This week in sports talk Vince Habermann previews a packed weekend of sporting action including the start of the CQ Basketball League and the junior rugby league grand finals.
CQ Basketball League
Bundaberg Bulls and Bears will be looking for the support of a big home crowd when they host Gladstone Power in the first round of the ConocoPhillips Central Queensland Basketball Cup at Autobarn Arena tomorrow.
Both local teams have prepared well under their respective coaches Mick Catlin and Darren Mortensen, including playing home and away trial games against Hervey Bay.
Mick is “quietly confident” that they can challenge for the title.
“But this is a lot tougher than the CQ League last year and it is a step-up level against Gladstone, Rocky and Mackay – I expect this week will be a tough hit-out and a close game but I think it’s going to be fun,” Mick said.
Mick said captain Solomon Holmes would provide valuable experience.
The 45-year-old Maryborough junior joined the army but returned to the game after returning to his home-town 10 years ago and has recently moved to Bundaberg.
“Solomon was that dedicated that he lost 30kg to get fit – he has shown a lot of commitment and leadership and is an ideal choice to lead a young side,” he said.
“We have also got big Ben Wright back from a stint with Rocky in the NBL 1, the old QBL, and Aiden Potter is back with us after playing for Maryborough Magic last year, and we have a lot of talented young players like Tyler Davis.”
Darren said everyone is delighted to have Bears legend Kylie Giles back to lead an also youthful women’s side.
“I’m also expecting big things from Grayson Taylor – our team is almost entirely made up of local players and we are looking at developing them,” Darren said.
“We may find some of the games challenging but the girls will fight hard – against Gladstone, I expect a tough close game and whoever plays better on the night will win.”
Bulls: Aarre Lammi, Billy Maule, Bryce Davis, Tyler Davis, Aiden Potter, Ben Wright, Solomon Holmes ©, Caleb Kitson, Dusty George, James Pearson, Jason Steinhardt, Khobie Redgard, Lachlan Storey, Fletcher Doyle, CJ Kennedy.
Bears: Kylie Giles ©, Makayla Mortensen, Mekkija Redgard, Shelby Cass, Ash Gehrig, Sarah Pizzey, Rhia Blair, Ash Muldoon, Ash Frampton, Jane Lester, Caitlin Clancy, Grayson Taylor, Alyssa Cameron, Georgia Herbener, Brandi Leal.
Wests Panthers will be hot favourites to take out the Bundaberg Under-18 premiership even though Wallaroos will have their hometown behind them in the grand final at Eskdale Park Maryborough tomorrow night.
One Bundaberg team will also contest the other three grand finals on that program, with Bundaberg Grizzlies to duel with Hervey Bay Seagulls in under-16, Wests against Seagulls in under-15, and Brothers also opposed to Seagulls in under-13.
The under-14 decider will be an all-Bundaberg affair between Brothers and Waves Tigers at Waves Sports Complex at 12 noon Sunday.
Good luck to all teams.
Josh Adcock cut loose with four goals as United Park Eagles (UPE) outgunned Granville 6-3 in their Wide Bay Premier League round 16 clash in Maryborough on Wednesday night.
With two rounds to go, Bingera have the league championship wrapped up on 42 points, but the battle for second spot will go down to the wire between Brothers-Aston Villa (BAV) (36) and Across The Waves (ATW) (35), while UPE (30) cannot be beaten for fourth but could climb one position higher depending on results in the next two weeks.
Tomorrow at 6pm at Martens Oval, UPE will take on KSS Jets, and Diggers and BAV do battle, while Bingera and ATW will each travel to Maryborough to meet Granville and Sunbury respectively.
The unbeaten UPE have the Ladies League championship secure on 42 points, with Bingera set for second on 37, while ATW (31), Diggers (30) and UPE Black (27) will fight it out for the other two positions.
The finals picture will be clearer after tonight when at 6pm, Bingera takes on Diggers, SC Corinthians Lionesses go head-to-head with UPE, and ATW United suit up against UPE Black, and at 7.45pm, it is Bargara up against ATW.
The Aussie Bundy Big Bash will fire up at Salter Oval tonight with Takalvan Taipans to start their title defence against Betta Heat, with the Taipans to take a power of beating again after retaining their five biggest guns in Sean Stuchbery, David Boge, Sam Pearson, Dale Steele and Mitchell Waters.
Bundaberg senior fixtures will resume tomorrow after they took a break for the Bulls Masters T20 Country Challenge, while junior fixtures will also get under way.
Tomorrow’s Division 1 T20 first round will mark the half-way point in that competition, and at 10.30am, Brothers will meet high flying unbeaten Waves and Norths take on East Bundy Magpies, then at 2pm, Norths suit up against Brothers, and the Magpies will look to reverse their loss to Waves back in the season opener.
The Junior Blasters (5-7 years) will get under way next Thursday, with Master Blasters (7-10 years) to follow one week later.
Master Blasters players are needed, and anyone interested should contact one of the clubs: Brothers Anthony Rehbein 0416 155399, Waves Rhys Grills 0421 654957, Norths Gail Pimm 0400 258343, Easts Keegan Lankowski 0438 608632, or Isis Marty Ryan 0407 769309.
After the Bundaberg Netball Association cancelled their regular season earlier in the year due to Covid-19, they have organized a 10-round Spring Cup season starting tomorrow with 53 teams competing across seven Pools.
Association president Anthony Lewis said there are some rules adjustments, to help enhance the fun factor, including with two points to be awarded for all goals scored for a “super shot” in the last two minutes of each quarter, and that he is “looking forward to it”.
Rounds of matches will be played at 4.30pm, then on the hour through to the last at 7.30pm, with the bar to operate.
Rugby Bundaberg (RB) has been able to form a side, to complement a four-team competition in the Elders Insurance Spring Cup, with the Renegades to make their debut in the second round at the Waves Sports Complex tomorrow at 5pm against Wests Barbarians.
RB president Luke McCloskey, who will coach the team, said they have assembled a good roster, including rugby league stars Matt Craven and Trent Seeds, and Jayden Nadilo, and while they have had just one light training run together, on Wednesday night, he expects them to be a force, especially once they get their combinations going.
In the 7pm game, Turtles Brothers, who had a hard-fought win over Barbarians last Saturday, will find it tougher against Fraser Coast Mariners, who swept all before them last season but had the first-up bye.
The new Hervey Bay Softball Association season will get under way tomorrow with Bundaberg’s four clubs in the competition all ready to hit the diamonds, Bargara, Brothers United, Waves and Western Suburbs.
Games will be played at Brothers Sports Club and Hervey Bay, with action getting under way at 10.35am.
Brothers United claimed the A Grade Men’s and Ladies’ double last season, and in A Grade games at Brothers tomorrow, at 2pm, in the Ladies, Bargara Bullets will take on United Firesticks, then at 3.45pm, it will be a men’s showdown between Bargara Bombers and United Heat.
Bundaberg trainer Laura Cronan was successful at the Eidsvold meeting last Saturday with Tedder Express winning the Band 0-50 Handicap, ridden by recent Bundaberg Cup winning apprentice Shannyn Stephan.
She was also runner-up in the Eidsvold Cup with Torriente, with Dalby mare Rather Salubrious getting the money in that event.
A number of Bundaberg trainers will head to the Central Burnett again tomorrow for the five-race Gayndah Cup meeting.
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