The Blues prepare for history-making first Shield game in Mackay

“We don’t really know what to expect. But it’s a new challenge”: Nic Maddinson of the Blues. Photo: Getty Images The NSW Blues will make history on Sunday as they take on the Queensland Bulls in Mackay, the first time a Shield game will be held in the regional town.
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Newly appointed captain Nic Maddinson said the Mackay pitch was an unknown prospect, which makes the game that much more exciting.

“We don’t really know what to expect,” he said. “But it’s a new challenge.”

Maddinson has taken over the captaincy after Moises Henriques was ruled out with an injury to his left calf. The 23-year old is coming off a century against the Bulls in their last game and is relishing the chance to lead the team out for the first time.

“Noticing how the game develops and then being the one in charge is a new challenge, but one I’m looking forward to,” he said.

Daniel Hughes has been called up for the match after making a staggering 300 in the Futures League. Hughes said it was a “very good feeling” to be back in the team.

“I’m very excited to get up to Queensland and get my spot,” he said. “It’s nice to know that I’ve earned my way back in the team just on my runs, and I’m very excited and can’t wait to get up there.”

Hughes is the leading run scorer in Grade cricket, which led to his recall to the first team. Despite scoring 300, he doesn’t think he’s at his best form just yet.

“I won’t say I’m hitting the ball that well,” he said. “But I’m just mentally in a good spot. I just don’t want to get out. It’s not like I’m going out there and dominating the bowling. I’m just going out there and wanting to bat long periods of time and not wanting to get out.”

Maddinson said Hughes’ had deserved his call up as he “had scored a lot of big scores” in the Futures League and in Grade cricket.

“It’s good to see Hughesy really put his hand up,” he said. “Apart from making a hundred, he went on to make three hundred, and I guess at the end of the day that’s what you’re looking for when you’re trying to make a Shield team.”

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Premier League’s T20 return

THE top teams in the five team Premier League are within a win of one another heading into the second half of the season beginning on Saturday. (JAN 9)
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The Premier League returns from the Christmas break with a full day of T20 Summers Cup and four of the five teams in contention for next month’s T20 final

The Rail victory over Oak Flats in the two-dayer before Christmas left the Razorbacks just 12 points behind the Rats in the premiership ladder.

Second-placed Lake Illawarra are just five points behind the Rats, while third-placed Kookas are only two points behind Lakers in a congested table.

Kiama are fifth, but batted well in the second day against Lakers and skipper Nathan Barr believes his side will play improve in the second half of the season.

The Lakers dominated day one, dismissing Kiama for only 88, and pushed on from 6/188 to declare at 8/246.

Kiama batted well in their second dig and finished 2/149, with Mark Brockman unbeaten on 77.

Kookas and Oak Flats lead the T20 competition with two wins from three games but only Kiama is out of contention for the final on Sunday February 7.

In Saturday’s T20 matches, The Rail host Kiama at Croome Road (10am), followed by Lakers taking on Kiama at 1pm.

In the third match at Croome Road, the Rail host Lake Illawarra (4pm), while Oak Flats take on Kookas at Geoff Shaw Oval (4pm).

Premiership ladder: Oak Flats 59, Lakers 54, Kookas 52, The Rail 47, Kiama 22.

T20 ladder: Kookas 15, Oak Flats 15, Lakers 8, The Rail 8. Kiama 2.

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New Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga plans private chat with Paul Gallen

Time for a chat: New Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga plans to meet with Paul Gallen. Photo: Kate GeraghtyIncoming Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga says he will book in a time to sit down with Blues skipper Paul Gallen to make sure there is no tension between the pair.
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Meninga has caused Gallen and the Blues so much pain over the past decade but Meninga doesn’t believe that he needs to clear the air with the NSW captain. Gallen has been the No.1 enemy in Queensland eyes and would have figured strongly in many a Meninga team talk.

“I want to talk to Paul because I value his opinion on the game,” he said. “There are no issues to sort out. I’ve been in the players’ shoes before – once you are playing for Australia you are unified.”

