Bundaberg players have continued to excel at various state hockey championships over the past month, including Tully Dorgan, who was chosen in the School Sport Queensland 10-12 Years Boys Merit Team after starring for Wide Bay at those titles in Toowoomba.
The Wide Bay boys placed a creditable fifth at the carnival, with the Girls side, which also included a strong Bundaberg contingent, placing eighth.
Well done also to Bundaberg’s two umpires at the tournament, Ben Smith, and Hailey Kendall, who both achieved their Community Badges.
Sam and Isaac led the charge as Bundaberg wound up second in Division 2 with a 4-1 victory over Toowoomba 2, with the former bagging a double and the latter also among the scorers, along with Tully’s elder brother Liam Dorgan.
Bundaberg had started the competition in style with a 6-1 demolition of Tweed Border with Sam cutting loose with a bag of 4 goals and one each to Isaac and Harry Gardiner.
In their second game that night, Sam netted another double against Rockhampton, but it was not enough, and they were held to a 2-all draw.
They also drew their two matches on day 2, against Sunshine Coast 3-all with one goal each to Isaac, Harry and Sam, and Cairns 2 2-all with successful strikes by Sam and Riley Howard.
Despite being undefeated, Bundaberg had to settle for second to Sunshine Coast, who recorded 3 wins and 2 draws, but Sam also had the honour of being the leading scorer in the Division with 10, three more than runner-up Connor Innis (Tweed Border).
The Bundaberg team was coached by Brendan Stevens and Jarred Taylor, with the Manager Gavan Pegg, Umpire Des Barritt, and Tech Official Jaccki Greiner.
The Bundaberg Under-18 girls had a mixed bag in their series in Townsville, with two wins and two losses in their Division 2 Pool A, but they wound up sixth after going down to Gympie 3-1 in the cross-pool play-offs with Hailey Kendall their goal scorer.
Bundaberg had started slowly with a loss to Brisbane 3 4-nil, but bounced back to run out 5-0 victors over Townsville 2 with a double to Hailey and singles to Annabell Pring, Milee Flanders and Mia Collier.
They kicked off day 2 with a 3-0 dispatch of Warwick with captain Milee doubling up and Mia also striking, but they were then no match for Brisbane 2, losing 6-0.
The team was coached by Natalie Ferguson, with Bundaberg Hockey Association president Helen Cislowski the manager.
The Under-13 Boys State Championships were also played in Townsville, with Bundaberg claiming 11th in Division 1 on strokes after Mitchell Figallo scored in a 1-all draw with Gladstone in their play-off.
Bundaberg lost their first game against Mackay 1 2-0, but bounced back for a win against Gladstone 3-0, with a double to Tully Dorgan and one goal to Hamish Cook.
Come Day 2, and they started with captain Connor Castelli scoring in a 2-1 loss to Ipswich, before they were blown away by Cairns 7-0, and on Day 3, they were also outgunned by Gold Coast 1 6-0, before going down fighting to Brisbane 2 3-1 with a goal to Campbell Baldwin.
Bundaberg fared better in the Under-13 Girls division in Gympie, sealing third with a Gabrielle Aitkenhead goal enough to edge out Cairns 1-0.
They had kicked off with Mathilda Rasmussen scoring in losing to Townsville 2-1, but they then notched a hat-trick of wins, against Ipswich 2 3-0 with goals to Ava McCaig, River-Lee Rayner, Emma Kendall, Brisbane 4 2-1 with Bridie Stehbens and Ava McCaig the goal heroes, and Toowoomba 2 3-0 with one goal each to Mathilda, Sophie Aitkenhead and Silvana Silvestro.
Bundaberg also gave it their best shot in the semi-finals, but Brisbane 3 got home 2-0 with two second-quarter goals, before going on to claim the crown with a 2-1 triumph over Townsville 1.
Congratulations also to Ethan Kenny, who was selected in the U-13 Boys Sabers State Team, Connor Castelli, who was named as a Shadow Player for the side, and Ava McCaig who was recognised as a Shadow for the 2021 State Girls Cinders outfit.
In the Bundaberg competition this weekend, Waves Cities will take on Raiders/Rovers in all grades, and in Division 1, their women’s duel is set down for 5.50pm tomorrow at Hinkler Park, followed by the men’s shoot-out at 7.10pm.
Arrows/Athletics will be up against All Blacks with their women to suit up at 3.10pm and men at 4.30pm.
Bundaberg’s Under-18 girls were the Rum City’s most successful of their 9 teams at the 2021 Queensland Touch Football Junior State Cup in Hervey Bay from last Thursday-Saturday, taking out their last match against BMTA Mustangs 4-2 to finish with a 4-2 win-loss record, but unfortunately, they wound up third of 7 teams to narrowly miss the semi-finals.
Childers however lost all of their six games to be last of 7 in Pool B.
The Bundaberg U18 boys finished on the bottom of Pool A, before posting their only win, against the 5th place Pool B Roma Rangers 4-2 with double to Mitchell Allen, then finishing with a scoreless draw against Caboolture.
Bundaberg’s U16 boys’ best result was a 5-all draw with Dalby Eagles, losing their remaining 5 games.
But our U16 girls qualified for the round of 16 before accounting for Kawana Purple 2-1 with a double to Taylor Driver, but they were blown away by Rockhampton Redbacks 9-1 in the quarterfinals.
In U14 boys, Bundaberg won their last round game against Kawana 4-2 for a 3-3 win-loss outcome, placing them 4th in Pool C.
Zoe Stone touched down twice for the U14 girls as they white-washed BMTA 5-0 after they had taken third in Pool A with 3 wins and 2 losses, but they were then edged out by Redlands 6-4 in the play-off for 9th & 10th despite another two tries to Zoe.
