Six Bundaberg players have been chosen in Hockey Queensland (HQ) Masters sides, while another was named as a State Shadow player after being parts of a dominant Rum City No. 1 team.
The team swept all before them at the HQ 2022 Women’s Masters Division 2 State Championships in Townsville last weekend, culminating in a 3-0 grand final victory over the host City’s top team.
Bundaberg triumphed in their Pool games against Gympie I 4-0, Gladstone I 5-0, and Tweed II 12-0, but they were taken to a shoot-out by Cairns I in the semi-final on Saturday afternoon, prevailing 3-2 in shots after scores had been dead-locked at 1-apiece.
In the decider, Minka Elliott drew first blood against Townsville I in the 11th minute, but the Northerners equalized two minutes later.
Bundaberg however regained the lead through inspirational captain Angela Asnicar in the 27th minute, and Sue Kendall extended their advantage in the 39th minute, and from there, they jealously guarded their lead for a famous victory.
Sue, whose partner Dean Wightman also did a superb job as team coach, was a popular winner of the HQ Best Player Division Award, while Bundaberg had four of the top six goal scorers at the tournament, with Minka a clear winner with 8, followed by Sue (5), with Nicky Pollock and Amanda Wightman among a group of four players who hammered in four each.
Minka scored in four of their five games, including a bag of four in a 5-0 white-wash of Gladstone I after having struck three times in the first quarter.
Goal-keeper Chris Pohlmann was also outstanding in a galaxy of stars, with four clean sheets, and conceding just one in their other match.
Sue, of Raiders/Rovers, gained a place in the state 45+ years Maroons team, with club mates Naomi Paulsen and Minka in the 40+ years Gold and 34+ years outfits respectively, and Amanda Wightman a Shadow for the 45+ years Maroons.
Three All Blacks representatives also gained state honours, Leah McLaren (40+ years Maroon), Erin Greenwood (40+ years Gold), and Maree Beaumont (55+ years Maroon).
Bundaberg II also competed strongly in Division 5 despite having only one substitute for the whole carnival, winding up seventh with a 4-0 victory over Gympie II, with Deanne Binder leading from the front with a double.
Division 2 – Pool Games: BUNDABERG I 4 (Sue Kendall 2, Minka Elliott 2) d GYMPIE I 0; BUNDABERG I 5 (Minka Elliott 4, Angela Asnicar) d GLADSTONE I 0; BUNDABERG I 12 (Amanda Wightman 4, Nicky Pollock 4, Sue Kendall 2, Minka Elliott, Malanie Stehbens) d TWEED II 0.
Semi-final: BUNDABERG I 1 (Malanie Stehbens) d CAIRNS I 1 3-2 IN SHOOT-OUT.
Final: BUNDABERG I 3 (Minka Elliott, Angela Asnicar, Sue Kendall) d TOWNSVILLE 0.
Division 5 – Pool Games: CAIRNS II 2 d BUNDABERG II 0; GLADSTONE II 3 d BUNDABERG II 0; BRISBANE VI 1 d BUNDABERG II 0.
Cross-over Pool game: TOOWOOMBA III 2 d BUNDABERG II 2 (Kellie Chanoff, Kylie Consen) 3-2 in SHOOT-OUT.
Play-off 7th & 8th: BUNDABERG II 4 (Deanne Binder 2, Hayley Kleidon, Kerryn Griffis) d GYMPIE II 0.
Players will return to their clubs for Bundaberg fixtures at Hinkler Park this weekend, and in Division 1 Women, Raiders/Rovers will take on All Blacks at 4.40pm tomorrow, before Waves Cities aim up against Arrows/Athletics at 7.20pm.
In the Men’s competition, the two All Blacks and two Cities teams will square off in intra-club derbies at 2pm and 6pm respectively, while Arrows and Raiders/Rovers are set for a battle royale at 3.20pm.
The Tanner family has been entrenched in the Western Suburbs Panthers club for four generations, but more club history will be created when veteran captain and front rower Dan Tanner gets to play with his son Tariq in their Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership showdown with cellar dwellers Wallaroos at Salter Oval at 4.30pm tomorrow.
Seventeen-year-old winger Tariq is a Year 12 student at St Joseph’s College Nudgee and is currently signed with the Brisbane Broncos.
Not only will the young talent make his Panthers’ A Grade debut, he will also play for the first time along-side his uncle Josh Tanner under coach, another uncle Corey Tanner.
