Night net

Giant killers pose threat to Twin City

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TWIN City star Zac Betts says his side will not be underestimating Melrose FC in tonight’s semi-final at Myrtleford.
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The clubs clash in an intriguing cup final qualifier under lights at Savoy Park, with the winner to face either Albury United or St Patrick’s in next week’s cup final.

While the Wanderers have lost just once in their past four encounters against Josh Fluss’ side, Betts said Melrose had been a giant killer in the second half of the season.

Seventh-placed Melrose beat second-placed Myrtleford 3-1 last week, while Twin City had a comfortable 3-0 win against Albury Hotspurs.

“They were struggling to make finals not too long ago and now they are in the semi-finals,” Betts, 20, said.

“You have to watch teams like that.

“You don’t want to be over-confident against a team that knocked off Myrtleford like that.

“We’ve been playing pretty good.

“It’s a big game and we are pretty confident going in.

“As long as we play our own game we should be all right.”

Twin City enters the finals as one of the form teams, having lost just one of its past six games, while Melrose has won three of its past four.

The Wanderers won the last clash with Melrose, winning 5-3 in round 14.

Striker Betts, who scored against Spurs last week, said while the Wanderers were disappointed not to win the championship, the club already rated the season a success.

“The cup is the one you want to win,” he said.

“It would have been good to win the championship as well.

“Where we are now, if you had said that at the start of the season I’m sure we would have taken that.”

Wanderers star Zac Betts.

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Night net

Aerial attacks not so black and white

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I ALWAYS thought cyclists who wore cable-tie spikes on their helmets to ward off swooping birds were a) unfashionable and b) overreacting.
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That’s until I, too, fell victim to the Magpie Mafia and learnt post-traumatic stress can do strange things to you.

Cable ties, tennis rackets, even a cricket bat to the noggin — those birds deserve whatever they get in my humble opinion.

In fact I would even question if this whole “protecting their young ones” defence is actually a ruse to fulfil a sadistic blood lust.

My innocence was shattered during a morning run this week through Albury’s’ Mungabareena Reserve.

Shortly before a small white car had driven into the park and stopped.

I decided to turn around instead of doing my normal loop around the reserve, just in case the driver, clearly strange enough to hang out in their vehicle in a remote location mid-week, also turned out to be a murderer.

Little was I to know the real threat was to come from the sky.

BAM! It hit me hard and suddenly on the side of the head.

I saw a black and white flash out of the corner of my eye and could hear my attacker flapping as it prepared to line me up again.

As I began running away I could feel something hot and sticky running down my face.


The next few minutes are a bit of a blur but my boyfriend has since informed me I left a 20 second voicemail message on his phone as I attempted to reach him.

He can clearly hear my crying as I stumbled along the dusty road, pondering if I should call an ambulance.

Eventually he answered and I began blubbering about being attacked, alarming him greatly because it took me a while to get out the crucial “by a magpie”.

He rushed to my aid, finding me on the side of the road with blood matted in my hair, dripping onto my face, dotting my top and smeared across my phone screen.

At home, a medical examination revealed three horrific gashes to my scalp. Though others, perhaps more accurately, described them as “little scratches”.

So why would the bird attack me from the safety of is lofty nest when I clearly don’t have the athletic ability to climb a large gum tree?

And what sort of example is it setting for their young impressional fledglings?

Perhaps the Magpie Mafia are in bed with the gyms, part of a brutal campaign to increase spring memberships.

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Night net

Revenge, a grand final spot the aim

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THE crickets in the Albury Thunder changerooms could well be making more noise than coach Josh Cale before tomorrow’s second semi-final against Gundagai at Greenfield Park.
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Cale shouldn’t have to mutter a word.

The incentive to win could hardly be greater with Albury chasing its first Group 9 grand final appearance and at the same time the chance to rid the demons of last year’s semi-final disaster.

