Two tries in the space of five minutes to rookie winger Mitchell Clayton in the 64th and 69th minutes gave Past Brothers the upper-hand, to win 34-14 over Hervey Bay Seagulls in the Rugby League Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership Preliminary Final at Salter Oval on Saturday.
Dual premiership winning fullback and former Australian junior softball representative Tyrell Priestley put the icing on the cake with a late double as they recovered from a 14-4 half-time deficit.
The Seagulls, who had come from fourth position on the ladder, were the better team in the first half, and they established a handy 10-point lead at the break after sharpshooter Mitchell Laughton kicked a penalty goal in the 30th minute, then fullback maestro Logona Vetemotu scored a superb try and Mitchell Laughton added the extras on the stroke of the siren.
Brothers were the first to score in the second stanza just six minutes after the restart with high-class centre Jayden Alberts, playing in his first match since May 30, receiving the ball from a scrum win on their 20m line, stepping out of a tackle, then turning on the after-burners and sprinting 80m, before Zak Bainbridge kicked truly to get them back to within four points.
Hervey Bay had the better of the next 20 minutes, including creating many great scoring opportunities, but the reigning champions defended magnificently and kept turning them away.
The pendulum eventually swung, and the Brethren took the lead with 22-year-old Mitchell Clayton, who had never played club football before this season and only made his A Grade debut in June, crossing in the right corner with 16 to go and Bainbridge kicking a booming sideline conversion.
Mitchell Clayton then put their stamp on the match, picking up the ball after it had been jolted free in his tackle, before racing away 75m for the game-breaker, before Zak again converted.
Still, there was time for the Seagulls, but after Jayden Alberts and Seagulls front rower Anthony Gray were sin-binned in the 73rd minute, Tyrell Priestley scored on the end of two penalties in quick succession, then with the Seagulls’ spirits finally broken, he dashed 50m to power over for a second time, but he was injured in the process.
Brothers had many heroes, but coach Andrew Hamilton named workaholic second rower Royce Blair, who notched their first try of the game, as their Man of the Match.
Mitchell Clayton, who only previously played league in Years 11 and 12 at St Luke’s Anglican School in 2015 and 2016, said there had been “something missing” from his life after working full-time at a local supermarket and continuing to go to the gym for the past four years.
“I wanted to get back into sport and fitness and test my skills, and playing league was the ultimate test, so I signed up to play Reserve Grade this year, but half-way through the year, Hamo (Andrew Hamilton) asked me to step up and I’m so grateful, now I will get to play in a grand final,” Mitchell said.
Brothers’ dual premiership winning inspirational captain and lock Kevin Sherriff said he was “never worried” despite trailing by 10 points at half-time.
“If we had completed our sets, we could have been 20 points up, and we know we had 40 minutes to do the job, and we did it,” Kevin said.
He was in awe of Mitchell Clayton, naming him as his Man of the Match.
“Mitch has got a big frame and speed to burn, and it was good to see him in open space – he has to be the most improved player in the competition,” he said.
Brothers will now contest their third grand final in four seasons next Sunday, against minor premiers Easts Magpies, who thrashed them 38-16 in the Major Semi-Final, aiming to add to their 2017 and 2019 titles.
Hervey Bay were magnificent in defeat, but its was a disappointing day all around for the club as they also lost the Under-18 and Reserve Grade Preliminary Finals, both to Wests Panthers, 24-22 and 34-22 respectively.
Centre Connor Yeats and winger Jesse Young each bagged doubles for the U18 Panthers, while fullback Chris Robinson also notched eight points with one try and two goals, before coming off the bench in Reserve Grade and proving a match winner with two tries and two conversions.
Wests also took out the Bundaberg Junior Rugby League Under-16 Semi-final, outgunning Brothers 46-10 with five-eighth Cayleb Johnson bagging a hat-trick of tries and second rower Ryan Bugeja notching 18 points with two tries and five conversions.
But the Panthers were beaten by Waves 24-12 in U-15 and 20-16 in U13.
Brothers accounted for Hervey Bay 26-18 in U-14 with front rower Toby Collins grabbing a double.
Nykodah Smith cut loose with seven goals to spearhead League Champions and hosts Across The Waves (ATW) to a Wide Bay Premier League Men’s last-round 11-0 white-wash of wooden spooners Diggers on Saturday to also snatch the Golden Boot Award from Bingera’s Irish ace Gary O’Donnell.
