Receiving Volleyball Queensland’s coveted annual Club Champion award was an added bonus for Bundaberg and District Volleyball Association after hosting a highly successful 2021 Comet Ridge Queensland Country Championships.
Bundaberg Association president Matt Brain and his committee did a great job in staging the event with 43 teams competing across four divisions over the weekend.
Three local teams battled it out against the best in Division 1 Men, with Bundaberg placing seventh of 11, Bundy – Do It For Millhouse ninth, and Bundaberg Schooners winding up in 11th position, while the Bundy Women were runners-up in a field of 10 in Division 2 after suffering their first loss of the tournament in the Gold Medal match, going down to Sunshine Coast/Brisbane side Setsy Ladies 5-25, 15-25.
The Bundy Women’s team, comprising captain/coach Sandi Cooper, Olivia Ferguson, Hannah Glass, Bridget Naumann, Sally Gardiner, Gytha Roycombough, Emma Frawley, and Morgan Engstrom, defeated Taan Nete 25-16, 25-16, Queensland Under-18 White 15-25, 25-18, 15-9, Setsy Ladies 25-20, 25-23, Gympie Stingers 25-11, 25-23, and Queensland U17 White 25-14, 25-23 in their preliminary matches.
But whether or not it was fatigue or complacency, they were blown off the court in the decider, with Setsy Ladies’ Sarah Barber the MVP but Sandi Cooper doing everything she could to inspire her side, and she received the MVP1 award.
Sandi lamented the one that got away from them.
“We were really happy with how we played overall but obviously disappointed to lose the final the way we did after beating them the night before – we've played them a few times in previous tournaments and it's always a good game,” Sandi said.
Sandi received two of their matches’ MVP awards, with one each to Olivia Ferguson and Bridget Naumann.
“Morgan Engstrom and Hannah Glass were our strong hitters and they played well, but everyone played their hearts out,” Sandi said.
The complete placings were: 1 Setsy Ladies, 2 Bundy Women, 3 U17 Qld White, 4 South Brisbane Wolves, 5 U18 Qld White, 6 Cleveland DSHS, 7 Gympie, 8 Toowoomba, 9 Taan Nete, 10 Fraser Coast.
Brisbane club Norths downed the U18 Queensland Maroon side 25-17, 25-20 in the Division 1 Women’s Gold Match, with Rebecca Bimrose taking out the MVP, with Elite Volleyball Club winding up third, ahead of That’s What She Set, Bears, and U17 Queensland Maroon.
In Men’s Division 1, Bundaberg was beaten by Queensland U18 Maroon 18-25, 18-25, 6-15, and Brothers 21-25, 18-25, but they accounted for Redlands Rumbos 28-26, 25-23, 9-15 with six men, with one of their stars Stephen Perchard picking up the MVP1 award.
Bundaberg – Do it For Milhouse lost to Queensland U18 White 21-25, 20-25, and Brisbane Slavic United 25-21, 25-27, 15-17, with Kelvin Steinberger grabbing the MVP1, but outgunned Redlands Singhs 25-17, 25-10, with Alastair Hill and Jason Simpson claiming the MVP3 and MVP1 respectively.
Bundaberg Schooners went down to South Brisbane Wolves 13-25, 9-25 and Norths 15-25, 16-25, 4-15, but their stand-outs in those matches, Patrick McMahon, and Brandon Prendergast respectively, were the MVP1 awardees.
In the Cross-Pool matches, Bundaberg disposed of Pool B No. 4 Queensland U18 White 28-26, 25-22 with Yoshito Tamashiro the MVP 3, and Pool B No. 3 Bundaberg – Do It For Millhouse 25-23, 25-23, and Pool C No. 3 Bundaberg Schooners 25-14, 25-16, 15-13, with Matt Brain playing a leading hand to take out the MVP3, and Patrick McMahon picking up the MVP1 in the losing side.
Bundaberg – Do It For Millhouse overpowered Pool C No. 3 Bundaberg Schooners 25-6, 25-13, with both MVP’s Tom Olive and Alistair Hill doing it for Millhouse.
Tom was also the MVP3 as Doing it for Millhouse proved too strong for Pool A No. 4 seed Redlands Rumbos 25-17, 25-20.
But after winding up third in Pool C, Bundy Schooners lost to Pool A # 4 Redlands Rumbos 22-25, 8-25, and Pool B # 4 U18 Queensland White 9-25, 13- 25.
In a classic Division 1 Men’s Gold shoot-out, Norths wore down South Brisbane Wolves 25-23, 10-25, 15-11, with Norths’ Brad Sting grabbing the MVP3, but Hinkley Savea also outstanding for the Wolves.
Norths’ star-studded outfit also included Bryce Kelly, Clayton Sefo, Angus Burton, Connor Rudder, Nathan Spencer, Cameron Young, Gavin Smith, John Egerton, and Sam Barton.
Brothers took out the Bronze Medal, with Brisbane Slavic United securing fourth, in advance of U18 Queensland Maroon, Redlands Singhs, Bundaberg, U18 Queensland White, Bundy – Do It For Millhouse, Redlands Rumbos and Bundaberg Schooners.
Spikers secured Division 2 Men’s Gold with a 25-20, 25-23 despatch of U17 Queensland Maroon.
The other final placings were: 3 Aces Ludicrous, 4 Sunny Coast, 5 South Brisbane Wolves Purple, 6 Elite Volleyball Club, 7 Aces Plaid, 8 U17 Queensland White, 9 Gladstone Thunder Blue, 10 Fraser Coast, 11 Kingaroy Blaze, 12 Volleyball Sunshine Coast, 13 Redlands, 14 South Brisbane Wolves White, 15 Gympie Volleyball Association, 16 Gladstone Thunder Gold.
