Friday, September 30, 2022

Racing & Sport


Local hero bows out a champion

Cliffy Pearson retired from rodeo in fine style on Saturday night, taking top points in the open saddle bronc in front of adoring fans at the Hope Vale Bulls and Broncs event. The win was bittersweet for Pearson, who dedicated it in honour of Roxanne Hart, who passed away recently.


Great field for double round Hillclimb

Xavier Jacobs-Twain. After a worrying week of torrential rains and local flooding, Grafton Sporting Car Club welcomed a near capacity field of almost 70 cars and drivers with two fantastic blue-sky days for the running of the club's 5th and 6th rounds. The field got off to a flying start as the track dried out and heated up.


Allora Golf Course celebrates 25th anniversary

The current Allora Golf Course will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, with a golf day and BBQ planned for Sunday 2nd October. We say “current” because this golf course is actually the third one in Allora. The first Allora Golf Club was formed in June 1927 and the course opened in August 1927.


On a roll – the club’s grand opening

Like a shining beacon of fun and entertainment, the new cluBarham bowling facility lit up the night sky at the official opening on Friday, September 16. Members, invited guests and bowling dignitaries made up the 170 strong crowd in attendance ... What unfolded was a team of local trades and services that shared a common goal of building a facility that can attract regional, state and even national competition.


Maldon Bowls Club news

Peter Sedgwick. Last Wednesday, 14 September, Maldon hosted the season’s First Triples Competition. Twelve teams of three competed. The participating players came from Maldon, Talbot, Carisbrook, Avoca, Dunolly, Harcourt, Maryborough Golf and Maryborough Highland ... Only one point separated the three top teams after the three games of 10 ends.


Hall of fame needs a little love and attention

Australia's success on the international sporting arena has earned the country a reputation as one of the top equestrian nations in the world. The Equestrian Australia Hall of Fame was started in 2010 and honours EA's greatest achievers, but maybe it’s time the panel took a new look and added a number of greats who are missing from the list.


NT rider one step away from representing Australia

If determination has anything to do with it, Darwin's Luke Purtill, whose mum says he has as much hardware in his body as “the bionic man”, may be riding for Australia in Germany next year ... “Luke’s goals are to be selected to represent Australia at the Special Olympic World Games,” his mum, Robyn, said. “It’s not just about winning though. Luke knows he wins every time he gets on a horse and would like to inspire every rider, regardless of ability to have the courage to reach for their dreams and be the best you can be.”


Bridge to Bridge back home at Harwood

In October 2021 Maclean Business Chamber approached Mark Stephenson from Big River Ski Club to start the conversation around bringing the Bridge-to-Bridge Ski Race back to the lower river and the traditional full course, turning at Harwood Bridge ... “The Race is a big-ticket event in the Clarence Valley with competitors and spectators coming from far and wide, to take part, or be a part of the spectacular event": President of the Chamber, Christine Tyler.


Brian’s 550km ride for sick kids

Rodney Stevens. When Brian Elvery was offered the opportunity to ride his bicycle more than 500km to raise money for Ronald McDonald House he didn’t hesitate to accept. Last week, along with a core group of a dozen other cyclists plus support crew, Mr Elvery got in the saddle on Tuesday at Inverell, for the 2022 Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW Ride For Sick Kids, aiming to raise $200,000.


Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong rise to occasion in RFL decider

Jeff Hanson. Saturday's Riverina Football League (RFL) grand final at Narrandera Sportsground lived up to expectation, with the Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong (GGGM) Lions and Collingullie-Glenfield Park (CGP) Demons engaging in a low-scoring and finals-like slugfest. In a game dictated by momentum swings, both sides had their chances, but the Lions kicked away to score three majors in the final quarter, setting up a 6.12 (48) to 4.7 (31) victory, giving the club their first premiership in 11 years.

Rugby League

Burns leads Wattles to Grand Final glory

Glyn Rees. Team captain and coach Travis Burns’ Wattles Warriors first grade team served up their club’s fifth first grade premiership success since joining the Toowoomba Rugby League in 1966 when they dispatched the Gatton Hawks 51 – 20 at Toowoomba’s Clive Berghofer Stadium on Sunday in front of a packed crowd. While a swansong for the skipper, it was a dream come true for him and his sixteen team mates.


Golden Rivers Finals – Blues victorious

A cold and windy day with fleeting glimpses of sunshine set the stage at the Nullawil Football Grounds for the Golden Rivers Finals. The action was hot and so too were some tempers as passions ran high ... Murrabit walking away as A Grade netball premiers in the ’22 Golden Rivers Football Netball League season.

Racing - Vic

McNeil wins Scobie Medal

Kendall Jennings. Local lad, Jye McNeil, was awarded his first Scobie Breasley Medal on Saturday night, with 56 votes. The Scobie Breasley Medal dates to 1996 when Damien Oliver won the inaugural award, an award he has won 11 times ... The annual jockey’s award sees votes cast by racing stewards on a one, two and three point basis of the best horse ride of the day, of which Jye has had a few this season with 114 wins and a Group 1 win.

