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Sports Reports: Tailem gives Murray Bridge the bends in Lower Murray bowls grand final
Plus Murray Bridge swimmers get personal bests at the 2023 state swimming championships.
This post includes contributions from Derek Vanderzon, Jodie Austin, MMS Media, Luke Nichols and Daniel Irvine.
Tailem gives Murray Bridge the bends in Lower Murray bowls grand final
Tailem Bend have powered their way to a 14-shot win over Murray Bridge in Saturday’s Lower Murray Bowling Association grand final on the back of a consistent team performance, but it was one rink who dominated to give them the decisive edge.
Murray Bridge sprung a surprise to most when Paul Smart relegated himself to second division after skippering last week, trading places with Gerry Penta, who was elevated.
Travis Schenke, Merv Stevens, Kevin McDonald and Stuart Rooke were pitted against Bruce Attrill, Peter Shilton, Les Trewren and Gerry Penta, and they gave their side a dream start when they bolted out to a 11–0 lead after just four ends with three twos followed by a four and asserting their dominance.
Attrill then picked up four successive singles to give a little hope, but Schenke quickly responded with three, two and one to go into the break 17–4 and in total command.
With both their other rinks trailing by four shots at this point, the overall lead was five shots to Tailem Bend.
Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly extinguished after the break, with Schenke steadily building on his advantage through the latter stages, with the lead blowing out to 18 shots.
Inexplicably, the final end resulted in a six to Attrill, but by then the combined lead had blown out to more than 20 shots, and the celebrations were almost under way.
Although all performed strongly, it was one of the lesser lights in McDonald who put in perhaps his best ever performance.
Sam Shepherd, David Hoare, Damian Ackland and Matt Hogan overcame a sluggish start to eventually overhaul Ben and Brian Traeger, Charlie DiSanto and Trevor Pevic.
Down by six shots just before the break, they gradually worked their way back.
A four on the 18th end saw them draw level, and they finally hit the front with a three two ends later.
With the pennant safely secured, the final end was forfeited with Shepherd up 19–17.
The final rink resulted in a 19 all-tie between Tailem’s Duane Edwards, Rob Hales, Brett Reschke and Colin Baxter against Darren McIntosh, Brian Leckie, Mike Ferris and Tony Gill.
Trailing by four shots at the break, it was this rink who helped break the game in Tailem’s favour when they rattled on three, one and four immediately upon the resumption to convert the deficit to a four-shot lead.
Although McIntosh recovered to force the draw, the combined deficit had quickly blown out of Murray Bridge’s reach, and by then they were playing purely for pride.
Tailem have now gone from top to bottom and back to top in just three seasons.
Jervois beats Murray Bridge in division two
Whereas the division one grand final was drawing to its inevitable conclusion, the div two match between Jervois and Murray Bridge was a match of huge momentum swings, with Jervois storming home over the latter stages for a rousing win.
Minor premier Jervois started well enough, maintaining a narrow advantage across the board after nine ends, but Murray Bridge began to take control heading into the break, picking up the last six ends across the board and adding 13 shots to nil to go in with an eight-shot lead.
The rink of Mark Callery, Malcolm Carter, Judy Zadow and John Bubner were leading the way for Murray Bridge, with Callery trailing the jack for a six right on the break to give his rink a huge boost.
Rod Harris, Russell Schutz, Rob Tyas and Grace Hamiester were sinking further into the quagmire as Callery immediately added two, two and four upon resuming, converting a two-shot deficit into a 13-shot lead in the process.
When Callery picked up another three on the 17th end to go 16 up, the combined scoreboard was updated to show Murray Bridge leading 53–37 with 14 ends remaining, and the Jervois supporters were starting to look a bit dispirited.
Importantly, Harris stemmed the bleeding over his remaining four ends by picking up four successive singles to go down 14-26.
Trevor Mann, Owen Allen, John Obst and Len Gommers were having a real battle with Ted Baxter, Les Maynard, Bob Johnson and Leo Liebelt and after a strong start were leading by just a single shot 14–13 going into the 17 end.
A three to Mann gave him a bit of breathing space, and when he followed up with another three the following end, there was a real sense of optimism building.
