Monthly Archives: August 2018

Hot weather set to continue

Lorenzo, 2, and Alessio Coniglio, 4, take advantage of the sunny weather and soaring temperatures on Nobbys Beach. Picture: Ryan OslandIT IS hard to think of a better way to nurse those post-grand-final weekend headaches than with a day off with perfect beach weather.
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And that’s exactly what Novocastrians are being treated on the October-long-weekend Monday.

Newcastle can expect a high of 33 degrees on Monday, an early start to summer-like conditions following on from Sunday’s high of 34.

Meteorologist Anthony Cornelius from Weatherwatch says those conditions are likely to continue until Tuesday for Newcastle, and even longer the further west and north.

‘‘Tuesday will have more of a sea breeze so it might be a little bit cooler,’’ he said.

‘‘But if you live in the Upper Hunter you’re not going to feel that at all.’’

Water temperatures are about 18 degrees, with a smallish swell, light winds and clear water.

Parents are urged to make sure to warn the kids to watch out for the blue bottles still lurking on the high tide line.

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Merewether forced to fight

Merewether’s Pat Darwen on strike against Charlestown at Kahibah Oval on Saturday. Picture: Ryan OslandWITH pacemen Mark Cameron and Sam Gilmour regularly ripping through opposition line-ups, Pat Darwen admits he and the other slow bowlers at Merewether have not had to do too much as the club has powered to four consecutive premierships.
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But not this season.

Part-time off-spinner Darwen chimed in with the last wicket as Merewether scrapped to a last-over, six-run victory against Charlestown at Kahibah Oval on Saturday to start their Newcastle district cricket title defence.

On a slow and low pitch, Merewether were all out for 185 in 48 overs.

Charlestown were always within sight of victory and needed six off the last over with two wickets in hand.

But skipper Simon Moore ran out Max Magann off the first ball before Darwen had Isaac Wallace caught by Tim O’Neill off the next.

Darwen said the grinding win was a “great way to start the season”, especially given the absence of Cameron (work) for most games before the Christmas break and Gilmour (knee) for the whole campaign.

“I think it will be by far the hardest year for us to defend the title,” Darwen said.

“We’ve been brought back to the field a bit and we’re going to have to grind out victories a lot more and just find ways to win.

“The other teams have become stronger through their own junior development and we’re obviously missing a few guys. It’s definitely going to be a tough season, but we’re up for the challenge.

“It was a good team effort on Saturday and great to see.

“It’s what we’re looking for, because we will all need to contribute to get the wins.”

Hamish Bartlett (40), Josh Geary (36) and Moore (34) led the way with the bat for Merewether. Chris Connors (41), Daniel Arms (35) and Chris Rendina (38) did likewise for Charlestown, who were missing skipper Dane Macourt (hip injury).

Macourt said loose shots at key moments and wayward bowling cost his side and Merewether still loomed as the team to beat this season.

“We got it down to six an over and young Isaac hit a six to relieve some pressure, but in the end we didn’t have enough wickets in hand,” he said.

“They bowled pretty well at the end. They slowed the game down and obviously controlled it and slowed our momentum. We should have won but discipline and the little things let us down.

“There were a few loose shots when we were about to get on top and we bowled 21 wides and they only bowled seven, so those little things we need to work and improve on for next week.”

He said the performance of off-spinner Colby Gallagher (5-44) on debut after a move from Wyong was a positive for his side.

Cardiff-Boolaroo and Hamilton-Wickham went to the top of the table with bonus-point wins over Wests and Toronto respectively.

Former West Australian quick Danny McLauchlan took 3-12 off 10 overs on debut for Cardiff as they rolled Wests for 105 at Harker Oval. Ben Evans (35 not out) then steered the CBs to 4-106 in 27 overs.