Gallen said the appointment of Meninga was a smart move.

“He is a legend of the game and he has been a huge success at everything he has done,” said Gallen, who has met Meninga a few times with their common friend Ricky Stuart providing the introduction.

“I want to play for Australia again,” Gallen said. “I’ve been really disappointed that injury and ASADA has kept me out of it on the last two occasions and it hurt watching us lose. I’ve always been proud of my contribution at the national level … I think I’ve played in two losing games and I want to make sure that if I warrant selection, I get to go out in a way that I am proud of. All this talk about teams being split by Origin, we get on just fine in camp. It’s all media talk.”

Wise choice: Blues captain Paul Gallen says Meninga is ”a legend of the game.”

The good news for Gallen is that Meninga doesn’t believe in succession planning – which was at the core of Tim Sheens’ thinking.

“Age is not a factor, players will be selected on merit,” he said.

Meninga set the pace in so many ways as a player and coach and now he’s doing things differently when it comes to management. He’s signed up with Sony – who now have a sports arm. “I haven’t signed up with them because I can sing,” he laughed. “Unless they were looking for a ‘worst-ever singers’ album – I could get a start on that.”

He has been guided by Denis Handlin, the highly respected and long-time CEO of Sony in Australia and New Zealand. After a decade as a Queensland Origin mentor, Handlin and Meninga got talking at a lunch after this year’s series and Meninga signed on to Parade Sports.

“Mal is the perfect person to launch this part of the business with,” Handlin told this column. “His reputation is unrivalled and he has been a success at every level of his sport. He is an inspirational person. Now that he is moving to Sydney we have a number of things planned for him. There is the opportunity for him to become involved in the media and we will have some talks there …

“I think there is the potential for money-can’t-buy experiences with Mal. We are also thinking of events around him and potentially involving him with some events where he will be involved with some of our Sony artists,” Handlin said.

Bill’s back on air

There is no prouder Victorian than Bill Lawry and there are few more deeply connected with Australian cricket than the legendary Nine commentator. So when he says the Boxing Day Test should be considered for night matches, it’s worth listening.

Lawry will return to the Nine commentary team on December 26 and he will be calling for the first time at the MCG since his great mate Richie Benaud passed away.

“It will be sad. I’ll look at his chair and of course I’ll miss him,” Lawry said. “We spent so much time together and had so many good times. I miss Greigy [Tony Greig], too. He must have reminded me of our 4-0 loss to South Africa 88 times.

“We had some pretty hot-headed guys when we started the commentary and Richie was always there to keep us all in line. Greigy always had an opinion and so does Ian Chappell, and Richie knew how to handle everyone. Plus no one handled situations better than him in a calling sense. There will never be anyone like him again and that’s not disrespectful to anyone I work with.

“I often catch up with Keith Stackpole and we talk about how lucky we were to be involved. But I’m so excited to be back. How could you not be for the MCG Test? It’s like the grand final of cricket.”

Lawry will also call the Sydney Test this year in a huge boost for viewers. He watched the pink-ball Test with great interest. He says it has revived this summer.

Proud Victorian: Bill Lawry will return to the Channel Nine commentary team for the Boxing Day Test. Photo: Ken Irwin

“I think that it’s here to stay,” he said. “The fans loved it, the revenue it generated, the TV audience – and we saw wickets fall. We got 37 wickets in three days. We were praying for wickets in the other Tests.

“When you see the crowds or the lack of them in some places overseas you realise you have to move with the times. It’s a competitive market and you can’t stand still. I understand the tradition of the Melbourne Test, but I don’t think that you can rule that out of the night Test equation. You have to look at that … I’m not sure that it will happen in my lifetime but it would be spectacular.

“The place would be packed and I know all of the tradition, but the way the game is going now you need to examine every area of it.”

