Hamilton and Casterton take out titles

Casterton celebrates winning the Warrnambool Colts Country division two title. 090109DW72 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE”That allowed Brandon to set up good fields.”The coach and captain agreed the standard of country week had dropped slightly.”There’s still three or four very classy players in each side but I think the competition fell away a little bit,” Forsyth said. “It wasn’t as strong as the last couple of years.”In other division one matches, South West’s week went from bad to worse as the reigning premier went down to runner-up Warrnambool Red.Jyles Lebler contributed 65 runs to Red’s total of 168.South West managed just 98.Horsham Blue thrashed Wimmera Mallee by 85 runs while Grassmere defeated Portland by 34 runs.Casterton was the mouse that roared in division two, edging out Warrnambool to claim a second title.Coach Terry Ough said it was a special achievement for the Casterton and District Cricket Association, which was made up of just six senior and two junior teams.”That’s why this week is just a wonderful week for them,” he said.”A lot of the boys that come up also play senior cricket.”Casterton beat Wimmera-Mallee yesterday to finish with four wins and one loss, the same record as Warrnambool. It finished on 44.35 points, with Warrnambool accumulating 41.66.The winning association was well led by captain Callum Currie, who added to its bonus points tally when he made 106 in just 13 overs during a second innings against South West on Tuesday.He also scored a brilliant 87 yesterday.
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Aggression drives leader: Kane to race hard for tri-city rounds

Darren Kane won’t be holding back at Premier.NATIONAL Super Sedan Series leader Darren Kane yesterday pledged an aggressive racing outlook for the tri-city rounds, which culminate at Premier Speedway tomorrow night.The 40-year-old Ipswich driver has a buffer of more than 100 points on his nearest rival Wayne Brims after four rounds but isn’t falling for the tactical mental trap of defending his advantage.”I’m just going to treat it like I did the first three rounds . . . try to win the round,” Kane said.”I just don’t want to be protective of the series lead because that’s when it goes belly up. My dad always taught me when you race a car you race as hard as you can. If you are protective all the time the aggressors will pass you.”Kane attributes his success to the quality of equipment produced by his Ipswich employer, Boettcher Race Parts.The Dominator bar chassis, powered by a 362ci Ford Windsor engine, carried him to third in the opening round at Brisbane International Speedway, followed by runaway victories at Rockhampton in round two and Toowoomba in round three – as well as setting new track records.”It’s an unbelievable car,” Kane said.”It’s a new design that we built in-house. It’s a lot lighter than the one we had last year.”The car runs a Mazda RX8 body, in keeping with the extended business interests of team owner Ian Boettcher, who also runs a Mazda, Nissan and VW dealership in Ipswich.An engine vibration cut the team’s night short in round four at Dubbo but with leading series contenders Brims and Mick Nicola also failing to reach the feature it wasn’t a costly DNF for Kane.The series pacemaker and other contracted drivers face a demanding east coast loop with rounds at Hamilton last night, Mount Gambier tonight and Allansford tomorrow.With super sedans absent from Premier Speedway for several years, Kane said the track shaped as a neutral venue.”I’ve heard it’s a very good track – very fast and grippy,” he said.”We don’t go to a lot of tracks where we can pass a lot.”Kane, formerly of Tasmania, has a strong speedway pedigree across 22 seasons of racing.He is a three-time Tasmanian champion, 2004 Australian champion and the reigning Queensland champion.Gates open tomorrow at 4pm, with racing from 6pm.
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Jones skims surface: Top effort at states

Isaac Jones set a new personal benchmark at the Victorian titles with six medals.081030AM32 Picture: ANGELA MILNEWARRNAMBOOL Swimming Club surged back up the competitive standings at the Victorian Age Championships this week in Melbourne.Head coach Jayson Lamb yesterday praised the team of 12 swimmers who represented the club at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.He said it was the best performance in his four years as coach.Led by Isaac Jones, who won the 13 years age champion award with six medals, Warrnambool finished 21st out of 101 clubs on the points aggregate.”I’m really pleased with it,” Lamb said.”The kids performed really well with medals, national qualifying times and PBs.”Isaac set a new personal benchmark at the titles with silver medals in 200-metre butterfly, 100-metre backstroke and bronze medals in 200-metre backstroke, 100-metre butterfly and 100 and 200-metre freestyle.He also produced six national age qualifying times.Dylan Lee, of Terang, claimed his first state age medal by finishing third in the 13 years 100-metre backstroke.He set a personal best time in the process, as well as a national qualifying time.Others to reach finals were Jordan Logan (15 years 100m backstroke), Will Shepherd (14 years 100m & 200m butterfly), Matthew Logan (18 years 200m breaststroke, 200m backstroke) and Brittney Berger (13 years 200m backstroke). Jordan and Will also set national qualifying times.Kayla Spicer set a national qualifying time for 13 years 50-metre freestyle, swimming the first leg of a relay.The national age championships are held in April.
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Gig of the week

Known for his deadpan delivery anddark humour, British comedianJimmy Carrbrings his Funny Business showto Civic Theatre Newcastle on Sunday. Startsat 8pm and bookingsthrough Ticketek.
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Party pics: January 21, 2016photos

Party pics: January 21, 2016 Lin Hilder, of Sydney, and Karen Hilder, of Cooks Hill, with Matt and Natalie Hilder, both of Speers Point.
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Laura Muir and Jane Austin, both of Sydney.

