For the second time in a row, the Hitz FM 93.9 Football Bundaberg 1st Division Men’s Cup grand final went down to a penalty shoot-out between Bingera and Across The Waves.
The two perennial heavyweights were locked together at 1-1 at full-time and 2-2 at the end of two 15-minute halves of extra-time.
But after Bingera prevailed 4-3 in penalties two years ago, the boot was on the other foot this time with Waves clinching the silverware by a 4-2 margin after converting their first four shots but not having to take the fifth available kick after the Superstripes pushed their third kick over the crossbar.
Then their keeper Jason McEwan stepped up to take their fourth but was blocked by his opposite Sam Collinson.
Waves drew first blood in the match through sharpshooter Bryce Hibberd but Bingera equalised via the head of tall timber Joel Haack, but neither side was able to break the deadlock in regulation time.
Jason and Sam both pulled off some superb saves with Waves finding the back of the net twice late in the match, only for the goals to be disallowed for off-side on both occasions.
The pulsating end-to-end duel continued in extra-time, until the stripes took the lead for the first time with Joel replicating his first goal one minute from the end of the first period.
With a quick change of ends and both teams running on empty as a result of a fast and fierce physical battle, players had to dig deep.
Just when it looked like Bingera would hold on, Waves captain Callum Hillier finished off a superb team goal from close range with five minutes left on the clock.
Both sides continued to attack in search of a winner, but in the end a draw was a fitting result, and the shoot-out which followed was a harsh way to determine the winner, and while Waves could celebrate the silverware, Bingera also covered themselves in glory.
Waves coach John Brillante lauded a “whole team effort” and said they showed a lot of character to come back from 2-1 down deep in extra-time
“I think the boys deserved that – this is my fourth grand final in my third year back as coach but our first win, and we needed this for momentum going forward,” John said.
Waves completed the Men’s Cups clean-sweep after defeating Bargara 5-0 in Second Division and Brothers-Aston Villa 2-0 in Third Division, both earlier in the afternoon.
But they lost the Total Greens First Division Ladies Cup decider to United Park Eagles (UPE) 5-0 with Australian women’s discus champion and Olympic Games hopeful Taryn Gollshewsky bagging a hat-trick for United and young gun Taylor Stumer picking up their other two goals.
UPE also triumphed in the Second Division Ladies Cup, accounting for SC Corinthians 4-2 in extra-time, with Bryce Hibberd’s elder sister Sarah, a late starter in the game who did play the sport until returning to Bundaberg after completing her university studies, a match winner with a double.
Scores – Hitz FM 93.9 1st Division Men’s Cup: ATW 2 (Bryce Hibberd, Callum Hillier) d BINGERA 2 (Joel Haack 2) 4-2 in penalty shoot-out.
2nd Division Men’s Cup: ATW 5 (Mitchell Aslett, Sebastian Foglia, Phoyx-Martin Smith, Preston Cox, Heath Hunter) d BARGARA 0.
3rd Division Men’s Cup: ATW 2 (Kurt Roberts, Troy Howes) d BAV 0.
Total Greens 1st Division Ladies Cup: UPE 5 (Taryn Gollshewsky 3, Taylor Stumer 2) d ATW 0.
2nd Division Ladies Cup: UPE 4 (Sarah Hibberd 2, Emmaleigh Jones, Caitlin Baker-Ross) d SC CORINTHIANS 2.
It will be back to regular fixtures this weekend, and in the Wide Bay Premier League Men, leaders Brothers-Aston Villa have the bye, but there are two matches at Martens Oval at 6pm tomorrow, with Bingera and UPE, who are among four teams in equal-third position, taking on Sunbury Blues and SC Corinthians respectively, while Waves, who are also in equal-third, travel to Maryborough to suit up against second placed Doon Villa.
The winless Diggers travel to Hervey Bay to cross words with KSS Jets, who have one win to their credit.
In the WB Premier League Women’s, UPE meet all conquering Sunbury Blues at 8pm tonight at Martens Oval, while tomorrow, also at Martens, Bingera duel with Granville at 2pm, before Waves take to the field against Tinana at 4pm.
Unbeaten minor premiers Across The Waves Eagles will favoured to go all the way when they tussle with two-times defending champions Hervey Bay Bombers in the AFL Wide Bay Takalvan’s Women’s Premiership grand final at Norm McLean Oval at 5pm tomorrow.
The Eagles have lost the two grand finals to the Bombers in its first two years, 2018 and 2019, and they were also second on the ladder behind Hervey Bay when last season was abandoned due to Covid-19.
But they have beaten their arch-rivals in their two clashes this year, by 23 points at home in the season opener on February 13, and by a mere three points when they last met in atrocious conditions at McLean Oval on March 20, when the Bombers had seven more shots at goal, but Waves got home 3.0 to 1.9.
While those are the only two games the Bombers have lost and they boast the second leading goal kicker in Hayley Torresan, who slotted 12 to trail only Bay Power’s Kyla Hill, the Eagles had a far superior percentage to them of 481.5 to 364.8, and they had eight players who notched four or more majors.
Eagles coach Jason Bethune said there was a feeling of great excitement in the club, and his players are on a mission.
“The week has been fantastic, and we are all super keen,” Jason said.
“We have got a few original players and a lot of new ones as well – Kayla Osborn has been our captain since the start and she has been a great leader, but it has been a team effort all year and we don’t rely on one player, and we have built that orientation in all games.
“Our girls have absolutely improved each year, and have been better again this year – we have improved each and every week and hopefully we play our best game ever, come Saturday.”
Meanwhile, in the Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership, the Eagles will meet the Brothers Bulldogs for the second time in the space of a fortnight at Frank Coulthard Oval at 7pm tonight.
