By Casey OÇonnor
COVID-19 has certainly rattled the cages of every sport in recent months and all sports have their own individual challenges to overcome.
I’m not sure if some of our NRL clubs have caught their own particular type of virus but I am hard pressed to recall a recent or distant season when the gap between the good, the bad and the downright ugly is so vast.
In fact you could be forgiven for thinking the NRL is running a two tier competition.
After losing their two pre-Covid games, the Roosters are crowing in rarefied air and while there is still plenty that can go wrong for them in the remaining seven or eight rounds of the amended competition they are currently freewheeling and flying high and heading towards the top of the table.
They have a fairly handy draw in the lead up to the finals, meeting only a couple of the fancied teams on the way.
The Eels currently head the standings ahead of the Knights, Panthers, Storm, Eagles, Raiders and Bunnies who round out the current top eight.
The gap between those sides and the remainder seems to be widening with each week. It is not good news for Maroons fans as the three Queensland teams all find themselves at the wrong end of the ladder and there is precious little light at the end of the tunnel for their supporters.
While there is a long road to travel before we start talking State of Origin 2020 our Queensland stocks are looking pretty thin on the ground and a good transfusion of the famous Queenslander spirit may be necessary this season.
Of the teams in the bottom half of the ladder the Tigers look to be the only side knocking on the door of the top eight trying to force their way in.
The Cowboys horror run of injuries is only overshadowed by their very tough draw between now and round 20 and must be giving Coach Paul Green nightmares.
The Sharks have lost their bite; the Dragons have their own injury concerns before you mention form. Now one of their greatest back stops, James Graham is heading back to the Old Dart to finish his playing career with St Helens. Their Coach Mary McGregor is just one of half a dozen coaches under the pump.
The fate of Bulldogs coach Dean Pay appears from the outside noise to be a week to week proposition but an improved performance last weekend may give him a little wriggle room.
The axe has already fallen on Warriors coach Stephen Kearney. A bitter pill to swallow for him no doubt but on the flip side the Warriors performance was pathetic last weekend. Obviously their owner was not prepared to wait and see if an improvement under Kearney could be salvaged.
Of course they weren’t alone the Titans were shambolic and saving the best or worst for last, the Broncos a disgrace. Who would ever have contemplated the mighty Brisbane Broncos Club would be in such disarray.
The Broncos don’t have the easiest draw in the next few weeks and how they handle their problems in 2020 is developing into an intriguing story in itself. A loss to the Titans this week at Suncorp might cause all sorts of changes and unfortunately if you are a Broncos fan, brace yourself it could be on the cards.
Let’s hope these NRL clubs in the bottom half of the ladder can find a vaccine to fix whatever virus they are all suffering and put their fans out of their misery.
CASEY’S NRL ROUND SEVEN SELECTIONS
Rabbitohs; Storm; Roosters; Knights; Broncos; Eels; Sea Eagles: West Tigers
FORMAT IDEAL FOR QUIRK
There was an excellent turn out for the Par v Single Stableford event played in Warwick on Saturday. Of the 70 players on course it was obvious that Brodie Quirk enjoyed the format that is not always that popular with some players.
Quirk who plays off a 2 handicap fired an excellent round recording a plus six result. Quirk has not been playing regular competition golf for all that king and there is little doubt that he will continue to reduce his handicap as his game progresses.
His winning score was two shots better than runner up Ron Simon. Simon survived a countback with Caleb King to secure the runner up spot.
Joe McIvor and Ross Hetherington are both new members in terms of competition golf. Each recorded a plus three score to win a ball. It was great to see them on the board early in their career.
Ray Dudley had a plus two while Terry Bennett, Jon Pearson and Michael Hoskin all finished with plus one..
Terry Bennett had an excellent second nine to get into that position. Rod Hansen, Greg Wallace, Nic Lane, Anthony Moore and Viv Roser all finished square while Peter Millard and Scott McLennan rounded out the run down on minus one.
