Jaden Ekert goal secures national hockey title for NSW Country

COOL UNDER PRESSURE: St Pat’s striker Jaden Ekert scored the winning goal for NSW Country in their Australian Country Hockey Championships gold medal match against Victoria. It came down to a penalty shoot-out to separate the rivals. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 061315ppats5ST Pat’s striker Jaden Ekert has scored more goals in his hockey career than he would care to count, but few shots havecarried the pressure that he was under on Saturday in the final of the Australian Country Hockey Championships in Wollongong.
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Ekert was the man who scored thepenalty which gave NSW Country the national title over Victoria, his successful attempt making it 4-2.

Having progressed through the pool games undefeated, and then dispatched Western Australia 3-2 in the semi-final, NSW Country went into the decider full of confidence.

The NSW side, which also included Bathurst’s Luke Thorncraft and Dylan Smith, had beaten Victoria 3-1 in the pool game and held the title of defending champions.

After 60 minutes of regulation time, however, neither side had scored.

“It was nil-all at full-time. We should have won it in normal time, but it is what it is. We went straight into a shoot-out, straight into pressure,” Ekert said.

Both teams missed their first attempt in the shoot-out and by the time Ekert stepped up to the mark, NSW Country were leading 3-2.

The equation for him was simple – score and his side wins, miss and it gives Victoria the chance to steal the gold medal.

“Mine was to win it, to win us the cup,” Ekert said.

“It was one-on-one style. I dragged to the left, jinked right and then flicked it around him [the Victorian goalkeeper]. I had a plan before I started and I wasn’t going to change it. I had a good idea of what I wanted to do.

“It was a pretty awesome feeling to score. The whole week came down to that, so it was pretty special.

“We went through the whole week undefeated, we didn’t drop a game. That’s three in a row now for NSW.”

Ekert has been involved with two of those title wins and this year finished as the third-leading scorer at the tournament with six goals.

As well as enjoying success as a player, Ekert found satisfaction on another front as he was also the NSW Country assistant coach.

“I think at the start of the week I was more, I guess, concentrating on coaching than playing,” he said.

“But then halfway through the week my focus switched to playing after we had a couple of injuries. I think it worked well that way.”

Thorncraft had a bonus from the tournament as well as he was later named in the Australian Country under 21s men side.

“Lukey, he played really well as an inside forward for NSW,” Ekert said.

“He had played a bit there for Pat’s and it helped having me as assistant coach. I was able to make some changes I knew about.

“Dylan was good too. He really held his own at left half and played really well for us.”

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Death risk

A senior Hamilton police officer has been left stunned by a woman’s drink driving behaviour.A drunk woman caught more than three times over the alcohollimit while driving on the wrong side of the road at 130km/h has been described as a fatality waiting to happen.
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Hamilton police highway patrol unit Sergeant Scott Williams said he couldn’t believe the woman had not killed other road users in her 320km trip.

Officers spotted the woman travelling west on the Glenelg Highway east of Coleraine at 2.30pm Monday.

“We detected a vehicle travelling at 130km/h on the wrong side of the road. The woman driverswerved violently back onto the correct side,” he said.

“We intercepted the carand found a heavily intoxicated 40-year-old woman from Hoppers Crossing. She had three five-litrecasks of wine in the car.”

Sergeant Williams said the woman returned an alcoholreading of .184 andwould be charged on summons with drink driving-related offences.

“In 28 years in the job it’s one of the worst examples of irresponsible driving I have seen,” Sergeant Williams said.

“She was incapable of having control over her vehicle. When she pulled over she fell out of her car.I can’t believe she didn’t cause a fatal accident – she could have killed a family.”

Sergeant Williams said the woman was also wanted for questioning over a reported burglary and theft.

He said after the woman left the police station, she booked into stay at a Hamilton hotel.It’s alleged that alcohol was stolen out of a fridge and a charity tin went missing from the hotel.

Sergeant Williams said police were in the process of viewingsecurity camera footage from the hotel.

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Country clubs have to benefit from AFL’s giant TV windfall

FOOTY has reacheda new level of corporate panache if the events of this week are any gauge.
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It has been commonplace in the past decade or so to read about television rights deals in figures unfathomable to the average fan.

The deal has come despitesome concern this year about fewer supporters at games.