The Eagles have won just one just one of their three matches in their title defence, against the winless Bulldogs by 45 points on Anzac Day and they will be favoured again despite suffering a heavy loss to Bay Power last Saturday.
The other match of the round will be played tomorrow, with Bombers and Power to go head-to-head at 2.30pm, preceding the women’s decider.
Congratulations to Branyan Road SS and Norville SS on taking out the Boys and Girls divisions of the Queensland Street Smarts School Cup at the Bundaberg Gala Primary Days at Waves’ grounds earlier in the week.
Eight teams contested the boys’ division, with Branyan Road defeating Norville 3.8 (26) to 0.6 (6) in an entertaining final, with their youngest player, Year 4 Braith Hall kicking all three goals, while nine girls’ sides battled it out with Norville winning the top-three round-robin with St Luke’s Anglican School and Branyan Road.
Queensland Participation and Program Manager Richie Lyons attended the days and was very impressed with the event, which was run under the direction of AFL Wide Bay Development Coordinator Kieron Hyndman.
Branyan Road boys and Norville girls will now go on to meet the Hervey Bay winners in the next round of the state knock-out competition.
After each suffering their first losses of the season at their last starts a fortnight ago, much will be at stake in the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership thriller between Wests Panthers and Easts Magpies at 3pm tomorrow at Salter Oval.
Both will be without a couple of their key men, but the Tanner brothers Josh and Dan, who have been at their vintage best for the Panthers, will play together for the first time since their big win over Past Brothers in the opening round.
At 5pm, Brothers are fresh from bursting the Magpies’ bubble, but injured captain Kevin Sherriff heads their list of absentees, and they will be up against a ravenous win-less Waves Tigers side, who will welcome back their two best players Reece and Cody Maughan, and will be desperate to pick themselves up off the canvas.
In Hervey Bay, unbeaten leaders Seagulls will have to duel with last-start winners Wallaroos without the services of their representative stars Logona Vetemotu and Jeremiah Pati, who were both suspended for two weeks for failing to show up for Bundaberg in the 47th Battalion Plate final on Sunday.
In the Northern Districts, all roads lead to Gin Gin this Sunday and the Hawks will attempt to bounce back from their first loss of the season two weeks ago when they take on the win-less Miriam Vale Magpies at 3.15pm.
Earlier at 1.30pm, Avondale Tigers will need to improve greatly if they are to stop the high-flying unbeaten South Kolan Sharks.
In the Women’s League Tag, the Hawks will duel with the Tigers at 12.15pm.
Four-times defending champions All Blacks will meet beaten grand finalists of the past four years Waves Cities in another Bundaberg Division 1 Men’s blockbuster at 4.30pm tomorrow at Hinkler Park.
Arrows/Athletics and Raiders/Rovers’ men will then take to the field at 5.50pm.
There is again just Division 1 Women’s game tomorrow due to a forfeit, with Cities and All Blacks to take centre-stage at 3.10pm.
Bundaberg Flames teams excelled in the Hervey Bay Rep Carnival on Sunday, with the Under-15 and Under 11’s both winning and the Under-14, 13 and 12’s each finishing runners up.
All teams will again be in action in the Rockhampton Representative Carnival this weekend.
There are no club fixtures tomorrow, with results below for the first half of the midway split round which was played on Wednesday.
Division 2: Brothers Cyclones 34 d Natives Eagles 26; Alloway Red 43 d Fusion Ocrete 30; Waves Red 33 d Waves Purple 24; Natives Swans 48 d Alloway White 29.
Division 3: Brothers Thunder 27 drew Brothers Lightning 27; Waves Royals 49 d Natives Rosellas 31.
Division 5: Brothers Twisters 61 d Natives Toucans 9; Natives Kookaburras 27 d Fusion Magic Sultans 22; Natives Firebirds 28 d Alloway Maroon 19.
Division 7: Alloway Aqua 39 d Brothers Wildfires 21; Natives Lorikeets 30 d Waves Diamonds 7.
Division 9: Natives Kingfishers 18 d Brothers Volcanoes 15; Alloway Purple 33 d Waves Maroons 15.
Division 10: Fusion Sandhills 22 d Waves Teal 5; Brothers Tornadoes 9 d Alloway Gold 7.
After being placed at 5 of his first 13 starts, three-year-old Toy Whitty finally broke through for his Bundaberg owner/trainer Lyn Petersen in the Maiden Plate at Thangool on Saturday.
The ultra-consistent Zuleika, which is owned and trained in Biggenden by Ron Hawkshaw and had won at Albion Park two starts earlier, was a big winner in the Free For All at this week’s Bundaberg meeting.
The big black dog romped home a 5.5 length victor over favourite Hooked on Xena, taking his record to 8 wins, 10 seconds and 9 thirds from 41 starts.
No trainer was able to win multiple races on the day, with 10 mentors sharing the spoils, including 5 others from throughout the District, starting with Louise Cameron with Sassy Elle which broke through in the Maiden at her fifth start after being placed at each of her first four appearances.
Lindsay McCarthy got the money with white-hot favourite Sholto which maintained his perfect record from three runs at Thabeban Park with a run-away 12-length triumph in the Novice Non-Penalty, while Paul Burgess was successful with New Wave in the Masters 5th Grade, and Lorraine Isles saluted the judge with talented youngster Unencumbered in a 5th Grade Heat.
Bro’s Girl made it 3 wins from her past 4 attempts for John White in another 5th Grade Heat, and former long-time Gin Gin trainer Ron Brook, who now calls Takura home, took out the 4th Grade with Not Scared.
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