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CONNOLLY COMES FROM BEHIND TO WIN DARWIN PBR
(Sunday 27th May 2012) Over 2000 Northern Territory Bull Riding fans were treated to a night of bull riding highs and lows at the inaugural Darwin Touring Pro Series event at the Robbie Robbins Arena on Saturday night.
The second night’s competition would again be dominated by the bull power from Darren Brandenburg and Dallis Wilschefski, however there were a number of bull riders who found form on Saturday night that were unsuccessful in the Friday night competition.
Queensland’s Sam O Connor added to his Friday nights score with an impressive 86.5 point score in round 2 to position himself in the number 1 spot going into the Championship round ahead of Ryan Storey who matched O Connors score. 2011 Australian Champion, Kevin Connolly was just a half a point behind Storey and O Connor with an 86 point score, but enough for him to qualify him back for the final round.
Another highlight of round 2 was the comeback of Ian “Irish” Molan. After being knocked out cold, trampled and bruised all over, Molan rode his second bull, but was awarded a re-ride after the bull did not perform to the standard required in PBR competitions. In a world of hurt and showcasing some true Irish heart, Molan did not hesitate to get on his re-ride bull, but unfortunately did not make the whistle and ending his chances of a shot in the Championship round.
The final round was stacked with great bulls and a strong contingent of bull riders including O Connor, Hanarahan, Connolly, Storey, Kennedy, Friday night winner- Mick Ford, Chris Lowe and the Northern Territory’s own Grant Deveraux.
One by one the bulls were getting the win over the riders until current Australian Champion and World Finals qualifier Jock Connolly overcame the pressure and marked a sensational 87 point score and the lead in the overall competition. Friday night’s winner, Mick Ford would face off against the NT’s number 1 bull, Rock Salt, who went onto win the match up and go un-ridden in the competition increasing his record to 42 attempts for 2 qualified rides.
It all came down to the young rookie Sam O Connor who was the last ride of the night on the star bull Arachnophobia. O Connor started a sensational ride and was heading for the highest score of the event only to be worn down and dislodged around the seven second mark giving his travelling partner Connolly the overall event win.
Overall we were very pleased with the result of the Darwin event for its inaugural year, stated PBR General Manager, Glen Young. The crowd came from all over the NT and it can only grow and get bigger from here. The PBR/XXXX Community Program donated $4000 for the “North Darwin Rotary Club” who also needs to be commended as they also do allot for the local community and were a great assistance to us.
Establishing an event in a new location is always a difficult process, however we had great support from our national and local sponsors and even though attendances were down compared to other locations we go, the feedback we have received post event has been great and we are committed to keeping Darwin on our Tour schedule for years to come and have no doubt it will grow into one of the largest events on our schedule.
The PBR Touring Pro Series now heads to Mt Isa as the nation’s best bull riders strive for the top 14 positions for the July 21st Sydney Allphones Arena National Finals.
Darwin PBR Touring Pro
1st Jock Connolly, Charters Towers Q 173 points
2nd Sam OConnor, Tully Q 170.5points
3rd Ryan Storey, Mackay Q 168 points
4th Brett Hanrahan, Rockley NSW 163 points
5th Mick Ford, Orange NSW 87.5 points
PBR Australia Championship Standings
1st Dave Kennedy, Kyogle NSW 3855.5 points
2nd Lachlan Richardson, Gresford NSW 2808.5 points
3rd Chris Lowe, Uralla NSW 2702 points
4th Fraser Babbington, Gisborne NZ 2287.5 points
5th Jock Connolly, Charters Towers Q 2201.5 points
© PBR Australia, Inc. 2013