Sports Reports: Matt Egel wins 2022 SA sprintcars championship
The latest from Murray Bridge's speedway, golf club, rifle club and lawn tennis association, plus Murray Towns cricket results.
This post includes contributions from MMS Media, Murray Bridge Golf Club, Daniel Irvine, Graham Buttle and the Murray Towns Cricket Association.
For the first time since 2014, Matt Egel has been crowned South Australia’s sprintcar champion after securing the title last Wednesday night at Murray Bridge Speedway.
After starting from position two in the 30-lap final, Egel trailed pole-sitter Brad Keller for the opening 20 laps before he found the rubber on the inside of turn four and made the race-winning pass.
The win was the second state title victory for car owners Geoff and Michael Brown, who won in 2020 with Lachlan McHugh.
In a twist of fate Egel, would defeat McHugh after the newly crowned classic champion got by Keller with five laps remaining; Keller held on to round out the podium, for his sixth podium result in the SA championship.
On the podium, Egel was surprised to find out it was his third victory in the state’s longest-running sprintcar event.
“It is my third win?” he asked.
“That’s cool, but it’s been a while.
“I have won a few races since then, so it’s hard to keep track.
“When I got by Brad, I could feel the rubber starting to come in; luckily I found it before he did, so once I got to the lead I just sat there and tried to protect my tyres.
“I knew that Brad and Lockie would still be close, so I just tried to go as fast as I could.”
Fourth place in the final went to Luke Dillon, with Ryan Jones, Keke Falland, Brendan Quinn, Lisa Walker, Joel Heinrich, Daniel Pestka and Daniel Puddy rounding out the finishers.
The only real incident of the night occurred in heat one, when Luke Dillon and Chad Ely made contact in turn two; Ely hit the wall hard, totally destroying the chassis on the Scott Perrett-owned #98 and ending his night before he could complete a racing lap.
The 360 sprintcars also contested their SA title ahead of their Australian championship, to be held at the same venue on March 25-26.
After starting off the front row, Hayden Pitt led the field home over the 30-lap journey, with Broken Hill’s Brendan Guerin in second and Steven Caruso in third.
The final event for the night was the ever-entertaining demolition derby, with 19 cars taking to the track to the delight of the Australia Day crowd.
Regular entrant Grahem Reynolds emerged victorious, with “best presented” awarded to Zachary Demaine and “most damaged” given to Joseph Williams.
The next demolition derby will be on April 23, when the venue will have its fourth attempt at setting a new world record after falling just three cars short last season.
Meanwhile, records tumbled when the venue hosted an all sections club show on January 22, with close to 100 cars racing across eight divisions:
In modified sedans, Peter McCarthy set a new 20-lap record of 5.22.429
In formula 500s, Brendan Zadow set a 15-lap record of 3.10.704
In wingless sprints, Jack McCarthy bettered the eight-lap record by more than five seconds, in 1.51.084
During the modlites heats, Ryan Alexander established a new eight-lap record of 2.02.218
Racing will return to Murray Bridge Speedway this Saturday night with the running of the MJS Street Stock Series, plus racing from wingless sprints, junior sedans, late models, modified sedans and classic saloon demonstrations.
Tickets: $20/15/5 at tickets.speedwaytickets.com.au.
Craig Mathew wins Stableford comp at Murray Bridge Golf Club
It was Craig Mathew’s turn to have a blinding round on Saturday, as his 41 points took out a Stableford competition in beautiful conditions for golf.
Firing nines of 18 and 23 points, if you don’t mind, he needed that great back nine to ward off C-grader Craig Pearson on a countback.
Police prosecutor Steve Angove hit top form to win the A grade, returning an easy-on-the-eye 39 points to see off Shane Aldridge, who had a good day nonetheless with 37.
Club VP Michael Perrey played with some of the big guns and must have been suitably inspired as he reeled off 20-point front and back nines to claim the B grade with 40 points, over Michael Broadley who ended with 37.
Craig Pearson, only a lip away from being king for the day, had to settle for C-grade success with his stunning 41 points; while young Zane Barry had another good round of 39 and was runner-up.
