Two goals in the first six minutes was the perfect launching pad as Minor Premiers Waves Cities whitewashed arch-rivals All Blacks 5-0 in the Bundaberg Division 1 Men’s Grand Final at Hinkler Park on Saturday to complete a dominant season.
However, there was a major upset in the Division 1 Women’s decider, with Raiders/Rovers, who had been Minor Premiers by a massive margin of 24 points and had lost just one game all season, beaten by Arrows/Athletics 2-1 in sudden-death extra time.
Cities and All Blacks were lining up in the Blue Riband decider for a sixth straight year, and after being bridesmaids four years in a row, the Blues triumphed 5-0 last year, and they were always in control after 21-year-old Lachlan McLennan, whose father Peter was a long serving champion of the club and a winner of many premierships, was on target in the fourth minute, and 48-year-old lifetime club champion Jamie Rach followed suit three minutes later.
Inspirational Captain and Assistant Coach Adam Harradine extended their lead in the 22nd minute for a 3-0 half-time lead.
There was no addition to the score in the third quarter, but Cities put the icing on the cake with Sam Callaghan also hammering in a goal in the 51st minute, before Adam, who was later awarded the Harry Hartfiel Shield for Player of the Final, putting an exclamation mark on it by completing a personal double four minutes from the end.
Lachlan was also a deserved winner of the D1 Men’s Patron’s Player of the Year later in the night, while in a galaxy of stars, Matthew Quaite, in his first season with the added role as coach, truly set the standard.
Victory was also special for veteran life-time club champion, Michael Callaghan, in his return to season to top grade after making a comeback in Division 2 last year.
All Blacks had their chances with young gun Isaac Wales absolutely outstanding, but Cities were ruthless in defence, and keeper Jarred Taylor safely repelled everything that came his way.
Arrows’ Women, who were runners-up to Cities last year, also threw down the gauntlet early, and they took the lead in the fifth minute with a strike by Nicole Pollock (formerly Leather), who returned this season after 17 years out of the game to play with her younger sister Malanie Stehbens.
Raiders equalised via Jasmine Fagg four minutes into the second stanza, but from there, scores remained deadlocked for the last 41 minutes.
Sent into extra-time, Ava McCaig, who had also played an integral role in Arrows/Athletics Blue’s 5-1 victory over Raiders/Rovers in under-16 in the previous match, stepped up the plate and fired in the winner in the first minute – her first goal in Division 1 – for a famous victory with just 13 players to Raiders/Rovers’ 16.
Malanie Stehbens took out the Irene Steffensen Shield for Player of the Final, while four other under-16’s also backed up, one of her daughters, Bridget, Julie Munro, Ruby Smith, Grace Ferguson, and Malanie’s younger daughter 13-year-old Bridie also played a role off the bench.
Keeper Kallee Buchanan was another hero in just her third season in the sport, while the team was well led by captain Rachel Cox under Coach Kirsty McCulloch and Manager Genene Braysher.
Arrows had previously won the title in 2019.
Raiders/Rovers’ Abby Heffernan received some consolation when she picked up the Division 1 Women’s Patron’s Player of the Year, while Cities’ Milee Flanders took home the Jenny Hartley Memorial Trophy for the D1 Most Improved Female Player
It was a good weekend all-around for Arrows/Athletics, also overpowering All Blacks II 11-1 in Division 2 Men on Friday night, edging out Raiders/Rovers 4-3 in Under-11, and outgunning Raiders/Rovers 5-1 in Under-16.
Raiders/Rovers snared a pair of titles, accounting for Waves Cities 1-0 in Division 2 Women, and also Cities 7-4 in Under-13.
Harrison Gardiner and captain Jack Beveridge led the Arrows’ charge in Division 2 Men with twin hat-tricks, while Ava McCaig’s brother Jake bagged a double, and Harrison’s father Paul was also among the goals, along with under-16 captain Sam Kenny.
Sam backed up on Saturday and led from the front in a Player of the Final masterclass in Under-16, in which Liam Taske and Angus Rehbein also stood out with two goals each.