Murray Bridge’s scoreboard was not changing, and Mann adding a single before a five on the 20th end had Jervois catapulting into the lead.
Another single on the final end gave Mann 13 unanswered shots and a 24–13 win.
Daryl Little, John McEntee, Neil Morris and Ash Hunt played a massive role in the win when they overhauled Paul Smart, Helen Lindner, Haydn Hein and David Ratsch to win 24–15 in a barnstorming finish. Trailing 6-12 at the break, they levelled the score at 13 apiece after 15 ends when Murray Bridge were otherwise dominating. A four on the 17th was followed by a three, and a single and Jervois were in front.
Finishing last, Little had the luxury of needing only to not drop an eight to secure the win.
A three instead put him nine up and made Jervois winners by 11 shots, 65–54.
Remarkably, Jervois had picked up 28 shots to one in that final period.
For Trevor Mann it was a first ever pennant win in over 40 years for the club, and for Owen Allen the wait was just a few years less.
Along with John Obst, Daryl Little, Neil Morris and Grace Hamiester, they were among the best performers of the day.
Jervois and Murray Bridge win in div three and four
The div three and four grand finals were played at Meningie in the morning, beginning at 9.30 in a departure from the norm, with the addition of div four, meaning not enough rinks were available to play all simultaneously at the same venue.
Jervois and Murray Bridge played out a great contest before Jervois stamped their authority in a 17-shot win.
Scott Dinham, Bruce Smith, Stuart McCulloch and Troy Costz were opposed to Frank Nagy, John Pohl, Andrew Meddle and Hugh Smyth and powered away to a strong 25–15 win despite trailing by two shots at the break and four soon after.
McCulloch and Smith had big games, getting better as the day progressed as they picked up 15 of the last 16 shots scored.
Kevin Spinks, Steve McKeown, Elaine Atkins and Brian Spinks had their hands full with Maxine Stasinowsky, Sue Smart, Rosalie Shilton and Chris Wilson trailing by six shots at the break, mainly due to the efforts of Stasinowsky.
But in identical circumstances, they also piled on 15 to one after the 13th end, as they assumed control with all players applying pressure.
A seven on the 16th amongst a string of seven successive winning ends propelled them into the lead.
Ted and Helen Roberts, Shane Fromm and Gavin Wood were the steadiers for Jervois when the other two rinks were struggling in the first half; they were pitted against Kurt Weinmann, Neville Gotch, Brian Hood and Ann Ratsch, and after conceding the first five shots, they took control by winning nine of the next 10 ends to go five ahead at the break.
Weinmann had the better of the run home to finish just one shot adrift at the finish, but with the other two rinks taking control, it was a solid win for Jervois, reversing their semi-final loss from a week ago.
Murray Bridge had their solitary success for the day in div four against Mannum and were made to scrap right to the final end to get the result.
Rodney Grigg, Graham Rolton, Kay Simes and Nicholas Nicolopolis were 12-shot winners over Adrian Bishop, Julie Helps, Riccardo Webster and Rosemary Freeman 25–3.
Dennis Hughes, Everardis Lans, Jim Fenemore and Beryl Brandle reversed the result in Mannum’s favour, but the 29–19 scoreline was not quite enough to get the win.
Aussie champion seizes victory in Speedway sprintcar event
In the final 410 Sprintcar event for the 22–23 season at Murray Bridge Speedway, current Australian Champion Jock Goodyer took out the 30 lap A-Main in the annual Ross Wright Memorial.
As the lights went green, Luke Dillon capitalised on his front-row start to take the early lead, with fellow pole-sitter Brock Hallett making contact with a wheel-standing Tate Frost, sending him spinning in front of the field.
While Hallett managed to keep the car going, Steven Caruso and Brendan Guerin collided as a result in turn two, triggering the event's first stoppage.
Dillon led Frost on the restart, with Daniel Pestka and Goodyer having a great battle for third before Goodyer made his move for the lead with 20 laps to go.
Goodyer opened up a handy gap before a rollover involving Dane Court would bunch up the field with 10 laps to go.
Dillon would re-challenge Goodyer for the lead; however, his passing attempt saw him make slight contact, sending him spinning and ending his race on Lap 24.