Johns praise

Andrew Johns says Cowboys hero Johnathan Thurston has the game and durability to play on for another four seasons and it is “just a matter of time” until he becomes an Immortal. Thurston has two years on his deal but expect discussion to start about an extension in coming weeks. And with a new TV deal locked in, Thurston, 32, has the opportunity to make the kind of money that would dwarf his earlier contracts.

“I think Johnathan could play until his mid to late 30s,” said Johns. “Playing to 36 or 37 is not beyond him. His game does not rely on speed – he has so many other qualities. He has amazing durability and his fitness is just incredible. The only reason he couldn’t play until he is older than that is because of the way he gets so heavily involved in the game.”

Plaintiff Carney

This column has seen the Sharks’ defence as they try to fend off Todd Carney’s $3million claim for wrongful dismissal.

They are saying he brought the game into disrepute and breached his playing contract in doing so. They are also dishing out previous incidents that Carney was in trouble for at the club. They relate to an incident in Brisbane and turning up to training in a non fit and proper state.

The Sharks will also attempt to lodge a cross-claim saying that Carney’s behaviour cost them sponsors. This flies directly in the face of evidence that Carney’s management has, which shows the Sharks secured a new sponsor the day after the Carney drama. In fact, the Sharks say their sponsorship has been strong since that time even when you take into account the entire ASADA drama which had a far bigger prospect of damaging the club on that front.

Further meetings with Carney’s management regarding the case are expected this week. Carney has managed to put all of this to one side and focus on his latest challenge in France. He spent a large chunk of the off-season in Bali where he holidayed with Wade Graham before returning to Sydney to train.

Fresh NRL deal

Fratelli Fresh in Bridge Street was the location of choice for the NRL’s club bosses when it came time to celebrate their successful negotiation with John Grant.

They still need to formalise the agreement and they want to alter the constitution in case down the track they are stuck with a chairman they really don’t like. They want some wriggle room in case they get stuck with a loose cannon.

Despite the deal getting done there is still angst towards Grant. The clubs were of the view that he was being stubborn for the first three of four hours of the meeting for no good reason and that in the end he only came through with a deal because he was informed that clubs were signing up for an EGM.

There is also ill feeling towards Grant from the clubs because he was drawn on a line about responsible spending by the clubs. The view was that he didn’t express strong faith in the clubs to spend the money the right way. Time will tell.

Tiger troubles

Marty Taupau’s decision to leave the Tigers mid-contract was never fully explored because his deal was leaked by a Canadian theatre critic. That became the story, instead of his need to get out. You ask players why Taupau left and the whispered answer is that he didn’t want to be coached by Jason Taylor.

At a media conference he was asked if being coached by Taylor was an issue. He gave a long answer about how he and Taylor are mates and that he will do anything for the man. There was no reference to how great it was being coached by Taylor.

Taylor-made?: Martin Taupau has decided to leave the Tigers mid-contract. Photo: Ben Rushton

My information is he didn’t like the way he was being played, didn’t like the position he was playing and the gluten free diet that the players were on at the club. He laughed off my line of questioning. “There’s no bad blood,” he said. “Only respect.” And I asked the strongest man in the game if he was still avoiding gluten. “I eat whatever … I eat food,” he said.

Then there is the man most likely or at least best-credentialed to be the Tigers leader – Aaron Woods. There are rumblings he isn’t happy but again, when I suggested that, he waxed lyrical about how great the club is. If Woods is unhappy the Tigers are in real trouble. With Robbie Farah no longer the club’s centrepiece he is their heart and soul and he must be on the same page as Taylor.

Working on SBW

David Gyngell, the former Nine boss and potential Australian Rugby League commissioner or chairman in waiting is in the shape of his life. So much so that he was spotted training with his good mate Sonny Bill Williams before SBW left for the Dubai Sevens and his mission to visit children in refugee camps in Lebanon.

No doubt Gyngell’s relationship with SBW will be a significant factor as the Roosters try and bring him back to the game. SBW has enormous regard for Gyngell and the man who brought him back to the NRL, Nick Politis.

