There's plenty of sporting action taking place across the Bundaberg Region this weekend.
Hundreds of touch football players will battle it out, with $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, in the eighth annual Bundaberg Touch Cup at Greg Duncan Fields this weekend.
Three star studded teams will battle it out in the Blue Riband Open Men’s division, Young Bulls, a composite Rockhampton/Bundaberg side, Slippery Sausages with players from Rockhampton and Yeppoon, and Mackay Thunder.
There are six in Open Mixed, including QMTF and Bugger, which both contain Bundaberg players, and Prince of Thieves, led by former NRL premiership star and Queensland Touch icon Scott Prince.
Reigning Bundaberg Men’s premiers Ankle Bullies will attempt to go one better in the Social Men’s category under captain Luca Felesina after losing last year’s final to 3-1 Bulldogs, of Rockhampton, who will be out to defend their title.
Social Mixed has the biggest contingent with 11 teams, including four Rum City outfits, headed by the potent QNZLDer, with the mercurial Blake Hornbrook leading the charge.
Bundaberg teams will also fly the flag in the Under-16, U14 and U12 Girls sections, but there are no home-town representatives in U16, U14 and U12 Boys.
Competition will get under way at 8am tomorrow, running throughout the day, resuming on Sunday morning, with Semi-finals to follow and Grand Finals set down for the afternoon.
Results will be posted and draws published for the finals once round games are completed on the Tournament web page: https://touchfootball.com.au/Competitions/Association/bundaberg-cup-21975
Horse Racing: There were no local winners at the Rum City Foods Race Day at Thabeban Park on Saturday, but highly successful Eidsvold trainer Bob Murray, who family has had strong connections to the city over many years, claimed a surprise win in the XXXX Benchmark 50 Handicap with outsider Come Clean ($8.50).
The stylish mare had not been placed in her seven starts for him since October, but aided by the 4kg allowance for 21-year-old Sunshine Coast apprentice Sophie Blunt, she came down the outside to prove too strong.
It was just Sophie’s second winner in 22 rides since making her debut 26th November, but she had managed a second and two thirds from three rides at the previous Bundaberg meeting on 10th December, before landing her first winner at Gladstone one week later.
At the age of 94, Bob’s legendary father Jack, who achieved great success throughout the District over a long training career, was on hand to cheer Come Clean home.
There was one other winner on the day with strong local links, Rockhampton raider Bornees Lad, in the Benchmark 45, which was ridden by Bundaberg born and raised jockey Chris McIver, and trained by Laurie Clem, a brother to top Bundaberg trainer Gary and former champion jockey Terry.
Wondai trainer Kym Afford also continued his run of success in Bundaberg, saddling up four of the five runners in the Open Handicap, and getting the money with favourite Daunting Warrior ($2.40), with apprentice Shania Willis in the saddle.
Female jockeys took out the remaining three races, with apprentice Liv O’Donnell saluting the judge in the Benchmark 60 aboard Better Rush for Jason Devine, of Thangool, another apprentice Lilli Barr booting Golden Athena to victory for champion Mackay mentor John Manzelmann in the Class 2, and senior jockey Natalea Summers piloting favourite Mr Tangles ($2.80) to get the money for Rockhampton’s Darryl Johnston in the Rum City Foods Maiden Plate.
Champion Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner had to settle for three minor placings, second with Balut (Benchmark 60), and thirds with Rutto (Class 2) and Spirit of Zazou (Maiden).
Darryl was however successful at the Rockhampton meeting on Friday, taking out the Maiden with Empire Club, which was a $1.85 favourite and finally broke through at his sixth start for him.
Cricket: Bundaberg missed a golden chance to host the Wide Bay Open Goodchild Shield final after slipping to second behind South Burnett after imploding to a one-run loss to them in their last round clash at Salter Oval on Sunday.
Bundaberg did brilliantly to bowl the visitors out for just 103, with pace spearhead Mitchell Waters the destroyer with 4-41.
But eight Bundaberg batsmen collectively amassed a total of just 11 runs as the hosts were bundled out for 102 in 35.2 overs, with No. 9 Trent Seeds remaining unbeaten on 33, as Jared Sippel completed a match winning double of 42 and 3-15, and his father Ashley chipped in with 3-16.
The two sides will meet again in the Final on 19th February.
Bundaberg however had good wins over Gympie in the Under-14 and U12 divisions of the Wide Bay Championships in the Gold City, with Charlie Steele, whose father Dale has been a Division 1 all-round star for many years, producing a dynamic double of an unbeaten 28 and 5-25 in the former.