Sharon, Ashley and Adam Brewster, all of Thornton.

Hannah Petersen and Lucy Almond, both of East Maitland.

Emily Allanson, of Raymond Terrace, with Alyssa and Julie-Ann Andrews, both of Wallalong.

Janelle and Amy Baker, of Elermore Vale.

Joran, Brooke, and Alyce van der Velde, all of Newcastle.

Jodie and Mali Jenkins, of Sydney.

Justine, Bradley and Sonya Beers, all of Sydney.

Olivia and Angela Blanch, of Wallsend.

TweetFacebookPictures: Max Mason-Hubers

Olivia and Angela Blanch, of Wallsend.

Justine, Bradley and Sonya Beers, all of Sydney.

Jodie and Mali Jenkins, of Sydney.

Lin Hilder, of Sydney, and Karen Hilder, of Cooks Hill, with Matt and Natalie Hilder, both of Speers Point.

Joran, Brooke and Alyce van der Velde, all of Newcastle.

Janelle and Amy Baker, of Elermore Vale.

Emily Allanson, of Raymond Terrace, with Alyssa and Julie-Ann Andrews, both of Wallalong.

Hannah Petersen and Lucy Almond, both of East Maitland.

Sharon, Ashley and Adam Brewster, all of Thornton.

Laura Muir and Jane Austin, both of Sydney.

Search begins for young fan with homemade Lionel Messi Argentina shirt

Ultimate fan: A young boy is pictured in a hand-made Leo Messi shirt. Photo: TwitterA viral social media campaign is underway to find a young boy wearing a homemade Lionel Messi top, with rumours that the superstar himself wishes to present the child with a real one.
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The unidentified boy was photographed wearing a blue and white plastic bag improvised to perfectly reflect Argentina’s national team strip – with the name of his idol and the number 10 written across its back.

The image first appeared on Turkish fan blogs, with the child said to be from the war-torn region of Dohuk in Iraq.

A Tweet from Juez Central read: “Tremendous image. A child in Iraq manages to play in his idol’s t-shirt. The Beautiful Game”. Tremenda imagen. Un niño en Irak se las ingenia para jugar con la camiseta de su ídolo. The Beautiful Game. pic.twitter杭州夜网/O7iMtX1bhe— Juez Central (@Juezcentral) January 16, 2016

As the search to track down the child goes on, Messi has yet to publicly acknowledge that he has seen the picture via any of his official accounts, however one of Twitter’s most popular fan-run accounts with almost 700,000 followers, @messi10stats, tweeted that they had received a direct message from “Leo’s team” who are looking to track him down. We got DM from Leo’s team. They want to know who this kid is so that Leo can arrange something for him. RT & spread https://t.co/MylJyDOpsu— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) January 18, 2016

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

CFA saves hay bales

QUICK thinking by more than 25 firefighters at Mepunga West yesterday saved more than 270 round hay bales after a fire broke out in the stack. About 30 bales were destroyed in the blaze which flared up moments after CFA crews arrived to inspect a small fire in the roughly 300-bale haystack at a property on Chambers Road. The blaze, which was believed to have been caused by spontaneous combustion, came three days after 120 round bales were destroyed in a similar fire at Naringal.Hopkins-Curdies Group fire officer Kelvin Boyle said volunteers from Allansford, Cudgee, Mepunga, Naringal and Nullawarre were called to the property at 11.11am. “This one started off as an inspection and as we were inspecting, it actually blew up in front of our faces,” he said. Mr Boyle said it was extremely lucky the fire did not engulf a line of cypress trees above the haystack. Four front-end loaders moved in to break apart the stack and an excavator buried the burning bales before fire crews cleared the scene at 3.30pm.
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Police tow stranded sailors back to shore

TWO stranded sailors drifting in heavy swells more than 160 kilometres off Portland have arrived safely in Apollo Bay.A water police rescue vessel found the stricken yacht about 9.15pm on Friday, before commencing the long journey back to shore. The two men aboard the twin-mast ketch yacht, which police said had a broken mast support and damage to a rudder, was believed to have been sailing from Adelaide to Strachan, in Tasmania, when it broke down. The sailors raised the alarm about 8.30am on Friday after their 10-metre craft came to a halt about 70 nautical miles (130 kilometres) off King Island. The sailors had adequate supplies and safety equipment but problems with their radio hampered the efforts to find them.Police attached tow lines to the yacht at 9.40pm and estimated they would arrive at Apollo Bay about 10am on Saturday.They were delayed by four-metre swells and 18 to 20 knot (37 kmh) winds.The two boats arrived at Apollo Bay about midday on Saturday.
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Petrolheads feel need for speed

