Ipswich Cup 2011. Shane Watson receives the keys to the city Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times IPS180611RCUPY
Ipswich Cup 2011. Shane Watson receives the keys to the city Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times IPS180611RCUPY Rob Williams

Bomber's Blast: Watson shows the way for local sports stars

WHAT can be said about Shane Watson's retirement from Test cricket.

He is an Ipswich lad that climbed the cricketing tree from local to state to grab the highest honour in cricket, a Baggy Green.

His Test career, while not as glittering as his one day record, started well but didn't end the way he would have liked it to.

Watson was a gifted player who did not fulfil the early promise. However you do not reach the top in cricket if you don't have talent and he had a lot of it.

For the record, he played 59 Tests, scoring 3731 runs at an average of 35.2.

He scored 24 half centuries, however could only convert four of them into centuries.

He also did his part with the ball collecting 75 wickets and taking 45 catches.

He is the only cricketer to win Player of the Year awards in all formats of the game, plus he is a two-time Allan Border Medal winner.

While Watson has retired from Test cricket I am sure we will still see him in the short versions of the game.

He's a true Ipswich champion.



Infectious performance

WHAT do you do with a horse that is born with a fungal infection to both his eyes that only allows him to make out shadows.

A racing career you would think is out of the question.

An Italian horse named Laghat was taken to the races to keep his fitness up and you can guess what happened next - he won his first start.

The 12-year-old has amassed a record of 24 wins and 27 minor placings, a handy record indeed.

It is also a credit to his owner/trainer/jockey that Laghat has never caused interference to any horse during a race. He also has said tongue in cheek that he will not apply for blinkers.

Imagine how good he could have been with two good eyes.


IRL final lessons

WHAT have we learnt from the first week of the Ipswich Rugby League semi-finals?

We have learnt that defending premiers Norths are still the team to beat with a superb semi victory.

Brothers, a team written off by most people, are still a chance of winning the title with a well-timed performance.

Goodna are still in the race but must overcome an injury crisis to be playing on grand final day.

West End, who had their best year for a long while, fell when the pressure was applied.

Reserve grade semi-finals were also entertaining affairs with the Steve O'Connell coached Swifts producing a tip top effort accounting for Brothers while Cobras continuing some late season form defeating Goodna.

In the under 19 division, Cobras put a slow start behind them defeating Brothers while Norths pipped the boys from the bush in Valleys.


Quick thoughts

BOMBER'S bouquet 1: Many people thought it could not be done but Jarryd Hayne has silenced a lot of sceptics. The journey now starts.

Bomber's bouquet 2: What can you say about the style of play the Ipswich Jets produce? It's entertaining, exciting and thrilling to watch.

Bomber's beef: It's not often I bag one of our national teams but I thought it was poor form from our cricket team appealing for obstruction from Ben Stokes.

Bomber's best: My horse was scratched on Saturday but I hope you all noticed that it raced Sunday at the Sunshine Coast and won easily.

This week, it's finals time so jump on the Roosters and Rabbits in the NRL and Tigers and Dockers in the AFL.