This lifted Hallett and Pestka into second and third respectively, which was the final order as Goodyer crossed the line for the chequers.
Earlier in the night, heat wins went to Goodyer, Dillon and Hallett, with Brendan Quinn taking out the Mid-Pack Scramble.
1. A1 Jock Goodyer; 2. Q5 Brock Hallett; 3. S27 Daniel Pestka; 4. T62 Tate Frost; 5. S4 Lisa Walker; 6. S10 Steven Caruso; 7. N89 Braydan Willmington; 8. S96 Brendan Guerin; DNF: S81 Luke Dillon (24); S3 Ben Morris (24); S57 Robert Heard (24); S38 Lachlan McDonough (21); S14 Brendan Quinn (18); VA15 Dane Court (17); S22 Chad Ely (14); S11 Scott Enderl (14); S12 Chris James (4).
Harper wins the SSA Super Sedan SA State Title
Tasmania’s Callum Harper has become the new South Australian champion after winning the 2023 Blenks Automotive and Performance SSA Super Sedan South Australian State Title at the Murray Bridge Speedway.
Harper was the top qualifier after three rounds of heats and was joined on the front row by Victorian Lucas Roberts.
Roberts got the jump from pole position after Harper opted to start from the outside.
Roberts led the first three circulations untroubled before the caution light was on for a spinning Corey Ramsdale.
Roberts led from the restart, under pressure from Harper, and Harper’s pressure paid off when he took the lead on lap six.
Collins took second from Roberts a lap later and began to chase down Harper.
Dave Gartner was the next driver to displace Roberts, taking third with 18 laps to run.
The caution light was out for Ramsdale again with 17 laps to run.
Under caution, Harper was given a one-plus-one penalty after the stewards deemed his pass for the lead to have been made partially on the infield, sending Harper back to third for the restart.
Collins restarted in the lead, with Gartner and Harper hot on his hammer.
Gartner began to build the momentum on the topside of the track and was right on the tail of Collins at the halfway mark of the race.
Gartner continued to apply pressure to Collins, and there looked to be contact in turn one, which sent Collins spinning and brought the caution light out with 12 laps to run.
Stewards deemed the incident as a racing incident and reinstated both Collins and Gartner to their positions for the final 12 laps.
Collins led away at the restart, running a higher line on the track.
Gartner followed Collins around the top, whilst Harper poked the nose up the inside into turn three with 11 laps to run.
Gartner fought back on the outside out of turn four and retook second position down the main straight with 10 laps to run.
Gartner ran wide in turns one and two, and Harper completed the pass out of turn two.
Harper changed his line back to the top of the track and railed the outside of turns one and two to take the lead with seven laps left.
Harper stretched his legs and ran away in the final stages to claim the win and his first South Australian title.
Collins came out on top in his battle with Gartner to claim second.
Gartner crossed the line third, ahead of Roberts in fourth, and Paul Blenkiron rounded out the top five.
1. T22 Callum Harper, 2; T1/V1 Jamie Collins, 3; S18 Dave Gartner, 4; V0 Lucas Roberts, 5; S22 Paul Blenkiron, 6; S93 Kym Jury, 7; V99 Travis Ramsdale, 8; S58 Neville Nitschke, 9; V9 Corey Ramsdale, 10; V12 Darren Giacometti (29); DNF: V16 Ash Bergmeier (4); S12 Kym Hammerstein (3); S52 Michael Brown (3).
Martin becomes master after 60 laps at Speedway
After two competitive nights of racing, Tyson Martin was the eventual winner in the Wingless Sprints 60 Lapper.
In a great test of nerve and endurance, it was a battle of three at the front, with Jack McCarthy, Joel Chadwick and Tyson Martin settling into the groove early on.
At the 46-lap mark, both Chadwick and Martin challenged McCarthy for the lead, with Chadwick managing to make his passing move stick and going on to set the pace for the mid-section of the race.
Kirby Hillyer, running in fourth, also began to edge closer to the minor placings before a heavy collision on lap 45 sent both Ryan Alexander and Hayden Vickers flying.
At the halfway mark, the leading car of Chadwick got tangled up in the lapped traffic, causing him to spin and drop back to fifth, just as Martin began to challenge McCarthy once again.
