It is that time of year when I am “on the road again” with the Wanderers Cricket Club on the annual country pilgrimage. As this column is finalised, I am in Charters Towers as the team prepares to take the field at the home of the famous Australia Day Goldfields Ashes.
Touring with the team this year is Warwick opening bowler James Breen who has slotted into the side well and has several wickets to his name after games in Yeppoon, Mirani (outside Mackay), Bowen and Home Hill. The Wanderers side, despite the addition of former Bulls captain Chris Simpson and former Australian and Queensland player Geoff Foley, suffered their first loss in four tours when they were beaten by Bowen.
Also on tour are former Australian coach John Buchanan, Ian Healy and son Tom (the pair joined us for the first part of the tour). Heals returned to Brisbane to fulfil his weekend media commitments, but not before sharing some of his thoughts on the national cricket pay dispute. After visiting several country centres and attending the coaching clinics the Wanderers run, Heals is adamant that there is much more funding that should be distributed the way of the grassroots game to ensure it survives and thrives. This was one of the sticking points in the recent pay fracas.
Also sampling a Wanderers tour for the first time is Stanthorpe motelier Rob Slack who has been showing his bowls prowess on the greens between here and Charters Towers.
One person missing from the tour is Warwick cricketer Pat Bourke who was a late withdrawal after coming off second best in an altercation with a cow on the family property and landing in hospital. Hopefully, Pat is now well on the road to recovery.
I’ve also been sidelined unable to umpire because of an injury so have been put to work as scorer – an even more demanding role than being in the middle, I’m starting to think. Oops was that a six or a four.
Back to the score book.
WHAT A WINX WIN
I hope everyone had the opportunity to watch the mighty Winx in her comeback win at Randwick last weekend. Strolling out of the barrier and spotting the field a four length head start, she showed her true grit and amazing ability to gobble up the field in the straight and win but not before giving connections heart palpitations. That makes it 18 on the trot and proves there are no easy wins in racing. Just as Black Caviar did, this mare has captured the imagination of the racing public and in anticipation her lining up in the Cox Plate this year, grandstand tickets are already sold out.
One of Winx’s greatest supporters outside the stable and owners circle is Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody who knows all too well what trainer Chris Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman are going through.
Moody outlines his journey through the racing world and his amazing ride with Nellie, Black Caviar in his recently released book ‘A Long Way From Wyandra – My story from the bush to Black Caviar.’ If you enjoy racing and want a glimpse of what it is like on the inside or simply enjoy a good yarn, this is a great read.
In the meantime, the Winx caravan rolls on. Fingers crossed her winning run continues. It is a feel good story that is good for racing and good for our spirits.
ANOTHER STORM MINOR PREMIERSHIP
There are now just two rounds of NRL fixtures remaining in the 2017 competition, but already Melbourne Storm has wrapped up another Minor Premiership. Their season is going from strength to strength. Not so the Titans. Despite the dogs barking, the mail and the village drums beating the tune, it was still a shock to many when the Titans CEO announced the immediate sacking of coach Neil Henry on Monday.
It appears from the outside that the coach was expendable. Seems that despite the protests a good man has paid the price for Hayne to stay a Titan. Fans may have found that a little unpalatable as news emerged that the injured Hayne was in Sydney last weekend enjoying some R&R with former team-mates. Unfortunately, he was unable to support his current playing partners as they were being thrashed by the Eels. Hayne now more than ever owes this club and it fans big time. It will interesting theatre to see how and if he repays their faith in him. Rugby league sure is a funny beast- who would want to coach an NRL side – guess we will soon see.
While the Titans were unravelling, the Bulldogs took a chunk out of the Sea Eagles and killed off many a tipster in the process. It leaves you wondering where the next shock result is coming from.
On Thursday night, the Broncos will be out to erase the sour taste of defeat at the hands of the Eels only a few weeks ago when they meet again at Suncorp. Can’t see an encore performance for the Blue and Gold.
