekend Dalby play Valleys.
There was no joy for the Cowboys Reserve Grade in last weekend’s knock out semis they were comprehensively beaten by Valleys. Valleys led 14-6 at the break but overwhelmed their opponents in the second half. In a clinical display, Valleys piled on 24 unanswered points to win 38-6 and book a spot in this week’s game against Brothers.
The news was far more positive for the Cowboys Second Division side who will meet Dalby on Saturday after their 38-20 win over Valleys.
SECOND DIVISION: Warwick 38 (Zac O’Connor 2, Ken Parsons 2, Kevin Poole 2, David Hallman, Mitch Washbourne tries. Ken Parsons 3 goals) defeated Valleys 20 (Mitch Matheson 2, Steve Bartman tries Alec Curtis 2, Brok Whale 2 goals)