Ashes for Aussies in farewell Test

Steve Smith and Jimmy Anderson went toe to toe on the pitch in Adelaide - Smith had the ultimate last laugh after the Aussies win in Perth and regaining that 'Little Urn'.

With not many sleeps until the arrival of that jolly big man in the red suit, this is our last edition before the Christmas break and also the final Spin in 2017.
Once again it has been quite a year in sport locally, nationally and internationally. It should come as no surprise that my highlight moment of 2017 has been the Ashes win by the Aussies at the WACA earlier this week.
It is only fitting that the Aussies got their hands on that “Little Urn“ that holds so much mystique and gravitas in what was the final Test match played at the WACA. Cricket now moves to the new stadium – aka the “Cray Pot“. The spirits and souls of cricket games past were not going to allow anything less I am sure.
Steve Smith may look as though he should be in the back row of a Year 10 class, but he showed us all this week why he got the coveted Aussie Cricket captain’s gig when Michael Clarke retired.
His steely resolve, as much as the performance of an amazing bowling attack has set this team apart from the old enemy. In hushed tones and in large print, Smith is now being spoken about as the “best since Bradman“ surpassing even Ricky Ponting.
Not too sure about that, but it is hard to deny his statistics. His overall contribution to Australia regaining the Ashes in 2017 is now written into cricket folklore.
Well the urn has returned but there are still two games remaining in the Ashes series and they will be a long way from dead rubbers.
This team is hungry to make this a five-nil series and will be hunting for that as we head to the Boxing Day at the MCG and the final Test in Sydney.
Before that happens, of course, there is much to do and be done. The Big Bash is underway, but more importantly there are presents to buy, presents to wrap, food to be eaten, drinks to be consumed and a visit from Santa himself.
I hope Santa is kind to you, I’ll be looking (in vain I think) for Boxing Day Test tickets under our Christmas Tree, but hey since I’ve been nice, not naughty this year I should be in with a chance , shouldn’t I?
If not, I’ll settle for a comfy chair close to a TV and esky to watch ball one, day one and of course that other Australian Christmas tradition, the spectacular start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Those two events spell Christmas in Australia even more than the six white boomers.
We would like to thank everyone who makes the job of bringing you Spin every week so much easier by contributing news on their chosen sport. Most importantly thank you to our readers. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas. If you are travelling to be with family and friends please stay safe.
From our house to yours a very Merry Christmas and I hope 2018 brings joy and happiness and a win for your chosen team.
See you in the New Year
– Casey
Footnote
Don’t miss our first edition in the New Year when we will review all that made 2017 special. What challenged us, our sports and our teams and in turn what had us cheering and hollering.
HORNE A SHINING LIGHT
We couldn’t close off for the year without a mention of the performance of Jeff Horne in his World Title defence. Another sportsman who looks like he should still be in the classroom and behind a desk not in front of the class, Horne is almost the ultimate baby faced assassin in the ring – certainly someone not to be underestimated. Just ask his latest victim Gary Corcoran.
How lucky were we to have him in Warwick just a few weeks ago and hear his story firsthand. Not just a great talent, but just a really down to earth and nice bloke.
In a sport not recognised for nice guys he shines as bright as Rudolph’s red nose.
CHRISTMAS TAKES A TOLL
This is a busy time of year for everyone and like many other sports, numbers at the Mallet Sports games last week took a hit.
In golf croquet, Judy Lock and Di Wren had an 8-5 win while Sharyn Roser and Shirley Page played a 4-all draw in the early game.
After the break the group was joined by Shirley Page’s granddaughters who got their first taste of the game.
In a close finish, Shirley, Di and Lucy managed a 9-7 win and bragging rights over Justin, Liddy, Sharyn and Sophie. Sophie proved very accurate at the short distance and scored three hoops while her sister Lucy was strong on ht longer shots scoring one hoop.
Association croquet also found many of their members had been called to the higher duty of preparing for Christmas. Pat Schnoor and Margaret Dickenson went head to head in a singles match with Schnoor scoring the maximum, 26 points and claiming a win.
In the only other game, Andrea Denkewitz and Val Shepherd played Grace Howard in what was a close game. Final result a 20-19 win to Grace Howard.
In gateball on Friday there were some close games among the small group.
Andrea Denkewitz and Sharyn Roser teamed up playing Margaret Dickenson, Jenny Tunbridge and John Draper. John Draper was in good form and played well in all the games.
Denkewitz and Roser recorded one win while Margaret Dickenson’s crew won three games.
Mallet Sports now recess for the Christmas break and resume from 9 January next year.
BOXING DAY MEETING
If you are not interested in those frantic Boxing Day sales or maybe you are looking to recoup some of the Christmas costs or just looking for a great day out, the annual Boxing Day race meeting at Allman Park might be just thee place for you.
Nominations for the seven-event program had not been finalised as this issue went to press, however, race club officials were expecting the $30,000 Magic Millions Country Cup Qualifier (1200m) to draw a big field.
The six supporting events will all carry $11,000 prize money.
Boxing Day at the Warwick Races has become quite an institution with many taking advantage of the occasion to catch up with friends and family.
FITTOCK NAILS BACK NINE