Anthony Moore was the lone visiting player on Saturday. He won a ball and thoroughly enjoyed the course. There was one visitor on the day that being Anthony Moore who won a ball and enjoyed the course.
This Saturday members play in a Single Stableford sponsored by Oaktree Retirement Village. A reminder to members that the popular 4BBB Handicap Matchplay qualifying event is on Saturday 11th July. It’s time to be looking for a good partner for that upcoming event.
VALE KEN BURLEY
On a very sad note members of the Warwick Golf Club and the wider community were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of very popular long-term member Ken Burley. Ken only played last Wednesday and sadly suffered a heart attack on Sunday morning at his home. Ken who was 91 and just shy of his 92nd birthday will be remembered as a wonderful man and a remarkable golfer.
He regularly recorded rounds under his age and earlier this year on January 22nd this 91 year old returned a score of 88 gross and in his final round last Wednesday he scored 94 off the stick.
Ken Burley was the Patron of the Sporters Club for many years and somewhat of a legend around the Warwick Golf Club.
Each year he organized a group of men to assist the ladies on their Open Days with bunker raking and many other tasks. Ken Burley will be sadly missed by his many friends at the club and the members and Committee have his dear wife Marge in their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
NETBALLERS OVER THE MOON
President of Netball Stanthorpe, Natalie Vedelago said she and the committee of the club and the players were over the moon when they received notification that their grant application for work on their netball courts had been approved.
Mrs Vedelago said the successful application is the culmination of four years of hard work and planning by The Stanthorpe Netball Association. The $150,850 grant recently awarded under the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) will allow for a much-needed upgrade to the Railway Street courts which are currently unable to be used.
The new courts will give members of the Stanthorpe Netball community a decent facility at which to play and the opportunity to better their skills as netballers and give players the best chance to compete at higher levels.
” It’s not only great for us as an association to be able to build new courts but it is definitely a big positive for the wider community”. Mrs Vedelago said earlier this week that the improvements will not end with the construction of new courts. “The Stanthorpe Netball Association have plans to further grow the facilities in the future with upgrades such as a clubhouse and much more. “We have a big vision for the future of the club and the future of the sport in our town.”
While a start date for the construction is yet to be locked in, expect to see plenty of action at the site in coming months with a planned completion date set for the beginning of the 2021 season.
BEST OF CONDITIONS EARLY
Rain kept Stanthorpe Sporters indoors the previous week but last Sunday they were on the course nice and early. Although it was a little crisp the early birds enjoyed the best conditions of the day. After finishing runner-up recently Paul Byrnes nailed his round to claim victory over runner up Andrew Burgess and the rest of the field. Figuring in the run downs were Ivan Jurris and Dick Hilton who have also been thereabouts in recent weeks and look they are not be far off a win.
MALLET PLAYERS ENJOY RETURN TO COURT
Stanthorpe Mallet players delighted in their return to the Croquet Court last week.
There were nine players on court for the return of Association Croquet and three games were played.
Peter Goodsir partnered Peter Tunbridge against the experience Andrea Denkewitz and Jenny Tunbridge.
Both ladies made good roquets. Jenny recorded a break of three hoops in a row as she and Andrea notched up a 21-13 win. Joy Newman played solo against the Grace Howard and Carol Verwey. There were no signs of any cobwebs in Grace’s game. She played very well making breaks of three and five hoops in a row which helped she and her partner to a comprehensive 26-11 win. The final game on the court was a singles game between Heather Widderick and Effey Russell. Russell played very well to secure a 26-19 win.
AN ACE ALMOST STEALS THE SHOW
As Warwick Sporters continue to see their numbers swell, it was a relative newcomer who almost stole the limelight in Wednesday’s (10/6) competition. Stephen Shaw shot a hole in one on the seventh green. Many of the longer playing members who haven’t achieved that goal would likely give a tentacle for an áce but were quick to congratulate him on the milestone. While Shaw was soaking up the moment it was one of the visiting players in the strong field who claimed the honours in the Bells Butchery Trophy. Liam Duncan finished his round with 39 points, one point clear of runner-up Shane Reid (38 points) to claim victory.
