Best, worst and weirdest of Sunshine Coast sport in 2016
IT'S been another year full of drama on the Sunshine Coast sports scene, highlighted by some remarkable stories of triumph.
But there were also plenty of weird and wonderful happenings around the place.
Let's recall the good, the bad and the ugly.
Most confusing scenario
EVEN club officials were left scratching their heads when it came to the Queensland Basketball League play-offs race.
Sunshine Coast Phoenix and Sunshine Coast Rip appeared just as clueless as the Daily when it came to working out what results the teams needed to reach the finals. QBL officials thought they knew until the Daily queried them further about the permutations and even they were thrown out.
Thankfully, the format will change in 2018. We won't try and explain it though, it's too confusing.
THERE'S plenty of candidates for this one but the gong goes to Gympie's rugby league team.
The Devils were absolutely thumped 82-0 by Kawana in a mid-season Sunshine Coast A-grade encounter in sodden conditions at Bokarina. Club officials admitted they were struggling to field a competitive team each week and they feared for the Devils' future.
But just a week later, the northerners somehow beat eventual premier Maroochydore 28-24 at Beerwah. Caloundra captain Chris Ainsworth said Gympie was a "hot and cold” side. Now, that's an understatement.
A BIG crowd converged on John Blanck Oval for the Big Bash League warm-up game involving Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes and they were provided with an almost immediate highlight.
Brisbane's Ben Cutting took an absolute screamer. Standing at a deepish fine leg, he dived full stretch to the right to grasp a flier off the bat of D'Arcy Short
The batsman and the bowler, Samuel Badree, were just as stunned as the fans. The Heat went on to win that one.
Biggest brain snap
A TOUGH one with Jerrad Tyson's red card offence during a recent A-League game a contender.
The Western Sydney Wanderers keeper brought down Central Coast's Trent Buhagier outside the box, a week after conceding a penalty for a similar offence.
But the award goes to Noosa Dolphins lock Charlie McKill, who was sin-binned for striking a Lighthouses player immediately after scoring the opening try of the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union grand final.
It was a chaotic decider with eight cards issued. Noosa won.
GOLFER Steven Bowditch had a season to forget but at least he still has his humour.
The Peregian Beach product missed 15 cuts from 26 events on the US PGA Tour and there were some shockers. He was the least accurate driver, the worst approach player, the worst scrambler and he shot five straight rounds of 80+.
When he broke that streak he was immediately drug tested, which prompted this tweet from the man himself: "Not even the Tour can believe I broke 80”.
THERE'S been a few but Alana Boyd's clutch effort during the Rio Olympics got the ticker going.
The Alexandra Headland athlete, at her third and last Games, finished fourth. But she showed remarkable poise and courage during the event to get to that point.
Seemingly down-and-out after missing her first two attempts at 4.70m, she stayed in the event with a breathless clearance on the third and final go. She went on to clear 4.80m but failed at 4.85m.
What an anti-climax
IT was a lengthy build-up to the Sunshine Coast Football premier men's grand final involving Kawana and Woombye at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Full of sub-plots and intrigue, it was billed as a titanic struggle between two of the region's biggest rivals.
But when it came to the crunch, the weather put a dampener on the whole occasion. It poured bucket loads on the night of the decider and after just 20 minutes the players were forced from the field and the fans went home.
The Snakes were leading 1-0 at the time. The match was replayed midweek amid much less fanfare and the Force won with relative ease.
SAM Saif may have only been in charge of the Sunshine Coast Fire for a season but he certainly made his presence felt.
The charismatic coach was seen - and especially heard - barking orders to his charges quite a few times during the state league campaign.
AFTER six long years of woe, Sunshine Coast rugby league team made the state league finals so the players and the fans celebrated in style.
There were wild scenes at Sunshine Coast Stadium when the Falcons beat Wynnum 38-20 to secure its spot in the play-offs. The spectators cheered with zest and the players went crazy in the dressing sheds.
It was almost as joyous as 2014, when the team snapped a 36-game losing sequence.
COOLUM teenager Isabella Nichols was the leading young lady when she won the junior surfing world title in January.
But later in the year, she was part of support cast in a Hollywood shark flick. More accurately, she was a stunt double for Blake Lively. Nichols got to surf some great waves for the panoramic vision and offered basic advice to Lively on how to use a leg rope etc.
LET'S put this in context.
Boom filly Yankee Rose had a stunning year, winning two Group 1s and finishing third in the Cox Plate. The David Vandyke-trained steed was simply sensational, proving to be one of the best runners in the country.
So it was with much anticipation she loaded into the Flemington barriers for the $1million Crown Oaks during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. A $1.90 favourite, she was expected to win and win well.
But things went horribly awry and the youngster's connections and fans were left horribly disappointed when she finished 21 lengths adrift and 14th of 15 runners. Just days later, it was confirmed she sustained a chip in her left knee during the run and she was ruled out of the Autumn.
THE IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was held on the Sunshine Coast and Aussie Tim Reed showed the locals, and those watching live streaming, what he was made of.
After a 1.9km swim and a 90km ride, he was bogged down in a battle with juggernaut Sebastien Kienle during the 21.1km run leg. Many times, he looked shot to pieces as the German accelerated to a lead.
But he grit his teeth and clawed his way back into contention on each occasion before finding the energy and spirit to launch a surprising and defining attack of his own to win in the heat.
RYAN Tyack was a lesser-known athlete leading into the Olympic Games but the Mapleton archer hit the small screen on more than a few occasions during it.
He won Australia's first medal - a bronze - as part of a three-man team and was subsequently a subject of television interviews and features. But then he was suddenly on the tele for being detained by police, along with eight other Aussie athletes who snuck into a basketball semi-final in Brazil.
The Australian Olympic Committee ultimately apologised to the athletes who were caught up in the saga saying it "was not their fault”.