Despite having to make five late changes to their team due to injuries and work commitments, Wide Bay Flames coach Simon Gills and captain Chris Duff are confident they can book a place in the 2021 Bulls Masters T20 Country Challenge semi-finals when Bundaberg Cricket Association hosts the Tournament for the third year in a row this weekend.
Chris Duff is one of 10 Bundaberg players in the side, along with Queensland Country representative Arden Lankowski, Matthew Jackson, Sam Pearson, Chris Napper, Hayden Pope, Ryan Norton, Dylan Heycox, Callum Stitt, and Nathan Van Eekeren, while Trent Riddell, of Gympie, and Matthew Springate (South Burnett) complete the side.
All teams will play the other three teams in their Pool in round robins, leading into semi-finals at Salter Oval at 2pm Sunday and play-offs for positions five and seven at Kendall’s Flat.
Wide Bay is scheduled to play Far North Fusion at 6.30pm tonight, weather permitting, and Darling Downs Suns and Mackay Whitsunday Nitros at 10am and 2.30pm respectively. Tomorrow.
Pool B comprises Central Queensland Seamers, North Queensland Monsoons, Gold Coast Thunder and South East Queensland Stormers.
Each team will be paired up with a former Queensland Cricket legend from the Bulls Masters to mentor their side, with Nathan Reardon fanning the Flames, Brendan Creevey (Stormers), Darren Lehmann (Suns), Chris Swan (Thunder), Ken Healy (Seamers), Dirk Tazelaar (Nitros), Gavin Fitness (Monsoons), and Jimmy Maher (Fusion).
Spectators are welcome. If you can’t get to the grounds, all games on Salter Oval Field 1 will be live-streamed.
Meanwhile, Bundaberg Cricket’s rising female superstar Lucy Hamilton has started the new Brisbane Premier Women’s Cricket season in great form.
Two weeks ago, the 15-year-old scored the 90th minute equaliser for United Park Eagles in the Football Wide Bay Women’s Premier League Grand Final against Kawungan Sandy Straits Jets, then after scores remained drawn after extra-time, she then converted her kick in the Penalty Shoot-out to level the score at 4-4 after the 5 shots per side.
In sudden death shots, UPE blocked the Jets’ first shot, then converted their own to win, with the game finishing at 7.30pm.
Early the next morning, Lucy’s parents Steve and Claire drove her to Brisbane to play for Sunshine Coast in the Brisbane Premier Cricket Katherine Raymont Women’s Shield 50-over competition (which Lucy was a star in their grand final victory last season in March), and she showed no signs of fatigue, starring against Valleys with 4-24 and 58 runs.
Last week, from 20th-23rd September, Lucy played 2 matches per day for Coastal Marlins in the Brisbane Premier League Under-19 Women’s T20 competition, and in the grand final against Moreton Magic, Lucy opened the bowling and helped lay the platform despite not taking a wicket in her 0-15 from 3 overs.
Moreton Magic were bowled out for 102, and Lucy anchored the Marlins’ innings as they achieved a 7-wicket victory with 3.5 overs to spare, scoring 32 from just 29 balls.
Bundaberg’s Brothers Turtles club has two representatives in the Queensland Country Heelers team which is currently playing in a series of three matches in Brisbane, in powerhouse forwards Josh Saua and Alex McClymont.
The dynamic duo featured as the Heelers scored a convincing 33-5 victory over Queensland Suburban at the Ipswich Rangers Rugby Club last night.
They will now take on Norths tomorrow and Brothers at Crosby Park on Monday afternoon.
The Rugby Bundaberg Elders Insurance Spring Cup will have a break tomorrow, before resuming next Saturday.
The Bundaberg Sailing Club is set for another big season under Commodore and Bundaberg Regional Councillor John Learmonth after having their Official Opening Day and Blessing of the Fleet by Pastor Greg Graham recently.
I had the honour of speaking at the Opening, along with Club Patron John Palu and State Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith.
The club’s numbers have been greatly boosted with one family of eight all joining, Tim and Sandy Birks and their also super keen children Karaine, Gwyneth, Mercedes, Brock, Lylah, and Alexis.
For details about the club and its programs, go to https://www.facebook.com/BundabergSailingClub/
For the second week in a row, 10 trainers picked up one win each at the Bundaberg meeting at Thabeban Park on Monday, including one of Queensland’s best in Gary Keep, of Burpengary, who got the money in a 5th Grade with track debutant My Psychiatrist, whose only three previous wins were at Albion Park.
Long time former Bundaberg highly successful trainer Christine Pollard, who is now based in Emerald, made a rare trip home, and she got the money in another 5th Grade with Chase Man.
Four District trainers were also among the winners on the program, Paul Burgess with Why Harmony in the Maiden, Phillip Carter with the promising Zambora Chief in the Novice Non-Penalty, John Kuhn with Talking Numbers, which completed a hat-trick of wins on the track in Restricted Win Qualifying Heat, and David Raines with Really Royal in the 5th Grade Pathway Non-Penalty.