The Raiders had their season hopes dashed last week by the determined Panthers. This week they host Newcastle in that ridiculous 6pm time slot on Friday night. With injury to key players, this looks a bridge too far for the Knights.
The Cowboys were beaten by the Sharks last round but again only enhanced their reputation for guts and determination. This week they face the Tigers at Campbelltown, and I am hoping to see them lasso a much deserved win.
The Titans players will be trying to salvage a win for their fans when they host the Bulldogs. After the Doggies dug up a win last week, I think they will have too much bite for the Titans.
Melbourne host the Bunnies on Saturday afternoon. Melbourne will not be taking the Bunnies lightly here and although the Minor Premiership is safely in their keeping, they will be looking to build on their winning run to the finals.
The toughest game of the round looks the Sharks-Roosters clash. Last week the Sharks got the job done in Townsville while the Roosters scraped home against the Tigers. Toss of the coin here but I favour the Roosters, just.
The Eagles have flown their nest and gone into camp after being savaged by the Bulldogs in preparation for their clash with the Warriors at Mt Smart.
You would expect the Eagles to bounce back here, but the Warriors who have their own share of problems will be out to give their home fans some joy at the end of a miserable season. Unfortunately, I doubt it will play out that way.
The round wraps up at the foot of the mountain as the Panthers host the Dragons. The Dragons are still a remote chance of pushing in to the eight, but must win here. The Panthers showed plenty of ticker to get home against the Raiders, but it might be a Dragons day out at Pepper Stadium with so much on the line.
BYRNES GO BACK TO BACK
Terry Byrnes revelled in the icy conditions on Sunday morning to make it back-to-back wins at Sports Golf. After another good round, Byrnes notched up a win over this week’s runner-up Dick Hilton. Byrnes also had the Best Gross score and collected the Pro Pin to completely dominate the round. Tony Steele picked up the pin shot on the 12th and Jamie Mitchell and Bob Watts figured in the run downs.
The meat trays went the way of Ray Thorn and Marg Locke.
Tee off is at the normal time of 8am – 8.30am this Sunday and organisers and players welcome first time players and visitors.
Association croquet players enjoyed last week’s warmer weather which is just a fleeting memory now.
INTERESTING RESULTS IN MALLET GAMES
Heather Widderick and Effey Russell scored a 19-17 win over their opponents Val Richardson and Andrea Denkewitz. Val Richardson played extremely well – perhaps celebrating that major milestone birthday recently has given this experienced Mallet player a little additional spark.
Pat Schnoor teamed with Val Shephard in a game against the pairing of Grace Howard and Margaret Dickenson. Unfortunately, results of this interesting game are currently unavailable.
It was almost a full house at golf croquet which was a pleasing result for organisers, and again players enjoyed beautiful conditions.
Dianne Wren stood out as player of the week after she scored a total of 14 hoops in the two games decided. Others who played well were Bev Sullivan and Val Fancourt who both scored hoops in one during their games. Not to be ignored, Justin Liddy chimed in with a freakish shot which could only be described as an unintended jump shot with great results. With two balls positioned close together and blocking the path to the hoop, Liddy aimed to knock them both out of the way. He made contact with only one of the two; his ball looped up and over and went straight through the hoop.
In game one, Val Fancourt and Marian Castles took on Dianne Wren and Liz Ellway. After a close game, Val and Marian scored a 13-12 win.
The second group Teresa Pyne, Pauline Inglis and Justin Liddy lined up for a game of triples taking on Shirley Page, Bev Sullivan and Elaine Brown. The first group taking a 10-8 win in a close game. The triples game ended in a seven-all draw.
BLUSERY CONDITIONS PLAY THEIR PART ON THE RANGE
Last weekend, the Inglewood Sporting Shooters group help a Practical Shooting event. For the uninitiated, practical shooting is a varied event and is largely up to the imagination of the course designer. Due to extremely blustery winds on the weekend event, it was a rather sedate setup this week.