Not to mention extracting revenge on the Tigers after they blemished their unbeaten record at Anzac Park just a fortnight ago.

Cale is tired of words, he wants action.

“Everyone is back and we’re full strength,” Cale said yesterday.

“I guess having a loss to Gundagai has made us work that little bit harder.

“We have a bit of a sour taste in our mouth and it’s good to play the side that beat us.”

While Cale says last year’s finals loss to Cootamundra hasn’t been a major topic of discussion in the lead-up to the match, he admits it’s a game he would rather forget.

The Thunder were thumped 22-0 by Grant Boyd’s Bulldogs after promising so much in the home and away series.

“It’s in the back of your mind I guess, especially in my mind,” he said.

“Maybe not so much with the boys, though, as we have a lot of new players in the side.

“We touched on it at the start of the year but that’s as far as it goes.”

Albury has a new-look side with Ben Jeffery, Matt Rose, Mitch Davis, Willie Heta and Mark Walsham adding quality and, more importantly, the point-scoring ability missing last year.

Gundagai has it own mental demons after faltering in the 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011 grand finals.

The Tigers last saluted in 1983.

Cale is under no illusions about the enormity of the challenge ahead.

“Gundagai deserve where they are on the ladder,” he said.

“They justified their spot by beating Young last week and I think it’s going to be a massive test.”

Willie and Henry Heta are ready for tomorrow’s finals showdown. Picture: DAVID THORPE

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Night net

Greens not kidding: this one’s for Scott

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ALBURY United star Mitch Jones says the club wants to send master coach Scott Kidd out with a seventh cup win.
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Kidd, who has won an incredible six cups and eight league titles, revealed this week he was retiring from the position he has held since 1996, meaning, at best, he has two games left in charge after 17 years.

Jones said the Greens, who travel to Wangaratta to face St Patrick’s in a cut-throat semi-final tomorrow, were dedicating the rest of their season to Kidd.

“You can’t get much more motivation,” Jones said yesterday.

“A lot of the guys have only had Scott as their coach.

“For him to be leaving at the end of the year … the boys will be well and truly pumped up for the big fellow.

“We’ll use that as motivation but at the same time we’ve got to focus on St Pat’s.”

While most tipsters are predicting United to move into their second straight cup final — they lost last year’s decider 3-2 in an extra time thriller to Wodonga Diamonds — Jones is wary of a Patties outfit the Greens haven’t beaten this season.

St Patrick’s shocked the soccer world with a 4-0 thumping of United in round 1, with Matt Turner and Andy Stevens scoring doubles at Alexandra Park

In the corresponding fixture in round 19, Turner and Stevens scored again, but their goals were cancelled out by Josh Mulcahy and Elliot Jones in a 2-2 draw at Jelbart Park.

While he doesn’t expect the match to go to penalties, Jones believes just one goal will separate the sides.

“They’ve played quite well against us this year,” he said.

“We had our pants pulled down against them in round 1.

“I think we were just slow out of the blocks.

“It’s just our inconsistency that has let us down where as in previous years that’s what we’ve hung our hat on.

“We’ve beaten Diamonds twice and then lose to teams that are lower than us.

“We think our best football is as good as anyone in the comp.”

Patties could pull a surprise by playing midfielder Phil Torbett, despite having moved interstate, while the Greens are expected to have their best side available.

Jones said United wasn’t worrying about the opposition.

“We are just going to concentrate on ourselves,” he said.

“We won our first final and are confident we are coming into some form.

“I’m a strong believer that you’ve got to beat the entire team, not just one or two players.

“They’ve got quality.

“But we’ve been there before and there’s a lot of experience in our group.”

United coach Scott Kidd: calling it quits at season’s end.

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Night net

Radio hosts air headspace call

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COMEDY and puns will be put on hold as a pair of Border morning radio hosts tackle mental health and youth suicide.
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On Monday Star FM duo Heath and Normy will join the fight for a headspace centre in Albury-Wodonga.