Racing - Birdsville

Bob rewarded with Birdsville win

Bob Burow was the only Mount Isa trainer to send a horse to Birdsville and he was duly rewarded when The Brotherhood scored an easy win on Saturday ... The two-day meeting was more like a circus ... The fields were already tiny before Todd Austin had to scratch his horses, but they continued to dwindle as rain hit the region.


Rolling thunder heading for Denmark rec centre

Hundreds of roller skates will be thundering around the Denmark Recreation Centre for end-of-term celebrations once again. The roller discos are back by demand, with a Super Hero-themed skate fest, held on Friday, September 16, the second disco to be held this year.

Eq tech

Wife nags tech-head husband and the horse world wins

It's marvellous what can happen when a horse-loving wife of a tech-head husband asks him to help her with keeping her equestrian records straight ... The software and app Andy Ide developed is called “HorseRecords” and it is already being used across multiple disciplines in the horse industry.


History to reunite on the Clarence River

Emma Pritchard. The name is synonymous with producing some of the most recognisable and sought-after speed-boats to race across the country, and the world ... Founded over 70 years ago by renowned shipwright Harry Hammond who was later joined in the family business by his son Mark, Hammond Craft built some of the most versatile speedboats in the country during the 1950s and 1960s.


Roller skating returns to Narrandera

David Lee. A once popular pastime that possessed a great deal of culture and funk has once again rolled its way into the hearts of the Narrandera community, with local resident Briana Bryon kickstarting Glow Roller Disco. Beginning the business less than two months ago, Briana was not surprised by how popular her venture has become in such a short period, which offers one-on-one basic coaching, birthday parties and school holiday sessions.

Rugby League

Raiders run over Bulldogs in final

Samuel Davis. Discipline and the occasional burst of individual brilliance has proven just enough to get Weipa Raiders over the line in a thrilling grand final at Andoom Oval on Saturday afternoon. Napranum Bulldogs entered the decider undefeated and favourites to claim the Western Cape Rugby League premiership cup.

Pony Club

Cambooya Pony Club’s success

Allora Pony Club’s Working Horse Draft and Gymkhana saw Cambooya Pony Club win the March Past and secure the trophy for the club gaining Highest Points ... There were riders from 21 Pony Clubs compete over the weekend, with riders travelling from Mt Mee, Blackbutt, Kumbia, Dalby, Fassifern, Laidley, Goondiwindi and in between.


Maldon Pétanque Club

Geoff McLennan. There can really be no comparison between football and petanque, but as finals fever has hit Victoria, the finals games this weekend deserved a mention. On Sunday 28 August a group from Maldon was invited to a social petanque day with the Woodend-Hanging Rock Petanque Club. It was decided to play for a trophy ‘The Dig’ which was made from an old fork bought in France.


Nail biting finish at Inter-school soccer carnival

Pam Dillon. Rainy weather did not deter the 11 schools who participated in the first ever Barkly region inter-school soccer carnival recently. There were beautifully sunny skies on the first day of great competition out at Purkiss Reserve. In between games, teams attended health clinics run by Anyinginyi Health. Students still keen to be out on the field at the end of competition, helped their teachers from remote schools complete a mini roos coaching course run by John Moriarty Foundation.


Bats face the boot – AFL Mount Isa investigating footy assaults

The Lake Nash Bats could be kicked out of the AFL Mount Isa competition after officials and fans assaulted umpires on Saturday. The violence escalated after the final siren of the grand final, won by the Tigers in an upset, however the trouble was brewing well before then.


Raiders finals

Kendall Jennings. Football and netball finals were held on the weekend, with mother nature delivering sunny skies for winter. It is an achievement for any team to make finals and that fact alone needs celebrating. Saturday, the Raiders Under 16s netball hit the court at Woorinen for the qualifying final to face Kerang. Raiders’ fans gathered courtside to support the girls with club colours, streamers and cheers for outstanding play.


Birdsville club sweating as rain hits the Outback

All roads lead to Birdsville this week - or do they? While the Birdsville Race Club isn't expected to have its annual two-day meeting directly impacted by rain, there are concerns that roads leading there could be cut off to visitors. Unseasonal August rain hit the North West and parts of the Channel country earlier this week and some roads were quick to shut, albeit temporarily.


Junior golfers take on Narrandera course

It was a beautiful winter’s day when Narrandera Golf Club hosted Juniors on the Move on Sunday August 21, with bright sunshine and no wind.


Cambooya’s cross country champs

With the help of the local community to get them there, Cambooya teenagers Kyrna and Tomas Crump both won medals at the Australian Cross Country Championships in Adelaide. Representing their state, the pair competed in both individual and team events.

Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup comes to town

The Melbourne Cup visited Allora with guests from the Victoria Racing Club, Ray Dummett and jockey John Letts ... Cr Marco Gliori presented a poem he wrote about the thrill of the Melbourne Cup.


What a triumph for Allora!