Meanwhile, in the Aussie Bundy Big Bash on Friday night, defending champions Headlands Pies consolidated second place with Mitch Parsons leading them to a six-wicket victory over Searle’s RV Centre Vikings with a superb unbeaten 61.
Tonight at 6.30pm at Salter Oval, Betta Heat can take an iron grip on the minor premiership if they are able to beat Takalvans Taipans.
In the Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership, Waves laid claim to the minor title with a 65-run triumph over Brothers in their top of the table showdown despite a return-to-form game-high of 54 by 16-year-old Oliver Boge.
Norths kept their finals hopes alive, staging a superb run chase to reel in East Bundy Magpies’ very competitive total of 6-231 with four wickets in hand and five overs to spare, led by captain Chris Napper with 2-47 and an unbeaten 57.
Tomorrow, Waves and East square off at 11am, before Brothers and Norths take centre-stage in a day-night starting at 2pm.
Junior fixtures resumed after the Christmas-New Year recess on Saturday, and YMCA/Isis opener River Felstead scored his maiden century, carrying his bat and finishing unbeaten on 106 to set up a 107-run dispatch of Hervey Bay Colts.
Brothers Mustangs’ Toby Lamond also continued his excellent form with 38 runs and 5-23 to be a match winner against Norths.
Softball: Second placed Waves Schooners staged a dramatic turn-around, turning down Brothers United Heat 12-1 in their Coral Coast Softball Men’s showdown at Brothers Sports Club on Saturday after suffering a shock 12-0 white-wash to them seven days earlier.
But competition leaders Terrors maintained them eight-point buffer at the top, outgunning last placed Bargara Bombers 5-3.
In A Grade Ladies, run-away leaders Waves Tsunamis powered on with a 16-5 demolition of three times defending champions Brothers United Firesticks in their top of the table shoot-out, before Firesticks backed up to consolidate second position with a 14-6 blitz of Western Suburbs Panthers.
Tomorrow, Firesticks and Tsunamis meet again at Brothers at 4.10pm, and Panthers face another Terrors attack in Hervey Bay.
There is only one A Grade Men’s match tomorrow with Heat to suit up against Bombers at Brothers at 2.20pm.
Here are all the scores from the weekend:
AUSSIE BUNDY BIG BASH
Headlands Pies 4/122 (M Parsons 61*, H Pope 26) def Searle's RV Centre Vikings 7/120(cc) (O Boge 31, J Rehbein 2/10).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
Norths 6/232 (C Napper 57*, S Smith 47, J Bond 34, P Jenner 28, B Davey 3/38) def East Bundy Magpies 6/231(cc) (L Childs 84, D Bonser 61, B Davey 39, C Napper 2/47, L Denning 2/51).
Waves 9/217(cc) (L Owen 49, J Larsen 44, R Norton 25, C Carroll 2/32, S Pearson 2/38) def Brothers 10/152 (O Boge 54, M Parsons 32, S Pearson 27, R Norton 3/33, H Pope 2/12, M Waters 2/25).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 2 PREMIERSHIP
Waves 7/260(cc) (D Unwin 66, D Black 46*, J Wormington 26, R Maclean 25, J Haack 4/35, S Lamond 2/33) def Brothers 10/204 (G Cunningham 45, D Collin 28, D Black 5/32, N Stitt 2/41).
Norths 6/193 (J Bond 56, J Hyde 47*, J Bing 30, B Fagg 2/34, P Mudalige 2/44) def East Bundy Magpies 9/191(cc) (F Rogers 62*, D Clancy 28, J Howard 5/20, M Penny 2/36).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 3 PREMIERSHIP
Waves 7/159 (J DePapi 42*, W Niekeric 32, R Ravinder 2/17, M Nazir 2/28, H Anjum 2/33) def East Bundy Magpies 155 (S Singh 29, J Kleidon 4/34, N Catasti 2/0, B Grey 2/16).
YMCA 4/158 (L Webster 39, P Bramley 38*, S Gogireddy 28, D Gugulothu 27, Z Donovan 2/14) def Isis 9/157(cc) (S Willing 59, B Woodward 3/18, L Webster 3/25, R Felstead 2/15).
RUM CITY FOODS JUNIOR CRICKET 3-16S
YMCA/Isis 4/217(cc) (R Felstead 106*, C Rehbein 52, R Quigley 3/36) def Hervey Bay Colts 7/110(cc) (T Geldard 50*, C Schoene 5/31).