From 8am they will air a one-hour segment dedicated to mental health issues on the Border.

It’s a big change of pace from the comical shows the pair typically present but their passion stems from personal experience.

“I had a very happy childhood but I grew up with a lot of friends who didn’t,” Lucas “Normy” Dorrell said.

“I always thought not only about how lucky I was but that if there was one thing so important to a young person, it was having someone to lean on, a happy place to go to.”

Heath Piper said the Sydney suburb they grew up in carried the stigma of youth suicides, particularly when teenagers reached HSC.

“That’s why we’re on board with this because it’s something we believe in,” Normy said, confirming their show had a zero tolerance for bullying.

Heath said every year a handful of young people contact them directly, talking of being bullied.

“It’s sad in a way that they’re contacting the local radio station because that’s how desperate they are,” Heath said.

But the duo hope headspace could be the place where the young can find professional help.

“This is the first time we’ve done something like this so it’s a big thing for us as well … in terms of dedicating an hour in our breakfast show, it will be something new for our listeners,” Normy said.

The hour show will involve conversations with those affected by mental illness and suicide, including Teena Conway, who lost her son Zac, and Laura Koehler, who lost her sister Aimee.

Listeners will also hear from Albury mayor Alice Glachan, her Wodonga counterpart Mark Byatt, North East Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services manager Lisa Gundish and Border Mail representatives.

Every staff member from Star FM has supported the fight for a headspace centre by signing butterflies, that are now hanging in their Swift Street office.

Breakfast radio duo “Normy” Dorrell and Heath Piper are part of the Star FM team joining the fight for a headspace centre. Picture: DAVID THORPE

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Night net

Punched after she ‘snapped’

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ALBURY man Michael Robert Edgar gave his partner a bloodied nose and a swollen, closed eye after she had bitten and spat on him, a court heard yesterday.
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It happened as they were driving along after an argument on June 8.

Edgar’s partner told police: “I tapped him on the left side of the face with my right hand just to tell him to stop his attitude.”

The response from Edgar was to hit her to the right side of the face, causing dizziness.

His partner then bit him on the left arm and later admitted she “snapped”.

Edgar stopped the car when she spat on his neck.

“If you don’t stop, I am going to hit you really hard,” Edgar said.

He began to drive and hit her to the left side of the face which caused her to again feel dizzy.

When Edgar stopped the car in Kaylock Road she opened the car door, stumbled out and yelled for help.

Police were notified and arrived a short time later to see the woman bleeding from the nose with her left eye bruised, raised and closed shut.

Edgar, 30, of Crisp Street, Albury, pleaded guilty in Albury Court to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Magistrate Tony Murray said the victim was lucky she was not charged as well.

Solicitor Andrea MacDonald said there was a level of provocation but Edgar had responded excessively.

Ms MacDonald said the victim is a mother of four.

“I regard spitting as a most despicable act,” Mr Murray said.

“Provocation is not a defence to a charge, but it is a matter that the court can take into consideration.”

Edgar was convicted and put on a 12-month bond with supervision.

Mr Murray warned him that if convicted in the next 12 months for another offence, he may be jailed.

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Night net

Jump aboard Castlemaine to Bendigo steam train

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THE public are welcome to jump aboard a steam train travelling from Castlemaine to Bendigo today.
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The train will be puffing its way across the countryside in a warm-up for a Melbourne to Bendigo journey in October, which will mark 150 years of the Bendigo line.

More than 70 people have already booked their seat on the vintage locomotive, but 50 spots still remain for those keen to travel back in time.

Those who are interested in either a one-way or return journey can purchase a ticket at Castlemaine station at 12.30pm for a 12.50pm departure.

The train will then begin its return trip from Bendigo to Castlemaine at 4.30pm. The journey from Castlemaine to Bendigo takes 35 minutes and is organised by not-for-profit organisation Steamrail Victoria.

