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Bundaberg’s swim stars in the spotlight

Bundaberg swimming
BUNDABERG SWIMMING: Brothers Isaac and Ben Cooper catch up after each competing at different state and national swimming championships.

Bundaberg will have at least two representatives at the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide from June 12-17 in Connor Simms and Isaac Cooper.

Toby Street will also be looking to qualify when he competes at the University Games in Sydney from May 13-16.

Isaac claimed three gold medals at the recent Queensland Age Championships, in the 17 years boys 50m freestyle, and the 100m and 200m backstroke, the 100m in Australian and All Comers records.

He also broke his own Queensland record in his backstroke leg of the silver medal winning Rackley Swim Team 4x50m Medley Relay team, clocking 24.92sec.

Isaac said the Olympic trials will be his next competition, where he has qualified for 100m backstroke, in which he is ranked fourth in Australia, and 200m backstroke and 50m freestyle.

Isaac’s younger brother Ben also mixed it with the best at the recent Schools State Championships, as Bundaberg Christian College’s sole representative in the Wide Bay team.

Ben was a finalist in the 16 years boys 100m backstroke and also swam in the 50m of all four strokes, and 100m backstroke.

His father Alan said he “was grateful that BCC helped so much in juggling his exams and assignments which were all due the same week”.

Bundaberg swimming success: Connor and Toby

Connor and Toby, who claimed team silver at the national age titles, are both now members of the Bond University Club.

Connor competed at the Australian Open titles and qualified for the men’s 200m and 400m Freestyle finals, and was pleased to achieve Personal Bests over both of those distances, and was also first emergency for the 50m Freestyle.

Connor will also compete at the University Games where he hopes to further improve his times in each of his events.

Connor’s father and Bundaberg Swim Team coach Paul Simms was also delighted with the performances of that club’s sole representative at the Australian Age, Kasey Krueger, whom he said did well at her first age nationals, with her best performance coming in the 13 years girls 400m Freestyle on the last day of competition, qualifying for the final.

Speedway

Queensland No. 1 Joel Berkley heads a bumper field of 32 in the BWR Machinery Production Sedans event on a big program at Autobarn Carina International Speedway tomorrow.

There are also nine entries for the Super Auto Services Carina Nostalgia Sedan Classic, while in the J.A Toft & Co. Junior Sedans, a field of 10 will line up in Top Stars and 19 in New Stars, and in the National 4’s, there will also be 10 cars.

Other highlights of the night will include a huge Fireworks show and a Pro Burnout Showdown with Bugzilla taking on The Bullet Burnout Truck.

The program will start around 4pm.

AFL

Brothers Bulldogs may need to call on the spirit of the Anzacs when they host bitter cross-town rivals and reigning champions Across The Waves Eagles in the second Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Seniors game of the traditional Anzac Day round at Brothers Sports Club at 3pm this Sunday.

The Hervey Bay derby at 1pm between the Bombers and Power will also be a classical duel between two unbeaten sides.

The Bulldogs will play their first home game of the season after heavy away losses to the two Bay sides, and they will need to improve dramatically against an Eagles side which will be fitter and hungry after fading to a 48-point home loss in their first outing of 2021 on the weekend.

bundaberg swimming
Brothers Bulldogs’ Elsie Kerwin contests the ball in a recent AFL Takalvan’s Women’s Premiership clash with Bay Power

In the Takalvan’s Women’s Premiership last round, unbeaten minor premiers the Eagles will warm up for the grand final in a fortnight’s time when they host third placed Power at Frank Coulthard Oval at 3pm tomorrow, while the battered and beaten Bulldogs will finish their season when they hit the road to suit up against the second seeds Bombers.

Rugby League

There could be a bit of a family feud when Easts Magpies captain and reigning BRL A Grade Player of the Year Matt Craven takes on a Past Brothers team coached by his uncle and former long-time coach Andrew Hamilton in the Bundaberg Broadcasters Premiership at 5pm at Salter Oval tomorrow.

The Magpies, who are now coached by former multiple premierships winning Brothers star including as a captain and a player/coach, Brent Kuskey, also includes four other former Brothers premiership winning aces in Tien Nguyen, Tyrell Howard, Joel Keune and John Akers, and they are unbeaten with two wins and a draw, while Brothers had their first win last week but were patchy in beating Wallaroos.

