Sports reports: New Murraylands Cycling Club appeals for members
Plus the latest from Murray Bridge's speedway, golf club, rifle club and lawn tennis association, and Murray Towns cricket.
This post includes contributions from Phil McGee, MMS Media, Murray Bridge Golf Club, Daniel Irvine, Graham Buttle and the Murray Towns Cricket Association.
The Murraylands Cycling Club has had a win: it is now affiliated with governing bodies AusCycling and AusCycling SA and can start taking memberships.
AusCycling members are licensed to compete in all disciplines, can access expert training and information, and get exclusive discounts and offers.
They also benefit from third-party public liability, personal accident and professional indemnity insurance while participating in cycling events.
Club members will be able to find other cyclists to ride with, access resources, attend skill sessions, enjoy social activities, attend education sessions and volunteer or become part of its committee.
“We are only in the early stages of getting set up as a fully operational cycling club, but have some great plans for recreational riding, training, talent identification, coaching, racing and many other programs,” publicity officer Phil McGee said.
“These include working towards securing a multi-use facility where we can offer a safe, traffic-free environment that the whole community can share.
“As part of the club’s strategic plan, we are hoping to be able to offer scholarships to the youth of the region and offer minimum-cost events that they can take part in.
“We are hoping to have a number of loan bikes available so that anyone can come and try the wonderful sport of cycling with minimal outlay.
“We will also develop a youth program or pathway to identify youth talent, undertake junior skills coaching and offer skills development clinics … and mentorship.”
Memberships will last for 12 months from the date of purchase.
Join the Murraylands Cycling Club: auscycling.org.au/membership.
Who doesn’t dare wins at Murray Bridge Speedway
Sixteen competitors have fronted up at Murray Bridge Speedway on Saturday night for the Dare to Double sprintcar feature, which offered the front row the opportunity to double their prize money if they decided to start from the back of the A-main field.
Following the heat races, Brad Keller was the high points driver, but he declined the offer, giving Daniel Pestka the chance to go to the rear of the field.
Pestka also decided to start up front and it paid off for the Strathalbyn-based driver as he led all 30 laps to end Matt Egel’s winning steak at the venue.
After starting from position four, Egel finished second, with Keller rounding out the podium.
“The extra money that the track was putting up was a great idea to help out the teams and an exciting way to create some added interest for the fans, but we wanted to go for the win,” Pestka said.
“The track tonight was really good, but it was going to be hard to pass so many good cars to get the win.
“My guys did a great job and I can’t thank Jamie and James Stark enough for allowing me to drive their car.”
Murray Bridge local Ryan Jones had a steady evening as he claimed fourth, while Steven Lines returned for the first time in two years to record a top-five result in the Dave Challons-owned #45 J&J.
After destroying a car the week prior, Glen Sutherland rewarded his crew for the hard work they put in during the week bolting a new one together; he finished sixth, while Mark Caruso, Lisa Walker, Joel Heinrich and Victorian David Donegan completed the finishers.
Unfortunately a third of the starters failed to finish, including Ricky Maiolo, who headed to the infield early, and Luke Dillon, who had a huge moment in turn four with the car biking hard while running inside the top four.
Three cars were taken out of the event on lap 11 after Luke Bowey spun in turn two before rolling over, leaving Chris James and Brendan Guerin with nowhere to go; both collided with the airborne #55.
Murray Bridge resident Mike Fox was a non-starter in the final after hitting the turn four wall in heat four.
In the other events of the night, a somewhat smaller field contested the annual King of the Bridge, with Angelo Karoussis taking out his fourth crown ahead of Brendan Zadow and Josh Munn.
Nick Hall added the Des James Memorial to the Zeke Agars Classic he won two weeks prior, beating home Damien Eve and Kym Simon.
Carey Weston was elevated to first place in an eventful street stocks feature ahead of Drew Flatman, with first-across-the-line Bailey Heinrich relegated two spots for an earlier racing incident.
Anthony Grillet, Scott Webb and Brian Chadwick were the top three place-getters in the modlites’ 20-lap feature event, while Aaron Tranter made a a triumphant return in the junior sedans category among the largest field seen so far this season, ahead of Ky McEwin and Riley Grieg.
Racing at Murray Bridge Speedway will now takes a short break before the sprintcars’ SA-Victoria States Series round one on Boxing Day.
Luke Woods comes up with the goods on the golf course
Free-swinging Luke Woods has had an overdue Saturday success in a stroke competition at Murray Bridge Golf Club on the weekend, blasting out an ultra-impressive nett 63 to give no-one else a chance.
He had chalked up a lot of solid, if unspectacular, rounds in recent months, but when he gets on a roll, he occasionally produces a brilliant score; this was one of those days.
Going along steadily with a 42 off the stick on the front nine, it was an out-of-the-blue eagle on the 10th hole that really got things smoking.
Maintaining the rage for a scintillating 38 – nett 29 – back nine, the woodsman powered his way to victory and in style as well.
And about that eagle: sure, it’s not a long par four at just over 300 metres in length, but to go six iron and pitching wedge from 130m out should be reserved for the Mark Boltons, Matt Kowalds and Happy Gilmours of this club and not 17-handicappers.