But most would have been caught off-guard by the size of the latest deal –a $2.5billion bonanza that might have the naysayers thinking again when talking about soccer taking over in popularity.

It’s big money of the like not beforeseen in the Australian sporting landscape, but with it must come some obligations.

After all, football is nothing without its grassroots.

If the code cannot do little more than survive at clubs like those dotted right around the Border region then the future does not look bright.

Put simply, the AFL has to keep investing in the game, in both country and suburban leagues, if it doesn’t want to waste what is a truly golden opportunity.

Corowa’s Fred Longmire sums up this very argument perfectly. As he rightly points out, all that is humanly possibly should be done to prevent a chasm between the now substantial haves and the have nots.

He should know, being part of the Corowa-Rutherglen club that produced his son,former star North Melbourne player and current Sydney Swans coach John Longmire.

Mr Longmire does not begrudge the stunning deal secured by the AFL, clearly aware of the benefits of the league being a financial powerhouse.

It’s obviously far better than having nothing in the piggy bank at all and heis spot on in saying it is time that community clubs share in some of the benefits.

By doing so, the AFL will keep the sport front and centre with the next generation of fans, country league players and future stars.

The AFL should be given full marks for acknowledging that point, including a commitment it has made to fully investigate how some ofits financial windfall can end up with our hard-working clubs.

It remains to be seen if this does indeed translate to action on the ground, otherwise football and the country clubs that are the lifeblood of so many communities will be the losers.

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Wagga teen’s battle with brain tumour

BATTLING ON: Nikki Davis and her mother, Donna Davis, with photos, get well soon cards and MRI scans after her surgery in March. Picture: Laura Hardwick Wagga teenager Nikki Davis’s worldwas shaken when the cause of herheadaches was revealed to be a brain tumour.
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Her self diagnosis of dry eyes from running her own photography business was so far removed from what was revealed on scans at Wagga Base Hospital in March.

Miss Davis, 19, had beensuffering from daily headaches, nausea, vomiting and blurred vision for about six months.

She visited Wagga Base Hospital on numerous occasions but their remedies only lasted a few days at a time.

A chance encounter with an inquisitive medical student revealed a seven centimetre tumour on her brain.

“I just cried,” she said.

“This type of thing happens in movies, it doesn’t happen in real life.”

She was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney that night and had surgery a few days later.

Surgeons were only able to remove part of Miss Davis’s tumour because it iswrapped around the part of her brain that controls movement.

She lost all movement in the left side of her body and has had intense physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy to regain function.

“It was such an emotional time,” she said.

“I’m not living like a normal teenager.”

It has been almost six months andMiss Davis stillrequires intense physiotherapy and regular MRI scans to track the growth of the tumour.

She has been helped by regular visits from her best friend, Djarra Vincent, both in Sydney after surgery and in Wagga as she recovers.

“She was by my side through it all, from the moment I found out, she was there, she came to Sydney, and was there for all my triumphs and all the tears,” she said.

Another friend, Shannon Sunderland, visited Miss Davis after her surgery in Sydney.

“I just broke down, I didn’t know how to take it,” Miss Sunderland, 20, said.

Amazed by her friend’s strength and filled with a need to help her out, Miss Sunderland has set up a Go Fund Me account to raise money for ongoing medical expenses.

You can donate by visiting 梧桐夜网gofundme南京夜网/3m223dec.

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Gregory Hills soon home to service ‘one-stop shop’

A ”one-stop shop” for government services will soon be found in Gregory Hills.
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The Baird governmentconfirmed today that work will shortly start on a new location in the growing suburb.

The existing motor registries at Narellan, Campbelltown and Ingleburn will merge with the new Macarthur Service Centre and the Liverpool Service Centre, NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet announced this morning.

It would act as a hub for several government departments.

”These popular service one-stop shops, located in high growth population corridors, allow customers to undertake multiple government transactions in the one place, offer extended hours, better customer service, shorter waiting times and currently have a satisfaction rating of 98 per cent,” the statement from Mr Perrottet said.

Minister Perrottet said a new “digital store” will be launched in Campbelltown to support the Gregory Hills centre.

“The new Macarthur Service Centre is due to open later in the year and will provide high capacity driver testing facilities with at least 1000 customers expected a day. It will join the Liverpool Service Centre, currently the largest in the State, which is consistently offering quality services to customers with strong satisfaction scores,” he said.