Steamrail Victoria organiser Cathie Skelton said it would be an authentic steam train experience, despite the train’s steam engines being comparatively young at 60 years old.

“The carriages were built in the early 1900s and it’s the original route from Castlemaine to Bendigo,” she said. “It will be like travelling back 150 years.”

She said children and adults alike would enjoy the experience.

Covering old ground: The steam train will travel from Bendigo to Castlemaine today. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Night net

Spring spruce-up for iconic Tamworth building

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It’s arguably another of the city’s most iconic buildings and it’s the latest in the CBD to get a bit of a makeover.
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The former ANZ bank building, that during its time has also housed The Vault restaurant and more

recently, The Rocks on Peel, will, over the coming weeks under go some maintenance works to fix the building’s facade.

Much of the work being undertaken at number 429 Peel St will be repairs to the building’s roof, gutter,fascia and eaves.

Lead paint will be removed and the building repainted. Scaffolding to allow contractors to undertake the works was erected last week.

RESTORATION UNDERWAY: The Rocks on Peel Restaurant is the latest historic building in Peel St to undergo a make over. 290812BSA01

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Local hero lights up Bendigo

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THE life and times of the first Catholic priest on the Bendigo Goldfields, Reverend Dr Henry Backhaus, was celebrated at the Rosalind Garden Conservatory on Thursday night.
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This year marks 200 years since Dr Backhaus’ birth and 160 years since he arrived at the Bendigo Goldfields.

The evening completed the end of a week of celebrations for the influential Bendigo figure, which also included a book launch and a display at the Bendigo Visitor Centre.

A sound and light display by artist Michael Harkin was displayed along the windows of the conservatory.

Music composed by Dr Backhaus was performed by Jennifer Schatzle and Merrin Torpey with Peter Butler.

President of the Bendigo Historical Society Jim Evans said it was a fitting tribute for an important and significant figure in Bendigo’s history.

“It was a brilliant, spectacular sound and light show depicting the journey of his life,” he said.

Dr Backhaus was the first Catholic priest on the Goldfields and instrumental in the building of St Kilians Church.

Commemoration: A light display at the Conservatory Gardens in Bendigo. Picture: Peter Weaving

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Tamworth students get training in new retail partnership

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STUDENTS from Tamworth High School and McCarthy Catholic College have undergone on-the-job training in retail as part of anew partnership to give thembetter job skills.
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Retail giant Big W has teamedup with the schools throughthe not-for-profit organisation Careers Network, and students attend the Tamworth store one day a week for six weeks.

It gives them frontline exposure to aspects of store employee activities through orientation, observation, interaction and mentoring with department staff.

And successful students are getting a boost in their job prospects into the bargain.

“They are really good kids, and out of the 12 of them, I am going to take on eight to 10 as casual employees,” Big W store manager Graeme Irvine said.

“It’s a great system because instead of a short interview or a resume, employers could see students work for a period of time each week, get to know them better and see which areas they enjoy and excel at.”

To participate in the program the students had to go through a typical employment selection process of submitting an application, putting a resume together and attending an interview.

The program gives the students an opportunity to see and understand what the employment process is like after school, and the practical experience is designed to educate students to make more informed decisions when considering future subject choices and career path options.

McCarthy College student Carly Russell-White said she enjoys the customer service aspect of the retail role and has a lot of fun while she is working at the store.

Another student, Emily Orman said: “Going around the different departments and getting to experience work has definitely made me more interested in the retail industry.”

Both girls said the program and the work experience would affect their subject choices and career paths going through to Year 12 and beyond.

Head start: Students involved in the new partnership are, front, from left, Alana Russell-White, Emily Orman, Carly Russell-White, Brianna Ballard and Kate Alcock. Back, Kristianna Maloney,Steven Allwell, Nathan Pyne, Stephanie Salvadore, Natalie Holm, Bruce O’Leary,Dayle Alomes and Jessie Stanton. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 290812GOA01

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