Sports reports: Hard court tennis award winners revealed at LMHCTA presentation night

Plus the latest in Murray Bridge rifle shooting.

This post was contributed by Melissa Denman of the Lower Murray Hard Court Tennis Association and Daniel Irvine of Murray Bridge Rifle Club.

Courtney Manning, Paul Hein and Kieran Walsh accept awards as the Lower Murray Hard Court Tennis Association’s best female and male player and for achievement, respectively. Photo: Melissa Denman.

At the conclusion of grand final matches played at various venues on March 12 and 13, the Lower Murray Hard Court Tennis Association’s season has been finalised with a presentation dinner held at Jervois Bowling Club.

It was attended by approximately 90 players and family members who were welcomed by president Brendan Lambe.

Barrie Gale was the emcee for the night.

Pathways to Tennis coordinator Hayley Davids was thanked for her contribution, along with Matthew Ahrens and Lily Miegel.

This season the LMHCTA had eight junior teams, consisting of six players per team.

The LMHCTA again decided to have the top four teams play for a division one shield and the remaining teams play for a division two shield.

Life member Heather Richards presented the junior shields to Mannum Gold, who defeated Lutheran Orange 7-46 to 2-29 in division two, and Lutheran Red, who defeated Jervois 6-44 to 3-26 in division one.

Junior trophy winners were presented by Davids, as the association coach.

Junior trophies for the most games won in singles and doubles combined went to Amber Weber, with a games won percentage of 66.67 per cent, from girls’ runners-up Fallon Small and Sophie Hicks; and Kieran Walsh, with a games won percentage of 83.33%, from boys’ runners-up Brayden Denman and Johnny Phillpott.

Gale spoke about the association’s involvement in the country carnival, where two teams competed: under-14 boys Mitchell Gale, Liam Joppich and Harry and Sam White; and under-12 boys Kieran Welsh, Patrick Welsh, Lachlan Sonntag and Charlie White.

Senior grand final results were presented by life member Michelle Afford, with the shield going to Brinkley for defeating Mypolonga 9-74 to 3-49 in the Friday night competition.

Division trophies for the most games won went to Brinkley’s Barbara Williams in the women’s, with a 70% win rate, from Jervois’ Marilyn O’Loughlin; and Lutheran Red’s Noel Prosser in the men’s, at 79%, from Brinkley’s Paul Hein and Brendan Lambe.

Perpetual trophies were presented by life member Brian Pym.

The Barry Noye Perpetual for best female player was awarded to Courtney Manning, with an adjusted win index of 19.23; the runner-up was Heather Richards with 12.7.

The high adjusted win index indicates that female players played higher positions this season.

It was fantastic to see more females playing.

The BTS Perpetual for best male player in the Friday night competition went to second-time winner Paul Hein, who played number one and recorded 11 wins.

The Bruce Maczkowiack Perpetual to recognise achievement was awarded to Kieren Welsh, a Foundation Cup and country carnival representative who was also an undefeated number two in singles and played some senior tennis at the age of 12.

Barrie Gale presented life membership to Cindy Hein.

Ms Hein has held multiple positions on the association for many years, including as secretary and treasurer at the same time.

She was thanked for her commitment to tennis.

Open prize rifle shooting event attracts statewide interest

This past Saturday, 37 shooters from as far around South Australia as Woomera, Port Pirie, Yunta and Bordertown – and even one from the Northern Territory – showed their dedication to the sport by turning out to compete in the Murray Bridge Rifle Club’s annual open prize meeting in hot and difficult conditions.

Shot across three ranges, it started just after 8.30am at 700 metres in quite pleasant conditions with only a hint of breeze from the left.

Several shooters were quick to capitalise on this and early advantages were gained with many particularly good scores being recorded, including 15 possibles – nearly half the entrants walked off the mound with perfect scores.

Winning the range by centres across the classes and grades were CTV’s Danny Blackmore (FTR) with 60.7, Murray Bridge’s Adrian Conlon (FO) with a 60.8, Malcolm Hill from Port Pirie (FSA) with a 60.4, Bordertown’s Jeff Makin (FSB) scoring a 60.6, and in target rifle Bill Naismith of Yanyarrie-Orroroo (TRA) with a 50.9, Murray Bridge’s Gordon Harrison (TRB) with a 50.5, and Don Flynn from Woomera (TRC) with a 45.2.

As the morning progressed, the temperature steadily rose and the wind’s strength and fickleness also increased, meaning that by the time 800 metres was shot the conditions had begun to play tricks and even wreak havoc as most shooters suffered a significant drop in scores.

