Triumphs and tears – the year in sport

LOCAL cycling group Sale Easy Riders has been the beneficiary of Tour de France stage winner Pieter Weening’s stay in Sale. Weening, a road bicycle racer from Harkema, Friesland, in the Netherlands, has stayed on in Sale following his Orica GreenEDGE testing commitments in Australia, with a local family taking him under his wing.

DESPITE going through the tournament undefeated, the Sale-Maffra under 15 team finished runner-up at Junior Country Week. Sale-Maffra finished the under 14 competition in third place.

ROSEDALE-Kilmany’s Brad Scott was a member of the Victorian team which finished the Australian Country Cricket Championships in sixth place in the ACT. Lee Stockdale of Ex-Students in the Traralgon competition was also in the team.

SALE bowler Matthew Higgins was a member of the Victorian under 25 team which defeated the South Australian squad in a three-day test match in Adelaide. Victoria won nine games to six, with Higgins scoring victories in three of his five contests.

DESPITE being unable to win at its home beach, Seaspray Boats ‘n’ Hoes was the overall state winner of the under 23 women’s section of the Australian Surf Rowers League. The crew went on to represent Victoria at the ASRL Interstate at Newcastle.

SALE teenager Brandon Stockdale was on his way to fulfilling a lifelong dream after becoming one of nine inductees into Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program. With a pedigree to match his keen interest in racing, Brandon is following in the footsteps of both parents. He began his apprenticeship under the watchful eye of father, trainer Frankie Stockdale. Grandfather Mario Farrugia has been training for about 50 years.

THE Eastern District Fire Brigade Championships were held in Maffra. The event was hosted by the Maffra Fire Brigade, which is celebrating its centenary this year. Competitors from Dandenong to Lakes Entrance took part in the championships, held the Maffra brigade’s running track and the town’s recreation reserve.

JOSH Dunkley led the Australian under 17 football team to a four-point win over the New Zealand Hawks. The Sale footballer captained the team, which won the match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, and was named among its best players.

SALE Swimming Club had a team of 21 swimmers venture to Wodonga to compete in the Victorian Country Swimming Championships. A highlight was the 12 and under girls’ relay team of Eliza Jeffs, Charlie Noble, Hollie Rowand and Hannah Shepherd finishing in third place, while Charlie Noble won a bronze medal in the 12 years girls’ 100 butterfly.

EIGHTEEN-year-old Indi Gladman did not even dream that by 2014, she would be the clay target champion of Tasmania. Indi, who has just completed her VCE at Gippsland Grammar, joined the school shooting team when she was in year seven and just loved the sport, winning several school events. One-hundred-and-fifty shooters from all over Australia took part in the Tasmanian championships, including shooters who had won state and national events.

CHAMPION jockey Glen Boss rode New Zealand-bred About Square to victory in the Sale Quality. Trained at Flemington by Michael Moroney, About Square won from the well-fancied Solsay.

IT took seven years and three final defeats, but Sale-Maffra returned to the top of Gippsland cricket. The Sharks won their 16th Gippsland Cricket League senior premiership, outclassing Bairnsdale at Sale Oval. Brett Lanigan had an impact with bat and ball, scoring 66, taking a one-handed infield catch and taking three late wickets.

THE Maffra Eagles’ Country Basketball League campaign came to an end, losing their women’s semi-final at Churchill 88-53. After leading by 11 points at half-time, the Blue Devils continued their unbeaten run with a dominant 35-point win over the fourth-placed Eagles. Churchill went on to win both the women’s and men’s championships.

A TASTE of the Big Bash League came to Bundalaguah for a good cause. Hobart Hurricanes batsman Travis Birt returned his former club for a fundraising twenty20 cricket match. The match raised money for Louis Shepard, the son of another former Bundalaguah player, David Shepard. The four-year-old from Melbourne is battling a rare genetic condition Usher Syndrome.

LEGENDARY racecaller Peter Eustace has been inducted into the Greyhound Racing Victoria Hall of Fame. The announcement recognised Eustace’s years of dedication in promoting racing in the community. Eustace has been the voice of greyhound, horse and harness racing in Gippsland for more than 40 years, and it is estimated he has called more than 50,000 races.

SALE-Maffra finished in sixth place in the provincial division of Country Week cricket. After winning their first match against Leongatha, the Sharks lost their next three to Bendigo, Mornington Peninsula and Geelong.