Bundaberg’s Isaac Cooper will compete in his first major meet since the Tokyo Olympics when he lines up at the week-long McDonalds Queensland Championships at Chandler, starting tomorrow.
His fellow Bundaberg Australian Olympics Trialists Connor Simms and Tobias Street will also compete for their Gold Coast clubs at the titles.
The Bundaberg Swim Team will have just four representatives at the meet, Isaac’s younger brother Ben in the 16 years Boys Division, and 12 years Girls talents Layla Allwood, Indi Bland, and Lara Parker.
Two times defending champions and minor premiers Fraser Coast Mariners will be white-hot favourites when they meet fourth placed Waves Falcons in the Rugby Bundaberg Elders Insurance Spring Cup sudden-death semi-finals at Jubilee Park tomorrow at 6.30pm.
Mariners have lost just one game, going down to Turtles Brothers 29-20 on 6th November, while Falcons have won only one match, and they only qualified due to East Bundaberg Pythons, whom they were beaten by last week 19-15, losing four points after conceding three yellow and one red card in that match.
Falcons have been beaten by Mariners 26-3 and 65-11 in their two round clashes.
Earlier, at 4.30pm, the white-hot Wests Barbarians will be expected to defeat the Turtles, who have hit a brick wall and were white-washed by them 42-0 last Friday.
The stakes will be high in the Aussie Bundy Big Bash top of the table showdown between Headlands Pies and Takalvans Taipans at Salter Oval tonight, with the winner to claim the minor premiership and a grand final berth, but the loser will have to wait on the result of next week’s last-round duel between Searle’s RV Centre Vikings and Betta Heat to see if they also qualify for the decider.
Tomorrow’s scheduled Division 3 and Junior fixtures have already been cancelled due to Kendall’s Flat still being water-logged and unplayable.
But day two of the last of the Rum City Division 1 Premiership two-day round matches is still on at Salter Oval tomorrow, at this stage, with Division 2 on Sunday.
In Division 1, Norths have already secured first-innings points against Brothers, bowling the Brethren out for 154, before replying with 182.
Waves are in the box seat against East Bundy Magpies, compiling 210, then having them opponents in trouble at 6-83.
The Bulls Masters Youth Cup will be contested at Salter Oval from Sunday, through to Thursday, weather-permitting.
Two T20 games are scheduled for Sunday, with Wide Bay Flames to raise the curtain when they suit up against South East Queensland Stormers at 2pm, before Darling Downs Suns to do battle with Sunshine Coast Scorchers at 6pm.
Wide Bay Flames: Nathan Roderick ©, Jayden Santacaterina, Kori Pope, Brodie Loveridge, Curtis Farrell, Stewart Mcarthur, Finlay Franz, Luke Murray, Tom Currin, Ned Jenner, Joseph Steinhardt, Oliver Boge. Coach: Grant Lutz, Manager: David Boge, Bulls Masters Mentor: Peter Drinnen.
After taking out the trifecta in the feature event at the last local meeting on Melbourne Cup Day with Wrecking Ball, Crisscross and Dolci respectively, champion trainer Darryl Gardiner looks a great chance to repeat the feat with the trio in the Byron Bay Brewery Open Handicap at the XXXX Christmas Party Race Day at Thabeban Park tomorrow.
Darryl also looks to have great prospects with Homecall in the XXXX Gold Benchmark 60 Handicap.
Three of the other winners from Melbourne Cup Day are also again favoured in their events, Aratula (White Claw Hard Seltzer Class B), Dukatti (James Squire Ratings Band 0-55 Handicap), and Mr Maharaj (Hahn Super Dry Benchmark 55).
Track debutant Craiglea Bandit, which has five second placings to his credit, two at Roma, two at Rockhampton, and one at Townsville, stands out in the XXXX Dry QTIWS Maiden Plate.
The first event is set down for 1pm and General Admission tickets will be available at the gate.
After two washed out rounds, all players will be keen to get back on the diamonds for one last time for 2021 when the Coral Coast/Hervey Bay Softball round is played out at Hervey Bay tomorrow, again weather permitting.
In the A Grade Ladies division, leaders Brothers United Firesticks take on Bargara Bullets, and Terrors aim up against Waves Tsunamis, both at 4.10pm.
In the A Grade Men’s draw, there are two games set down for 2.20pm, with Brothers United Heat to do battle with Misfits, and Terrors opposed to leaders Waves Schooners.
Terrors have the double-header, and they will back up at 6pm against Maryborough West.
Former champion Gin Gin trainer Ron Brook, now of Takura, claimed another feature event in the Rum City with rank outsider Easy Eddie ($13) returning to his best to get the money in the rich Bundaberg Young Guns Final at Thabeban Park on Monday.
The dark brindle dog won by a length from Martino Beach, with two of his litter brothers Little Ripper and favourite Fogelberg placing third and fourth respectively.
Three trainers claimed doubles on the program, David Plummer, also of Takura, Garry Cluse (New Moonta), and Eric Conroy (Belli Park).
David triumphed with litter sisters, second starter Durham (Maiden) and Kotiro Koura (Novice Non-Penalty), Garry prevailed with Filthy Lucre (Grade 5 Pathway Penalty) and Slick Mac (Terry Signs 5th Grade), and Eric saluted the judge with Rebel Return (Mixed 4th/5th Grade) and Rosebud Smile (Chip Tyre Recyclers 5th Grade).
The ultra-consistent Zuleika, the hot favourite, paying $1.75, completed a hat-trick of victories for Bundaberg trainer Paul Burgess in the Best 8.
Other stories: Graduation empowers Kristy to help teach children