It’s his personal relationship with those men that will talk louder than any dollars that the Roosters will be able to throw his way. What is certain is that no NRL team will be able to match the dollars that French rugby will be able to toss at SBW. He does have a real desire to settle in Sydney in the long term and that works in league’s favour.

Swift reaction

Taylor Swift has a broad appeal — how else could you explain the wide range of sports stars and officials who were among the 76,000 at ANZ Stadium last weekend?

Greg Inglis and his wife Sally flew back from holidays to catch Tay Tay and they were in a box with Swans star Kieran Jack. Fox Sports presenter Matt Shirvington was dancing along with his wife and kids and Dave Smith was there with his family.

■ Danny Weidler is a Nine reporter.

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Rams blitz with ball against Panthers

SEDGWICK inflicted a horror day with the bat upon Marong in their Emu Valley Cricket Association match on Saturday.
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The Panthers had no players score in double figures as they were all out in the 34thover for just 59 in reply to the Rams’ 223 at Club Court.

WELL BOWLED: Sedgwick’s Jordan Ilsley helped the Rams rip through Marong for just 59 in the first innings on Saturday. Ilsely claimed 3-10 off 14 overs. Picture: DARREN HOWE

The Panthers’ top score was eight from Darren Tonkin, with the side losing wickets with the score on 8, 20, 23, 23, 28, 32, 36, 44, 44 and 59.

Lucas Baldwin (4-20 off six) was the leading wicket-taker for the Rams, while opening bowler Jordan Ilsley returned the tight figures of 3-10 off 14 overs, including nine maidens.

After their dismal showing in the first innings, the Panthers fared much better in their second, reaching 4-164 off 45 overs, having only lost one wicket by the time they had passed their total from their first dig.

Having started the season 0-2, Sedgwick has now won two in a row.

• A Matt Giri century helped Mandurang out of early danger against Emu Creek.

Chasing the Emus’ 198, the Rangas started the day under the pump at 2-4.

Marong’s Nick Ede

However, 135 from Giri ensured the reigning premiers retained their unbeaten record as they compiled 259.

Giri –who came in with the score at 3-27 -was at his entertaining best in scoring 96 of his runs in boundaries after belting 24 fours during his 144-ball stay at the crease.

Giri was well supported by Matt Pask (44 off 50, eight fours).

Giri and Pask added 112 for the fifth wicket, lifting the score from 4-76 to 188.

Simon Marwood (4-54 off 16) was the leading wicket-taker for the Emus, while he also took the catch to remove Giri off Khan Birtles (2-37).

• Spring Gully made its highest score for three seasons in blasting 7-347 in reply to Maiden Gully’s 195.

The Crows had four players notch half-centuries in the strong batting performance –Geoff West (75), Jarrod Quirk (74 n.o.), Darcy Geyer (58) and Des Gilmore (58).

While the final margin was a 152-run win to the Crows, the game had been in the balance when Spring Gully was 5-97.

Josh Sheehan (4-41) took four of Maiden Gully’s seven wickets.

• Axe Creek finished well short in its pursuit of United’s 6-406.

The Cowboys were all out for 183 to lose by a margin of 223 runs for the second game in a row.

Joel Bish (43) top-scored for the Cowboys, while Kieran Nihill (3-44) and Andrew Duguid (3-62) took three wickets each for the Tigers.

• No West Bendigo v Golden Gully details were supplied by 10am deadline.

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A calling to help the bereaved

Funeral directors Rose Beeston and Clare Barratt do not regard what they do as a ‘‘job’’ but more a calling, helping families say goodbye.Picture: SCOTT GELSTON
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Funeral directors Rose Beeston and Clare Barratt do not regard what they do as a ‘‘job’’ but more a calling, helping families say goodbye. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

For Clare Barratt and Rose Beeston it does.

The Foley Funerals directors are four and three years into their positions, having attained the milestone of 300 funerals each.