Maurice Wells has had a COVID-enforced month’s layoff but was back with a vengeance and led the ball winners with a handy 37 points – plenty of chipping and putting practice in the backyard for the last four weeks, eh, Maurie?
There were no prizes for the fossil, John Bell, who struggled for once.
After scrubbing another hole, he proclaimed that he was playing like s***.
Playing partner Barry Richardson agreed, piping up that that was probably appropriate seeing as Bell had a streak of bird droppings all over the back of his shirt and hadn’t noticed.
That topped off a day to forget for the man who is still yet to regìster a single hole in one after 65 years of golf.
On a brighter note: can anyone ever remember their group of four players having three birdies between them on the upside-down saucered green par-three 14th?
It happened on Saturday.
Tyre king Michael Vella was three metres off the front of the green but smashed a monster putt up the hill and straight into the cup.
Greg Schmidt was on the fringe pin high, but coolly rolled his bending putt bang into the hole as well.
You’ve gotta feel for Terry Marsh, who had put his iron off the tee to within about a foot.
As he took an eternity over the birdie tap-in, he didn’t get any love from the others but managed to just squeeze it in anyway.
Great golf guys – if only Chainsaw McCulloch had been on song it could have been a full house of birdies but his five didn’t quite cut it.
Mark Sappenberghs won the yabby on the 11th and Mathews’ 23-point back nine won him the pro comp.
It’ll be a stroke round this weekend.
Gordon Harrison, Ian Taylor stand out on the rifle range
Numbers continued to remain low at the Deed Range at Monarto on Saturday as shooters continued to ease themselves back into the second half of the championship season.
Ten Murray Bridge Rifle Club members turned out to contest round 21 from 500 metres.
The weather was warm and humid but a firm breeze from the right, blowing off Lake Alexandrina, helped to keep conditions relatively comfortable, while at the same time giving shooters something to think about.
The standout performance of the day this week went to Gordon Harrison, who shot in target rifle after a few weeks building his F-standard scores, and who followed a 47.01 in his first round with a superb, indeed almost perfect, 50.07.
The effort allowed him to claim victory off-rifle from Robert Paech by a single point but was not quite enough for the handicap as well – he missed out to Daniel Irvine by 0.7 points.
Ian Taylor’s 108.03 stood out in F-standard, winning him the off-rifle award by six points, and it was also enough to claim the F-class handicap award ahead of F-open winner Adrian Conlon, whose consistent 113.08 was enough to finish a point ahead of John Cranwell.
The F-class individual stand-out score for the day came from vice captain Mark Nesti, who has been plagued with technical issues of late, but who followed a disappointing first round with a 59.01.
Despite the return to the range of Daniel Irvine, there were no “magpies” shot in TR on the day, meaning the un-sought-after award went unpresented for that class.
However, it was not quite the same story in F-class, where Frank Marshall had a second round he’d like to forget, experiencing technical difficulties mid-detail and scoring a three on his final shot to claim the prize.
Next week members will contest round 22 of the club championship from 600 metres.
Murray Bridge lawn tennis results, January 29
Sportsmen (six sets, 46 games) defeated Postel (two sets, 45 games)
Schools (five sets, 42 games) defeated Swanport (three sets, 40 games)
Avoca (seven sets, 59 games) defeated Sportsmen (five sets, 49 games); MVPs: Noah Horstmann, Harry Rigney
Swanport (seven sets, 56 games) defeated Banks (five sets, 42 games); MVPs: Ned King, Cooper Bolt
Coorong (13 sets, 84 games) defeated Murraylands (two sets, 50 games); MVPs: Ethan Morrell, Alex Mundy
Murray Towns cricket results, January 29
Mypolonga 8/100 defeated Wanderers 98
Mannum 8/303 (Joshua Boylan 151) defeated Monarto 170
Tailem Bend 110 defeated Jervois 59
Karoonda 125 defeated Meningie 112
Imperials 3/48 defeated Ramblers 47
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