Keith Hards (left) and Barry Fitzgerald jump from the start line. 090118SB06Picture: STEVEN BROADLEY Darran Edwards (right) outruns the Operation Drag Right police car in his HT Monaro. 090118SB12 Keith Hards (left) and Barry Fitzgerald jump from the start line. 090118SB06Picture: STEVEN BROADLEY Darran Edwards (right) outruns the Operation Drag Right police car in his HT Monaro. 090118SB12
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IT may have looked like an extreme take on Liebig Street on Saturday nights but yesterday drag racing at Warrnambool airport was all legal.Even two police cars and city Mayor Michael Neoh joined in the action.About 300 people gathered for the Warrnambool and District Drag Racing Association’s first competition of the year.The smell of burning rubber was ripe, as hooded-up Toranas, Falcon utes, tiny Mitsubishi Lancers and motorbikes tested how fast they could drive the eighth of a mile (200 metres).Cr Neoh praised the event’s organisers.”It’s great,” he said after being a passenger in a joy ride.”It is a real different experience than driving on the road. You feel like you are almost taking off in the air.”I urge any young person who wants to drag to join the club because it is conducted in a safe and controlled manner.”Members of Operation Drag Right — a community motorsport program run by volunteer police officers — was eager to see how its late model Falcon sedan and ute would fare.Group president Inspector Tim Peperkamp said hoon drivers gave drag racers a bad name.”They cause clubs like Warrnambool a lot of angst because everyone gets labelled as idiots,” Inspector Peperkamp said.”But that’s not the case. “Drag racing is an internationally recognised sport with professional drag racers. It’s a lot better to join a drag racing club, learn how to do it properly and in a controlled environment, than going out onto the street and getting your car confiscated.”The event was one of three set for this year. Association president Darryl Porter said it was one of the biggest competitions the club hosted.”We’re really pleased. Our last event in November was a washout and we couldn’t reschedule.”The club hopes to build a permanent track beside the airport’s runway. Currently it uses the western end of the strip.A proposal will be submitted to Warrnambool City Council, which owns the airport, in March.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Blocks sell at auction

AUCTIONEERS enjoyed a successful day on Saturday when they sold two rural properties.A 70-acre outpaddock on Heath Road, Cashmore, 20 kilometres west of Portland, was sold for $210,000.Nick Adamson, of Elders, said bidding opened at $190,000, rose to $200,000 with a vendor’s bid before being sold to a neighbouring farmer for $210,000 after a further advance.At Princetown, a Scotts Creek buyer snapped up a 14-acre block of land on Buruppa Road with Gellibrand River frontage.Auctioneer David Falk said the property was sold for $50,000 after spirited bidding from three parties.Mr Falk said bidding for the block opened at $30,000. He said bidding then rose in $5000 advances to $45,000 before a flurry of $1000 bids took it to the selling price.
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Tatnell’s World Series crown is a Classic boost

Brooke Tatnell 050101DW51 Brooke Tatnell 050101DW51
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BROOKE Tatnell’s quest for a third The Standard Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic received a filip on Saturday night when he clinched a record-equalling seventh World Series Sprintcars crown.Tatnell finished seventh behind Kerry Madsen in Saturday night’s WSS final at Parramatta City Raceway but it was enough to close out the championship.Robbie Farr was second in the series while another seven-time WSS winner Max Dumesny was third.Dumesny was involved in a thrilling duel with his son Mitchell for second position for a large part of the final but couldn’t find a way around the protege, finishing the final in third. Madsen, Farr, Tatnell and Dumesny will headline the Australian contingent’s bid to upstage a host of Americans in the Classic at Allansford’s Premier Speedway this Saturday and Sunday nights.Premier Speedway general manager David Mills yesterday announced the official inclusion of American Terry McCarl ahead of today’s entry deadline.McCarl is a welcome addition to the field, coming fresh from the weekend’s Famed Chili Bowl event in the United States. McCarl, who also co-promotes the Front Row Challenge and Ultimate Challenge at Oskaloosa as a part of the Southern Iowa Speedweek, is returning after an eight-year absence from the Classic.His maiden Classic tilt in 2001 was unsuccessful. Ballarat driver Rod Matthews has hired McCarl to take the wheel of his car for the event. One of his former crewmen Glen Beaton also crewed for McCarl and suggested the exciting McCarl for a Classic seat.”We first and foremost wanted to put someone in the car that would give us our best chance of making the show and then giving it a real shake, whilst all the time learning from one of the best in the business,” Matthews said.Mills said club officials were delighted to have McCarl in the field.”Terry McCarl is a massive inclusion into the Classic,” he said. “He brings a fair bit of colour and personality to the show and I am hoping we can lock him in as guest at the Classic breakfast as well.”Another Victorian car owner, Colin Bulmer, is frantically preparing cars for American Shane Stewart, who has finished second and third in recent Classic attempts.”We have been flat out getting all of our gear together in readiness for Shane’s arrival,” Bulmer said.”With two new cars at his disposal we are hoping we have left nothing to chance so that we can give Shane every opportunity to stand atop the podium at the end of the weekend.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.