The scheduled Muzzle loading was cancelled due to the potential bushfire threat and it was too windy for the Benchrest shooters.
In the Practical Shoot, it was Texas shooter Iain Bowen who took out the Rimfire event. He outscored Tom Donald and Peter Jones.
Ray dudgeon was successful in Centrefire with Tom Donald forced to settle for a second position again. Third place went to Rechelle Privitera.
Organisers are hoping for a better weekend weather-wise for the two day pistol comp. The comp runs from noon on Saturday afternoon and continuing from 10am on Sunday.
OPEN PAIRS ON THE MENU AT TANNY
For the past couple of weekends, members of the Tannymorel Bowls club have settled into normal competition after the final round of the final of the Tanny Classic.
Competition is progressing in the Club open Pairs. To date, these are the results. Geoff Farmer and Mick O’Leary had a comprehensive win over Julie Buse and Myrtle Wagner. The final score 25-13.
Gordie Assay and Grumpy took on the girl’s team of Val Buse and Sue Butz and came away with a 30-11 win. Toucha Tuck and Pete Gynther defeated Matty Shepherd and Ron Philips 27-15.
Levi Rabbitt and Koala had a narrow one point win over Brian Walsh and Thommo – the final score 22-21. Joel Farmer and Darren Rabbit had a 19-14 win in their match up against Gazza Penn and Pete Collis.
Gordie Assay and Grumpy had a big win over Marg Thompson and Geoff Creighton – the score 30-9.
Geoff Farmer and Mick O’Leary defeated Tuck and Pete Gynther 30-14.
On Thursday, 12 teams went head to head to decide the Monthly Triples. It was Tom Seneiger, Phil Wagner and Max Holder who finished with bragging rights and some folding cash.
Runners-up were Matty Shepherd, Pete Gynther and Mick O’Leary. Lucky last were Julie and Al Buse and Jean Calam.
It was another day of excellent bowls from all the troops and good fun was had by all. Hope the good form continues through to the upcoming Pennant games.
HARVEY BEST IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS
Ian Harvey played one the best rounds of golf he has produced in the challenging conditions last Saturday. Harvey returned a score of 41 points to win in a countback from Rob Reeves who shared the winning score of 41 points. Both players needed some warming up time before beginning the back nine during which Ian produced 26 points getting the edge over Reeves with 23 points. Some small consolation, Reeves claimed the birdies nest for his three at first hole. Given the conditions, it was a great effort from both players.
Pin shots were won by Stephen Kay at three, Ian Harvey at 12 and Matt Waterworth at 17. Pro-pins were claimed by Rod Werner at 1/10, Graham Tonkin at 5/14 and Corey Zammit a visitor from the Maleny Golf Club grabbed the pin at 9/18.
The run down went to scores of 37 and better resulting in a ball each to Brendon Barker (40), Trevor Ludlow (39), Keith Jones (38), Rino Piovesan (38) and Mick O’Brien (37).
The competition was sponsored by club member Ian Pickering.
Only a small number of ladies braved the less than ideal conditions. It was Lyn Ludlow who followed up last week’s win with the best round for the ladies relegating Nikki Waterworth to second place after a countback. Both players finished with a creditable 33 points. Ludlow claimed the ladies third pin while Waterworth had best approach at 17.
On Saturday, the club will host the end of month medley 4BBB stableford which will be sponsored by Howard and Sons. Thankfully, the weather forecast is much more favourable so a good field is expected. The event will begin with a shot gun start at11.45am. Registration must be completed by 11.30am and a time sheet can be found on the board at the clubhouse.
WARWICK WOLVES REMAIN IN HUNT
In a thrilling game, the Warwick Wolves Colts went down to Garden City in the major semi-final of the Football Toowoomba competition.
At the end of regular time, the two sides were locked on nil-all and after 30 minutes of extra time neither side had been able to find the back of the net forcing the game into a penalty shoot-out.