Waves 195 (S Stuchbery 72, T Staines 47, T Coates 43, N Gillieatt-jones 2/32, R Robinson 2/36) def Maryborough 8/164(cc) (R Robinson 31*, L Nitschinsk 28, L Harms 25, S Stuchbery 3/15, P Dow 2/19).
Brothers Mustangs 8/182 (R Collin 61, T Lamond 38, Sean Millett 30, T Kapernick 3/20, J Mather 2/6) def Norths 8/123(cc) (L Faint 39, O Wendt 33, T Lamond 5/23, Sean Millett 2/12).
RUM CITY FOODS JUNIOR CRICKET 3-14S
Hervey Bay Colts 6/162(cc) (C Barr 46, B Kerwick 29, T Brewer 4/16) def Maryborough 78 (11 wickets) (A Moore 3/7, C Barr 2/3, B Shelton 2/9).
Brothers Raptors 165 (C Anderson 71*, C Steele 5/30) def YMCA/Isis6/161(cc) (C Steele 48*, A Webster 35, C Anderson 3/17).
Norths Bundy Bears 2/177 (T Elphinstone 59*, S Juster 28*) def Waves 98 (T Delacy 30, A Algie 3/19, S Juster 2/3, H Elphinstone 2/18).
RUM CITY FOODS JUNIOR CRICKET 2
Isis 2/129(cc) (C Muggeridge 27*, N Campbell 2/7) def Brothers Broncos 7/118(cc) (N Campbell 36, L Knight 4/1, C Muggeridge 2/18).
Norths SEI Strikers 6/193(cc) (J Atkinson 41*, D Hollands 33*, L Caccamo 2/16, H Blair 2/34) def Brothers Pumas 25 (D Walker 3/5).
Norths Avengers 142 (B Mathew 2/20) def YMCA/Easts 91 (T Melein 35*, R Balaam 3/14, T Dwyer 2/3).
South Burnett 103 (J Sippel 42, M Waters 4/41, T Seeds 2/6, H Pope 2/20) def Bundaberg 102 (T Seeds 33*, M Parsons 28, J Sippel 3/15, A Sippel 3/16, T Heness 2/17).
Ladder: South Burnett 23.17, Bundaberg 20.19, Fraser Coast 14.23, Gympie 9.28.
Bundaberg def Gympie on forfeit
Bundaberg 11/173 (C Steele 28*, J West 2/14) def Gympie 75 (C Steele 5/25).
Bundaberg 137 (11 wickets) (T Nieuwoudt 41, R Johnston 3/12, C Sorrell 2/10, L Freeman 2/18) def Gympie 10/110(cc) (J Durie 28, J Cronin 3/4, A Knight 2/14).
SOFTBALL CORAL COAST
A GRADE LADIES
WAVES TSUNAMIS 16 d BROTHERS UNITED FIRESTICKS 5; BROTHERS UNITED FIRESTICKS 14 d WESTERN SUBURBS PANTHERS 6.
B GRADE LADIES
WESTERN SUBURBS COUGARS 19 d BROTHERS UNITED CROSSFIRE 4; BARGARA LEOPARDS 17 d TERRORS YELLOW 1; WAVES BREAKERS 9 d WESTERN SUBURBS PUMAS 2; WAVES SEASHELLS 14 d BROTHERS UNITED INFERNO 7; BARGARA BANDITS 11 d MISFITS 6.
A GRADE MEN
WAVES SCHOONERS 12 d BROTHERS UNITED HEAT 1; TERRORS 5 d BARGARA BOMBERS 3.
B GRADE MEN
TERRORS 4 d BARGARA BULLS 3; BROTHERS UNITED FLAME 13 d WAVES CRUISERS 2; BROTHERS UNITED FLAME 6 d WAVES CUTTERS 4; WAVES CUTTERS 16 d WESTERN SUBURBS LYNX 2.
WAVES WAVERIDERS 14 d WAVES DRIFTERS 10; TERRORS 16 d BARGARA BRONCS 5; BROTHERS UNITED TNT 14 d WESTERN SUBURBS LIONS 6.
BROTHERS UNITED BLAZE 10 d WESTERN SUBURBS TIGERS 8; TERRORS 13 d BARGARA BANDICOOTS 4; WAVES RIPTIDES 8 d WAVES TORPEDOES 7.
WAVES MARINERS 16 d WESTERN SUBURBS JAGUARS 2.