Earning a spot in the run down were:- Trevor Malone and Ian Skillen (37), Neville Heard, Herb Bownds and David Craggs (36), Terry Bennett and Neil Carney (35), Clive Pulley, Tony Kahler Jon Pearson Garry Adcock and Bob Lester (34).
This week Sporters played for the Hawker Road Function Centre trophy. – (Be sure to look for results and highlights in next week’s Spin). The following week is the Warwick Pro-Shop sponsored stroke event for July. In the meantime enjoy your golfing week Liam Duncan.
BOWLERS ROLL UP THEIR SLEEVES AT PRACTICE
The Bowls Qld Covid -19 Return to Play guidelines unfortunately do not allow for a return to full competition yet. This however did not prevent a group from the Southern Cross Bowls Club from enjoying a roll-up last week. The ladies club hosted the mid week roll up which saw Cheryl Wickham, Daphne Cross, Chris Sawyer, Joe Torrisi, Barry Frame and Geoff Davis get in some valuable practice on the green.
It was a roll up that came with its own unique set of challenges. Players found it a little hard to concentrate when a burst water pipe under the clubhouse came to everyone’s attention. Showing their tenacity the group soldiered on taking advantage of the practice conditions which turned out to be a little trying.
In ideal conditions last Saturday a group of 12 bowlers, (Cheryl Wickham and Kev Mooney; Rob Francis and Daryl Busch. Linda Hartley; Joe Torrisi and Liam Holland; Barry Frame. Allan Davidson and Wayne Foster with Thee Francis and Geoff Davis) were on the greens practising hard. The saying goes that “winning isn’t everything, but practice makes perfect”. If that’s the case just wait until the competitions resume. This lot are on fire.
Under the current guidelines and recommendations, you are required to book in for roll ups. It ensures that a session can be filled with no more that the allowed number of players. Please be aware that if you “just show up” you may be disappointed.
To put your name down for Thursday’s 1pm roll-ups, please call Chris(0412 027 342) or call
Geoff (0407 032 001) to book a spot on Saturday at 1pm.
Those bowlers who have been enjoying rollups report that it is not difficult to achieve “Social Distancing” and the jacks and mats are easily disinfected.
To those who have been unwell, the members miss your smiling faces and wish you all the very best.
Thanks to Bill for preparing the green and Clark for those plumbing repairs and re-marking the rinks with Pat.
With the easing of restrictions, drinks are now available for up to 20 patrons seated inside the clubhouse under the four-square metre distancing rule.
For anyone who may who would like further information about the club, it is located opposite St Mary’s Church or you can follow the Southern Cross Bowls Club Inc. on their Facebook page.
PRESIDENT WINS FINCH CUP
The cooler winter conditions in Stanthorpe last Saturday did not deter the good field of golfers who played the Stableford competition sponsored by club members Tom and Trish Fittock. Playing alongside the local members were visiting golfers Brett Holdway (Cypress Lakes), Joshua Holdway (Southport) and Graham Spence (Pacific) and all enjoyed the unique Stanthorpe course.
It was another close finish in the Men’s event and after a countback it was club President Stephen Kay (37points) who got the nod.
Kay edged out Keith Jones(37) relegated to the runner’s up spot and one of the visitors, Brett Holdway (37) who settled for the first run down prize.
Kay also won the 2020 Finch Cup event and will be delighted to have his name added to the list of previous winners on the impressive Trophy.
Others who featured in Saturday’s run down were Rob Reeves, Brady Morant and Mark Hendry. All recorded scores of 36 points.
Sandra Ellis (39) found her short game form around the greens and some good putting contributed to her win in the Ladies event. Ellis was pleased with her form saying after the round that she has been finding that part of her game quite difficult since returning to play.
Linda Kelly has been scoring consistently lately and that consistency on Saturday saw her return a score of 37 points for the runner up slot.
Neta Thouard (33 points) and Lorraine Evans (31 points) were included in the ladies’ run down.
