Cougars purr past Blues

16/11/2018 // by admin

Chris Weller and his Churchill teammates advanced through the qualifying final. file photo
Nanjing Night Net



CHURCHILL handed coach Allan Chandler his first finals victory in North Gippsland following a blistering third term in Saturday’s qualifying final against Rosedale.

There were wild swings of momentum, a barrage of goals and a hard fought comeback in the quarter which resulted in the Cougars booting six-goals-to-one to arrest the lead and dictate the second half.

It was in vast contrast to the opening half in which Churchill appeared content to sit back while Rosedale’s running midfield backed itself in the contest and drilled the ball into forwards Brandon McDonald and Jeremy Reid, who inflicted the damage on the scoreboard.

Churchill started strong, rebounding from defence in the opening minute of play to send the ball barnstorming forward to score.

They had a second from the subsequent centre clearance through Nick Campbell, which was answered by Rosedale’s Reid who took a juggling mark to score.

Reid added his second following a stellar intercept by Jon Cantwell who chopped off the Cougars’ kick.

Cantwell then combined with the fleet footed Rowan Diamond, who pumped the ball long into the forward 50.

Crashing the marking pack Reid gained possession and snapped the Blues’ second and his first of three straight.

Churchill’s Dean Degroot reeled one back, splitting the sticks from outside 40, as the sides exchanged blows on the scoreboard.

It was followed by majors to Travis Brighton and Chris Williams as the Cougars looked to skip away.

However, the Blues’ fourth ahead of quarter-time reeled the margin back to a straight kick at the first change.

Churchill scored the opener of the second term, before Rosedale went about at will in front of goal; Luke Stuckey and McDonald were in on the action and made it three goals in-a-row for the Blues.

Brad Scott was instrumental in setting up the Blues’ fourth for the term, combining with Frazer Brouns to provide the side with a five point lead.

Consecutive misses to Churchill handed Rosedale a reprieve, before the Cougars scored through Campbell to hit the front.

It was short lived, McDonald added another to steal the lead, followed by Stuckey’s second which was gifted after an undisciplined act by Kurt Holt resulted in a 50 metre penalty when he failed to pass the ball back.

The Blues took an eight point lead into the long break.

It was a hungry and focused Churchill outfit that emerged from the rooms, returning fire with six unanswered majors in a blistering premiership term, which saw forward Tim Darby dictate play.

The Cougars’ brilliance turned an eight point deficit into a 22 point lead at the final change.

Despite both sides hitting the scoreboard early, the goal umpires were kept relatively quiet in the final term, with Churchill doing enough to put the result beyond doubt 17.18 (120) to 12.14 (86).

Sale City v Woodside (Elimination final)

EIGHT majors from Sale City’s Jake Schuback helped steer the Dogs to a 40 point victory over Woodside, 19.9 (123) to 12.11 (83).

It took the Dogs until the seven minute mark of the first term to register their opening goal, however from that point City’s power forward Schuback and the running brigade had the ball on a string.

Seven points separated the sides in a tight opening term, with both registering their first poins before scoring completely dried up.

It then became one way traffic after the Dogs packed numbers around the stoppages, with their rovers reading the taps better than the Wildcats and pumping the ball into a wide open forward line.

The match began with a touch of the fumbles, with both sides failing to make effective use of the footy before City drew on the experience of a number of their seasoned campaigners to dominate passages of play.

Jake Milham, Brad McKay and Brandon Rathdowne were the main playmakers and amassed contested possessions.

Josh Griffin opened the scoring for the Wildcats following a free kick, Woodside’s first of two on the run with Adrian Fazioli roving the pack to snap true.

The arm wrestle continued in the second term, before the Dogs slowly gained the ascendency.

Schuback got things happening in the opening minutes of the second term, before a running major to Byron Shingles made it a 20 point ball game.

Woodside responded to reel back a major, however missed shots to Griffin and Tom Love, the latter goal being touched over the line, halted the Wildcats in their tracks.

Running on confidence the Dogs did not have any such troubles at the opposite end of the ground as Rathdowne registered a goal on the rebound.

Wildcats best on ground Shane Kilgower chopped off defender Tim Dimarco’s errant kick to steady his side and keep them in touch on the scoreboard, 17 points the margin.

It was followed by the side’s third for the term after coach Chris Pettitt’s tackle on the half-back flank set up Matt Sholz, who combined with Luke Anedda and Griffin who drilled the ball into Ben Johnson to goal.

But, as they had done at will in the opening half, the Dogs capitalised on the turnover; Milham combined with Mitch Bennett to score ahead of half-time to make it, 8.5 (53) to 5.7 (37).

The third term belonged to City’s Nick Grainger.

Grainger was everywhere, and such was his dominance Pettitt rotated three different opponents on the playmaker.

However Grainger could not be contained, nor teammate Josh Barbetti who hunted the ball around the pack and hurt the Wildcats for their errors.

Schuback added to his tally in the third along with Bennett, while at the other end of the ground Griffin registered his second with the margin seven goals at the final change.

