Five Bundaberg players were part of the Wide Bay team which won three of their five games at the Queensland Junior Cricket Under-13 Girls Lord Mayors Cup in Brisbane recently, captain Atalia Knight, Ella Reece, Olivia Abell, Karlea Law, and Sara Ham.
Coach Brett McLellan, also of Bundaberg, said they acquitted themselves very well throughout the tournament, and they also “gave the top team a scare”.
“Atalia led from the front and had a sensational carnival with the ball – she topped the most wickets for the titles with nine at an average of 7.67 and a best of 4-17, while Ella finished 16th in the Batting Aggregates with 60 runs at an average of 15 with a high score of 38,” Brett said.
“But all girls played their hearts out and can be very proud of their performances.”
This will be another big weekend in Bundaberg Cricket, including with the penultimate round of fixtures in juniors and seniors, and in the Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership at Salter Oval tomorrow, starting at 11am, Brothers must not only beat the red-hot East Bundy Magpies, but also rely on Norths losing to minor premiers Waves if they are to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
Then on Sunday, Bundaberg will be chasing four straight Wide Bay Open Championships Goodchild Shield titles when they travel to Kingaroy to take on the unbeaten South Burnett in the final.
Their star-studded team is: Arden Lankowski, Michael Loader, Blyton Pendergast, Josh Winen, Ryan Norton, Hayden Pope, Nathan Van Eekeren (v/c), Sam Pearson, Mitchell Waters, Chris Duff (c), Trent Seeds, Dean Krebs.
Last Sunday, Bundaberg qualified for the Wide Bay Under-14 final despite being robbed of a win by rain, with their match against Fraser Coast in Maryborough declared a draw after captain Tahj Coates led from the front with 93 in a total of 6-316, before the hosts were struggling at 4-76 when the skies opened.
Gympie, who had gone into the day in second spot, were beaten by South Burnett, and Bundaberg did enough to move ahead of them on the table with their draw and batting and bowling incentive points.
Meanwhile, Bundaberg sealed top spot in under-12 with a big win over Fraser Coast.
Saturday is the Coral Coast/Hervey Bay Softball Association’s “Blue Day” at Brothers Sports Complex, a fundraiser for the awareness of Men's Health with all donations going to Beyond Blue.
Everyone is encouraged to “paint the Diamonds Blue”.
On the field, the battle for the A Grade Ladies minor premiership will go right down to the wire, with Brothers United Firesticks on top of the ladder on 31 points, but Waves Tsunamis are breathing down their necks on 30.
Then on Sunday, in a rain postponed Round 13, it could be the winner takes all when Tsunamis and Firesticks go head-to-head, at Brothers at 2.20pm, and Bullets travel to Hervey Bay for a meeting with Terrors.
Saturday, Firesticks are up against Terrors, and Tsunamis take on Bargara Bullets, with both matches at 2.20pm.
In A Grade Men’s, Waves Schooners are No. 1 with 36, but there are just four points between the top three with Maryborough/West on 34 and Terrors 32.
Saturday, Schooners are opposed to Misfits at 12.30pm, before Misfits back up against Brothers United Heat at 2.20pm, when also Maryborough/West suit up against Terrors.
There are just two A Grade Men’s matches on Sunday, with Heat up against the might of Schooners at 4.10pm, and Terrors and Misfits to square off at the Bay.
Across The Waves, who swept all before them last year in the Wide Bay Men’s Premier League, and beaten grand finalists United Park Eagles (UPE) will both play their first matches in the 2022 Football Federation of Australia Cup on Saturday, against Doon Villa at Villa Park and Fraser Flames at Fraser Coast Sports Precinct respectively.
Peter Bock has stepped up from Assistant Coach at Waves to take the reins after the retirement of their long-serving champion John Brillante, and he said they have trained well and it “will be just a continuation of the 2021 season”.
“We have lost three players, Luke Vincent to Brisbane, Luke Handley due to work and family, and Jack Brillante who has retired, but we have also gained three, Luke Leggett, Brendan Davis from UPE, and Zac Nicholas from Wollongong United,” Peter said.
“But everyone else is back including Nykodah Smith (who scored over 50 goals last season).
“We had a trial game last weekend against Clinton and won 8-3 but we let 3 in the last 15 minutes which was a bit disappointing, but we are ready – the first game of the year is always an unknown, but we have just got to turn up and play the best you can to get a result.”
UPE have played a few trial games, including last week against the Flames, and are also ready to hit the ground running.
After sweeping all before them last year until a shock narrow loss to Hervey Bay Bombers in the grand final, Across The Waves Eagles will start their quest for the AFL Wide Bay Takalvans Women’s Premiership with a first-round away clash with the reigning champions at Norm McLean Oval.
Their third-season coach Jason Bethune said they “have had a good turnover of players” but had again trained well.
“We have got a great balance of experienced and new players, with Kayla Osborn again captain, and we are very excited to commence the season this weekend,” Jason said.
At the other end of the spectrum, Brothers Bulldogs did not win a game in 2021 but their new coach Felicity Tankey said their “team for 2022 is looking great” ahead of their away duel with Gympie Cats at Ray Warren Oval on Saturday
“We have a fantastic team ranging in age from 15 years to 30+ and all different skill levels. Our prospects for this season are looking very promising. Our Ladies are very excited to play our first game in Gympie tomorrow against the Cats. We have some very talented players amongst us and can't wait to see them showcase their skills,” Felicity said
Takura trainer David Plummer continued his recent golden run in Bundaberg with another double at this week’s meeting at Thabeban Park with Fogelberg making it seven wins in a row on the track in the Valentines Day Trophy and up and comer Jericho returning to his brilliant best in the Sky Racing 5th Grade.
Two other visiting trainers also picked up doubles, Robert Ayres, of Glass House Mountains, with track debutants Louder in the Novice Non-Penalty, and outsider Lucky Lance, which outgunned David Plummer’s Little Ripper in the Free For All, and Travis Elson, of Yandina Creek, with veteran Summer’s Flyer in the 4th Grade, and Mumma’s Machine in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade.
Another Takura trainer Ron Brook got the money with Easy Eddie in the rich Queensland Bred final.
Two District trainers were also among the winners on the program, Garry Cluse with first starter Relax Max in the TAB Maiden, and Wayne Watts with Tommy Time, which will turn five years old next month, in the Masters 5th Grade.
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