Bundaberg’s U12 boys lost all four of their preliminary games in Division A, before accounting for Arana 2-1 in the play-off of the two Pool fifth placed sides, and putting it all together in an 8-2 blitz of Division B table toppers Ipswich Falcons.
In U12A girls, Bundaberg saved their best for last, pipping Arana 1-0 after starting with 2 draws and 2 losses, and they also played their hearts out in being denied by Caboolture 3-2 in the play-off between the two Pool 5th placegetters.
Bundaberg’s U10 boys also never stopped trying and placed 8th of 10 in Division A with 1 win and 2 draws from their nine games.
After losing their first four games of the season, Waves Tigers have emerged as one of the form teams of the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership, and after all but sealing a finals berth with a shock 26-18 victory over Wests Panthers last week, coach Antonio Kaufusi wants further improvement when they take on cellar dwellers Wallaroos in the penultimate round at Salter Oval at 3pm tomorrow.
The beleaguered Roos have lost their past six games, but they are only four points behind Waves with a far inferior points differential to them of 107 points, however they can still mathematically snatch fifth place and a finals berth from Tigers if they beat them tomorrow and also defeat Hervey Bay Seagulls next Saturday, and Waves go down to Past Brothers on the same program.
Kaufusi knows Wallaroos are hurting and that they will be on a mission, but the Tigers will be greatly bolstered by the returns of former North Queensland Cowboys National Youth Cup centre Cody Maughan for the first time since May 9, and one of their young guns in Tom Dexter.
A coach who is renowned for getting the best out of his players, Kaufusi said he “always had confidence in the team”.
“In the last month we have been building really nicely and we just had to put it all together – we learnt a lot (last week) – we dropped that much ball in the second half, but to come away with the win, we can take a lot of confidence out of that,” Kaufusi said.
“Everyone was good (against Wests) but big Ross Larsen played a tough game in the mud the previous week and he was strong again, Tommy Akers was awesome, Folau Havili came off the bench and added punch, and Mitch Trims stepped into hooker since Sam Tobin was injured and is getting better and better every game.
“And Leighton Chambers has probably been our Best on Ground every game – he has been playing that well and with his unreal speed off the ball, he’s hard to handle – he has been fantastic and has been the point of difference and the X factor we need.
“We don’t have traditional halves, but we have blooded a young team and they needed game time at the expense of losing, and I have stuck strong with the young kids, and it was always going to be a matter of time.”
Kaufusi said they must keep on building, and whether or not they can climb into third place and ensure two bites at the finals cherry, his current sole focus is on beating Roos tomorrow, which, depending on other results, could set up a last-round showdown for third place, but he will not be concerned even if they have to come from the elimination final.
“We enjoyed that win (against Wests) but we were our own worst enemies, and if we can cut those errors out, no problem, we can make a bit of a noise in the finals – my aim was always to sneak into the top five, then we can be a headache for any other team – I don’t think they will like playing us – in the finals, anything can happen, but I’m not even look that far ahead,” he said.
In the 5pm match, Easts Magpies will be chasing their ninth win in a row when they take on reigning champions Brothers, who need to win one of their last two games to clinch a top-three finish and a double-chance in the finals, but they have been patchy all season, and coach Andrew Hamilton wants them to build some momentum heading into the play-offs.
At Stafford Park, Hervey Bay, both teams also have much to play for as hosts Seagulls battle it out with the Panthers with both coming off costly losses.
There are no Northern Districts matches this weekend, with the League to hold their Awards Night at South Kolan Hotel tomorrow night.
With just two points separating third placed Bingera (24), Brothers-Aston Villa (BAV) (23) and United Park Eagles (UPE) (22) on the Wide Bay Premier League Men’s ladder, they will each be striving to consolidate their positions in their matches across Bundaberg, each at 6pm tomorrow.
Bingera will be expected to dominate when they host 8th placed KSS Jets, while at Martens Oval, BAV meet the might of leaders Across The Waves (ATW), and UPE could cut loose against cellars dwellers Diggers.
Meanwhile, 10th placed SC Corinthians travel to Maryborough to be put to the test against Doon Villa.
Only two of the three Bundaberg teams in the Women’s Premier League, will be in action this round with Bingera and ATW to cross swords at Martens Oval at 8pm tonight.
Both Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership matches tomorrow will be in Bundaberg with the winless Brothers Bulldogs to host second placed Bay Power, and reigning champions Across The Waves Eagles out to halt Hervey Bay Bombers’ all-conquering run at Frank Coulthard Oval.
The Eagles are coming off an away loss to the Power, and need to improve after being shot down by the Bombers by 134 points on 5th June, 33 points on 15th May, and 48 points on 17th April.
Bundaberg Open and Under-17 teams will travel to Yeppoon this weekend for the second round of the QPL.
Bundaberg Warren Family Homes Premiership fixtures will also resume after a four-week break at the Bundaberg Superpark tomorrow.
But not all Division 1 games will be played, with some rescheduled to accommodate for those sides most affected by the unavailability of their representative players.
Churchable trainer Casey Dargusch claimed a double at this week’s Bundaberg meeting, getting the money with Broich, which snapped a 20-race losing streak, and Silent Talk on track debut, both in Mixed 4th/5th Grades.
Four District trainers were also among the winners, David Raines, who took out the quinella in the 5th Grade Pathway Non-Penalty with Super Normal, which ended a 24-race losing sequence, and Really Royal, Paul Burgess with Stop it Bella, which romped home in a 5th Grade, Stephen Bland with Cambla Doll in the Best 8, and John Kuhn with On The Buses in another 5th Grade.
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