In this week's sports preview, Vince Habermann looks at Bundaberg Hockey finals, AFL, rugby league, rowing and greyhounds.
It could be a blue and gold day in the Bundaberg Hockey grand finals at Hinkler Park tomorrow with Waves Cities to contest all five matches, including four as the top side on the ladder.
All Blacks will be represented in two divisions, men’s and under-13, while Arrows/Athletics are also dually represented, in Under-16 and Under-11, and Raiders/Rovers will line up in the women’s in their first season as a merged club.
Cities’ men and under-16s and the under-11s Arrows have each swept all before them, winning each of their eight round games.
Their men will be favourites after defeating All Blacks 7-2, 7-1 and 4-2 in their three clashes in 2020 but those results count for nothing now. The All Blacks have really hit their straps at the right time and they were clinical in a 3-0 semi-final win against Raiders/Rovers last week.
All Blacks are the three-times defending premiers, beating Cities in the past two deciders, but their opponents have been unstoppable in this shortened season with Ryley Stevens and Lachlan McLennan leading the charge in a potent attack.
There is nothing between Cities and Raiders/Rovers’ women after the pair battled out scoreless draws in their first two meetings, before Cities pipped them 4-3, thanks to a double to teen talent Milee Flanders, in the last round to clinch No. 1 position and direct passage to the finale.
Milee’s mother Kris was part of the Dorron sisters who dominated women’s hockey for years and her grandmother Margaret is also an icon in the game who did great things on and off the field over a long and distinguished career.
Raiders/Rovers were also held to a scoreless draw by Arrows in the semi-final but progressed as the higher placed team on the ladder.
The program will start with under-11 at 9.30am, followed by under-13 at 11.15am, under-16 at 1pm, women at 3pm and men at 4.45pm.
Good luck to all teams.
AFL: Tough year for Bulldogs
Congratulations to Tristan Taylor on playing in his 100th game for Brothers Bulldogs in their Wide Bay Senior Division penultimate round loss to Hervey Bay Bombers last Saturday, also marking the milestone with two goals.
On the field it has been an “annus horribilis” for the Dogs who have not won a game in either the senior or reserve divisions.
Tomorrow they will head to Frank Coulthard Oval where they will meet Across The Waves Eagles, who will show them no mercy as they attempt to claim another big win which would almost certainly claim them the minor premiership and direct passage to the grand final which they will host in two weeks’ time.
Eagles, Bombers and Bay Power, who lost to Waves last week, are in a three-way tie for first with percentages almost certain to decide number one spot, with the two Hervey Bay teams to also meet tomorrow prior to a likely semi-final rematch next Saturday at the same venue.
Rugby league: Schools wrap
Harrison Murray bagged a double as Branyan Road State School defeated St Mary’s Catholic School 22-4 in the Bundaberg Primary Schools Rugby League Division 3 grand final at Kepnock High School on Monday.
Dynamic all-rounder Connor Castelli and Blake Kraay also crossed, while Connor also kicked a conversion, along with Billy Frohloff and Nathan Eggmolesse, and Zac Honor claimed St Mary’s four-pointer.
In the Division 2 semis, East SS shut out Kalkie SS 24-0, while despite having only 12 players due to a year 5 camp and illness to two year 6 players, Bargara SS edged out North SS 12-10.
For East, Byron Williams, Harrison Candy, Riley Cavanagh, Levi Hack and Alex Stuchbery racked up tries, while Levi and Alex kicked goals, Bargara’s tries came through Tyson Rizzo, James Nelson and Lenny Henry, and Joel Kitchen and Luke Giles claimed one try each and Jordan Smith slotted a goal.
Division 1 and 2 Grand finals will be played this Monday afternoon but unfortunately spectators are not allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Next week will also be a big week for Secondary School sport with winter finals day on Tuesday and the Surf League on Thursday.
Bundaberg Junior Rugby League fixtures also continue with round eight this weekend, with in under-18, Waves Tigers facing a must-win away game against Hervey Bay Seagulls tomorrow to keep their finals hopes alive. While at Salter Oval on Sunday it is a top-of-the-table shoot-out between Wests and Wallaroos with the Panthers able to clinch the minor premiership if they are victorious.
Rowing: Time trials
Bundaberg competitors excelled in the recent Maryborough Bridge to Bridge 13km Time Trials with wins to Grace Pashley in the women’s under-19 singles, Blake Hupalo, Dylan Wick, Stirling Thomas and Ethan Baird in the men’s under-19 quad, and Paige Harris, Talitha Kenzler, Amber Flynn and Helena Mears in the women’s under-19 quad.
Montana Clark and Saxon Blair also combined to take out the mixed doubles, Joseph Black won the men’s singles for the second year in a row, Jacob Wangman teamed with Zachary Freeman to claim the men’s under-19 doubles, and Asia Heaps and Sienna Clark again showed their class in leading a Bundaberg trifecta in the women’s under-19 doubles.
Locals also picked up a number of minor placings.
It was a big day out for local trainer Paul Burgess at this week’s Bundaberg meeting, claiming a winning treble with Wildash Macie, Fly Mariposa and New Waves, all in Fifth Grade events.
Brett Hazelgrove, of Buccan, picked up a double with Cool Change (Mixed 4th/5th Grade) and Sea Riding in a Bundaberg Oaks Heat.
The other Oaks heat was won by It’s a Glance for Greenmount raider Justin Bowe.
Two heats of the Bundaberg Derby were also run, taken out by Prince Cosmic for Torbanlea trainer Ricky Hassall, and up and comer Not Scared from the Gin Gin kennels of Ron Brook.
McIlwraith owner/trainer John Watts was also in the money with Huxley Bale in the Novice.
- Last weekend's sports report.