Sports Reports: Murraylands cyclists race at the national championships
Plus the latest from local speedway racing, rifle shooting and cricket.
This post includes contributions from Phil McGee, MMSS Media, Daniel Irvine and the Murray Towns Cricket Association.
Local riders Jason Woodard, from Murray Bridge, and James Hand, from Tailem Bend, have competed at the Auscycling National Championships in Ballarat.
The road races returned to the iconic Buninyong circuit this year, with riders facing a tough climb up Mount Buninyong each lap as they decided the 2022 national road race champions.
Hand, riding for Van D’am Racing, kicked off proceedings on Friday in the under-19 men’s criterium, which once again took place on the much-loved Sturt Street, featuring a tough uphill drag to the finish line of each lap.
He competed against 32 other riders from all over Australia over 22 kilometres, or 15 laps of the 1.1km course; but unfortunately did not finish as dehydration got to him.
He backed up on Saturday morning for the under-19 men’s road race, where he competed against 65 other national riders over 104.4km, or nine laps of the 11.6km course.
He finished 56th on the day, five laps behind the race leader.
However, he finished eighth in the king of the mountain classification, with third places in two of the climbs.
Woodard, president of the Murraylands Cycling Club and a rider with Rokit Racing, concentrated all his efforts on the under-23 men’s road race on Saturday over 139.2km, or 12 laps of the 11.6km course, all televised on SBS.
He finished 43rd in a huge field of 108 riders, including some who race overseas with international teams.
His Rokit Racing teammate, Jarred Clarke, also entered; but they were somewhat disadvantaged against teams that entered as many as 10 riders.
Watch the under-23 men’s road race: www.sbs.com.au.
Ben Cartwright, Nathan Thorne win big at speedway
The eighth meeting of the Murray Bridge Speedway season was held last Saturday night: an all-sections club show, with the main categories being wingless sprints and street stocks.
The wingless sprints were once again out in force with a field of more than 30 cars despite the absence of several competitors who were racing interstate.
But that didn’t take anything away from the racing, which was of a high quality and produced a first-time winner as Ben Cartwright led all 20 laps in impressive fashion.
Second place went to Ryan Alexander, with Hayden Vickers enjoying a return to form to complete the podium.
Melissa Crouch continued her impressive form as she finished fourth, with Matthew Kennedy, Joel Heinrich, William Caruso, Harley Alexander, Brent Fox and Rhys Heinrich completing the top 10.
In the street stocks, the front-wheel-drive Magna driven by Nathan Thorne claimed the feature event honours ahead of Bailey Heinrich and Nigel Reichstein in a tough race.
The night also featured V6 sprints, AMCA nationals, late models and junior sedans.
The next meeting on the speedway calendar will be another club show on January 22, featuring wingless sprints, modlites, street stocks, formula 500s, super sedans, modified sedans, late models and V6 sprints.
Read more: www.murraybridgespeedway.com.
Greg Lannan returns to form on the golf course
Returning to golf three months ago after a 10-year-or-so hiatus, former member Greg Lannan has hit his straps in his 10th round back at Murray Bridge Golf Club, scoring 42 points and taking out Saturday’s Stableford event.
Previously playing off about a five handicap, his 11 handicap so far this time back was always going to be a luxury once he rediscovered his touch.
Firing off nines of 19 and 23 points, he led the way on a day of high scoring as players enjoyed the beautiful summer conditions.
There is no reason to think there won’t be more super rounds being dished up in future by this very talented golfer.
Another former member, Adam Temple, who had to leave the club last year to move to Queensland for employment reasons, was back in town for a few weeks’ holiday and reminded everyone of his ample ability by shooting 40 points and winning the A grade in the process.
Rob Muster began his round with all guns blazing, scoring five “three-pointers” in his first six holes to end up with nines of 20 and 21, tally a brilliant 41 points and win the B grade.
James McLaren is the type of golfer one would never want to bet on as his form fluctuates wildly.
It was wildly on this weekend, though, as he scored an excellent 40 points, enough for him to edge out Bundaberg-based Jakob Hansen on a countback in the C grade.
Quent Maurice led up the ball winners with a quality 39-point round and Jeff Wright, former captain Jeff Morgan and Tyson Pratt would have all been chuffed with their 38-point efforts.
Gavin Thoman took out the Yabby for being closest on the 11th hole.
How unlucky was young Zane Barry?
After struggling for his 11 points on the front nine, he turned things around big time with a blitzkrieg of 24 points on the back nine to become an unbackable favourite to win the day’s pro comp for best back nine.
But crafty old Brian Smyth was having none of it and, very late in the day, unbelievably matched the feat and pipped Barry on a countback to grab the purse.
It was no surprise that booming president Bolton scored another eagle to win the eagle’s nest.
The surprise was that it was on the par four 18th hole.
Unfortunately, details are scarce so we will just have to guess that he chipped in his second shot from, most likely, a short distance away.
It will be time for a par comp this Saturday.
Murray Bridge Rifle Club members return
Shooters have been greeted with relatively pleasant conditions as they returned to the Deed Range at Monarto for the first championship round of 2022 this past Saturday, from the close range of 300 metres.
Competition was close in F-class, with F-standard winner Gordon Harrison scoring 114.04, two centres behind F-pen winner David McDonald.
Mark Nesti and Adrian Conlon were both hot on their heels, with 113.03 and 111.04 respectively.
Harrison’s effort, however, was more than enough to secure him the handicap prize in the F-class discipline.
There was only a small TR contingent on the day, but it was well led by Robert Paech, who scored the only possible of the day to finish with 98.10, well ahead of Andrew Heard on 89.05 and Rikki Ryan on 60.02.
The unlucky “magpie” winners were Heard and Wayne Halliday, who both managed to score a single bird, with Halliday winning the F-class award on a count-out from John Cranwell.
Hopefully shooters will have got the rust out of their systems when they return next week to compete from 800 metres.
Murray Towns cricket results
Mannum 2/126 def Jervois 122 (T Worthley 5/6)
Mypolonga 5/272 (J Marston 112, A Zrim 70) def Tailem Bend 47
Wanderers 4/84 def Monarto 80
Ramblers 1/116 (M Thompson 51*) def Meningie 112
Perponda 6/192 (B Wilson 75*) def Imperials 132
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