Give me a break.
On to the grades, where golfaholic Graeme Southern wound back the clock to some degree by shooting a 78 – nett 66 – to be king of A grade, leaving in-form left-hander Craig Hogben in the runner-up position with his excellent 76, nett 67.
Canny Scotsman Tom Haig threatened a return to the big league as he took out the B grade in style with a nett 67, just a stroke in front of Rod Thoman, who had a good day.
Multiple C-grade champs winner Dean Wright was all fired up with Bathurst motor racing in the air and was obviously high on the fumes as he caned his division with a powerful nett 65 in a return to form.
Eric Williams cruised around the course, unperturbed as usual, and returned a neat nett 67 to claim second place.
Scores were pretty good for a stroke round, with one almost needing to play to their handicap to score a prize – almost unheard-of normally.
Bill Fisher led the ball winners with a very good 67 while “Nifty” Neville Briggs, Jared Thoman, Dan “the Man” Hocking, Rob Walters and Jarrad Murray did play to their handicaps for nett 68s.
Alois Kniebeiss and Super Sid Robbins had satisfactory 69s to claim the last prizes.
Greg Schmidt had an interesting day.
Arriving at the first tee to commence his round, he reached for his driver … which was not in his bag.
Neither was his three wood.
What the …?
Were Marsh and Vella playing tricks on him?
A quick visit to the golf shop provided the answer: the buggy shed had been broken into several days prior and, with Schmidt’s golf cart and bag nearest to where the intruder entered, the unwanted visitor grabbed two clubs from his bag before fleeing once the shed’s alarm shattered the night air.
Big Schmidt, being a lefthander, had few replacement options at zero notice so he played his round using his five wood in place of the missing clubs, no doubt cursing a bit along the way.
Reports that he shot a nett 73 would indicate that he played fairly well, all things considered.
Then again, it is often said that driving is overrated.
Just ask another southpaw, big-hitting Lloyd “Buckets” Jackson, who drilled a wild tee shot straight into a tree not far down the seventh fairway.
Faced with 260m still to the green, he smoked his three wood to the edge of the putting surface before draining a monster putt for birdie – hard to believe but apparently true.
Never give up would be the motto that springs to mind.
Woods won the pro comp, of course, with his nett 29 back nine; and also filled his bag with a whole $20 worth of balls for clearing out the eagle’s nest.
Throw in his NTP on the second and he had a solid day.
Rob Muster at least stopped him from gaining an unheard-of clean sweep by winning the yabby on the 11th with a very handy strike.
It will be back to Stableford golf for everyone this Saturday.
Murray Bridge Rifle Club’s year nears its end
Nine members and four visitors battled a strong right wind at the Deed Range at Monarto Saturday as the Murray Bridge Rifle Club shot the 17th stage of its championship from 300 metres.
The conditions meant that scores were kept relatively low given the close range.
Leading the way was Andrew Heard in target rifle, with a consistent 48.06 and 47.04 for a score of 95.10 that won him the off rifle and handicap awards for the discipline.
In F-class, Adrian Conlon returned to the top of the table with a pair of 57s to give him a final score of 114.05 and the top off-rifle award.
However, Wayne Halliday’s stunning return to form with a 111.03, including the highest individual round score of 58.03, gave him the F-class handicap prize by an astonishing 13 points.
Ian Taylor led a small F-standard contingent with a top score of 98.
The four visitors had an enjoyable afternoon, acquitting themselves well in the difficult conditions.
No magpies were shot in F-class this week, but in target rifle, Robert Paech was very happy that Daniel Irvine made it out to shoot, having scored a worrying bird in his somewhat disappointing first round of 42.02.
Irvine was able to outscore Paech by a point but his 43 included two birds, and when added to the two he shot in the second round, he once again walked away with the TR magpie award for the day.
The club will take a break this week before returning on the 19th to shoot from 600 metres and share a Christmas dinner.
Murray Bridge lawn tennis results
Postel (six sets, 48 games) defeated Sportsmen (two sets, 33 games)
Swanport (five sets, 43 games) defeated Schools (three sets, 35 games)
Swanport (six sets, 58 games) defeated Mobilong (three sets, 50 games); MVP: Rosemary Daish
River Aces (five sets, 52 games) defeated Twin Bridges (four sets, 46 games); MVP: Ann Howell
Coorong (nine sets, 69 games) defeated Sportsmen (six sets, 61 games); MVPs: Bailey Morrell and Brady Lienert
Avoca (12 sets, 79 games) defeated Murraylands (three sets, 53 games); MVPs: Yasi Harrowfield and Alex Law
Swanport (nine sets, 66 games) defeated Schools (six sets, 70 games); MVPs: Lily King and Zoe Harrington
Murray Towns cricket results
Tailem Bend 141 (D Leckie 5/19) defeated Monarto 94
Mypolonga 7/246 (B Wrigley 78, J Marston 73*) defeated Jervois 51
Mannum 2/88 defeated Wanderers 86
Karoonda 1/108 (C Cox 60*) defeated Imperials 6/105
Ramblers 7/172 (D Abeynayake 65) defeated Perponda 126
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