”Customers can access more than 800 transactions through Service NSW with more services available online, backed by new one-stop shops and a 24/7 phone service.”

Mr Perrottet said the NSW Government was committed to reducing duplicated shopfronts which only offer services from one government agency, such as local motor registries, as they cannot deliver the new model of customer service.

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Gloria takes all the bowling glory

NAMBUCCA Women’s Bowling Club president Margaret Lawrence is seen here congratulating Gloria Richardson who is the Mid North Coast Singles Champion of Champions.
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Gloria defeated Judy Monks of Park Beach Women’s Bowling Club in a thrilling match at Urunga.

Spectators were witness to precision bowling from both girlswith the lead see-sawing and the game going into the last end with the score 23-all. Gloria was holding one shot with Judy having one bowl to play.

Judy got the jack out but it left Gloria with two shots to take the contest 25-23.

Congratulations to both girls on your wondeful bowling.

The winners of last Tuesday’s Laverty’s sponsored day were Mary Silvia, Kath Kellond and Myra McKay, runners-up Sandra Hamblion, Lyn Hartman and Janet Poletti.

Thursday’s Major Minor Pairs saw Elaine Fleming and Val Miles defeat Margaret Lawrence and Pat Peterson; Manor Smith and Pat Fletcher defeat Lyn Hartman and Arlene Duffus; Sue Newman and Kath Kellond defeated Bev Jones and Colleen Katen.

Saturday’s Major Minor Pairs saw Ava Power and Gloria Richardson defeat Michelle Fredericks and Joy Nicholas.

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National hockey call up for Chilwell

Boyup Brook’s Angela Chilwell with teammates Isabella Suleski and Renee Rockliffe.
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AFTER a stellar performance at the School Sport Australia 16 Years and Under Hockey Championship in August, Boyup Brook’s Angela Chilwell has been named in the Australian Schoolgirls hockey team to travel to South Africa in June 2016.

The not-yet-16 year old scored two goals in the week long championship in which Western Australia finished fourth.

Playing at the Perth Hockey Stadium, Chilwell said, “It was awesome to play in front of a home crowd. It made the game a lot easier feeding off the crowd’s encouragement.”

In preparation for the Championship, Chilwell focused on her personal fitness, nutrition requirements and skills, along with training every Sunday morning and Wednesday night and playing in occasional scratch matches.

Currently a Year 10 boarder at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, balancing her school work, club hockey, state hockey and other commitments (including a school rowing team) was a challenge.

“I made sure whenever I had spare time I would get work done to keep on top,” she said.

This meant late nights, early mornings and even turning downsocialoutings with her boarding mates to be at her best for trials and scratchmatches – a real tribute to her dedication.

But it was all worth it.

“It was one of the most enjoyable hockey tournaments, I loved every second of it,” Chilwell said.

Chilwell joins two of her Western Australian teammates, Isabella Suleski and Renee Rockliffe in the eighteen-girl national team. When her name was announced, the teenager squealed with her teammates and found herself holding back tears of happiness.

Mum, Ros Chilwell was also quite emotional as she witnessed the announcement, but overwhelmed with absolute pride and excitement, especially asWAhad not done as well in the event as they would have liked.

“It was also agreat sense of prideto our community, asa lot of Angela’s attributes have evolved fromwonderful role models coming through the Boyup Junior and Women’s teams, and she will always be very proud of that,” she said.

As the 2015 recipient of the Shire of Boyup Brook’s Young Achiever of the Year, Chilwell continues to demonstrate the qualities which earned her this title and with her whole-hearted commitment and work ethic, she is destined to achieve great results.

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Magnificent quilts at Hazelhurst take on a life of their own

Intricate art form: A quilt vista called Under the Canopy. Picture: Bard HaerlandA WOMAN who has exhibited her work all over the world admits to transforming quilting and textile art from a hobby to a passion.
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Kay Haerland will soon share her passion with others by showcasing some of her extensive work at Hazelhurst Art Gallery, Gymea.

“I hope my talk will inspire and entice others to explore new approaches and areas,” she said.

Haerland has won many titles including the best quilt in Australia title in 2010.

She exhibits in Australia and internationally, recently in France.

“My own textile art history is in its 30th year, from a modest start with hand sewing in the US, where we lived for 20 years before moving to Australia in 2002,” Haerland said.