Gary went into the night with a two-goal lead over Nykodah and hammered in another hat-trick in a 4-1 dispatch of Brothers-Aston Villa (BAV) in a game that was played at the same time down the road at Martens Oval.
Not knowing how Gary was faring, Nykodah did what he does best, wreaking havoc and after he had led the Goal Scorers list all season until Gary moved past him with a four-goal haul in a mid-week catch-up match, netting a super seven and taking his tally to a staggering 46, two more than Gary, whose strike-rate was also imposing.
Bingera wound up third on the ladder, just one point behind Fraser Flames, who were joint-leaders with Waves for much of the season before fading in the last six weeks and suffering another loss, going down to fourth placed 2020 Grand Final Champions United Park Eagles (UPE) 4-2 on Saturday.
Waves also signed off on the Reserves Men Championship with Heath Hunter striking four times in an 8-0 shut-out of Diggers.
In the Women’s Premier League, Champions Sunbury Blues were beaten by KSS Jets 2-0 in their top of the table shoot-out, with the Jets securing second place, one point ahead of UPE who downed ATW 3-1 in their Elimination Final dress rehearsal.
Four times defending champions All Blacks will have to come from the minor semi-final after winding up third on the Bundaberg Hockey Division 1 Men’s ladder following a 4-2 last-round loss to minor premiers and beaten grand finalists of the past four years Waves Cities at Hinkler Park on Saturday.
Club stalwart Jamie Rach led the Cities’ charge with a double.
All Blacks had gone into the afternoon in second position one point ahead of Raiders/Rovers and after they had lost, they had to sit and wait on the outcome of the Raiders’ duel with Arrows/Athletics in the last match on the program to see where they would finish, and Raiders aimed up to prevail 3-2 to also clinch a top-two finish and the double-chance in the finals.
But Raiders/Rovers wound up third in Division 1 Women, with Arrows securing the No. 2 berth with a 4-2 dispatch of them.
Waves Cities celebrated the Division 1 Women’s minor title with Sarah Ryan slamming in two goals in a 6-2 blitz of wooden spooners All Blacks.
Waves Cities also claimed the minor premierships in Under-13, with Arrows/Athletics the No. 1’s in Division 2 Men and U16, and Raiders/Rovers on top in Division 2 Women and U11.
All Waves teams were pretty in Pink Socks on the club’s Pink Sports Day fundraiser for Breast Cancer Network Australia at the Bundaberg Netball Association’s last round of matches in the Warren Family Homes Premierships at the Superpark on Saturday.
Many of their teams were also radiant in victory, including their Division 1 defending champions Gold side, who completed a dominant unbeaten minor premiership with a 53-37 triumph over Brothers Hurricanes in their top of the table tussle.
Their Division 1 Blue team was however beaten by Fusion Solomons 51-47, while Alloway Blue disposed of Natives Magpies 64-31.
Three other Waves teams also picked up minor titles, Red, Royals and Sapphires, in Divisions 2, 3 and 6 respectively.
Two Brothers teams finished first, Twisters and Avalanches, in Divisions 4 and 11 respectively, with also two each from Natives (Firebirds Division 5 and Kingfishers Division 9), and Alloway (Aqua Division 7 and Emeralds Division 8), and one from Fusion, Force in Division 10.
Hosts Brothers Bulldogs again tried hard, but they finished the Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership without a win for the second year in a row with an 11.8 (74) to 6.7 (43) last-round defeat at the hands of Bay Power on Saturday.
Reigning champions Across The Waves Eagles retained second place despite forfeiting their match to Hervey Bay Bombers, who completed an unbeaten minor premiership.
The Eagles will now take on the Power in the Semi-final at Norm McLean Oval this Saturday.
Here are all the scores:
AFL WIDE BAY
MARQUIS MACADAMIAS SENIORS PREMIERSHIP
Bay Power 6.3, 6.6, 8.8, 11.8 (74) d Brothers Bulldogs 1.2, 3.4, 5.4, 6.7 (43).
