Waves will be chasing back-to-back Bundaberg Cricket Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership titles and their seventh crown in 12 years when they meet Norths in the Grand Final for the second year in a row at Salter Oval tomorrow, starting at 2.30pm.
Waves claimed the minor premiership despite suffering losses to both East Bundy Magpies and Norths in the last month of competition.
Norths wound up third on the ladder after losing three games in a row, to Waves, Brothers and Easts respectively from 29th of January to 12th of February, but they ambushed Waves by six wickets in the penultimate round on the 19th of February.
They were then beaten by the Magpies, but turned the tables on Easts, returning to their brilliant best to defeat them by 59 runs in the semi-final last Saturday on the back of superb centuries to two of their big guns, South Queensland Open representative stars Brendan Handley and Nathan Van Eekeren.
In last year’s decider, Norths compiled only 5-148 from their 45 overs after fill-in opener Julian Bond managed only 19 from 92 overs, before Waves cruised to a seven-wicket victory with 16.2 overs to spare.
Norths have named a 13-man squad, with just one missing from last year, Todd Sommerfeld, and young guns Ned Jenner and Matthew Parker added.
Waves have not yet named their side publicly, but they will have at least three changed to 12 months ago, with Tim McIntosh, Callum Neubecker and Marty Maloney not playing this season.
They boast the leading run scorer in the competition in Ryan Norton, who has scored 292 and at average of 48.67, and the leading wicket-taker in captain and wily spinner Chris Duff, with 31 at a frugal 10.94 apiece.
Waves were also minor premiers in Division 2 and will contest that grand final at 12 noon against Brothers, who got out of jail to scrape to a one-wicket semi-final victory over Norths on the second last ball last Sunday.
Waves also defeated Norths in the Division 3 semi-finals, but they were disqualified for a breach of Clause 3 of the Player Qualifying Rules, for using two players who had played 5 or more games in Division 1.
Norths will take their place in that grand final starting at 1pm, against YMCA, who placed fourth on the ladder but shocked minor premiers East with a four-wicket semi-final victory over them.
The sky could be the limit when the high flying Across The Waves Eagles travel to the Heritage City to swoop on cellar dwellers Maryborough in the fifth round of the AFL Wide Bay Takalvans Senior Women’s Premiership at Bear Park tomorrow afternoon.
With three wins from as many matches, the Eagles have posted a massive percentage of 625.92%, while the Bears have been battered from pillar to post and have a percentage of 10.15%.
In other matches, Brothers Bulldogs, who finally shed their maiden status with a confidence building drubbing of the Bears last Saturday, will face an infinitely sterner test when they host four-times defending champions Hervey Bay Bombers at Brothers Sports Complex at 3pm, while Gympie Cats will do battle with Bay Power at Pomona.
SC Corinthians will face a tough initiation into the Football Queensland Premier League Wide Bay Men’s when they take on the might of Across The Waves at Waves Sports Complex tomorrow at 6pm.
Fellow Bundaberg sides United Park Eagles (UPE) and Bingera will both play at the same time at Martens Oval against Fraser Coast teams Sunbury Blues and Kawungan Sandy Straits Jets respectively.
There are three matches in the Wide Bay Women’s League matches involving Bundaberg clubs tonight, both at 8.30pm, with Waves playing host to Diggers, and UPE to suit up against the Blues at Martens Oval.
Bingera will shoot out with the Jets at Martens Oval at 2pm tomorrow to complete the round.
After having the first round bye last week, Waves Gold will start their quest for a hat-trick of Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership titles when they bib up against 2021 beaten grand finalists Brothers Hurricanes at 6pm at the Super Park tomorrow.
The Hurricanes will have match fitness on their side after disposing of Alloway Blue 40-22 first-up.
At 7.30pm, it will be an all-Blue affair between the Waves and Alloway teams of that colour, with both chasing their first wins after the Waves outfit went down to Natives Aim Hearing Magpies 29-26.
The second of the two Bundaberg Hockey Trial Games Rounds will be played at Hinkler Park this weekend, with Waves Cities taking on Arrows/Athletics in Division 1 Men at 6pm tomorrow, followed by their Division 1 Women’s duel at 7.230pm.
Raiders/Rovers are up against All Blacks, with the Division 1 Men hitting the field at 3.20pm, before their Division 1 Women follow at 4.40pm.
Explosive winger Connor Yeats posted a double while fellow Bundaberg representative and halfback Ezekiel Monckton was also among the tries as the Wide Bay Bulls competed strongly in a 34-22 loss to Western Clydesdales in the third round of the QRL Under-18 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup in Maryborough last Saturday.
The Bulls will travel to North Ipswich Reserve to take on the fellow winless Jets tomorrow.
The Under-16 Bulls started their Cyril Connell Challenge campaign with a 24-all draw with Sunshine Coast Falcons a fortnight ago, but they were beaten by the Clydesdales 20-12 last week and will find it a tall order again against the unbeaten Jets tomorrow.
Elliott owner/trainer Wayne Watts picked up the lucrative $15,600 prizemoney with his rising star bitch All Genres, the lightest runner in the field, weighing in at 24.9kg, scoring a surprise victory in the Bundaberg Wildfire Final at Thabeban Park on Monday.
Paying $9.50, the black daughter of Over Limit, won by 1.5 lengths, with Darren Taylor’s duo Barcia Bullet ($3.30) and Off Break ($19) filling the minor placings, but favourite Little Ripper ($1.85) finishing a distant fifth.
Three trainers grabbed doubles on the program, David Plummer, of Takura, Jeff Crawford (Buccan), and Travis Elson (Yandina Creek).
David got the money with litter siblings Ky’s Dream, which had been unplaced at each of her first five starts, in the Maiden, and Garfunkel, which notched his fourth win in a row in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade.
Jeff saluted the judge with $6.50 chance Black Shimmer on track debut in the Novice Non-Penalty, and Kiss and Cut in the Masters 5th Grade, while Travis snared a race-to-race double with hot favourite Queen Supreme ($1.75) in the Endeavour Foundation 5th Grade), and 95-race veteran Summer’s Queen ($3), which chalked up her 29th victory in the Mixed 3rd/4th Grade after placing third at her Rum City debut a week earlier after her previous 92 appearances had all been at Albion Park.
Bundaberg trainer Paul Burgess was also among the winners on the day, with Wildash Izzy ($1.75) outclassing his rivals in the 5th Grade Pathway Non-Penalty after tailing the field at his Bundaberg debut one month earlier.
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