Chris Fittock led the field in Saturday’s Stableford competition sponsored by the Stanthorpe Community Bank. There were some impressive scores returned but Fittock who had a steady front nine and took control of the back nine and needed only 38 shots to card a 26 for the home journey and nail the win with a score of 43.
Second place was decided by countback with Lyle Bryant getting the nod over Matt Waterworth and Billy Webb after the trio each returned a score of 40.
Chris Fittock collected the pin at 12 and Graham Tonkin at 17. Stan Spencer held the pro-pin at 1/10 with Matt Waterworth holding 5/14 and John Spiller at 9/18. Birdies nest at eight was shared by Billy Webb and John Spiller.
In the Ladies event, Linda Kelly also had a steady front nine but scored well on the back nine to for an overall score of 34 points. Annelle Batterham equalled that score but Kelly secured the win after a countback.
Time for one more round before Christmas, and on Saturday if you have all the preparations for Christmas squared away the club event is a single stableford sponsored by Alex Vale. The time sheet is available on the board and tee off from 11.30 am.
STANTHORPE BOXING DAY CLASSIC
A reminder that like Christmas the Boxing Day Classic is fast approaching and there are limited spaces available. The annual event is a three-person Ambrose and the nomination sheet is on the board at the club house. If you have a team organised, get those names in soon to avoid disappointment.
POWDER AND PISTOL AT INGLEWOOD
Glen Holmes out pointed Tom Donald and Swedish visitor Carolina Andersson in the Black Powder Pistol cap and ball event.
The Rimfire 25 metre standard was won by Tom Donald from Rechelle Privitera and Allen Hudson.
Donald made it a double for the day with a win in the Black Powder Cartridge where he outscored Glen Holmes and Carolina Andersson. The range is open this week with no specific matches set.
BARKER HEADS THE SPORTERS FIELD
Sporters bucked the numbers trend last weekend when a good field rolled up on a very warm Sunday morning for the penultimate Sporters round before Christmas.
Brendon Barker was in winning form and played well to claim the honours on Sunday and also the Best Gross for the round. Mark Lynam was forced to settle for the runner’s up spot, but did pick up the pin shot at the third. The run-downs went to Jim Mitchell and Terry Byrnes who also grabbed the pro pin and then added a meat tray to his booty. John Walsh was seen leaving in the company of the remaining meat tray.
If you need a break from the stress of Christmas preparations join the Sporters next Sunday with tee-off between 7.30-8am. Sporters wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, if you’re travelling stay safe on the road.
CHRISTMAS TREATS FOR VALLEYS AND RSL
Two games were decided in Stanthorpe cricket fixtures last weekend before the recess for the Christmas break. Both games were very one-sided affairs.
Despite a useful innings at the top of the order from Kirby Morunga (22), Valleys had a very shaky start to their game against Tenterfield. In what looked like a below par performance they slumped to 6/73. A lower order batting rescue launched by Linstrom (22) and Anthony Coup (26) showed their counterparts up the order how it should be done dragging the score to a more respectable total of 145.
Tenterfield bowler Danny Potter continued his good recent form and finished with 4/29. Simon Merchant also bowled well taking two wickets.
Defending only145, it was up to the bowlers to step up if Valleys were going to get the points. In a match-winning performance with the ball, Damian Anderson blew the game apart. He took 6/14 from just 7.2 overs. Tenterfield were bundled out for just 55 runs in only the 15th over. It was a with big win for Valleys after a not so solid start.
Wanderers will be hoping Santa brings them back some of their better players along with some batting form for those currently playing. With only eight players, Wanderers were always going to have problems against RSL and set RSL a meagre 61-run chase. Dylan Lihou was the pick of the bowlers taking 4/4 from three overs.
It was not a matter of if RSL would win, but how quickly. Clearly the Dowie boys and were keen to get to their favoured watering hole. RSL made mince meat of the total in seven overs without the loss of a wicket.
MARYVALE HEAD TO XMAS UNDEFEATED
Maryvale head to the Christmas break undefeated in the Condamine Cup and are sure to have a premiership win on their Santa wish list.
Michael Bourke opened the batting for Maryvale and hit the ball well for a solid 86. He was well supported by Will Gordon (30) and Andrew Ryan (32no) as Maryvale set the Redbacks a 229-run chase. Coen Slatter was the best of the Redbacks bowlers.
The Maryvale bowlers had the upper hand in the second innings, dismissing Redbacks for a disappointing 81. Kieran Bourke was the best of the bowlers claiming four scalps while McConnell and Darton each took a pair.
WHEATVALE GOOD ENOUGH
Wheatvale may not have been at their very best on Saturday but they did enough to get the points in a low-scoring game against Allora Rascals on Saturday.
Steve Jones’ form set his side up for victory with a fine performance with the ball, taking four wickets as Wheatvale dismissed Rascals for 73 runs .
Chasing small totals can sometimes prove tricky and there were some sweaty palms when Rascals Tom Morris took to the batting line-up claiming four wickets and with six wickets in the shed an upset looked on the cards. A sensible partnership between Steve Jones (14no) and Kieran Jordan (14no) got Wheatvale safely home.
ALL TIED UP
It was a thrilling finish to the game between Allora and Sovereign Animals at Slade Park with the game finishing in a tie. Sovereign set up a good score with a fine opening partnership between Munro (41) and Drennet (45).
In reply, there were plenty of opportunities for Allora with several players getting starts but unable to go on with job thanks in part to some good bowling from the Sovereign attack. Munro took 4/32 from eight overs. In the end it came down to a tied game.

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