Sports reports: River Murray under-13 netballers win big at 2021 country championships

Plus the latest River Murray football, Murray Bridge rifle shooting and Murray Bridge golf.

This post was contributed by the River Murray Netball Association, River Murray Football League, Daniel Irvine of Murray Bridge Rifle Club, and Murray Bridge Golf Club.

Members of the River Murray’s under-13 netball team celebrate their win at the SA Country Championships. Photo: River Murray Netball Association/Facebook.

The River Murray’s under-13 netballers are state country champions.

The team emerged victorious from the SA Country Championships in Adelaide over the long weekend, defeating Western Border 27-21 in the grand final.

The River Murray Netball Association thanked players, coaches, team managers, families and supporters of all grades who trekked down to the city over the weekend.

David McDonald wins Patron’s Trophy at final championship shoot

Thirteen shooters were present this past Saturday to shoot in the final round of the 2020-21 Murray Bridge Rifle Club championship from 800 metres, which also stood as the Patron’s Trophy.

The conditions were pleasant as the temperature was quite mild for June and the overcast sky promised the hope of good sight pictures.

The wind was subtle, at times barely perceptible from the flags, but was enough to have an effect from such a distance and this – coupled with the fact that it kept swinging from left to right – really kept a lot of shooters guessing. 

There were some exceptional scores shot, however, especially from those more proficient in reading the mirage to supplement the indecisive flags.

This was particularly true in F-class, where Mark Nesti and David McDonald both excelled, scoring 120.07 and 119.12 respectively, giving Nesti the off-rifle win in F-open and a much-needed final flourish in the F-open championship standings.

Not far behind them off-rifle were John Cranwell and Peter Casley, with 116.11 and 116.02; and only a point further adrift were Ian Taylor and new member Oscar Neumann with 115.08 and 115.04.

The F-standard honours off-rifle went to Casley, while the overall handicap in F-class went to McDonald.

Unfortunately for Peter Byass, he managed to shoot the only “magpies” of the day, giving him the dubious honour of claiming that prize.

Greg Traeger led a small contingent of target rifle competitors with an excellent 99.12, including a possible in the first round.

He claimed the off-rifle award and the handicap prize from his daughter Jasamine, who shot a solid pair of 48s, and son-in-law Daniel, who shot a much improved 47 in his second round to just crack 90 points.

The day’s other focus was the Patron’s Trophy, awarded to a single shooter and determined by the percentage of handicap scored, allowing all classes to compete.

This year the award, donated by long-serving club patron Larry Caspers, went to McDonald, whose handicap score was a perfect 140.

He was followed closely by Neumann, whose 137 gave him a 97.9 per cent, and Traeger, whose 115 was good for 96.6%.

The good spirits and camaraderie continued into the evening with a barbecue dinner, as members celebrated the end of a successful championship year, where all rounds were able to be contested despite the looming presence of COVID-19.

Those spirits were somewhat subdued, however, with the sharing of the news that former member Bruce Moulds had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week.

The club extended its thoughts and condolences to Mr Moulds’ family.

Next week it is hoped that the captain versus vice captain team shoot will be held after having previously been postponed due to wet weather.

The following week the club will hold its annual general meeting at 1.30pm, having contested the Cranwell 15-shot competition that morning.

New member Craig Pearson wins on the golf course

It’s always pleasing to see a new member do well when first getting their handicap.

So it was last Saturday, when Craig Pearson won a Stableford competition at Murray Bridge Golf Club.

Playing only his eighth competitive round after securing his handicap just three months ago, Pearson shot a handsome 38 points to be the highest scoring member on the day.

He’s a 25-handicapper but soon to be a bit less with form like that – well done.

There was a better score on the day recorded by SA Police Golf Club visitor and ex-AFL and SANFL umpire Tim Pfeiffer, who shot the lights out, which is also probably part of his job in the police force.

Forty points is top going, but as an occasional visitor to our course over the years he does know the lay of the land pretty well and had a great day on this occasion in winning the A grade.

Runner-up Damo Moloney wished Pfeiffer had stayed back at the station looking for bad guys but his 36 points was still good enough to secure second prize money.

Rock-solid golfer Graeme Munt took out the B grade by playing to his handicap, while John Bell showed his career was far from over as he stormed into the runner-up position with a strong 35-point effort to allay fears of his retirement.

Bell, at 87 years of age, is always fending off injuries of some sort and – as he keeps reminding anyone who will listen – “a lesser man would be in intensive care”.

The Fabulous One, Phil O’Malley, showed his class by cruising to the line to win the C grade with a 37-point haul, which included a blistering 22 of them on the back nine, which also gave him a win in the prestigious pro comp on the day.

Nairne Golf Club visitor Luke Murphy was runner-up with 36 points.

President Bolton led the ball winners with a powerful 36 points while Eric Williams, Terry Marsh, Captain Morgan, Greg Schmidt and Tyson Wright all had solid days at the office with 35 apiece.

Gav Sanderson and Steve Thiele also chimed in with 34s to grab a prize each.

Paul Harding emptied out the eagle’s nest of two weeks’ worth of balls with an eagle on the par five 12th.

He struck driver and three wood to within two feet as the ball went agonisingly close to dropping in for an extremely rare albatross.

The tap-in putt gave him the nest though.

It was good to see some of the old-timers picking up some NTPs on the par threes.

Eric Williams and Maurice Wells showed the A graders how it was done on the 11th and sixth holes, respectively.

Wells, though, later had to survive an attack from Damo Moloney, who played a super tee shot to within four feet on the long and tough sixth hole.

As he sauntered onto the green, he assumed he had the NTP all wrapped up and proceeded to write his name on the sheet before spotting Wells’ NTP marker two feet closer to the hole than his shot.

Sheepishly backtracking, to the amusement of his playing partners, Moloney then proceeded to make a mess of the NTP sheet.

Not finished there, he then queried whether or not Wells could actually hit the ball 180 metres.

Michael Vella won the yabby on the 11th to brighten up his less-than-successful round.

It’ll be a par round for everyone this weekend.

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.

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