BAY POWER – Goal Kickers: J. Stothard 3, N. Firth-Meldrum 3, T. Burch, L. Smith, J. Fredericks, M. Saunders, J. Wheeler. Best Players: D. Alexander, L. Williams, L. Smith, J. Stothard, M. Schlein, T. Clark
BROTHERS BULLDOGS – Goal Kickers: Mitch Badrick 2, Harry Hodgson 2, Guy Rivett, Brad Barth.
Hervey Bay Bombers d Across The Waves on forfeit.
Bay Power 2.1, 4.4, 5.4, 7.7 (49) d Brothers Bulldogs 2.0, 2.0, 4.1, 5.3 (33).
BAY POWER – Goal Kickers: B. Fredericks 3, J. Fredericks 2, J. Mudge, L. Crack. Best Players: H. Salisbury, J. Mudge, B. Fredericks, J. Fredericks, L. Crack, S. Stewart.
BROTHERS BULLDOGS – Goal Kickers: Joel Fry 2, Shane Brady, Lachlan Pfingst, Anthony Garland. Best Players: Robert McKeown, Joel Fry, Andrew Wattie, Tyrone Trigg, Anthony Garland, Christian Roberts.
Hervey Bay Bombers 3.2, 5.7, 8.7, 13.9 (87) d Maryborough 2.0, 2.0, 4.0, 4.0 (24).
Bay Power 5.8 (38) d Hervey Bay Bombers 5.7 (37).
Across The Waves 8.8 (56) d Brothers Bulldogs 5.2 (32).
Hervey Bay Bombers Red 6.4 (40) d Brothers Bulldogs 3.3 (21).
Hervey Bay Bombers Black 23.19 (61) d Across The Waves 0.1 (1).
FOOTBALL WIDE BAY
PREMIER LEAGUE MEN
ACROSS THE WAVES 11 (Nykodah Smith 7, Bryce Hibberd 2, Nicholas Chatfield, Corey Leggett) d DIGGERS 0.
DOON VILLA 3 d GRANVILLE 0.
UNITED PARK EAGLES 4 (Luke Coates, Joel Porch, Anthony Grant, Roger Hunter) d FRASER FLAMES 2.
KSS JETS 1 d SUNBURY BLUES 0.
BINGERA 4 (Gary O’Donnell 3, Josh Watson) d BROTHERS-ASTON VILLA 1.
Points: ATW 57, Fraser Flames 46, Bingera 45, UPE 40, BAV 32, Doon Villa 27 (0), KSS Jets 27 (-11), Granville 23, Sunbury Blues 14, SC Corinthians 6, Diggers 3.
PREMIER LEAGUE WOMEN
TINANA 1 drew GRANVILLE 1.
UNITED PARK EAGLES 3 (Lili Haster, Lucy Hamilton, Maddison Masterman-Smith) d ACROSS THE WAVES 1 (Tayla Zielke).
KSS JETS 2 d SUNBURY BLUES 0.
Points: Sunbury Blues 45, KSS Jets 37, UPE 36, ATW 23, Bingera 21, Granville 5 (-77), Tinana 5 (-93).
ATW 8 (Heath Hunter 4, Preston Cox, Declan Murphy, Brice Clark, Aden Russo) d DIGGERS 0.
UPE 1 (Finlay Bath) d FRASER FLAMES 0.
KSS JETS 5 d SUNBURY BLUES 1.
UNITED WARRIORS 6 d SC CORINTHIANS 0.
Points: ATW 57, UPE 55, United Warriors 53, Bingera 43, Fraser Flames 36, KSS Jets 33, Bargara 28, SC Corinthians 17, Doon Villa 15, Diggers 12, Sunbury Blues 11, Granville 8.
MEN’S NORTH DIVISION 1 CUP
BAV 1 (Tom Martin) d UPE GREEN 0.
ATW 6 d DIGGERS 1.
MEN’S NORTH DIVISION 1 PLATE
BARGARA 3 d GIN GIN 0.
WOMEN’S NORTH DIVISION 1
SC CORINTHIANS 5 (Kalani Irwin 3, Kate Connor 2) d UPE 0.
DIGGERS 5 (Heidi Walk 2, Jessica Akers, Chenae Watson, Jasmin Harradine-Hall) d ATW DEVELOPMENT 0.
BARGARA 3 (Paula Bocca, Zaire Killen, Iommi Killen) d ATW MASTERS 1.
Points: Diggers 42, SC Corinthians 38, Bargara 36, ATW Development 32, ATW Masters 14, UPE 11.