“I now do mostly machine work, with elements of hand sewing.”

Some of her grand work has taken eight months or more to complete.

The gallery will feature an extensive exhibit with more than 30 quilts called Evolution, Change, Challenge — a Contemporary Quilt from August 28 to September 9.

The Quilters Guild of NSW has organised the event.

Haerland will give a talk and show-case some of her work at 11am on Saturday, September 5, at the gallery, at 782 Kingsway, Gymea (8536 5700).

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Junior rugby league club asked to fork out $455,000 to help Sutherland Shire Council fix flooding at Scylla Oval, Como

Clubhouse’s flood woes
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Re “Council votes on compromise for flooded sports rooms: ball in club’s court” (Leader, August 11).

It’s hard to believe that the council could expect a club run by volunteers to raise such a large amount of cash.

Why do they need to prepare more plans? The plans for the building have already been completed, and what has the council done with the developer contributions?


The council has been ducking this problem for years, everyone in the area knows and all past and present councillors know it!

As the council is a public office, please share with the community the balance of section 94 contributions. From information available about that, $455,000 would not even be a dent in the fund.

For the past 70 years the club has been being ignored by the council, despite repeated attempts to have council take responsibility for this dangerous and hazardous situation.

Fed Up

I think more action from the council is required in stopping the flooding issue. No just turning a blind eye and saying “don’t go there”.

It’s a bit hard for fundraising activities when most time is spent cleaning and mopping out a decrepit clubhouse.


How is a small rugby league club going to come up with $455,000? It would take about 20 years to raise this money.

This problem needs to be fixed now.


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Country road beckons for Bayliss

COUNTRY KID: Bathurst City striker Casey Bayliss was named in the open Australian Country women’s side after impressing for NSW Country at the national titles. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 062015pcity9SHE was initially only named as a shadow player for New South Wales Country, but when Bathurst striker Casey Bayliss was promoted to the starting side for the Australian Country Hockey Championships in Wollongong, she took her chance.
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Not only did she win a bronze medal with her NSW team-mates and finish as the tournament’s second highest goal-scorer, but she did enough to get picked in the open Australian Country team named at the conclusion of the titles.

And Bayliss did all that while battling a head cold.

“Honestly no, I wasn’t surprised to get picked. I think I had a reasonably good tournament and I was happy with how I played given I was crook the whole week,” she said. “I had some mad fever sweats out there on the field. I always seem to get sick when I go away to play hockey.”

Bayliss’ team-mates in the NSW Country side included her Bathurst City club-mate Kelly Baker and Souths duo Sarah Watterson and Maddy Boyce.

Watterson and Baker impressed enough over the course of the tournament to be named in the under 21s Australian Country team.

“Kelly Baker was playing in her first state team and she was nervous the whole weekend. She was playing out of position too, they played her as a striker and she is normally in the half line. She was awesome,” Bayliss said. “She is something else that girl, she is going places.

“Sarah Watto, she just had a phenomenal tournament. She played really well and I actually haven’t seen her play that well in a long time.”

After going down to Queensland Country in the gold medal match at the 2014 national titles, this year Bayliss and her NSW Country team-mates were keen to go one better.

But while they did get their chance to play Queensland in a medal match on Saturday, bronze rather than gold was on offer to the victors.

NSW missed their chance to play for a national title after losing their semi-final 3-2 to Western Australia in a shoot-out, while Queensland lost the other qualifier to eventual gold medallists Victoria.

“It is always upsetting to lose any game, let alone a major final in a shoot-out, but it is what it is,” Bayliss said.

“We beat Western Australia 5-1 in our second game, but they are a team that starts quite weak and just gets stronger towards the end of the tournament.

“After that our goal was to make sure Queensland went home with nothing. It felt pretty good we were able to do that.”

NSW opened scoring in the bronze medal match then went 2-0 up early in the second half. Queensland did manage to pull one goal back, but it came in the final minute.

“I actually think it is really good for hockey in Victoria and Western Australia to get a shot at the gold medal game, it always seems to be New South Wales and Queensland,” Bayliss said.

“It was great to get another shot at Queensland. They were the only side that had beaten us during the week.”

While Bayliss did not score in the Queensland match, she did nab a hat-trick in the pool game against Western Australia. She finished the tournament with five successful strikes.

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