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Sports reports: Coorong’s Alex Stidiford wins RMFL’s Mail Medal for 2023
Plus the latest from Murray Bridge golf and rifle shooting, the Mindarie-Halidon races and River Murray netball.
This post includes contributions from Michael Potts, Roger Wickes, Warwick Hazel and Daniel Irvine.
Coorong’s Alex Stidiford wins RMFL’s Mail Medal
Coorong on-baller Alex Stidiford has taken out the River Murray Football League’s highest individual honour for 2023.
He received the Mail Medal for the league’s best and fairest player in a glittering ceremony at the Bridges Event Centre, in Murray Bridge, on Monday night.
After a slow start to the season which didn’t place him among the early favourites, Stidiford finished strongly to earn 24 votes in the count, with Southern Mallee’s Josh Smithson second on 16 and Imperials’ Jack Penfold third on 15.
The ex-BDT junior said he had learned a lot from older players as he grew up at Tintinara – where he won the Mallee Football League’s medal in 2018 – and had gradually grown closer to his newfound teammates after last summer’s merger with Meningie.
“Pre-season was pretty nerve-wracking … (but after) a couple of weeks on the track with them, we were pretty open with them, they were pretty open with us and it didn’t take long for us to click,” he said.
“We’ve become mates pretty quick this season, I think that was pretty clear (from) the way we played our footy.”
Rounding out the top 10 were Imps’ Louis DeMichele, the Suns’ Thomas Keough, Jervois’ Lachie Thomas and Taite Silverlock, Imps’ Clint Diment and Luke Harrowfield, and Mannum’s Michael O’Malley.
Other award winners on the night included:
Player of the year: Josh Smithson (Southern Mallee)
Leading goal kicker: Sam Sanders (Coorong)
Best ruckman: Louis DeMichele (Imperials)
Best under-21 player: Lachlan Thomas (Jervois)
Mark of the year: Charlie Fisher (Coorong)
Goal of the year: Jack Penfold (Imperials)
Lyall Parker Shield for club of the year: Imperials
Lokan Medal for reserves best and fairest: Jarryd Linde (Tailem Bend)
Reserves leading goal kickers: Connor Baker (Ramblers) and Owen Love (Jervois)
Connolly Medal for under 18s best and fairest: Brayden Hein (Mypolonga)
Under 18s leading goal kicker: Brock Pedler (Tailem Bend)
Bryan Medal for under 15.5s best and fairest: Taj Garrett (Imperials)
Under 15.5s leading goal kicker: Josiah Shaw (Imperials)
Tigers upset Suns to win RMFL grand final spot
Mypolonga 13.7 (85) defeated Southern Mallee 7.16 (58)
Mypolonga best: Jack Kluske, Riley Robinson, Todd Howson, Jake Altmann, Mitchell Lewis
Southern Mallee best: Brett Pedersen, Thomas Keough, Nick Hyde, Ben Moroney, Shilo Dabinett
Caleb Bovalina wins Murray Bridge pro-am competition on debut
Melbourne’s Caleb Bovalina has cashed a winner’s cheque in his first start on the PGA Pro-Am Series, edging out Jak Carter at the first playoff hole at the Murray Bridge Pro-Am.
One back of Carter and PNG Open champion Lachlan Barker at the start of the second round at Murray Bridge Golf Club, Bovalina needed to produce something special to force the tournament to extra holes.
After back-to-back bogeys at 12 and 13, Bovalina got back to within one with a birdie at the par-three 14th, but took until the final hole to draw level, draining a lengthy birdie putt on 18 for a round of one-under 67 to tie Carter at one-under for 36 holes.
His flatstick again came to the fore at the first extra hole, sealing a maiden pro-am victory with yet another birdie on 18.
Read more: pga.org.au.
Aussie Bob McCormick shows ‘em how it’s done
Former River Murray Football League umpire “Aussie” Bob McCormick has shown that his sporting talents don’t just lie on the football field.
He took out Saturday’s Stableford competition at Murray Bridge Gol Club with a consistent round of 38 points, handling the super quick greens with aplomb.
Known for his boring down-the-middle game, his back nine of 20 points won him countbacks over two other players to enable him to claim the day – a popular win indeed.
With most of our visitors from the hills having returned to their own courses now that they have dried out, the field was back to a moderate 72 players.
Leigh Hiscock was too good in A grade, winning with a strong 37 points over Andrew Meddle, 35, after rocketing home with a 21-point back nine.
Graeme Munt easily won B grade with 38 points over Peter Erickson, with 35; and Barry Richardson had one of his better days in taking out the C grade with an excellent 38 points from young club groundsman Lukas Wright, with 35.
Meanwhile, monster-hitting left-hander Lloyd “Buckets” Jackson eagled the par four 15th to be one of the rare non-A-graders to swoop on the eagle’s nest.
Easily able to reach the green off the tee, with a little luck in missing a tree branch, Buckets picked up a whopping five Stableford points for the hole, which was just as well, as he had just scrubbed the previous two holes and proceeded to have an eagle hangover by scrubbing the next two as well.
That truly is golf.
Mindarie-Halidon Cup cancelled at the last minute
Subsequent to the postponement of the 2023 Mindarie-Halidon Cup meeting on Sunday, Racing SA wishes to advise, after careful consideration and consultation with the club, that the Mindarie-Halidon Cup meeting won’t be rescheduled for 2023.
While pre-race day inspections saw the track presented in good order, an unfortunate malfunction with the club’s irrigation system the night before the cup meeting saw the track impacted at approximately the 600-metre mark.
Due to this wet area, Racing SA stewards, in conjunction with jockeys in attendance, deemed the track unsafe for both horse and rider welfare, leading the meeting to be postponed.
Read more: racingsa.com.au.
Irvine, Conlon, Elston win in round nine on the rifle range
Gentle to moderate westerly winds have prevailed at the Deed Range at Monarto as the Murray Bridge Rifle Club contested the ninth stage of its annual championship from 500 metres.
The winds blew across the range from the right and fluctuated enough to keep Saturday afternoon interesting.
A small contingent of TR shooters was led by Jasamine Irvine, returning to form with a pair of 49s to finish top off-rifle with 98.05, a point ahead of Andrew Heard, who managed to score a possible in his second round.
Read more: www.facebook.com/mbrifleclub.
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