Hamish Cook, whose father Brendan was the Division 2 Men’s Player of the Final, scored all four goals for Minor Premiers Arrows in a Player of the Final performance in Under-11, after also notching all four in their 4-2 Preliminary Final dispatch of Cities a week earlier, and both goals in a 4-2 Major Semi-final loss to Raiders/Rovers.
A goal in the 34th minute by Reegan Wightman was enough for Raiders/Rovers to secure the Division 2 Women’s silverware, but Cities’ Gabby Aitkenhead was the Player of the Final.
Silvana Powell scored in the 3rd, 18th, and 19th minutes to set Raiders/Rovers on track in Under-13, but it was ultimately captain Courtney Kendall who sealed the deal, scoring their last two goals in the 50th and 60th minutes to also wrap up the Player of the Final.
Bingera, who placed fourth on the ladder, will get the chance to chase the Football Queensland Premier League Wide Bay Men’s Grand Final crown in their Centenary season after continuing their giant-killing run with a 2-1 Preliminary Final victory over Kawungan Sandy Straits Jets at Hervey Bay Sports Complex on Saturday.
Irish ace striker Gary O’Donnell opened their account, before the Jets equalised, then Cody Breuer scored his first goal of the season in 15 matches at about the half-hour mark.
That was the end of the section, with no score added in the final 60 minutes, with the Superstripes jealously guarding their lead to the end, with goal-keeper Jason McEwan unpassable.
Bingera however gave up a 1-0 lead to go down to a heroic United Park Eagles (UPE) 3-1 in the FQPL WB Women’s Preliminary.
The Black and Whites also went down to UPE 3-1 in the Under-23 Men’s qualifier.
In the WB Division 1 Men’s, Across The Waves knocked out League Champions Brothers-Aston Villa 2-1 with a double to Blake Hunter.
Bundaberg had a mixed day in the Wide Bay Cricket Open Men’s Goodchild Shield T20 Round at Salter Oval on Saturday, defeating Fraser Coast by 53 runs, but then going down by 22 runs to Gympie, who claimed the T20 title.
Brendan Handley led the charge against Fraser Coast with a classy 67, while 15-year-old left-arm paceman Lachlan Heycox and spinner Ben Davey snared three wickets each.
Gympie racked up 4-143 against the hosts, before bowling them out for 121 despite a bold 50 from opener Josh Winen.
Here are all the scores:
CRICKET WIDE BAY
Goodchild Shield T20 round:
BUNDABERG 5-146 (Brendan Handley 67, Mitchell Parsons 27, Finlay Ignatenko 2-22, Arden Lankowski 2-28) d FRASER COAST 8-93 (Arden Lankowski 58, Lachlan Heycox 3-7, Ben Davey 3-23).
GYMPIE 3-237 (Andy Batten 123no, Trent Riddell 81, Lewis Williams 2-18) d FRASER COAST 105 (Brodie Loveridge 50no, Chris Hughes 3-31, Kelvin Cochrane 2-12).
GYMPIE 4-143 (Andy Batten 44no, Saif Malek 36, Harry Sippel 34, Mitch Waters 2-22) d BUNDABERG 121 (Josh Winen 50, Mitch Parsons 22, Kelvin Cochrane 3-15, Brenton Polzin 2-8, Nathaniel Bailey 2-18).
Wide Bay Team for Bulls Masters Country Challenge in Cairns from 30 September-3 October: Andy Batten, Oliver Bembrick, Brendan Handley, Arden Lankowski, Sam Pearson, Brenton Polzin, Hayden Pope, Trent Riddell (vc), Harry Sippel, Callum Stitt, Nathan van Eekeren ©, Mitch Waters
FOOTBALL WIDE BAY
FQPL WB MEN
Preliminary final: BINGERA 2 (Gary O’Donnell, Cody Breuer) d KSS JETS 1 (Troy Christophers).