Qualifying final: ATW UNITED 2 (Ryan Royall, Blake Hunter) d UPE 1 (Finlay Bath).
Elimination final: ATW HOTSPURS 15 (Jayden D’Addario 4, Weston Giovannoni 3, Ben Schubel 3, Ryan Korner 3, Zye Cory) d DIGGERS 0.
Elimination final: BINGERA 6 (Cameron Manski 2, Ethan McKeown 2, Kaelan Meech, Alex Wedel) d UPE RED 0.
Qualifying final: ATW HAMMERS 5 (Nathan Saffioti 2, Ben Hick, Charlie Russell, Xavier Ulbl) d ATW UNITED 3 (Jack Rosenblatt 2, Hasan Dogan).
Elimination final: BAV VILLIANS 3 (Zedd Peters 2, Swarith Chand) d UPE 2.
Qualifying final: BINGERA 1 (Zayde Kitching) d BARGARA STINGRAYS 0.
Elimination final: ATW 3 (Tariq Munkayilar-Moore, Tayissa Cory, Joshua Bardini) d GIN GIN 1 (Harley Lange).
Raiders Rovers 6 (Molly Crow 1, Ava Baldry 1, Levi Kendall 2, Silvana Silvestro 2) defeated Arrows Athletics 3 (Hamish Cook 1, Charlie Cox 1, Helene van der Merwe 1)
Waves Cities 8 (Cameron Callaghan 1, Ruby Potter 1, Sophie Aitkenhead 3, Brock Green 3) defeated All Blacks 0
Minor premiers: Raiders Rovers
Arrows Athletics 8 (Dakoda Dale 1, Bridie Stehbens 1, Sophie Wilson 1, Tully Dorgan 2, River-Lee Rayner 3) defeated Raiders Rovers 0
Waves Cities 12 (Gabi Aitkenhead 1, Marshall Eason 1, Ava McCaig 4, Connor Castelli 6) defeated All Blacks 0
Minor premiers: Waves Cities
Arrows Athletics 7 (Damon Pegg 1, Angus Rehbein 1, Charlie Dove 1, Jake McCaig 1, Sam Kenny 3) defeated Raiders Rovers 0
All Blacks 2 (Isaac Wales 2) drew with Waves Cities 2 (Sophie Castelli 1, Jonty McMahon 1)
Minor premiers: Arrows Athletics
Div 2 Women
Raiders Rovers 3 (Kerri-Anne Lund 1, Chantal Baldry 2) defeated Arrows Athletics 1 (Hayley Kleidon 1)
Waves Cities 2 (Kylie Consen 1, Katie McCord 1) defeated All Blacks 1 (Chloe McDonald 1)
Minor premiers: Raiders Rovers
Div 2 Men
Arrows Athletics 5 (Jesse Beveridge 1, Liam Dorgan 1, Harrison Gardiner 1, Martin Green 1, Keith Scherer 1) defeated Raiders Rovers 1 (Brendan Stevens 1)
Minor premiers: Arrows Athletics
Div 1 Women
Arrows Athletics 4 (Krysten Green 1, Rachael Cox 1, Shauna Mark 1, Quaya Simonsen 1) defeated Raiders Rovers 2 (Jasmine Fagg 2)
Waves Cities 6 (Sarah Pohlmann 1, Katie McCord 1, Anna Smith 1, Ella McCaig 1, Sarah Ryan 2) defeated All Blacks 2 (Hana Sherlock 1, Kayla Osborn 1)
Minor premiers: Waves Cities
Div 1 Men
Raiders Rovers 3 (Dean Wightman 1, Colby Zahn 1, Josh Crow 1) defeated Arrows Athletics 2 (Martin Green 2)
Waves Cities 4 (Joel Latham 1, Lachlan McLennan 1, Jamie Rach 2) defeated All Blacks 2 (Dale Veivers 1, Cody Sherlock 1)
Minor premiers: Waves Cities
WARREN FAMILY HOMES DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
WAVES GOLD 53 d BROTHERS HURRICANES 37; ALLOWAY BLUE 64 d NATIVES MAGPIES 31; FUSION SOLOMONS 51 d WAVES BLUE 47. Minor premiers: WAVES GOLD.