Target rifle shooters seemed to cope a little better with their larger bullseye than the more precise F-classes.

Greg Traeger (Murray Bridge) won A grade with a 49.3, the same score as his daughter Jasamine Irvine (Murray Bridge), who won B grade; C grade was claimed by Flynn again, this time with a 49.2.

In the F classes, F-standard A was won by Tristan Howell of Phoenix with a 57.5, while Makin took the honours again in F-standard B with a 54.1.

F-open was claimed by another Murray Bridge shooter, John Cranwell, with an impressive 59.3; while CTV’s Chris McDermott took the FTR honours with a 52.2.

After lunch, many shooters struggled from the unforgiving range of 1000 yards in heat which Flynn said had “shades of Woomera about it”, and wind that was now switching to the right and becoming notoriously difficult to read as its strength changed significantly with little evidence in the flags.

The conditions meant that some very good shooters walked off the mound with some very ordinary scores.

A few were still able to shine however, including Mark Tyler from Phoenix, who shot a 58.2 to claim the range in F-open.

Other range winners were Bryan “Snaps” Galpin (CTV) in FTR with a 53.2, Hill in FSA with a 54.4 and Darryl Pink from Mount Barker in FSB with a 47.1.

Rob Paech from Murray Bridge with a solid 47.2 took out the range in TRA, while Graham Hancock from Mount Barker wasn’t far behind with a 46.3 to win TRB, and Flynn completed his clean sweep with a 39.2 to win TRC.

Following the three ranges, the top three shooters in the three F-class disciplines competed “Bisley style” in the Kuchel Challenge, named in honour of the late Colin Kuchel, club and SARA life-member and Australian national representative.

Each set of three shooters shot in turns at a single target for five counting shots.

Emerging victorious at the end of a long and testing day were Conlon in F-open, ahead of Tyler and John Cranwell; Bryan Galpin in FTR, ahead of Alison Hansen (Mount Barker) and Nicole Edwards (Murray Bridge); and Tristan Howell in F-standard ahead of Anaki Tovale (Phoenix) and Hill.

Needless to say, all shooters were grateful for a cold drink and a chance to relax back in the clubrooms after the tough day as the scores were collated and the raffle drawn.

Overall winners for the day included Paech in TRA with an aggregate score of 144.12; he made a point of thanking everyone for coming out to support the shoot in unusually hot conditions.

This sentiment was echoed by Harrison who won the day in TRB with 143.14, only one point behind and two centres ahead of Paech.

There were no surprises in TRC with Flynn taking out the aggregate after top scoring at all three ranges to finish with 133.6.

In FSA, despite missing out at the Kuchel Challenge, Hill claimed the overall win with a score 169.11 and thanked the club for taking a chance in holding the competition with the ever-present risk of a COVID shutdown.

In FSB, Makin’s consistency meant he took out the aggregate prize with a 159.8.

F-open had an extremely close and high scoring finish but Tyler claimed the win by a single point from Conlon despite Conlon having the higher centre count, 176.11 to 175.13.

Rounding out the grades, again with a narrow one-point win ahead of second, Galpin, and third, Edwards, both scoring 159.8, was Alison Hansen from Mount Barker, with a solid 160.6, who is hoping to take her form to the ladies’ state team competition in Bendigo in just over a week’s time.

Club captain Greg Traeger finished the day by thanking everyone for their support of the prize shoot and especially those who helped to make it possible.

This included club members David McDonald, who forwent competing to act as range officer for the day; Edwards, who organized entries, prizes and the computer scoring systems; Daniel and Jazz Irvine, who were co-opted to act as technical support to the range officer for the club’s first prize shoot entirely on electronic targets; Janelle Traeger and Bronwyn Heard, who made sure the kitchen operated smoothly and everyone was well fed; and Terry Brown and Bryan Robertson, who operated the mobile morning tea ute out on the range.

A special thanks went to Flynn for setting up and entering scores into the official database over the day.

A particular thank you also went to the day’s sponsors – Rob Paech and Berenberg Farms, Andrew Head, David Hindmarsh, David McDonald, Peter Casley, John Cranwell, Mark Nesti, Gordon Harrison and Adrian Conlon – for donating the prizes that help make the day possible.

Next week the club will return to its championship schedule with another chance at 1000 yards.

Many hope for better conditions this time around.

Murray Bridge News is happy to share news, results or photos from sporting clubs throughout Murray Bridge and the surrounding region, free of charge. Email or call 0419 827 124.