Bundaberg Swimming
Front rower Semisi Halapio makes a signature charge for the high flying Gin Gin Hawks in the Northern Districts Rugby league

At 3pm, Waves Tigers and Wallaroos, who are each yet to open their accounts, will square off, with the Tigers needing to improve greatly after a 38-point drubbing by Wests Panthers, and they will be without three of their best players in Reece and Cody Maughan and Sam Tobin.

Down at Hervey Bay, the Seagulls will have home-ground advantage against Wests, but they will need something special to topple the purring Panthers.

In the Northern Districts, two-times defending champions Avondale Tigers will host the also win-less Miriam Vale Magpies at Tegege at 3.15pm this Sunday, after unbeaten duo South Kolan Sharks and Gin Gin Hawks go head-to-head at 1.30pm.

In the Women’s League Tag, there will be an Avondale intra-club showdown between the Hornets and Tigers at 12.15pm.

Football

After playing their hearts out, only to go down to Frenchville, who scored in the 93rd minute to claim a 4-3 victory in their FFA fifth round clash last Saturday, following on from a 2-1 loss to Brothers-Aston Villa (BAV) seven days earlier, Across The Waves (ATW) face an important assignment in the Wide Bay Premier League Men’s division with a clash with third placed Granville in Maryborough tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, BAV, who are alone and unbeaten at the top of the table but are coming off a First Division Cup 6-1 thrashing by Bingera, will host Fraser Flames at 6pm, and in the two 6pm games at Martens Oval, United Park Eagles (UPE) should be too strong for KSS Jets, and Bingera should have too many guns for SC Corinthians.

In the Premier League Women’s division, KSS Jets host UPE in Hervey Bay tonight, and in Maryborough, Sunbury Blues will be at home to ATW, while there is one game in the Heritage City tomorrow with Bingera travelling to oppose Tinana.

Postponed Cup matches were played during the week, and here are the results:

2nd Division Men: BARGARA 2 (Riccardo Gastaldello, Andrew Fallon) d UPE 1 (Matt Sobczak); ATW 7 d DIGGERS 2 in extra-time.

3rd Division Men: BAV 3 (Ethan Elsmore, Jacob Green, Will Brosnan) UPE Red 1 (Ethan Maas).

1st Division Ladies: UPE 4 (Lily Haster, Taylor Stumer, Taryn Gollshewsky, Emily Ryan) d BINGERA 0.

2nd Division Ladies: UPE 5 (Kylie Brislane 3, April Mathiesen, Sarah Hibberd) d ATW 0; SC CORINTHIANS 5 (Kalani Irwin, Kate Connor, Sarah Hall) d DIGGERS 0.

Netball

The three first round winners in the Bundaberg Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership Waves Gold, Brothers Hurricanes and Fusion Solomons will meet the first-up losers Waves Blue, Alloway Blue and Natives Magpies respectively in the second round at the Super Park tomorrow.

The Waves intra-club duel will take place at 5pm, with the other two matches at 6.30pm.

Hockey

There will be only one Bundaberg Division 1 Men’s match at Hinkler Park tomorrow due to a forfeit in the originally scheduled early timeslot.

Four-times defending men’s premiers All Blacks will take on Arrows/Athletics at 3.10pm and they are expected to go on their winning ways after beating them 4-1 in the season opener four weeks ago.

Arrows and All Blacks’ women will the square off at 4.30pm, before another women’s showdown between Waves Cities and Raiders/Rovers at 5.50pm

Greyhounds

Beachmere owner/trainer Paul McIlveen dominated this week’s Bundaberg meeting, taking out a winning treble.

He was successful with debutant Sunshine Delight in the Maiden, and litter sisters Bad and Boujee, which made it two wins from as many starts on the track in the Novice Non-Penalty, and Sits and Wags, which won two races at Ipswich last month, in a 5th Grade Heat.

Four District trainers were also winners on the day, Lorraine Isles with Unencumbered, which made it back-to-back victories, Paul Burgess, with Wildash Lou, and Alan Raines, with Swift Gear, each also in 5th Grade Heats, and Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Ricky Hassall with the ultra-consistent Hooked on Xena in the Free For All.

The Anzac Day Cup final will be the feature on Monday’s holiday meeting.

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