Sports reports: Veteran tennis players gather for a hit at Sturt Reserve

Plus the latest from Murray Bridge's lawn tennis association, golf club and rifle club.

This post includes contributions from Heather Richards, Murray Bridge Lawn Tennis Association’s Graham Buttle, Murray Bridge Golf Club and Murray Bridge Rifle Club’s Daniel Irvine.

Heather Richards, Rosemary Daish and Lorraine Vickers are among the tennis players from around SA who competed at Sturt Reserve on Sunday. Photo: Heather Richards.

Veteran players from the South East and Fleurieu have come to Murray Bridge’s lawn tennis courts for a hit over the weekend.

Seniors tennis matches are being played on the second Sunday of each month at Sturt Reserve this summer.

The competition is now for the 30-plus age group; it used to be for players aged 35 and over.

Trish Douglas, of Southend, John Buckley, of Goolwa, and Necia Evans, of Naracoorte, are among the players who came to visit. Photo: Heather Richards.

Last weekend the occasion was an invitational match for players from the South East, Fleurieu and Riverland.

A few passing showers and windy conditions didn’t stop the enthusiastic group from playing up to six doubles matches each.

The group enjoyed a lunch prepared by the local association, with afternoon tea and a raffle to complete the day.

Murray Bridge Lawn Tennis Association results

Pennants

Postel (four sets, 47 games) defeated Sportsmen (four sets, 36 games)

Schools (five sets, 41 games) defeated Swanport (three sets, 38 games)

Doubles

Mobilong (seven sets, 58 games) defeated Swanport (two sets, 41 games); player of the match: Mikael Saye

Twin Bridges (six sets, 55 games) defeated River Aces (three sets, 40 games); player of the match: Lily King

Juniors

Banks (10 sets, 72 games) defeated Schools (five sets, 76 games); MVPs Elise Franke (Banks), Taj Garrett (Schools)

Coorong (eight sets, 77 games) defeated Avoca (seven sets, 62 games); MVPs Logan Morrell (Coorong), Bridie Loller (Avoca)

Sportsmen (eight sets, 65 games) defeated Murraylands (seven sets, 63 games); MVPs Taj Rowe (Sportsmen), Bella Marchetti (Murraylands)

Matt Egel wins on speedway’s Ultimate Pink Night

For the second time in as many starts this season at the Murray Bridge Speedway, Matt Egel dominated the 30-lap main event on Saturday night as he claimed the Ultimate Pink Night trophy on an ultra-fast racetrack.

Second place went the way of Luke Dillon, who shadowed Egel for most of the race before Egel got away in lapped traffic, while Daniel Pestka completed the podium.

Following days of poor weather leading into the meeting, the track crew did a fantastic job to prepare and, despite a slight rain delay prior to the feature events, the night was completed on time with some fast on-track action.

With the track juiced up, qualifying produced some extremely fast lap times, with the top 10 drivers separated by 0.255 of a second.

Ryan Jones paced the 18-car field with a lap of 11.027, just edging out Dillon (11.082) and Pestka (11.088).

In the opening round of heats, the fastest drivers lined up at the front of the field but Egel, who started from position three, charged to the front and reset a three-year-old track record as he completed 10 laps in 1:53.413.

Jones, Pestka, Steven Caruso and Mark Caruso rounded out the top five.

In the second heat, the red lights came on shortly after the green as Clinton Warner slammed the turn one wall, rolling his #36 and ending his night.

Brad Keller would go on to win the heat ahead of Dillon, Joel Heinrich, Glen Sutherland and Hayden Pitt.

On the final lap Ricky Maiolo hit the turn two wall, ending his race; the damage would keep him out of his second heat.

Even with the field inverted for round two, Egel managed to race his way to the front in heat three with Lachlan McDonough driving well to hold onto second with the Ford-powered cool of Keke Falland finishing third.

In the final heat Sutherland defeated an impressive Heinrich with Dillon and Keller following.

With Warner and Max Vidau, with engine dramas, out, 16 drivers started the A-main.

Egel got the jump on the field ahead of Dillon, but the caution came out on lap two as Jones and Pitt made contact in turn four with Jones heading to the infield with a broken shock and a flat left rear.

Jamie Hendry also retired with a flat left rear while Chris James parked his CT525-powered #12.

After the race got back underway, it went 29 laps non-stop, and with the track being so fast, passing proved hard.

The only time Egel really came under attack was when he came up to lap Maiolo and, with Maiolo running the preferred line, Egel found it hard to get by.

The top four closed up, but once he found a way past, Egel used the clean air to win by 1.6 seconds.

Dillon and Pestka stayed ahead of Keller, who set the fastest lap of the race.

Sutherland put together a great run to finish fifth ahead of Mark Caruso, Heinrich, Steven Caruso, Pitt, Falland, McDonough, Maiolo and Alexander.