In a thrilling finish, it was Garden City who prevailed 5-4. The Wolves now play Highfields in the preliminary final with the winner of that game progressing to the grand final of the Colts competition where they will meet Garden City.
It was a brave effort from the Warwick side who had key players sidelined and several players playing their second game on the day.
Coach Tony Cooper is hopeful that he will have a full strength side back on the paddock for the preliminary final in two weeks.
END OF THE LINE FOR WATTLES
Last Saturday night, the Pittsworth Danes put a halt to the Wattles 2017 TRL grand final aspirations when they pulled out all stops and convincingly defeated the Warriors 28-12 in the knock out semifinal.
In a torrid first half, Pittsworth flew out of the blocks and led 10-nil after seven minutes. Wattles did not take long to hit their straps and took a 12-10 lead. The lead was short lived as the Danes struck back and at half time the defending premiers held a narrow 14-12 advantage.
Unfortunately for Wattles supporters, it was as close as their team would get. The Danes came out after the break with a winning mindset. They dominated in both attack and defence.
Wattles had no answers against the constant attack from the Danes. Conditions certainly played their part. Danes fullback Jeff Weber and Alex Sinclair were outstanding under the high ball in the gusty winds.
ANDREW THOMPSON TAKES ON CONDITIONS
Wallangarra Golf Club hosted a single stableford competition on Saturday, and nine holes into the competition the question on many a frozen lip was – why? Conditions were cold windy and miserable – certainly not a fun day on the course.
Of course in conditions like those served up on Saturday, there is inevitably someone who takes to them like a duck to water and manages to make the going look easy. On Saturday it was Andrew Thompson who tamed the conditions better than the rest coming out on top with 40 points. Thompson also claimed the pin shot on the hard hitting 11th. Steve Hampstead finished runner-up while Nick Hurtz took out the captain stakes.
Kevin Williams judged the wind best on the par 3’s taking the pin shots on the third and ninth. The wind the best on the par three’s taking the pin shots on the 3rd and 9th. Runner- up, Steve Hampstead held the approach shot at the second.
This Saturday, members will be hoping for kinder conditions when they take on a Four Club event (as if this game is not hard enough when you have a whole bag full to choose from.)
A date for your busy Golf Diaries is the annual Golf World Day on 17 September. It is a two ball Ambrose event – cost is $25 and includes lunch. Tee off will be between 9am and 9.30am on 17 September. Don’t delay, grab your playing partner and nominate now – members visitors and non-members are all welcome.
TIGERS BOOK A SPOT IN 2017 GF
The Tenterfield Tigers prevailed against the Killarney Cutters in a tough knockout semi-final at Rugby League Park on Saturday. In the process, the Tigers booked an appointment with the Inglewood Roosters in what will be a replay of the 2016 BRL grand final.
It was Killarney who drew first blood in Saturday’s game. They surprised the home side when hooker Jamie Watts dived over to post the first points on a day where conditions were average for players and pretty ordinary for spectators. Kicking was always going to be difficult in the blustery wind and the conversion was unsuccessful.
Tenterfield were quick to hit back with a try to even the score, and it was obvious this was going to be a close game.
Wayne Brown scored for the home side after some good lead up work and with the wind at his back Adam Clothier nailed the conversion and his side took a 10-4 lead.
Killarney were forced to reshuffle their line-up when their centre was forced from the field after popping his shoulder.
Shortly before half time, the Tigers had their own share of problems. Coedie Tandy earned the wrath of the ref and was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
At half time, the score favoured Tenterfield 12-4, but the game was very much in the balance.
With Tandy in the sin bin, the Cutters hit back after the break. Rohan Keogh crossed for a four pointer and Jason Polzin converted bringing the score back to 12-10 in the Tigers favour.
Warren Brown who was one of the Tigers best scored giving the Tigers an eight point buffer with another successful conversion.