Hamwicks also earned two bonus points, scoring 7-220 then dismissing Toronto for 86 in 24.4 overs at Ron Hill Oval. Matt Webber top-scored for Hamwicks with 53 then took 4-15. Former NSW Country paceman Andrew Maher took his 3-27 in his return game for Hamwicks, while Nathan Hudson was the hosts’ best with 4-38.

Jeff Goninan was unbeaten on 83 to guide Stockton-Raymond Terrace to a four-wicket win over Wallsend at Lynn Oval. Wallsend scored 9-230 with Jake Montgomery (52) as their best and Stockton reached 6-235 in 47.5 overs.

Frankie Walsh was the hero for Newcastle City as they beat a Luke Blackaby-inspired Waratah-Mayfield with two balls and wickets to spare at Learmonth Park.

Blackaby scored 105 and Walsh took 3-30 as Waratah reached 9-212. Walsh then hit an unbeaten 44 off 51 balls and Blackaby snared 4-19 off 10 overs as City made 8-213.

At Waratah Oval, an unbeaten 94 from Mark Littlewood was not enough for Belmont as they fell 14 runs short of University.

Luke Bird made 92 as Uni scored 9-243. Belmont were 5-229 at the end of their 50 overs.

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Domestic violence perpetrators use smartphones to stalk and intimidate

WEAPON: Partners and ex-partners use smartphones to stalk and intimidate in domestic violence situations.Smartphones are the new weapon of choice for abusive partners in the growing domestic violence epidemic.
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Domestic violence offenders are using smartphone applications and social media to stalk their victims.

The trend towards cyber bullying, harassment and stalking has increased in domestic violence cases in the Hunter, but the issue is a nationwide problem.

Leading online safety expert and Children’s e-Safety Commissioner, Alastair MacGibbon, said the federal government would soon resource his team to help educate families on ­technology-facilitated abuse.

“There are families where the partner is physically abusive, but there are also cases where the partner might be tracking a mobile or following their partner on social media to facilitate the abuse,” he said.

“It is quite prevalent in domestic violence cases, it definitely occurs more often than not.”

Mr McGibbon said there were two main ways abusive partners used technology as a weapon.

The first was the use of social media, such as Facebook, to track a partner’s whereabouts, or to gain information to use in ­psychological abuse.

This is also a threat to people who leave an abusive relationship, because often the ex-partner will use social media to stalk a them, their children, or find out about any new partners.

The other method is the use of location settings on smartphones.

Abusive partners can use simple applications, such as Find My iPhone, to track the exact location of their partner or ex-partner.

“Smartphones provide an interesting avenue for someone who is jealous and hateful,” he said.

“In the past, the husband or partner might look at the odometer on a car and question why they have driven so many kilometres and where they have been.

“Now they can track exactly where they are at any time.”

The solution to this form of cyber abuse is not as easy as switching off a mobile, or deleting a social media account.

For many victims of domestic and family violence it is difficult to flee the situation and they do not want to completely disconnect from their family and friends.

“We encounter this issue with cyber bullying and children too,” he said.

“People who are fleeing a ­situation, to make them leave their social networks will further affect them and isolate them.

“Rather than get offline, we want to teach them to be online, but be safe.”

The federal government with the eSafety commissioner will develop a resource package about online safety for women.The government will also provide up to 20,000 “clean phones” to domestic violence victims.

The mobile phones will allow victims to safely dispose of their old phone, block the perpetrator from contacting them and still have access to their support ­network.

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Memorial car show a cystic fibrosis family fundraiser

FUNDRAISER: Donna and Paul Stevens with a picture of Steven in his beloved Roosters jumper.Picture by STUART SCOTTA memorial Car Show fundraiser for Steven Stevens, the Woodberry man who lost a hard-fought battle with cystic fibrosis at the age of 31,will be held on Sunday, October 18 at Beresfield Bowling Club from 10.30am.
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The event will feature a ­muscle car and hot rod show and shine, jumping castle, airbrush tattoos, barefoot bungee races, dragster slide, raffles, a 1pm lunch and a performance from rock band Overload.

