Excitement is building for the Bulls Masters Cricket visit to Bundaberg next week for a series of events, including a dinner at the Multiplex on Friday night and T20 game against a Bundaberg Invitational XI at Salter Oval on Saturday night.
The star-studded Bulls Masters team for the game includes Andrew Symonds, Jimmy Maher, Chris Simpson, Lee Carseldine, Michael Kasprowicz, Gavin Fitness, Adam Dale, Ryan Harris, Luke Feldman, Ken Healy, Nathan Reardon, and Charlie Hemphrey, while three other greats, Ian Healy, Allan Border and Darren Lehmann, will join them on tour.
Before that, the final round of Rum City Foods Premierships fixtures will be played out at Salter Oval this weekend, and the Intra Cup will feature semi-final dress rehearsals at 11am tomorrow, with minor premiers Waves meeting fourth placed East Bundy Magpies who will be keen to bounce back to form, and second placed Brothers up against No. 3 Norths who are on a roll.
In Division 3 tomorrow, the minor premiership is on the line in the showdown between Waves and the Magpies, while fourth place and a finals berth is up for grabs in the stoush between YMCA and Brothers who are currently in equal-fourth.
In Division 2 on Sunday, joint-leaders Magpies and Waves will square off with the winner to take No. 1 and direct passage to the decider, and the loser to progress to the semi to meet the winner of the Norths-Brothers encounter, with those two teams also currently level on points.
Last Sunday, Brothers kept their Division 2 hopes alive with a big win over Waves, recovering from early trouble at 3-25 to post 5-202, thanks mainly to club coach Aaron Johnson who smashed an unbeaten 105 from 90 balls with 14 fours and four sixes.
They then bundled Waves out for just 116 with all six bowlers sharing in the wickets.
In Wide Bay Juniors, sons of guns, Lenny Henry, Alex Stuchbery and Charlie Steele led the charge as Bundaberg blitzed Fraser Coast by 323 runs in their under-12 clash at Hauritz Oval Hervey Bay on Sunday.
Lenny, whose father Cameron is a Waves multiple-premiership winner over a long and distinguished career, notched an unbeaten 120 from 72 balls with 20 fours and one six, in a massive total of 5-424 from their 50 overs, while Alex, whose father Sean has also been only of Bundaberg’s best over many years, second-top scored with an unconquered 72.
Bundaberg then rolled the Bay for 121 with Charlie, whose father Dale has also been one of Wide Bay’s finest throughout his long career, the main destroyer with 4-14 from his eight overs, while Lenny completed a dynamic double with 3-5.
Bundaberg trainer Gary Clem achieved a rare metropolitan winner when King Klaus led throughout to claim an 1110m Benchmark 75 Handicap at Doomben yesterday.
Ridden for the first time by Luke Tarrant, replacing his injured regular jockey Jason Taylor, he started second-favourite, paying $2.70, and he overcame the heavy track to win by 1.25 lengths from Fish On, with Voila, from the stables of Australia’s champion trainer Chris Waller, in third position.
King Klaus had finished unplaced for the first time in 10 starts, 8th of 10 at his previous outing in a 1000m Open Handicap at Caloundra, but Gary was prepared to forgive him for that effort.
“That was a Metro meet too, and it was a crackerjack open field with elite Queensland horses, some of whom had won almost $500,000 in prizemoney, and he was a bit tardy away, and only got beaten three lengths anyway,” Gary said.
Despite now having six wins and four placings from 11 starts, Gary has no special plans for him.
“We will just take him week-by-week and pick out another race for him either 1100m or 1200m,” he said.
Brothers Bulldogs coach Griffin Webb knows it will be tough when they take on impressive first-up winners Across The Waves Eagles in the second round of the Takalvan’s Wide Bay Women’s Premiership at Frank Coulthard Complex at 7pm tonight.
The Eagles made a statement with a 23-point victory over Hervey Bay Bombers last Saturday, when the Bulldogs had the bye.
But Griffin said they had been bolstered by the signing of eight players from Brothers Rugby League after their competition was cancelled for this year, Chantel McKeown, Stephanie Shearer, Jude Bust, Chelsea Morrison, Tanya Thiele, Sharna Curtis, Emma Collinson, and Jacinta King, and they will be well led by captain Emily Reinke.