ALLOWAY WHITE 36 d FUSION OCRETE 26; WAVES RED 57 d ALLOWAY RED 42; BROTHERS CYCLONES 31 d NATIVES EAGLES 22; WAVES PURPLE 51 d ALLOWAY BGREEN 24. Minor premiers: WAVES RED.
WAVES ROYALS 33 d BROTHERS LIGHTNING 28; NATIVES ROSELLAS d BROTHERS THUNDER ON FORFEIT. Minor premiers: WAVES ROYALS.
BROTHERS MONSOONS 35 d ALLOWAY YELLOW 32; BROTHERS TWISTERS 50 d NATIVES PARROTS 35. Minor premiers: BROTHERS TWISTERS.
ALLOWAY MAROON 36 d WAVES AQYUA 36; WAVES PINK 38 d NATIVES KOOKABURRAS 24; NATIVES FIREBIRDS 40 d FUSION MAGIC SULTANS 29. Minor premiers: NATIVES FIREBIRDS.
WAVES SAPPHIRES 63 d NATIVES PEACOCKS 36; WAVES SILVER 35 d BROTHERS STORM 31. Minor premiers: WAVES SAPPHIRES.
ALLOWAY AQUA 47 d NATIVES LORIKEETS 13; BROTHERS WILDFIRES 48 d BROTHERS WHIRLWINDS 13. Minor premiers: ALLOWAY AQUA.
FUSION DANS AUTO ELITE 30 d WAVES DIAMONDS 19; ALLOWAY EMERALDS 33 d BROTHERS TYPHOONS 28. Minor premiers: ALLOWAY EMERALDS.
FUSION SANDHILLS 35 d ALLOWAY PURPLE 14; NATIVES KINGFISHERS 27 d WAVES MAROON 8. Minor premiers: NATIVES KINGFISHERS.
FUSION FORCE 54 d NATIVES HAWKS 3; WAVES TEAL 14 d BROTHERS TORNADOES 12; BROTHERS AVALANCHES 28 d ALLOWAY LAVENDER 8. Division 10 Minor premiers: FUSION FORCE. Division 11 Minor premiers: BROTHERS AVALANCHES.
RUGBY LEAGUE BUNDABERG
BUNDABERG BROADCASTERS A GRADE PREMIERSHIP
Preliminary final: PAST BROTHERS 34 (Tyrell Priestley 2, Mitchell Clayton 2, Royce Blair, Jayden Alberts tries; Zak Bainbridge 5 goals) d HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 14 (Dion Bunyan, Logona Vetemotu tries; Mitchell Laughton 3 goals).
Preliminary final: WESTS PANTHERS 34 (Dennis Johnson 3, Chris Robinson 2, Tom Patch, Jake Coros tries; Chris Robinson 2, Kynan Hard goals) d HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 22 (Sebastyn Currie, Ben Hudson, Michael O’Shea, Ethan West tries; Ben Hudson 3 goals).
Preliminary final: WESTS PANTHERS 24 (Jesse Young 2, Connor Yeats 2, Chris Robinson tries; Chris Robinson 2 goals) d HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 22 (Ruben Broome, Brayden Mooney, Billy Carter, Chase Chapman tries; Dylan Bennett 3 goals).
Semi-final: WESTS 46 (Cayleb Johnson 3, Ryan Bugeja 2, Lincoln Dwyer 2, Lochlan Hillan, David Eade tries; Ryan Bugeja 5 goals) d BROTHERS 10 (Ezekiel Monckton, Mitchell Sly tries; Ezekiel Monckton goal).
Semi-final: WAVES 24 (Emmanuel Iboro 2, Tom Morcom, Preston Walsh tries; goal) d WESTS 12 (Lucas Brough, Hayden Baldry tries; Lucas Brough 2 goals).
Semi-final: BROTHERS 26 (Toby Collins 2, Levi Monckton, Riley Quinn, Cooper De Silva tries; Jomar Gustilo 3 goals) d HERVEY BAY 18 (Cayleb Berthelsen, Corey Bennett, Harley MacKenzie tries; Michael Parsgaard 2 goals).
Semi-final: WAVES 20 (Parkka Perrotta-Dowling, Jarred McClymont tries; Tahj Coates 2 goals) d WESTS 16 (Beau Molo 3 tries; 2 goals).
Other news: Bowls results roll in from throughout the region