This week's Sports Talk looks at AFL, football, rugby league and greyhound racing and features the Castelli kids who are making waves in hockey.
Sophie and Connor Castelli are certainly following in the foot-steps of their father Anthony and doing great things for Waves Cities in Bundaberg Hockey.
Of the eight Castelli siblings, Anthony was one of five who played for the club but proudly wore the blue and white for more years than any of them.
He started as a five-year-old and continues to rack up the goals for almost three decades, also winning many Bundaberg and Wide Bay Premier League titles, finally hanging up his stick in 2016 after making his Division 1 men’s debut at the age of 16.
Anthony’s parents never played hockey, with the Castelli family’s involvement starting through one of his elder brothers John’s friendship with Michael Callaghan, whose parents Lyn and Kev are club stalwarts and still very active supporters who encouraged him to play.
During his distinguished career, Anthony got to play alongside three of his five brothers, Danny, John and Terry, although never all together, but with as many as three of them in the same team, they featured in some famous victories.
Castelli kids follow in dad's footsteps
With his love for the game, it was no surprise that Sophie and Connor both started playing at a young age, although they missed two years while living in Barcaldine in 2017-18, with Mum Nickie, who has never played hockey, continuing on to support them from the sidelines from day one after cheering on Anthony in just about every one of his games after they met in 1999.
Both children made Bundaberg teams last season and this year, Sophie, a year 7 student at Shalom College, has scored five goals, doubling up every week in under-13 and under-16, and last Saturday, she made her women’s debut on her 13th birthday, and she contributed to wins in all three games.
Connor, 11, who is in year 6 at Branyan Road State School, plays in under-11 and under-13 every week and he has eight goals to his credit so far in 2020.
He has also been selected in the Bundaberg Schools boys’ team which will contest the Wide Bay trials in Hervey Bay on September 8.
Connor was chosen in the Queensland under-12 Oz Tag team after the state titles earlier in the year, but the nationals were postponed until possibly December due to Covid-19.
A talented and energetic all-round sportsman, he also plays club rugby league on Sundays.
Sophie and Connor will be in action again in the penultimate round of fixtures at Hinkler Park tomorrow.
In the senior divisions, Cities will meet All Blacks, with their men who have already claimed the minor premiership and a grand final berth, to do battle at 6.30pm after the women’s game at 5pm.
Arrows will aim up against Raiders/Rovers with the women at 2pm and men at 3.30pm.
Congratulations to Michael “Bluey” Lovett on playing his 150th Senior game for his beloved Brothers Bulldogs last Saturday.
Sadly, despite his best efforts and all his team-mates doing everything to get a win for him, the Dogs were again muzzled, not managing a second-half point in their 91-5 beating by Hervey Bay Bombers.
It was better news for their cross-town rivals, Across The Waves Eagles, staying in the race for the minor premiership by inflicting reigning premiers’ Bay Power’s first loss this campaign, by 18 points.
The Eagles have the advantage of playing the Bulldogs twice more in the remaining four rounds, including tomorrow at home at Frank Coulthard Complex, while if the Bombers can shoot down the Power tomorrow, the Bay are almost certain to be joined on points by Waves.
It will be a battle royale in the Bundaberg Under-18 competition when joint-leaders hosts Wallaroos and Wests Panthers go head-to-head at Eskdale Park tomorrow.
Outright third position will be up for grabs in the U18 showdown between Waves Tigers and Hervey Bay Seagulls at Salter Oval this Sunday at 2.40pm.
In the Fraser Coast Broncos Challenge Open division, Shalom College warmed up for next week’s final with a 24-12 victory over Aldridge State High School in the third and last round of the competition on Wednesday afternoon after leading 16-0 at half-time.
Coach Neil Feather said hooker Kynan Hard scored three tries “off the back of good field position gained as a team in attack” and that lock Riley Kearton scored his first try for the Knights in the opening minute.
First year league player, centre Matt Jackson, a dual Queensland cricket representative who finished third in the 2019-20 Bundaberg Cricket Player of the Year and was a major part of Brothers’ Division 1 premiership in March, scored his second try after opening his account in the Challenge first round against Urangan High a fortnight earlier, while Zander Kerr kicked two goals.
Shalom will meet Aldridge again in the final at the Waves Sports Complex next Wednesday afternoon.
Bundaberg Rowing Club will conduct their first on-water competition since the Covid-19 shutdown with 13km time trials on the Kolan River, starting and finishing at Bucca Weir tomorrow.
Club patron John Pressler said it would be the perfect preparation for the Maryborough Bridge to Bridge Time Trials next Saturday, especially for the 16 locals who have entered.
“It will start below the Bucca Bridge with a running start to hit the line and go 6.5km up stream then turn around two buoys and return to the start – it replicates the spans of the distance between the two Maryborough Bridges,” John said.
“We will have singles, doubles and fours with a dozen boats so far and they will all get a metres per second prognosis with the number relative to the world’s fastest time.”
John, who is also a busy coach, said some of the best local talent would compete, including Joe Black, Dane Mortimer, Sienna Clark and Asia Heaps.