In the other main event of the night, the V6 sprints contested their annual Zeke Agars Classic with a competitive field of nine cars.

After they shared the heat wins, Nick Hall got the better of Damien Eve in the 20-lap feature event, with Renee Pfeiler coming in for third.

The event turned Murray Bridge Speedway pink in the fight against breast cancer, raising more than $1800 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, supported by BreastScreen SA.

Racing will return to Murray Bridge Speedway on December 4 for the Sprintcars Dare to Double.

The race format will give the top point-scorer the option of a rear-of-field start, with the challenge of driving through the field in order to double their prize money.

Formula 500s will also be in action for the King of the Bridge, while the V6 sprints will honour another champion in the Des James Memorial.

Modlites, street stocks and junior sedans will also be on the program.

Mitch Lienert repeats at Murray Bridge Golf Club

He did it last month and he repeated the dose on Saturday: Mitch Lienert took out Murray Bridge Golf Club’s stroke event in fine style with a nett 66 on a tricky day for golf.

Currently enjoying a rich vein of form and down to an eight handicap, the lean long-hitting right-hander left the field in his wake on his way to his second Saturday success in consecutive months.

Peter Erickson wasn’t far away with his quality round of nett 67; he won the A grade from “Midweek Matt” Kowald, who returned from a few weeks away to immediately jump back into winners territory with a pretty handy nett 69.

Super Sid Robbins, after a bit of pre-game angst in getting a group to play in, found himself at the top of the B grade leaderboard after recording a great nett 67, which included a brilliant back nine of just 38 strokes (nett 30).

Rob Muster put his illness issues aside to courageously grind out a nett 70 and be the runner-up.

Newly appointed club captain Steine “Smiley” Trinder thought it was time to step up on course and duly led the C grade with a useful nett 71 that included an even better back nine than Super Sid’s: a 42 off the stick nett 29 that stole the day’s pro comp away from Robbins, much to his chagrin.

A resurgent Dean Wright was C grade runner-up with a 71.

A graders dominated the ball winners list, with Shane Aldridge and Andrew Meddle returning nett 69s and the day’s sponsor, Corey Dahlitz, a 70.

That score included a brilliant birdie on the par three 14th when, after leaving his tee shot at the front of the steeply inclined green, Dahlitz told his playing partners all the way up to the green that he would sink the 20-foot putt.

True to his word, it never looked like missing.

Tyson Wright, Brett Altschwager, Mark Bolton and Michael Vella each scored nett 71s while Lawerance Crack had a 72.

Ray Fetherstonhaugh won the yabby on the tricky 14th with a great late strike and Meddle won the eagle’s nest after eagling the par four fifth, of all holes.

No details are to hand about how he did it – obviously a chip-in, likely from 100-plus metres out.

It will be par comp time this weekend.

Showers fail to faze rifle shooters

Murray Bridge Rifle Club members were greeted by a persistent strong wind from the right on Saturday as they competed from a range of 500 metres.

While strong, with many starting their shoot with six minutes of wind on, the breeze had enough variation in it that also proved difficult for many to read, so competitors were kept honest.

It also kept conditions exceptionally cool for November and even supplied a brief shower, but it was not enough to stop proceedings.

As the day wore on, the wind gradually diminished but still did not allow any shooter to score a possible on the day.

Best off-rifle scores for the day came from Andrew Heard in target rifle, with a 97.10; and Adrian Conlon in F-open, scoring 117.12; and Dave Hindmarsh in F-standard, who got 109.02.

Conlon’s superb 117 was well ahead of second-placed open shooter John Cranwell, who had 111.03 for the day; but Heard and Hindmarsh’s wins in their respective classes were much closer, with new shooter David Neumann finishing second in standard by a point on 108.03, while Rob Paech was only two centres behind in TR, ending the day with 97.08.

In terms of handicap for the day, both Heard and Conlon were able to translate their off-rifle success into handicap wins thanks to their high centre counts.

Indeed, Conlon needs every centre he can get as he is currently shooting with an 0.7 handicap, which will reduce to 0.6 this week after his win on Saturday.

Second in the handicaps were Paech in TR and Neumann in F-class.

Special note can be made this week of two much improved second-round scores from Wayne Halliday and Ian Taylor, who shot a 42.00 and a 49.01, respectively, in their first rounds, prompting Taylor to claim he couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn.

Well, the barn was getting nervous in the second round as he shot an impressive 57.02, and Halliday improved in like manner, scoring 55.02.

Halliday was also quite relieved that he did not claim the highly un-coveted Magpie Award this week, with Peter Casley taking that dubious honour in F-class with a single bird, while likely candidate Daniel Irvine claimed the prize in target rifle with three.

This week shooters will be sorely tested from 1000 yards as the club championship continues; many will likely spend their time hoping and praying for favourable weather.


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 peri@murraybridge.news or call 0419 827 124.

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