Players are advised that there is a change to competition format this Saturday with a medley 4BBB Stableford programmed.
All members are reminded to have their name on the time sheet and to observe the required protocols.
Players can add their names to the sheet by visiting the clubhouse or phone or e-mail to secure your position.
RUNNING REPAIRS FOR CF WHITE
The start of the cricket season may still be months away but the Stanthorpe cricketers are making the most of the down time to do some running repairs and maintenance to their facilities.
Last weekend a group of senior and junior cricketers were busy prepping the fence at the CF White Oval for repainting.
There will be another working bee this Saturday (27th) commencing at 8.30am and each club is asked to provide a minimum of four volunteers again this weekend.
PUT ASIDE CLUB RIVALRIES IN 2020
Stanthorpe footballers are urged to seize a one off opportunity to put healthy club rivalries aside and join the proposed combined Stanthorpe Football squad to play in the revised 2020 Toowoomba Football competition but time is running out.
Coach Brad Rub said at this stage they have 13 players who have shown interest in playing in the Men’s side. Ideally Rub would like at least 20 registered players before the July 12 competition kickoff to make the team a viable option.
The squad has had a couple of light training runs on the Ballandean Soccer field and they will meet again for another run and to assess numbers later this week.
The invitation to join the combined Men’s squad is open to all Senior Men on the Granite Belt and if you are interested please contact Brad Rub (Coach) on 0439 850 502.
There is also opportunity for a few more ladies to join the proposed Ladies side. Ladies keen to join the side should contact Stanthorpe United President Brian Westerhout.
This is not the first time Stanthorpe clubs have joined the Toowoomba competition. Back in the 1990’s both Stanthorpe International Football Club and the Ballandean Football Club fielded teams in Toowoomba.
Chairman of the Stanthorpe Football Association, Cameron Gow said again recently that the Association is committed to providing some form of local Football once the COVID-19 restrictions are eased further.
LAST CHANCE FOR LOCAL GIRLS TO PLAY LEAGUE
The Toowoomba Junior Rugby League announced last week they will play a modified 2020 season. Organisers have extended an opportunity for girl’s in the Under 14 and Under 16 age groups from across the Southern Downs, Inglewood Tenterfield and Goondiwindi to join a combined team in their competition.
The TJRL are preparing to play an eight-week girl’s tackle competition. The season is set to kick-off on July 25, with contact training to resume on July 10 – in line with the Queensland Government stage three easing of restrictions.
Queensland Rugby League operations manager Jackie Stephson said, “There won’t be any finals this year, just a straight eight-week competition.”So, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn.”
Last year a combined Warwick and Districts team entered across the various divisions in the girls competition.
With the 2020 competition across the Southern Downs and beyond cancelled, Stephson said it has opened the door for a combined team from across the District to nominate.
There has only been lukewarm interest at this stage and girls are urged to submit an application to join the competition or contact Ms Stephson for more information – Ph 0402 807 980 or email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time is of the essence as organisers are keen to finalise a draw.
HONE YOUR FOOTBALL SKILLS
COVID-19 might have scuppered much of the football season across the region however the South West Queensland Thunder is offering a great opportunity for players to hone their skills, develop new skills and get some intensive training.
The SW Queensland Thunder are holding a series of Football Camps across South West Queensland.
There will be two sessions in Stanthorpe on June 29 and 30. The sessions will run from 8.30am -4.30pm. It is not often local players have top line coaches like Chris McLeod and SAP Coach Tom Lund on our doorstep. The coaches will be will be joined by International players, Mirko Crociati and Pasquale De Vitae.
It is a great opportunity and players can register their interest by contacting their club. Cost is $50 per day. Registrations close on June 26 and must be fully paid up prior to participating.
SKAINES A PANTHER AS JUNIORS PREPARE TO HIT THE COURT
As organisers prepare to welcome junior Netball players back to the court, the Warwick Netball Association would like to congratulate Caitlin Skaines on her selection in the 2020 Darling Downs Panthers team.