“We had an under-19 mixed boys and girls crew which won in Maryborough last year, and we are looking to some good performances again, and this will top off their training,” he said.
“Joe is good in singles, Dane stroked the under-19 Queensland crew last year and I think they won the event in Maryborough too, and young doubles combination of Sienna and Asia are Queensland age champions.”
Action will start at 7am.
Bundaberg teams hold down the top four positions on the Wide Bay Premier League ladder as the competition reaches the half-way point in the season tomorrow.
There are three matches at Martens Oval at 6pm, with fourth placed United Park Eagles (UPE) taking on second seeds Across The Waves (ATW), Bargara, who are one of three sides in equal fifth position, facing a must-win assignment against Granville to stay in contact with the first four, and KSS Jets, who are also in a share of fifth, up against the bealeaguered Diggers.
Unbeaten leaders Bingera travel to Maryborough to cross swords with the other equal-fifth side, Sunbury.
In the Ladies League tonight, at 6pm, Diggers, who have moved into fourth place, meet SC Corinthians Lionesses, Bargara does battle with ATW Saints, and Bingera Cutters are opposed to ATW United.
Then at 7.45pm, it is the UPE intra-club duel, and much is at stake in the showdown between third placed Bingera and No. 2 ATW, who are only one points ahead of them.
Weekend and midweek football results
Friday: BAV 1 (J Sommer) d UPE WHITE 0.
ATW 3 (B Mathison, K Roberts, D Murphy) d DIGGERS 2 (B Caton 2).
UPE BLACK 3 (P Pagliano 2, J Connelly) d SC CORINTHIANS 1 (B Brown).
Tuesday: BAV 4 (J Sommer 2, C Smith, P Miller) d DIGGERS 2 (P Mark, A Stout).
UPE WHITE 5 (N Maas 3, W Bath, A Nasso) d UPE BLACK 0.
ATW 5 (P Cox 2, K Roberts 2, J Roebuck) d SC CORINTHIANS 1 (B Brown).
ATW 5 (T Zielke 3, L Howes, L Thatcher) d BARGARA 1 (Z Killen).
DIGGERS 3 (K Havers, H Walk, J Sanderson) d UPE BLACK 1 (T Bradley).
UPE 7 (S Zipf 3, T Doyle-Brockfield, L Smith, L Hamilton, L Haster) d BINGERA CUTTERS 0.
ATW UNITED 4 (T Lankowski 2, E Bongioletti, E Trudgian) d SC CORINTHIANS LIONESSES 0.
BINGERA 7 (H Sparozvich 3, E Haack, R Kinsela, C White) d ATW SAINTS 0.
ATW RANGERS 2 (P Cox, H Hunter) d UPE BLACK 1 (L Darcy).
ATW UNITED 6 (L Brown 4, J Black, S Forrest, N Kerslake) d SC CORINTHIANS GLADIATORS 2 (R Woznitza, C Brown).
UPE WHITE 5 (F Bath 2, J Smith, D Banks, J Purkis) d UPE PURPLE 1.
ATW SAINTS 7 (B Schubel 3, R Brown 2, A Palmer, R Korner) d BARGARA 1 (A Mathiesen).
ATW HOT SPURS 11 (Z Cory 5, C Simpson 3, J D’Addario, L Thatcher, L Hamilton) d DIGGERS 1 (T Harris).
UPE BLACK 5 (X Ulbl 2, H Nguyen, C Palmer, I Brewer) d SC CORINTHIANS 0.
BINGERA 2 (E McKeown 2) d UPE WHITE 1 (L Loudon).
GIN GIN 1 (G Jarvis) drew BAV 1 (Z Peters).
ATW SAINTS 3 (N Briggs 2, M Grima) d DIGGERS 0.
Two more trainers claimed doubles at this week’s Bundaberg Monday meeting, Scott McGuiness (Regency Downs) and Travis Elson (Yandina Creek).
McGuiness triumphed with Fabio Beach (Novice) and Petite Charlotte (Fifth Grade), while Elson denied McGuiness a treble when his Summer Flyer defeated McGuiness’ Peter Kropp in a Fifth Grade, and Summer Flyer’s litter sister All Aces completed a race-to-race double for the trainer in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade, beating another McGuiness runner, Farmor Malibu, into third place.
Three district trainers were also successful on the program, Lorraine Isles with Elite Stride in a Maiden, Ricky Hassall who claimed the quinella in the Free For All with Prince Cosmic and Nerve Settler, and Ron Hawkshaw, who got the money in the Fifth Grade Pathway with Dinah Shian.
For the first time this week, Bundaberg will have a second greyhound meeting, with one today, replacing the Rockhampton Wednesday meeting which was cancelled due to upgrades to their track.
Ultra-promising galloper King Klaus made it back-to-back wins with a great performance under the top weight of 59kg and from the wide barrier 12 in a Band 0-58 Handicap in Rockhampton last week, although he had to survive a protest from the rider of runner-up Lingalonga Lass, Zoe White.
The Gary Clem-trained gelding has now won three of his five starts, with one second and one third, and there appears to be many more wins in store.
More local sport here.