Two quick goals to kick off the final term had Woodside up and about; Kilgower and Kerr were working hard to reel the margin in however inaccuracy in front of goal proved costly.

Schuback added his seventh from 11 scoring shots, before swinging around on his deadly accurate left foot to set up Mitch Evans from 15 metres out.

Evans had a second before the ball had returned to the centre square, and an infringement by a Wildcats defender saw the ball again in Evans hands, this time from 20 metres out directly in front.

From that point the match was dusted.

Late majors to the Wildcats chipped away at the deficit however the damage had already been done.

Rathdowne found plenty of the ball, Shay Ferguson was instrumental down back and made an impact when pushing forward, while Brad Flealy was dogged in and around the contests.

Woodside’s Kilgower never gave up and was well supported by Ryan Foat, Ben Johnson and Sholz.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Parkes United progress after thriller against Bathurst Souths

16/11/2018 // by admin

Amy Thornberry (goal-keeper) was outstanding for United, keeping Souths scoreless in the one-on-one shootout last Saturday.Photo: Renee Powell 0814Whock_8411Parkes United are one step away from a grand final berth after defeating Bathurst Souths in thrilling circumstances at Stephen Davies Field last Saturday.
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In a match that went down to the wire including 70 minutes of regular hockey, 15 minutes of sudden death golden goal and a penalty shoot out required to determine the winner, Parkes held their nerve the better to earn a meeting with Lithgow Panthers this weekend.

Amy Thornberry starred for United again, saving a number of shots, a penalty stroke and keeping Souths scoreless in the shootout.

Parkes took the field well-prepared with an excellent warm-up and were raring to go when the whistle blew.

Play was exceptionally intense with both sides playing their best matches of the season.

In an extremely physical encounter, which both sides played in very good spirits, United created the first chance when a Louise Hawken shot flew just wide of the goal.

Parkes’ defence against the threatening Souths attack was exceptional, led by the determined tackling of Codie Wakefield.

Excellent attacking play by Parkes mid-way through the half saw Cass Hodges get a great shot away which the Bathurst keeper just got a glove to which saw it deflect over the top of the goal mouth.

Thornberry was also called upon to make a number of quality saves to keep her team at nil-all as they headed to the half time break.

The tension began to rise as neither side could break through to score.

Parkes worked hard to gain a couple of penalty corners late in the second half, but were unable to capitalise on their chances.

At the end of regular time with the score at nil-all, the match immediately headed to 15 minutes of sudden death golden goal play.

Both sides were desperate to score and it looked likely that Bathurst would take the match when Jess Watterson created an open goal opportunity.

Watterson tomahawked her shot which looked certain to end the match before Sarah Melhuish went diving into the goal mouth to deflect the ball over the backline.

Inspired by Melhuish’s efforts, Parkes dug deep and held Souths out to see the match move on to a one-on-one penalty shootout.

Players have eight seconds to run from the 25 yard line in a one-on-one play with the keeper.

Thornberry proved why she is considered the best keeper in the Premier League by keeping a clean sheet.

She denied both Sarah and Jess Watterson their shots and then saved a penalty stroke after a stick-check on Kate Dooley in her shot on goal.

With Thornberry brilliant in goals, Parkes only needed three of their shooters to score which Wendy Rix, Louise Hawken and Niamh Dixon did with great poise and skill.

Thornberry proved a popular choice as Players’ Player after a brilliant match.

Coach Aaron Huppatz was ecstatic with the victory.

“It was our best game of hockey for the year,” he said.

“It was our best overall team performance.

“I was very happy with our structure, we controlled the ball a lot better this week and didn’t turn it over while our trapping was excellent.

“This win was a great confidence builder and has united the girls.

“We didn’t have a bad player.

“Amy Thornberry showed true class today and amazing composure under pressure.

“It was one of our best defensive performances. as our defenders worked overtime and tackled well all game,” he said.

Huppatz identified his Best and Fairest players as Wendy Rix who was very strong and consistent and dominated the left side.

Bec Cowling put in another consistent performance and was able to inject herself into attack well.

Codie Wakefield was the stand-out defensive performance while Sarah Melhuish did a mile of yards in the middle of the field.

While these players received special recognition, everyone did their job and worked hard for their team-mates.

Parkes will travel to Lithgow this Saturday to take on Lithgow Panthers after their shock 2-0 loss to Bathurst City.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Gundagai winger injured as Tigers savage Tumbarumba

16/11/2018 // by admin

GUNDAGAI winger Luke Ebneter’s most successful day for the Tigers turned sour yesterday when he suffered a suspected neck injury at Tumbarumba Showground.
Nanjing Night Net

Ebneter, who joined Gundagai from Queensland this year, scored three slashing tries before he was hurt in the 54th minute of the game.

Amid serious concern, Ebneter was transferred to hospital by ambulance for tests and treatment.

Gundagai captain-coach Cameron Woo last night was waiting for an update on Ebneter’s condition.

“I understand he was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure,” Wood said.

“Obviously risks can’t be taken with a next injury.”