FQPL WB WOMEN
Preliminary final: UPE 3 (Taylor Stumer, Lili Haster) d BINGERA 1 (Hayley Sparozvich).
FQ WB U23 MEN
Preliminary final: UPE 3 (Cody Pym, Finlay Bath, own goal) d BINGERA 1.
FQPL WB U15
Preliminary final: SUNBURY BLUES 3 (Ewan Anderson 2, A Cassells) d BAYSIDE STRIKERS 0.
WB NORTH DIVISION 1 WOMEN
Grand final: UPE RED 5 (Sarah Bretag 2, Kylie Brislane, Isla Drew, Stacey Embrey) d SC CORINTHIANS 0.
WB DIVISION 1 MEN
Preliminary final: ATW 2 (Blake Hunter 2) d BAV 1 (Jesse Sommer).
WB NORTH DIVISION 2 MEN
Grand final: BAV 2 (Josh McInnes, Darcy Barlow) d BINGERA CUTTERS 0.
WB NORTH U15 DIVISION 1
Grand final: BINGERA 1 d BAV 0.
WB NORTH U13 DIVISION 1
Grand final: BARGARA STINGRAYS 2 d BINGERA 1.
Arrows Athletics 4 (Hamish Cook 4) defeated Raiders Rovers 3 (Stella Dwyer 1, Levi Kendall 2). Player of the Final – Hamish Cook (Arrows Athletics)
Raiders Rovers 7 (Ameilia Law 1, Courtney Kendall 2, Silvana Powell 3) defeated Waves Cities 4 (Connor Castelli 1, Thomas Rach 1, Brock Green 1, Charlotte Henricksen 1). Player of the Final – Courtney Kendall (Raiders Rovers)
Arrows Athletics Blue 5 (Sam Kenny 1, Liam Taske 2, Angus Rehbein 2) defeated Raiders Rovers 1 (Bayley Fagg 1). Player of the Final – Sam Kenny (Arrows Athletics)
Div 2 Women
Raiders Rovers 1 (Reegan Wightman 1) defeated Waves Cities 0. Player of the Final – Gabby Aitkenhead (Waves Cities)
Div 1 Women
Arrows Athletics 2 (Ava McCaig 1, Nicky Pollock 1) defeated Raiders Rovers 1 (Jasmine Fagg 1). Player of the Final – Malanie Stehbens (Arrows Athletics)
Div 2 Men
Arrows Athletics 11 (Paul Gardiner 1, Sam Kenny 1, Greg McLean 1, Jake McCaig 2, Harrison Gardiner 3, Jack Beveridge 3) defeated All Blacks 2 – 1 (Ty Wilke 1). Player of the Final – Brendan Cook (Arrows Athletics)
Div 1 Men
Waves Cities 1 – 5 (Sam Callaghan 1, Lachlan McLennan 1, Jamie Rach 1, Adam Harradine 2) defeated All Blacks 1 – 0. Player of the Final – Adam Harradine (Waves Cities)
Division 2 Patrons Player of the Year – Women: Leah McLaren (All Blacks)
Division 2 Patrons Player of the Year – Men: Dale Veivers (All Blacks)
Division 1 Patrons Player of the Year – Women: Abby Heffernan (Raiders Rovers)
Division 1 Patrons Player of the Year – Men: Lachlan McLennan (Waves Cities)
Jenny Hartley Award: Milee Flanders (Waves Cities)
Cislowski Chase Award: Riley Howard (Raiders Rovers)
Club People of the Year: The Beveridge Family (Matt, Paula, Jack and Adam)
Rep Players of the Year:
Rep Player of the Year – U13 Girls: Courtney Kendall
Rep Player of the Year – U13 Boys: Connor Castelli & Tully Dorgan
Rep Player of the Year – U18 Men: Sam Aitkenhead & Isaac Wales
Rep Player of the Year – Women’s Masters – Team 1: Leah McLaren
Rep Player of the Year – Women’s Masters – Team 2: Deanne Binder
Other stories: Barry gets gold for Volunteer in Policing efforts