Cricket comp builds strong bonds
Teams from all over
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.