The fundraiser is just one of many events organised by Steven’s parents Paul and Donna, since their sonsuccumbed to the illness on March 1, 2014.

So far they have donated more than $15,000 to cystic fibrosis research.

The most recent event was a charity fun day at Hunter Valley Zoo in March this year.

“Steven was a great person – CF didn’t phase him, nothing got him down,” Mr Stevens told the Mercury earlier this year, speaking for the first time about his son’s death.

“He would go to hospital two to three times a year for two or three weeks at a time, battle an infection.

“Doctors would get him right, then he would come out and get on with his life.

“He did not blame anyone for his condition.”

Steven was a Woodberry Public School student and graduated year 12 at Francis Greenway High School.

Those wishing to attend the lunch at the Car Show need to RSVP by September 30 and pay the $20 before the day.

To RSVP phone Paul on0438 665 941.

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Flag worth the wait: Biggs

SUNDAY was a day 42 years in the making for the Benalla Football Club.
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For a club with a storied history such as Benalla, the road back to the top was far longer than anyone would have liked.

The Saints havebeen to hell and back since rejoining the Goulburn Valley Football League in 1997.

But after enduring heartbreak in the 2014 grand final, Sunday was the Saints’ day in the sun.

With the loyal Benalla fans going wild at the final siren, club president Bruce Biggs could be found handing out a stack of commemorative posters to anyone nearby.

Reflecting on the long overdue success, Biggs said the breakthrough premiership was a testament to everyone who had built the club up to where it now stands.

“We’re feeling pretty good right now,” Biggs said after the game.

“These players have put in three years of hard work, so it’s fantastic to see that pay off.

“At the end of the day it’s about the players and the town.

“For them, this is a really just reward.”

After so long in the Goulburn Valley wilderness, Biggs said it was time for the Saints to enjoy their well-deserved success.

“The amount of work that had to be done to get our club back the way it is here is just extraordinary,” he said.

“Our board has worked really hard to turn the club around.

“It’s not easy, it’s a pretty tough competition so it’s a fantastic feeling.”

With the thirds winningconsecutive premierships on Sunday also, Biggs said Benalla was becoming the footy factory it once was.

“You look at blokes like Daniel Maher and James Saker coaching Ovens and Murray sides, our junior program has been really good for a long time,” he said.

“We’ve got some great kids coming through, so the proof is in the pudding.

“You’d hope a guy like David Mennen gets a chance at a higher level as well.”

Premiership captain James Martinello was quick to pay tribute to the club’s supporters after the game.

“It means so much to this club after 42 years,” Martiniello said.

“So many people have done work behind the scenes to get us to where we are.

“The board, the supporters and the community have done so much for us so it’s great to get the job done.

“I think after today’s win we’ll get everyone back again for another crack next year.”

The Saints also pulled a clean sweep of the post game awards, with Sam Martyn and Josh Marchbank picking up the AFL Vic Country and Wilf Cox medals for best on ground respectively.

Will Martiniello won the player of the finals.

COP THAT: The third quarter was a bruising affair, with Josh Mellington copping plenty of heat from the Bombers after his collision with Sam Sheldon.

JUMP FOR JOY: Saints playing coach Luke Morgan was ecstatic after booting the second of his two goals, which effectively sealed the match for Benalla.

CLASS ABOVE: David Mennen was a valuable inclusion for the Saints, providing run and carry from the half back line. Pictures: MARK JESSER

LOUD AND PROUD: The Saints’ rendition of their theme song was as rousing as you’d expect, although coach Luke Morgan said they won’t rest with just one flag.

HOT FOOTY: The temperature was hot and so was the footy, with Benalla’s Nick Mellington keen to hold Kyabram’s Sam Smith in a tackle.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Benalla’s Mitch Exton provided some dash down the wing, and stood up when the going was tough in the third quarter.

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