There is no doubt that many could not do what they do and that it takes a certain type of person to spend the hardest, most difficult moments of someone’s life with them just hours or days after they lose a loved one.

However, the women do not regard what they do as a ‘‘job’’ but more a calling, helping families say goodbye.

They tread a fine line of compassion, understanding, respect, support – yet also knowing when to step back and purely guide the family through their last moments with their loved one.

It is a sense that they have developed and honed.

‘‘Some families and some individuals will allow you to become close – different degrees of closeness – and some don’t, and we respect that and we gauge what we can say and what kind of contact we can have,’’ Ms Beeston said.

‘‘Fairly quickly you’re able to ascertain what type of distance needs to be had, whether they’re close people, they’re huggy-feely people or they need that space.

‘‘And that’s OK. We understand that’s OK for them and everyone is different.

‘‘And hopefully, and I’m fairly confident, we get it right.’’

For both women, starting work at the funeral parlour was a step in a new direction and they essentially learnt on the job.

They have no real set times – people die all the time and a call at 4am or 4pm is par for course.

From the moment they are contacted, they will go and collect the body, clean, dress and prepare it, keeping in constant contact with family regarding what clothes the deceased will wear, how they like their hair or make-up, and organise the funeral arrangements of who will conduct it, where, when and how that person wants to be remembered.

They are there before, during and after the service, even making a cup of tea or handing around sandwiches at the wake.

The women say most people have left some instructions on what they would like to happen at their funeral – whether it be nothing at all, which is not too uncommon in Launceston, just a simple service or something on a larger scale.

Some request a particular song or songs be played – a popular request is My Way – or maybe a coloured coffin in a favourite sporting team or for items to adorn it while at the service.

One recent service saw a keen gardener’s coffin adorned with produce from his own garden, as well as some well-used tools.

Items can also be buried or cremated with the deceased, from guitars to blankets or soft toys – all but possessions that could cause an explosion.

For both women, looking after the funeral arrangements of a child or young person is by far the hardest.

Ms Barrett said they were certainly moved by services, the music and the family members they met.

‘‘We debrief a lot,’’ Ms Beeston said.

‘‘We have an amazing relationship, I think.

‘‘To be able to debrief with each other and those who work here is really important – that would be our coping mechanism as we talk through a lot of things.’’

Ms Barratt said: ‘‘Whilst we do become involved in the lives of people, we don’t take the weight of the world upon our shoulders.

‘‘We invest our lives into the life of each funeral but I think we have a good ability, a good balance, to say ‘don’t take this on board’.’’

Having both experienced recent deaths in their own families, they are certainly attuned to those who are grieving.

So while death is a part of life, you must always look on the bright side – something that, they say, is so important.

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New strategy to tackle ice

FRONTLINE drug and alcoholtreatmentservices in Ballarat will have more access to funding for their work under a Federal Government shift in stamping out drug demand.
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled his government’s National Ice Taskforce report on Sunday. The result isa significant shift away from hardline law-and-order to a rolling four-year strategy of improved treatment, aftercare, prevention, support and community awareness.

The Federal Government will spend more than $300 million implementing the new strategy to tackle ice addiction. Funding allocation will be managed by the nation’s 31 Primary Health Networks to best suit individual regionneeds.

This follows a similar Federal Government move for more targeted and timely regional service in a mental health shake-up within the past fortnight.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network Jason Trethowan said there had already been fantastic planning in Ballarat on drug and alcohol services but, he said these too would agree more needed to be done.

“We’re about ensuring the best decisions are made so Ballarat can have something close to what it needs,” Mr Trethowan said.“There are already terrific innovative models that wouldn’t be reaching their best potential, most likely due to a lack of funding, and while we must be particular about funding allocation, we’re really looking for innovation.”

Mr Trethowan said WVPHN would work closely with active services, general practitioners and consultants who have already made extensive research into the region’s services to ensure there was no doubling-up and to best integrate with existing models.