“We have got a pretty good side, a lot better than people think – we have only pulled it together late, and we have only had two training sessions together but there are some quality players, and tonight will be a good indicator of where we are at but I’m sure we will hold our own,” Griffin said.
The Bombers will host Gympie Cats in the other match of the round tomorrow.
Elliott Heads will be a hive of activity as it plays host to the Apex Windslasher Kitesurfing Festival and Queensland Beach Volleyball Tour event, also incorporating the Queensland freestyle kitesurfing titles, this weekend.
While kitesurfers (also known as kiteboarders) hit the water, about 100 beach volleyballers will light up the sand, including some of Queensland's best.
Bundaberg product, former Australian volleyball representative and Tour Director Shanon Zunker said a quality field had gathered for the festival with teams in the men’s and women’s premier and challenger senior divisions and under-19 and under-15 male and female divisions battling for valuable tour points to qualify for the State Championships in Mooloolaba in April.
He said the Bundaberg team of Matt Brain and Nic Lindsay would enter the men’ s premier division event high on confidence after reaching the semi-finals at the Brisbane Major last weekend, but Queensland men’s No.1 ranked player Joel Berry will be aiming for a third successive Bundaberg title following his previous successes with different partners.
In the women’s premier division, Brisbane sisters Vanessa Green and Danielle King, who finished runner-up in their hometown and are consistently strong competitors on the tour, will be tough to beat.
Play gets under way at 8am tomorrow, continuing through until 4pm-5pm, before resuming for semi-finals on Sunday at 9am with the finals expected to be contested at midday.
The Festival will also feature food stalls, live music, and a licensed bar.
Good luck to all members of the Bundaberg, Elliott Heads and Moore Park teams who will contest the SLSQ Wide Bay Capricorn Branch Pool Rescue Championships in Rockhampton tonight and the Junior (Under-8-14) Titles at Emu Park over the weekend.
A total of 108 young life savers will battle it out for honours in the Pool, with Elliott Heads having a team of 17 and the Bundaberg club six.
They will also be part of the 339 competitors who will hit the beach and surf tomorrow, with 65 to represent Bundaberg, 57 to fly the Elliott Heads flag, and Moore Park having a small contingent of five.
Tannum Sands claimed the Overall Point Score Trophy last year, with Bundaberg second, but Bundaberg snared three of the four other trophies up for grabs, the Handicap, Beach and Junior category silverware.
United Firesticks have the Hervey Bay A Grade Ladies minor premiership secure regardless of the result of their last-round clash with fourth placed Bargara Bullets at Brothers Sports Club tomorrow at 3.45pm.
But the stakes will be higher in the 2pm showdown between No. 2 Waves Tsunamis and No. 3 Terrors, with the winner to claim second place and a spot in the major semi-final, while the loser will be relegated to the minor semi against the Bullets.
United Heat also have the A Grade Men’s minor title wrapped up, ahead of their duel with fourth placed Misfits at 2pm, after Misfits suit up against Waves Schooners at 12.15pm.
The battle for positions two to four will go right down to the wire, between Terrors (34), Maryborough (33), Misfits (30) and Waves Schooners (29), with Bargara Bombers, who are on 24 points, the only team out of contention.
The Schooners also have a second game, against Maryborough at 2pm, with Terrors able to secure one of the semi positions if they can defeat the Bombers at 12.15pm.
Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Ricky Hassall and Ken Boody, of Dalma, each claimed doubles at this week’s meeting at Thabeban Park.
Ricky took out the Maiden with favourite Victim of Crime, which used the inside box to full advantage, and the Free For All with Prince Cosmic, which snapped a 21-race losing streak.
Ken triumphed with Hardaway Ally in the Novice Non-Penalty, and former New South Wales chaser Molly’s My Mum in the Restricted Win event, both on track debut.
Four other District trainers were also successful on the program, Tracy Trigg with Loose Wire, which bounced back from a fall at her previous start in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade, Lindsay McCarthy with former Sydney-sider Satirical at his first start for him in a 5th Grade, John Kuhn with rising five-year-old Fabthor in the 4th Grade, and Paul Burgess with Velocity Tonelli in the 5th Grade Pathway Non-Penalty.
More sports news: Offshore fishing reeling in the big catches