Following the announcement, the Panthers said Caitlin’s combined relentless work ethic, desire to develop her defensive skills and court sense, have made her a valuable member of the Panthers team. She is highly energetic and eager to learn. The Warwick Netball community wish Caitlin who first played with the Panthers in 2018 as a 16 year old every success in the 2020 season.
As Caitlin’s star continues to rise, the journey is just beginning for some Junior Netballers. Preparations are well underway to welcome keen return players and also new players for the upcoming eight week season.
The shortened season will provide a great opportunity for new players to try their hand at netball with a view to returning for the full season in 2021.
Interested players should visit the Netball Warwick Facebook page for the junior sign on link and full details of the shortened season.
PLENTY OF ACTION AT ALLMAN PARK MEETING
The Warwick Turf Club TAB meeting last Thursday went ahead under very ominous skies and
Following the washout after heavy rain the previous week, the committee no doubt had an eagle eye on conditions throughout the rescheduled meeting.
With the threat of further rain and on a heavy eight track the afternoon was not without some drama.
The meeting opened with the running of the Angus Wickham Memorial QTIS Two Year Old Maiden. Many of the runners were having their first race start and found the track conditions testing.
The winner Dark Chocolate had no such problems. After suffering a heavy knock and losing ground shortly after the start the filly who started at the good quote of $7.50 scored a narrow win for her connections.
The second event was won by the Toowoomba trained Juxtaposed and ridden by Kenji Yoshida. Yoshida was able to get the best out of the Michael Frappell galloper who began awkwardly and then shifted out in the straight. Under hard riding he scored a narrow win over Uralaba and His Grace. It was the first leg of a winning double for the Toowoomba rider
Toowoomba trainer Matt Kropp rarely comes to a country meeting and goes home empty handed. He saddled up Deadly One in the third event and the three year old who won at the Gold Coast in May did not let his connections down. Starting at $6, jockey Jason Taylor had his hands full in the early stages as the gelding raced keenly and had to be steadied off the heels of another runner around the 1000 metre mark and lost ground.
Despite laying out in the home straight he narrowly defeated Ivy’s Dream and favourite Abb Roy.
Race four was delayed when Royal Inspector and apprentice Anna Bakos parted company behind the barrier. The remainder of the field returned to the enclosure while the rider was being assessed by the ambulance. Royal Inspector was withdrawn and declared a late scratching. Following the delay Kenji Yoshida scored the second leg of his winning double on the Rex Lipp trained Love Flies. The filly three year old filly by Love Conquers All was having only her second race start and started at $26 defeating favourite The Power Of One ($3.30) and another long shot Eighty Three Bricks ($26) making the trifecta a nice collect for punter who jagged it.
Following race four Stewards inspected the track after some riders voiced concerns over the conditions.
Chief Steward Mr Cooke advised riders that Stewards found the track safe and suitable for racing. The
meeting continued with the running of the Smith Farms – Killarney Falls Maiden over 1500 metres.
There was finally some joy for punters when the first favourite of the day, Eagle Farm visitor Live Music saluted.
Punters were also on the money in the sixth event when the well fancied favourite , Addocarr ($2.35) made light work of his 60kg impost and raced away for one length win for his connections.
Gatton visitor The Hooligan put the writing on the wall with two good previous runs and got the job done for trainer Brenton Andrew and jockey Billie Rose Andrew. Eagle Farm visitor Twerk started favourite and finished third but gave her rider Isabella Rabjones a torrid time. The filly hung out as the field entered the home straight and laid out under pressure down the running before dislodging the jockey after passing the winning post.
The apprentice jockey was attended to on the course before being taken by Ambulance to Warwick Hospital to be assessed.
With daylight fading and as a replacement Ambulance car was not immediately available the final event, Race eight was abandoned.
It wrapped up a busy day for Stewards who fined and reprimanded several riders for breaches of the Queensland Racing whip regulations.
The Warwick Turf Club will be hoping for better racing conditions for their next meeting which is scheduled for July 2. As restrictions are lifted in the next few weeks it is hoped that we may see some patrons back on course at that meeting.