Wallaroos forfeited to Wests due to a Covid outbreak in the club back on April 2, while their round 7 clash was abandoned due to heavy rain, so the pair have not met yet this season, but the Panthers are in third place with a 4-4 win-loss record, fresh from breaking a two-match losing streak with a 32-24 victory over Easts Magpies.
Roos have won just one of their seven games played, and are coming off a 72-10 home humiliation by competition leaders Hervey Bay Seagulls.
In the game that follows at 6.30pm, the Magpies will be desperate to halt a four-games losing streak, but their task will not be easy against Waves Tigers, who are a clear second, just one point behind Hervey Bay, and just keep going from strength to strength with four wins in a row, starting with a 22-4 dispatch of Easts on May 22.
At Stafford Park, Hervey Bay, at 7pm, two-times defending champions Past Brothers will be out to salvage some pride against the high-flying Seagulls, who have racked up a half-century of points against them in both their meetings in 2022, 54-32 and 54-16.
In the Northern District Men’s Premiership, it could be a grand final preview when hometown heroes Miriam Vale Magpies take on unbeaten reigning premiers South Kolan Sharks at Gary Larson Oval tomorrow at 3.15pm.
At 1.30pm, after their forfeit last week, hopefully Avondale Tigers can field a team for their showdown with the improving Gin Gin Hawks, who beat them by just two points on their home ground two weeks ago.
In the Women’s League Tag at 12.15pm, after being blown away by the relentless Gin Gin last Sunday, Agnes Water Marlins may find it easier against Avondale Tigerettes.
Brothers Bulldogs can shore up second place on the AFL Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Senior Men’s Premiership if they are able to again defeat third seeds and hosts Bay Power at Keith Dunne Oval Hervey Bay tomorrow at 3pm.
Meanwhile, the win-less hosts Across The Waves Eagles will need to improve massively if they are to shoot down all conquering Hervey Bay Bombers at Frank Coulthard Oval at the same time.
In the Football Queensland Premier League Wide Bay Men’s division, after a 6-0 loss to Fraser Flames in their catch-up game on Thursday night, last placed SC Corinthians face another massive task when they take on the red-hot Across The Waves at Martens Oval this Sunday at 5pm.
Tomorrow, United Park Eagles (UPE) are away to Sunbury Blues, Bingera are also on the road to KSS Jets, and Granville meet the Flames at Canning Park.
In the Women’s League, tonight, at Martens Oval at 8.30pm, Diggers jostle with Waves, UPE are away to Sunbury Blue, and United Warriors host Fraser Flames, before KSS Jets host Bingera at 2pm tomorrow.
It will be an all-Waves affair between their reigning premiers Gold and Blue teams in the Bundaberg Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership at the Superpark at 6.30pm tomorrow.
Earlier, it should also be a good contest between Natives Aim Hearing Magpies and Alloway Blue at 5pm.
Champion Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner, who has been a bit quiet lately, returned to the winners’ list at the Gayndah meeting last Saturday with rank outsider Rutto ($18) taking out the Barry Denham Memorial Benchmark 60 Handicap.
The time honoured $15,000 Avance Gayndah Cup was also won by the rank outsider Remunerative ($15) for new Bundaberg trainer Ros Buerckner with apprentice Ty Wheeler in the saddle at just his eighth race start.
It was the third leg of a treble for Ty who also took out the Glenellen Orchard Class B aboard favourite Top Master, and Brown’s Citrus 2022 Battle of the Bush Gayndah Qualifier Open Plate with Frisco’s Image ($9).
Yandina Creek trainer Travis Elson took out another Bundaberg feature race with his Travis’s Lauryn ($3.90) popping favourite Garfunkel ($2.70) in a driving three-way finish to the Young Guns Final at Thabeban Park on Monday.
Garfunkel’s Takura trainer David Plummer however picked up the quinella in the Best 8 with his champions litter brothers Little Ripper ($4.20) and Fogelberg ($2.60).
Three District trainers were also successful on the program, Phillip Carter with third starter Velocity Alexa in the Maiden, Tom Lowe with Doctor Rossi in the Novice Non-Penalty, and John White with Hotshot Bear in the Bargara Bakery 5th Grade.
Greg Kennedy, of Pacific Haven, snared a winning double with veteran litter brothers Roulette in the TAB 5th Grade, and He’s a Minstrel in the Masters 5th Grade.
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