We know the Melbourne Cup is visiting Allora on Wednesday 14th September but what we didn’t know is the Melbourne Cup will be here for the whole day - not just an hour or so. This is wonderful news as everyone will get a chance to see and maybe have a photo taken with the Cup ... Touring with the Cup will be well-known Champion Jockey John Letts who rode two winners in the Melbourne Cup.

Camooweal Jockey Club left reeling – Future in doubt

Has the last thoroughbred race been run and won at Camooweal? The president of the race club thinks so ... Camooweal had successfully raced for 132 years until last year when it was deemed by Racing Queensland that the track was no longer fit for racing ... Racing Queensland could have a crisis on its hands, with many other bush clubs under threat of losing their annual meetings due to a lack of funding for infrastructure, especially for track upgrades.


Southern Cape claims the crown

Sarah Martin. The Southern Cape was crowned champion after two nights of thrills and spills in the inaugural Cape of Origin event at the Weipa Rodeo. Captained by PBR cowboy Beau Willis, the Southern Cape featured fellow PBR rider Luke Smith, along with local riders Travis Salam-Koolatah, Raymond Bond and Leith Malone.

Bucking broncos at Borroloola Rodeo

Pam Dillon. This year’s Borroloola show and Campdraft/Rodeo was a big success with various stands at the show and a big three-day event at the Rodeo grounds ... Big crowds turned out to witness an exciting schedule of events that included Campdraft, Bareback cutting, Gymkhana, Barrel Race, Bull ride, Station Buckjump, Steer Ride, Bullock ride, Poddy ride, Saddle Bronc ride.

History & heritage

Forgotten athlete: Robert Leitch

Marion Hextall. A Naracoorte athlete of the early 1900s whose records were compared with those of Olympians has been largely forgotten today. Robert Leitch later became a guide at the Caves, but prior to that he was renown as an outstanding long-distance athlete ... His name began to appear in 1903 when he was 20 years old, winning one-mile and half-mile races at athletic meetings in Naracoorte, Kingston and Mount Gambier, and in 1906 he established a South Australian record for a one-mile race.


Clifton hosts karate championships

The Aussie Kids Karate championships were held last Sunday at Clifton with fifty competitors taking part from across the Darling Downs. Allora was represented by six Karate Kids and they competed against clubs from Clifton, Warwick, Dalby, Oakey, Millmerran, Gatton, Highfields and Toowoomba.


Former junior cricket club distributes unused funds

The past committee of the former Yanchep Redhawks Junior Cricket Club has recently agreed to distribute its unused funding to support local junior sporting clubs in Yanchep and Eglington ... 'Sport is such a valuable part of any community especially in these times of financial uncertainty that affect many people and sporting clubs': Robert Murphy, former YRJCC president.


Parry thrilled after landing Isa quartet

Days don’t get much better for a trainer than last Thursday for someone like Tanya Parry. The Julia Creek trainer had a career-best day, producing four winners on the TAB program in front of a national audience.

Worsnop lands first career double

Jeff Hanson. It was a day of firsts for Teighan Wornsop at Narrandera on Saturday, with the young jockey riding her first winning double. Teaming up with Cowra trainer Maree Hopkins - who was coincidently celebrating her birthday - the 22-year-old booted home a double, winning the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap aboard Mystic Flame ($2.90) and the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap aboard Gloraya ($17).


Great to be home

Samuel Davis. Megastar athletes are nice but meat pies, roadhouse burgers and hugs from daughter Talei are what really fuel this truckie ... The hardest working man in Australian basketball is finally taking a break ... Junior Virantuleo, the Cooktown truckie, who swapped the cabin for courtside at some of the biggest arenas in the world, returned home this month.

Model flying

Pylon racers

Kirstin Nicholson. The whirring of planes could be heard from town on the weekend as the Cohuna Model Flying Club held its first event at the airfield since the pandemic began. Fifteen competitors took part in the Victorian Miniature Pylon Racing Association’s pylon racing competition over two days.


Barkly juniors compete in Indigenous tennis carnival

Ten juniors from Canteen Creek and five from Arlparra travelled to Darwin last week for the third National Indigenous Tennis Carnival. The children were treated to an unforgettable experience, which included a first plane ride and a use of an escalator for some of the children.

Pony Club

Pony Club August rally

Nicole Funston. What a wonderful weekend of horses and ponies. We started on Saturday with a show jumping clinic with Allan Mitchell. A legend of his trade and finished off on Sunday with our August Rally.


Yamba sports talent shines on international stage

Rodney Stevens. The sporting talent of Yamba was on show on the international stage over the weekend with former Buccaneer’s junior Jed Holloway earning his first Wallabies cap, plus Cameron Pilley and cousin Donna Lobban playing for bronze in the mixed doubles squash.

Commonwealth Games

Allora loves Matthew, Matthew loves Allora

Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist and local hero Matthew Denny never forgets his home town of Allora. During an interview on Channel 7 Matthew said “Hello to everyone back in Allora. Thank you Allora for supporting me” and to John - “Dad we got it done, Mate!” During one interview he made reference to the Welcome Home Parade after Tokyo when he came 4th so maybe this time Allora will be given a public holiday?