Cricket comp builds strong bonds

Teams from all over

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT - Adam McCleery

CRICKET: THE 33rd An­nual Mun­dub­bera Seven-a-side cricket com­pe­ti­tion at­tracted 49 teams from all over to com­pete for the ti­tle with teams from as far away as Ip­swich and Strad­broke Is­land at­tend­ing.

Event or­gan­iser and Di­vi­sion three coun­cil­lor Faye Whe­lan said she was happy with the turn out this year.

“We have 49 teams com­pet­ing in the seven-a-side this year which is a lit­tle bit more than we had last year,” Whe­lan said.

“The main men’s side was down last year but last year I do re­mem­ber we had more than 40 teams then too.

“A few more is al­ways good and we have had big­ger num­ber in the past but we are very happy with 49 this year.”

Whe­lan said the sup­port for the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion was con­tin­u­ously strong de­spite fluc­tu­a­tions in num­bers.

“I think peo­ple al­ways sup­port us re­ally well and we have new teams com­ing on all the time,” Whe­lan said.

“We had a team from Ip­swich this year and I can’t re­call ever hav­ing had a team from Ip­swich be­fore, so it’s good to see we are at­tract­ing new play­ers and teams from new places.

“We also have more teams sign­ing on from the Sunshine Coast.”

Whe­lan said the Mun­dub­bera Seven-a-side was one of the long­est run­ning com­pe­ti­tions of its kind in Queens­land which con­tin­ued to at­tract new play­ers and teams each year.

“Be­ing one of the big­ger seven-a-side com­pe­ti­tions we are start­ing to at­tract more fe­male teams, of the 49 teams this year 10 of them are women’s teams,” Whe­lan said.

“Un­for­tu­nately one of our reg­u­lar women’s teams wasn’t able to make it this year, time takes a toll on us all, but that hap­pens.”

Whe­lan also spoke about how she felt see­ing younger gen­er­a­tions of play­ers com­mit­ting to the seven-a-side com­pe­ti­tion.

“Young ju­niors are play­ing now, we have some ju­nior boys who are play­ing along­side some of the se­nior men’s teams,” Whe­lan said.

“But we also have some new younger girls who are play­ing now which to me is a great thing to see.

Sa­man­tha Wain and Tekiya Ge­orge were two of the women play­ing in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

“This team of ours has been com­ing to this event for the past five years,” Wain said.

“It’s al­ways a good thing to see the women’s side of the com­pe­ti­tion grow the way that it is.

“There are more here this year than last, we get to play three games to make the fi­nals where as last year it was just two.”

Ge­orge is the youngest player on her team.

“To­day is go­ing re­ally well so far,” Ge­orge said.

“The heat isn’t play­ing too much of a fac­tor this early but it will I’m sure.”

Ge­orge is fast be­com­ing a seven-a-side reg­u­lar.

“This is my third year play­ing here and i am lov­ing ev­ery sec­ond of it,” Ge­orge said.

Wain said the seven-a-side was an im­por­tant date on the North Bur­nett sport­ing cal­en­der.

“The fur­thest ladies team comes from Dalby I be­lieve, and I’m pretty sure we have Bris­bane teams here to­day too,” Wain said.

“It’s al­ways good to see and it keeps an event hap­pen­ing that brings peo­ple here, se­niors and ju­niors, all com­ing up to play and it helps keep the kids of the street for the week­end.”

The Strad­broke Is­land Ra­zor­backs have played in ev­ery Mun­dub­bera Seven-a-side since 1995 in­clud­ing this year and play­ers said they would con­tinue to re­turn each year.

Ra­zor­backs player Gino Bunin said the vibe and at­mos­phere cre­ated by the town and the seven-a -side com­pe­ti­tion was what kept his team com­ing back each year.

“Orig­i­nally some of us had fam­ily up this way who told us about the seven-a-side com­pe­ti­tion,” Bunin said.

“This team is mostly made up of the orig­i­nals which says a lot about the ap­peal of the com­pe­ti­tion, most of us are over 50 by now.”

De­spite their age and dis­tance the Ra­zor­backs wouldn’t miss a Mun­dub­bera Seven-a-side com­pe­ti­tion.

“Hon­estly the cricket is too hard for us now es­pe­cially in the heat but I can tell you ev­ery year we walk away with sore ribs,” Bunin said.

“Sore ribs from all the laugh­ing we do here, with other teams and the lo­cals.

“The lo­cals should be com­mended for all the great work they do to put on such a great cricket com­pe­ti­tion.”

The Ra­zor­backs are com­pe­ti­tion stal­warts and the Mun­dub­bera com­mu­nity has em­braced them as such.

“We have our own plaque up on the bar room wall which we love to point out to oth­ers,” Bunin said.

The plaque com­mem­o­rates the Ra­zor­backs first year in the comp in 1995 and have be­come more than just visi­tors to the com­mu­nity.

“We came up dur­ing the flood year when the com­pe­ti­tion was can­celled,” Bunin said.

“We re­ally wanted to do what we could to help, we helped with wa­ter bot­tles and the clean up af­ter­wards.

“It was the least we could do, I think we were the only out­side team to do that so they put our name on a tro­phy any­way.”

The ac­tions of the Ra­zor­backs de­fines the mate­ship built up around an an­nual event that has run for three decades and cul­ti­vated strong bonds.

North Bur­nett res­i­dent Phil Cham­bers also played.

“To­day has been re­ally good so far, even in the heat ev­ery­one is have a good time and play­ing in the right spirit,” Cham­bers said.

“I have played most years be­fore this and the last few years I’ve been play­ing in the Bulls seven-a-side team.”

The main Cup com­pe­ti­tion was won by team Dux Nuts who were able to over­come the Mighty Ducks.

On the women’s side of the draw team Swing Both Ways were able to edge out team Ball Bruis­ers to win their maiden ti­tle.

Tem­per­a­tures were up to the high 30s yet no play­ers com­plained and all were still in good spir­its.

Gayn­dah res­i­dent Mick Coul­son was also tak­ing part

in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“This is al­ways a good comp,” Coul­son said.

“Last year we had to con­tend with big mud pud­dles from the rain prior to the comp and this year it’s bat­tling the heat.”

Whe­lan echoed Coul­son’s sen­ti­ments.

“We spent last year bat­tling the el­e­ments af­ter all the rain we had where as this year we are bat­tling the ex­treme heat, I’m not sure which I would pre­fer,” Whe­lan said.

“But ei­ther way each day still went off re­ally well.”

Rebels cricket player and Gayn­dah res­i­dent Brae­den Dar­ling­ton was also play­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion and his mother An­ge­line Young was there to cheer him on.

“We found our­selves a nice shady spot to en­joy all the cricket,” Young said.

“The only down side is hav­ing to keep mov­ing to stay in the shade.”

Dar­ling­ton said it was good to have the comp for a num­ber of rea­sons but with the rep game com­ing up next week and the fi­nals just af­ter that it had been im­por­tant.

“To­day is about fun and it is fun but it;s also good to be able to keep play­ing and stay in form,” Dar­ling­ton said.

“We have the rep game this week­end com­ing and I like that I was able to keep things go­ing to­day.”

Whe­lan said the con­tin­ued sup­port for the Mun­dub­bera Seven-a-side was some­thing she hoped would con­tinue long into the fu­ture.

“Of the 49 teams we got this week­end, 32 of them are in the main men’s comp, seven were in the over 40s and 10 were in the ladies,” Whe­lan said.

Now play­ers have the first ever Mun­dub­bera ver­sus Gayn­dah rep­re­sen­ta­tive cricket match to look for­ward to this week­end.

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