Federal minister for rural healthFiona Nash, who is also responsible for drug and alcohol policy, said that after “significant investment” in policing borders and streets to combat ice supply, work was needed to “reduce demand” for the drug.

Almost $25 million will be set aside to arm families and communities with resources, information and support when ice issues emerge. A key priorityof the plan will ensure that “indigenous-specific” and “culturally appropriate” mainstream treatment services are more widely available.

The action plan also includes significant investment in rural and regional areas, where the taskforce found specialist treatment services were few to non-existent.

Former Victoria Police commissioner Ken Lay, who has led the taskforce set up in April last year, has been clear in his view that primary prevention, rather than law enforcement, is a better response to a social issue like ice.- with Sun-Herald

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Unbeaten Cougars firing in T20 defence

ILLAWARRA Twenty20 champions Corrimal clinched a spot in next month’s semi-finals and remain unbeaten in all forms after beating Balgownie at Judy Masters Oval on Saturday.
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The Cougars defended 8-170, though Bally (8/159) were always a threat led by skipper Jamie Fleming’s 60 which included six sixes.

Corrimal’s top order set up their third straight T20 victory, with skipper Joe McDevitt (54) top-scoring and well-supported by his brother Tom McDevitt (35) and Kurtis Trindall (28).

Cooper Tym (2-18), Michael Toussis (2-11) and Fleming (2-29) bowled well, while Brandon Brown claimed one of the best catches seen at Judy Masters with a diving grab on the boundary to dismiss Trindall.

Despite the loss Bally are second behind the unbeaten Corrimal in Pool B, with a double-header final roundon January 9 remaining.

Joe McDevitt was rapt with his side’s performance, particularly his top order.

‘‘We posted a really good score and the top order hasn’t always fired for us but did the job today,’’ McDevitt said.

‘‘We’re undefeated in all forms heading into Christmas andyou have to be happy with that.’’

Also in Pool B, Northern Districts (2/101) remain in the T20 semi-final race after an eight wicket win over Wests Illawarra (7-100).

Wests batted first with Matt Calder (23) top-scoring but Norths reached the target in the 16th over. Jake Reynolds (33no) and skipper Matt Salakas (26no) top-scored.

Meanwhile, Port Kembla (8/132) made it two wins in Pool A with a one run thriller against University (8/131).

Chris Lewis slammed 56 off 30 balls for Port, while Michael Waldren took 4-28 for Uni.

The Students needed 14 off the last over and managed two boundaries but also scored just one run off the last two balls to finish one run short.

Vijay Karthik (47) top-scored, while Jason Ralston took 2-24 for Port who with two wins from three games are in T20 semi-final contention, but winless Uni are out.

In Pool A, Keira made it two wins from three games after thrashing win-less Wollongong at Keira Oval.

The Lions bludgeoned 5/181, led by Kieren Richards’ 45, Neel Honavar (44) and Nick Theodossiadis (41).

Wollongong were bowled out for 109, with Wesley Van Kempen taking 4-12 and Matt Scavarelli 3-14.

Finally, Helensburgh remain unbeaten leaders in Pool B after a six wicket win over Dapto at Reed Park.

The home side made 7/132, led by Chris Georgiou’s unbeaten 33, while Luke Falkiner took 2-16.

Mitch McCrae anchored the Burgh to victory with a fine 75, as the visitors won with two balls to spare.

Captain’s knock: Joe McDevitt made a half century as the T20 champions beat Balgownie to book a spot in this season’s semi-finals.

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Hives to up serve for open

ZOE Hives will play for a place in the Australian Open.
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CHAMP: Kingston tennis star Zoe Hives hopes to a make a mark when she fights for a wildcard spot in the Australian Open.

Hives has been granted a berth in the Open wildcard play-off at Melbourne Park from Monday, December 14.

This is a massive boost for the Kingston19-year-old tennis player, who is on the comeback trail after a knee injury.

Hives has played just the one full-scale tournament in recent months.