For Ebneter, the worrying neck problem came after he scored three tries as Gundagai thrashed Tumbarumba 48-18 yesterday.

Ebneter scored tries in the 10th and 32nd minutes as the Tigers swept to a 24-10 lead at half-time.

Again the winger struck for a try in the 43rd minute, only for his fortune’s to be soured minutes later.

Play was halted for 40 minutes as Ebneter was kept comfortable on the field and later transferred by ambulance to hospital.

“The game finished at five o’clock,” Woo said.

For Woo, yesterday’s dramatic success was not the perfect precursor to a massive showdown with Young at Anzac Park on Sunday.

The duel between the Tigers and Cherrypickers in the hills will decide which of the teams finishes third on the table – and secures a second chance in the finals.

Significantly, a loss for Young could have a savage impact, possibly sending the team crashing to fifth and into a Wagga elimination final clash with Kangaroos.

Woo, however, is not getting carried away with the Tigers last-season burst of form.

“They (Young) beat us pretty convincingly early in the season,” Woo said.

As the Tigers wait for news on Ebneter’s injury, Woo said centre Mat Rose and props Brett Eccleston and Trent Skeers would be available for the upcoming dice with Young.

“It’ll certainly be good to have some depth in the front row,” he said.

“This will be a tough game.”

Ebneter’s three-try haul made him an obvious choice as one of Gundagai’s best yesterday, but fullback Dane O’Hehir and hooker James Luff also won acclaim.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comprehensive win sees Parkes United to face Lithgow Panthers

16/11/2018 // by admin

Hamish Orr was jubilant after scoring Parkes United’s opening goal against Souths at Stephen Davies Field last Saturday. Photo: Renee Powell 0814Mhock_8462
Nanjing Night Net

A dominant second half has seen Parkes United men triumph over Bathurst Souths at Stephen Davies Field last Saturday.

While unable to convert all their chances in the first half, United came out firing in the second to run out convincing winners 4-1.

Jack Elliott’s second half hat-trick will now see Parkes travel to Lithgow to take on the Panthers who lost 2-1 to St Pat’s in Bathurst.

After enjoying the run of play from the outset, United opened the scoring with a good individual effort from Hamish Orr.

Parkes continued to threaten with Elliott hitting the post twice.

As the half progressed, Souths began to come to terms with the pace of the United attack which had become too direct and a bit narrow in their eagerness to add to the earlier goal.

Souths levelled the scores against the run of play after capitalising on an error at the back by United.

The ensuing arm wrestle saw neither side able to add to their tally before the break.

Despite the first half finishing with honours shared, United played a more expansive structure to dominate the second stanza and will carry that momentum forward into this Saturday’s clash.

Elliott cleaned up the scraps to put United ahead, slotting the ball into the net after a rebound of the keeper’s pads.

His second goal came after some excellent work down the left before Elliott ran the ball along the backline and slipped it past the keeper for 3-1.

A drag flick from a penalty corner was the icing on the cake for Elliott’s hat-trick and for United to end Souths’ season.

Captain Kieren Deland was happy with his side’s second half.

“We were clinical in the second half and it showed on the scoreboard,” Deland said.

“We probably got a bit narrow in the first half and made it easier for Souths to defend.

“We made an effort to play wider after the break and we really hurt them that way.

“We had chances in the first half and could easily have gone to the break up three or four nil.

“As it was, one slip up and they were in and instead of being in total control of the match, we were in a real dogfight.

“The second half showed what we are capable of and we will need more of that next week.

“We knew whoever we play (St Pat’s or Panthers) it is going to be tough.

“We will travel to Lithgow next week knowing we will have to give it our all if we want to make it through to the grand final the week after.

“It’s going to be tough but we are up for it,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Short course sharks

16/11/2018 // by admin

The Traralgon Swimming Club won the state short course championships.SWIMMING
Nanjing Night Net

By samuel darroch

FOUR in every five Traralgon Swimming Club members posted personal best times at the Victorian Country Short Course Championships to help secure a seventh consecutive title in Shepparton recently.

After being pushed by Geelong last year, Traralgon almost doubled the rival club’s score in a landslide points victory, 2080 to 990 with Warrnambool in third on 709.

Traralgon’s 59 strong team secured 32 gold, 18 silver and 16 bronze medals at the meet, with 13 year-old Lauren Akers leading the way with a personal haul of seven gold.

“Last year we took a team which was challenged for the whole meet by Geelong and we came away with a strong but narrow victory,” senior head coach Brian Ford said.

“This year the team included a large contingent of our junior swimming talent and together with the experienced swimmers came away with a dominant performance having over 80 per cent of swims being best times.

“It was an outstanding team performance.”

Caydence Bezzina and Thomas Hamilton broke out of Gippsland records, along with Molly Cargill who set two new marks and eclipsed a 20 year-old Courtney Ford record by more than three seconds in the girls eight and under butterfly.

Mikaela Cornelissen (6), Locke DeGaris (5), Emily Beecroft (4), Caiden Gill (3), Melina DeCort (3) and Harliai Curthoys-Davies (2) were the other multiple gold medallists.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.