The Cutters were not done with and narrowed the margin to 18-16 after another try from Keogh with 10 minutes remaining.
The defence from both sides was intense, but with minutes left on the clock Geoff Swan powered over to give for the home-side. Captain coach Brendan Minns took the final conversion and converted to give the Tigers a 24-16 lead as the full time siren sounded.
Although beaten, Killarney played well. They have a reasonably young side and if they can keep the playing group together for next season will be more than competitive.
The Tigers now move on to a replay of the 2016 grand final and will be hoping for a better outcome this weekend when they travel to MacIntyre Oval.
If the Tigers can improve on their defence and ball handling, they will give the Roosters a run for the title. On Saturday they were guilty of bombing several opportunities early in the game. They cannot afford to make those mistakes against the Roosters strong attacking outfit.
Coedie Tandy again worried his opposition with his unpredictable play and Tigers fans will be hoping he does not have a case to answer at the judiciary this week. Hooker Wayne Brown and Nathan Dearden also stood out for the Tigers, earning praise from their captain coach Brendan Minns.
The Tigers have some injury concerns but are sure to field a strong side against Inglewood who enjoyed a well-earned week off in preparation for the final after finishing Minor Premiers. The game gets underway at 2.30pm at the McIntyre Sports Grounds Inglewood
LEYBURN DOSEN’T DISAPPOINT
The 22nd Historic Leyburn Sprints did not disappoint last weekend with action aplenty on and off the track. Lismore-based Dean Amos, the defending champion, slashed almost two seconds off his own lap record to claim a fourth consecutive outright title.
The Leyburn regular set a time of 40.5651 sec. in a Gould GR55B single-seater on the sixth of seven runs against the clock around the one-kilometre Leyburn street course.
Amos won the Col Furness Memorial Trophy and becomes the second most successful Sprints competitor behind six time winner Ray Vandersee.
Following his win, Amos vowed to return next year hoping to become the first driver to record a time below 40secs on the current course. Driving his Nicolson-McLaren powered racer, Amos built his times progressively throughout the weekend but a gearshift problem spoiled his final run.
After the run, Amos said, “I had a gear selection problem on the last run, but this is only a new car for me and there’s more speed to come, so I’ll be back next year for another crack,”.
Michael Von Rappard was forced to accept second place in his Dallara F392 for another year, although his time of 42.2911 sec. also was below Amos’s 2016 record.
The Leyburn Sprints, which celebrate the 1949 running of the Australian Grand Prix on a disused wartime aerodrome just outside Leyburn again proved to be as popular as ever attracting close to 200 historic, classic and performance cars. They ranged from the 1920s vintage to modern-day and entrants contested the Sprints in 59 classes. The oldest, a 1925 Austin 750 claimed a best time of 1 min. 19.0072 sec., but the fastest Historic-category car overall was the 1976 Bowin Hay P6 V8 driven by David Cross, which set a time of 49.6992 sec.
President of the organising committee, Tricia Chant, announced a total two-day attendance of 15,000 which considering the weather conditions was outstanding.
There was something for everyone with the Shannon’s Show and Shine well supported. A total of 150 cars and motorcycles were on display and even a tractor.
An American aluminium Airstream believed to be one of the first three built won Best Vintage Caravan from a field of 28.
The community-run Sprints benefits local organisations and projects, with funds this year going to the Leyburn State School.
Organisers are expected to confirm the date of the 2018 Sprints event later in the year.
Outright fastest time:
1. Dean Amos (Gould GR55B) 40.5651 sec.
2. Michael Von Rappard (Dallara F392) 42.2911
3. Rielly Brook (Taatus Formula Renault) 44.2639
David Cross (Bowin Hay P6) 49.6992
Shannon’s Show ‘n’ Shine:
Best in Show – 1956 Holden FJ (A. Connolly)
Vintage Caravan Show:
Best Vintage Caravan – Airstream (David Kable)