Hives played atthe Victorian Hardcourt Championships after recovering from aminor tear in her right patella while playing in the United States in August.

She reached the hardcourt semi-finals at Mt Waverley on Thursday.

Hives, who took the opportunity while away from the game to complete her VCE as well as undergoing an extensive rehabilitation program, said it had been great to be back on court playing tournament tennis again.

She told The Courier that she had pulled up “pretty sore” after the hardcourts, in which she spent more than three hours on court in the one day playing back-to-back quarter and semi-finals.

“It was tough, but the more I play the better it’ll be.”

Hives said she would spend most of the next week playing practice sets as she worked to regain her match sense.

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Five charged after home invasions and drug seizures

FOUR men and a woman were arrested on Friday and were due to face court Saturday, following investigations into separate incidents within the Mid North Coast Local Area Command.
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About 5.30am Friday, police were called to Shelley Beach Road, Port Macquarie, following reports of a home invasion.

Outside the home, officers from Mid North Coast Local Area Command arrested a 37-year-old man. A 47-year-old man was later arrested nearby.

Both men were taken to Port Macquarie Police Station where they were each charged with aggravated break, enter and commit serious indictable offence.

They were both refused bail and were due to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court Saturday.

About 2.45pm Friday, officers from Mid North Coast Local Area Command attended a home on Jellico Street, Macksville, following reports that a man wanted on warrants was inside the home.

As police arrived, a man allegedly ran from the home. He was pursued on foot and arrested on Sturdee Street, nearby. A woman was also arrested at the home.

Following their arrest, police conducted a search upon the home, where they located an amount of drugs believed to by methylamphetamine (‘Ice’), and other items. All items were seized and will undergo forensic examinations.

The 26-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were taken to Macksville Police Station.

The man was charged with five outstanding warrants, drive unlicensed (x2), use unregistered vehicle, good in custody, and resist police. The woman was charged with supply prohibited drug, possess prohibited drug, possess rescripted restricted substance (x2), and goods in custody (x4).

They were both refused bail and were due to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court Saturday.

About 4pm Saturday, officers from Mid North Coast Local Area Command with the assistance of officers from the State Protection Support Unit, attended a home on Milton Barnett Street, West Kempsey.

A perimeter was established as a precaution, before an occupant, a 19-year-old man, surrendered to police and was arrested.

Following his arrest, officers executed a search warrant at the home, and upon another home on Cochrane Street, West Kempsey. At the homes police found a number of items, believed to have been stolen, which were seized and will undergo forensic examinations.

The man was taken to Kempsey Police Station where he was charged with armed with intent (x2), malicious damage, assault (x2), intimidation, and possess unregistered firearm. He was refused bail and was due to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court Saturday.

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Give the gift of Cowra for Christmas

Cowra Tourism Information Officer Andrew Grinter with a variety of Christmas HampersWith Christmas just around the corner and the festive season fast approaching, Cowra Tourism has prepared a great range of Christmas Hampers for sale at the Cowra Information and Visitor Centre, providing a great gift option for family and colleagues.
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Packed with Cowra’s regional wine and produce, the Christmas hampers showcase the region’s vibrancy and what the community has to offer.

The hampers are a great option as thank you gifts for business clients, valued members of staff, family and friends or even just as a personal treat this Christmas season!

With a variety of hampers ranging from $40 – $70, there is something for everyone.

And if you can’t find one that is right for you, Cowra Tourism are happy to customise a hamper to suit your needs.

Just pop in to the team at the Visitor Centre to see the great range of hampers on offer and to receive any assistance you may need in choosing the perfect gift.

The team at the Visitor Centre also encourage people to join them for a glass of bubbly this festive season as they extend their trading hours on Thursday December 17 and Tuesday, December 22 until 8pm for late night Christmas shopping.

Should you be interested in purchasing the Christmas hampers or any other retail stock, visit the team at the Visitor Centre or contact them on 6342 4333 for further details.

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