Jason Bolitho brought on the cautions with a flat tyre on lap 22, but McCarthy and Martin again snuck away from the rest of the field to resume their battle.
The pair fought brilliantly until the end of the race, and McCarthy would cross the line first ahead of Martin and Hillyer.
However, in a dramatic twist after the post-race weighing was conducted, McCarthy’s car unfortunately came well under the required minimum weight, handing Martin the feature win and elevating Hillyer into second and Chadwick into third.
Robert Heard finished in fourth just off the podium after storming through the field after transferring from the B-Main, with Anthony Tapley, Zack Grimshaw, Mitchell Rigney, Nate Trewin, Sam Martin and Chris James completing the Top 10.
1. S1 Tyson Martin; 2. S86 Kirby Hillyer; 3. S5 Joel Chadwick; 4. S75 Robert Heard; 5. S57 Anthony Tapley; 6. NT99 Zack Grimshaw; 7. S27 Mitchell Rigney; 8. S58 Nate Trewin; 9. S66 Sam Martin; 10. S12 Chris James; 11. V33 Dale Gesell; 12. S14 Matthew Tyler; 13. S38 James Rodda; DNF: S50 Jordon Bolitho (38); S19 Michael Spoljaric (37); S15 Hayden Vickers (15); S36 Ryan Alexander (15); S26 Rylan Furler (11); S41 Bronson Mauro; DQ: S23 Jack McCarthy.
Murray Bridge Cods perform swimmingly at carnival
Murray Bridge swimmers competed over the weekend in the state age championships with excellent results.
The 2023 championships were a huge success for the Murray Bridge Cods Swimming Club team of three swimmers, who put in an amazing effort to make it happen.
Our swimmers going up against the finest in all of South Australia – what an awe-inspiring sight.
It was a great way to cap off the weekend, and the club was so proud of their accomplishments.
The club hoped that the success would inspire more swimmers to take part in future competitions and strive for excellence.
Tyler White swam his 100-metre breaststroke and 50m breaststroke, also accomplishing a 0.54 second personal best.
Isabella Roberts placed sixth in the state with her 100m breaststroke and dropped 1.01 seconds off her time; she also placed sixth in her 50m breaststroke and dropped 0.56 seconds off her time.
Ella Davy made it to the finals in her 50m backstroke, placing 10th in the state and gaining a 2.00 second PB.
In her 50m freestyle, Ella made a 0.05 second PB – competition in this event was so tight, and although she placed 29th, there were less than four seconds between her time and first place.
Ella dropped 0.92 seconds off her time in her 100m backstroke.
Ella and Isabella were only milliseconds away from achieving national qualifying times, showing that they have the potential to compete on a national level.
With the right training and dedication, we may yet see Ella, Isabella and Tyler competing at the highest levels of swimming.
Astonishingly, our swimmers manage to produce incredible results, even though they only have access to the pool during summer; in comparison, top clubs in South Australia swim all year round, making our athletes’ achievements truly remarkable.
Murray Bridge drag racer wins silver medal in Victoria
Murray Bridge drag-racing driver Dave Foster has brought home some silverware from a race meeting in Victoria over the weekend.
He finished runner-up in the sportsman category at Thunder at the Sunset Strip, in Mildura.
Murray Bridge shooters lured to Lower Light
A small contingent turned out to shoot in spectacular weather this last Saturday at the Murray Bridge Rifle Club, with many taking the opportunity to shoot in the CTV OPM at Lower Light instead.
Despite the close range of 300m, it wasn’t overly easy early in the day, with top round scores being a 58.05 from Ian Taylor and a 57.04 from John Cranwell, all shot in the second detail.
Ian Elston wasn’t far off the mark with a pair of 56.02s, and it was his consistency that gave him the top off-rifle win in Open, only a point ahead of Ian Taylor, who claimed the F-Standard prize.
Ian Taylor’s superb day out meant that he also won the F-Class handicap award for the day.
John Elson was the only TR shooter present, scoring a modest 41 for the day.
Next week, the club hosts Bordertown Rifle Club, who will travel down and compete for the Bridge-Border Shield from 600m.
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