Round 8 of twilight was another high scoring affair. Making it two on the trot for Macquarie Electrics, who were again the week’s best with 50 points.
They have player in Mandy Martin. The Others’ Sarah, Matt and Simon can be unpredictable. Now with their pre-game practice they will be tough nuts to beat. We now have equal leaders in Riverside Van Park, and Crack-n-plumbers on 13 points.
Sunday’s ambrose was played on a very heavy track, not much run and quick greens. The day’s best was 30nett by our captain Greg Matheson. Better than the average golfer Ozzie Smith as a team was just about perfect - one birdie and the rest were pars.
Closest to them was Sam Keating and Ali Morris with 31-62nett. A good effort in the conditions. Pin winner was Tony Lewis on the 21th, nobody got it on the 14th so it was jackpots.
There was a three-way tie in the mid-week game. In countback order the winners were: Di Donald, 2nd Jenny Holmes, 3rd Rhonda Holmes - 17 points was their score.
Dolly Ryan was the nearest to the pin winner.
The badge draw went again at $200.
Sam Keating had an unsuccessful go at the jackputt. A foot closer next week.
Saturday’s golf is a par and Sunday’s game is on the front nine.
The kids’ party is just around the corner on December 14.
Names on the sheet at the golf club please.
The NSW country racing community as well as those in Canberra have been left in mourning following the passing of picnic rider Samara Johnson on Sunday.
Johnson, 25, died at the scene of a single-vehicle crash near Junee.
NSW Police confirmed in a release the crash happened on Gundagai Road at Eurongilly, 21km south-east of Junee, just before 2:30pm.
It is understood the car left the road and smashed head-on into a tree before bursting into flames.
Johnson’s partner, licensed racehorse trainer Gary Kirkup, was critically injured in the accident and was airlifted to Canberra Hospital where he still remains with severe abdominal injuries.
The passing of Johnson is another tragic blow for the Canberra racing community, following the passing of track rider Riharna Thomson, also a close friend of Johnson’s, earlier in the year.
"It's been a tragic year for the club, Riharna and Samara were close friends and have mutual friends who still work in the industry, we're all devastated, it's been a really tough year," Canberra Racing boss Peter Stubbs said.
Johnson was a rising jockey at the picnics and had ridden 26 winners in the past two years, which included the Tomingley Cup in April when she rode eight-year-old mare As Easy As to a seventh win in 10 starts.
Her final ride in the saddle was in front of a bumper crowd at the recent Bong Bong Picnics while the young jockey’s last victory came in the Young Cup on October 7, a meeting in which she scored a winning double.
In September’s Picnic Championship Final at Dubbo Turf Club, Johnson finished fifth on Track Flash in front of another huge crowd.
Counselling support has been arranged by Racing NSW to help assist participants during this time.
Canberra-based racing chaplain, Bob Prior, visited the Canberra Race Club on Monday morning.
Grieving friends of Johnson can contact Racing NSW counsellor, David Goldman, on 1300 88 7724.
By Nick McGrath
Senior Group 10 and Group 11 sides will go head-to-head this year in the annual Western Rams representative cluster.
The region’s showpiece fixture was dumped in 2017 as both western groups formed under 23s sides to line-up with the Country Rugby League’s decision to hold an under 23s country championship.
Group 11 and Group 10 under 23s sides will still clash as Western looks to form a competitive Rams side to contest the country championship, but the day will round out with a open fixture as well in 2018, enabling the best players in both competitions to go head-to-head.
Heading into 2018, it’ll mean the likes of St Pat’s recruits Zac Merritt, Sam Dwyer and Brendon Tago, along with Tigers guns Josh Starling, Ben McAlpine and Tui Oloapu, CYMS stars Tom Satterthwaite and Joe Lasagavibau and Hawks coach Willie Heta will all potentially play in the same Group 10 side.
More player movement is expected in Group 11 between now and the start of next season but a potential side could feature the likes of CYMS stars Jyie Chapman, Kieran Cubby-Shipp, Alex Bonham and Jarryn Powyer while Forbes pair Jake Grace and Ben Maguire as well as Nyngan duo Jacob Neill and Reece Goldsmith would also be in contention.
Western regional manager Peter Clarke said the demand for rep footy from players over the age of 23 was still there, with the game to be used as a selection tool for a Western side to take on the Federation of Italia Rugby League Australia after the season.
“As tough as it is, they love playing and they want more after it,” Clarke said
“It’s fair to have a senior game … we’re still working out whether Castlereagh and Woodbridge will have teams though.”
The winner of that senior game will then earn the hosting rights for the Western premiers challenge, with the grand final winners of each competition to face off in September.
There was no open match this year due to the change to 23s but Group 11 is the reigning opens champion after winning the match in 2016.
In what was a dominant 38-18 victory to the Luke Thompson-captained Group 11 side, the smaller bodies and speed out wide made all the difference at Gilgandra’s McGrane Oval.
Under 23s players good enough to play an open level will be selected in the main game without hurting chances of country championship selection.
A Rams women’s team will contest a 13-a-side gala day on February 10 with selectors to then name a NSW country women’s side.
He’s one of the region’s most famous sporting exports and in a Daily Liberal exclusive Glenn McGrath talks about growing up in Narromine, international cricket, and everything in between.
A FAMILIAR ASHES PREDICTION
McGrath is one of a huge number of cricketers who have gone from regional and rural to the international arena. Another now making waves is Tamworth product Josh Hazlewood.
Hazelwood is part of the Australian side currently battling England in the Ashes and McGrath feels the biggest hurdle between Australia and a 5-0 whitewash is the second Test at Adelaide.
Narromine’s favourite has son has never been afraid to make a bold prediction prior to a series and after seeing Australia claim a 10-wicket win in the first Test at the Gabba his confident mood has not been affected.
“So if the Aussies can win this one and win well then I think it probably will end up being 5-0.
“In the end (of the first Test) the players all proved the selectors right and I think Australia can improve, more so with the bat, but if our bowlers can stay fit and play every Test then I think we can win 5-0, no doubt.”
With the second Test being played under day-night conditions with a pink ball, much more swing is expected and that should suit the English attack, led by Jimmy Anderson.
McGrath, like many others, was surprised by the slower pace of the Gabba pitch during the first Test at Brisbane but said the Australian bowling attack was “excellent” on a deck which offered little.
McGrath is as good as anyone to speak about the Australian attack, as he has still taken the most Test wickets of any fast bowler.
After starting out in the Test arena as a lanky 23-year-old, McGrath went on to play 124 Tests for his country while he was renowned as an Ashes specialist who tortured countless English batsmen.
Hazlewood, a bowler many have compared to McGrath, appeared to get better the more he bowled at the Gabba while Pat Cummins impressed in his first Test on Australian soil and Mitchell Starc showed plenty of glimpses of his devastating best.
“I was really happy with the way they bowled. They were excellent on a slow, wet deck and I like how they bowled to the tail,” McGrath said. “It was aggressive, short and intimidating and made it uncomfortable and England's tail didn't score many runs. The first three days were neck-and-neck and I thought the Aussies had bowled quite well and then we got the ascendancy late on day three. All in all, it was a really good win for the Aussies.” The Sydney Test runs from January 4-8 with Pink Day on day 3.