SALE United conceded just one goal in retaining the Kendall Cup. Teams from as far as Canberra competed in the pre-season soccer tournament, held in the memory of the late Jamie Kendall.

SALE won the North Gippsland section one midweek bowls pennant, defeating Heyfield in the final. Heyfield accounted for Sale Golf Blue 52-41 in the section two final.

MAFFRA’S Blake Gallatly has been recognised for an outstanding debut season in Canadian college basketball. The 18-year-old was named the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference basketball rookie of the year, and was included in the North division all star team.

MAFFRA won its first section one bowls pennant grand final in 40 years when it defeated Sale White 64-62 in a nail-biting finish. In section two, Heyfield was too strong for Yarram, while Sale White defeated Sale Blue to claim the section three title.

HIGH standard competition thrilled more than 5000 spectators at the Sale rodeo, held at Sale Greyhound Club. The rodeo was the first professional rodeo in Sale for more than a decade.

AN unbeaten 52 from captain Ian Wrigglesworth helped Sale claim the Sale-Maffra division one twenty20 cricket title. In the final at Bundalaguah, Sale defeated the previously unbeaten home side by 20 runs.

SALE Swimming Club won 18 medals, including four gold, during the Gippsland championships. Eliza Jeffs was the star for Sale, winning three gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

COLLEGIANS won both Sale-Maffra Junior Cricket Association grand finals. Collegians Red defeated Collegians Blue in the under 16 final, while Collegians overcame Bundalaguah to claim the under 14 title.

FORMER local Jackson Harrison has been selected in an Australian team for the first time in his rowing career. Harrison was selected in a 60-strong team to compete in the first round of the Rowing World Cup to be held as part of the 2014 Sydney International Rowing Regatta.

NEW South Wales yacht Rush was the first to complete the Marlay Point Overnight Yacht Race. Skippered by Graham Coffey, the Thomson 8 boat arrived at Paynesville at 5.33am, covering the journey from Marlay Point in just over 10 hours to claim line honours in division D, for fast mono hull sports boats. Rush finished almost three hours ahead of the next competitor in its class.

ROSEDALE-Kilmany captain Brad Scott has taken out the Noel Freshwater Memorial Trophy for Sale-Maffra cricketer of the year for the second consecutive season. Sharing the award last season, Scott took out the award in his own right this year.

FOR three consecutive years the Sale-Maffra Cricket Association first grade final has been won by the team batting second with one wicket to spare and this time it was Stratford’s turn to take the honours. The Redbacks defeated Boisdale-Briagolong. Sale claimed back-to-back second grade premierships, while Bundalaguah won the thirds and fourth.

TWELVE-year-old Sale Little Athletics member Amber Ross has had a busy season, having just returned from her third national competition in four months, the Australian junior championships in Sydney. Amber qualified to compete in three events and came home extremely happy after placing sixth in javelin with a new personal best, fifth in shot put and finishing the competition with her second national medal, a silver in discus after a 34.12 metres throw which exceeded the national qualifying distance for under 15 Australian juniors.

FOLLOWING success at Tekna series and state titles, Stratford’s Teagan Chester has been selected in the National Elite Young Riders squad. Chester joined 15 other show jumpers in the squad in attending a training and coaching session at Rotterdam.

THE Fun Run for Local Kids has been hailed a success, with an increased number of entrants on last year’s inaugural event. More then 700 participants had pre-registered for the event, with many electing to register on the day. Runners came from as far as Melbourne for the fun run, this year supporting the Johnson, Tilley and Millier families.

LONGFORD won two of the four Wellington senior tennis pennants, with Sale and Seaspray winning section one and two respectively. Maffra claimed three of the junior pennants, including a shared one with Briagolong, Sale won two, while Nambrok and Longford also won one each.

SEASPRAY Surf Life Saving Club enjoyed a successful state titles campaign at Ocean Grove. Robert Jones won four medals, including gold, at the championships and went on to contest the under 17 single ski at the national titles at Scarborough Beach, Western Australia.

WITH bad luck cutting short previous Victorian title attempts, Steve Danks broke through to claim the 10 to 16 years junior standard saloons title at Bairnsdale Speedway. Pitted against the top three place getters from 2013, Danks, from Rosedale, was up to the challenge, qualifying second from the heats in his XF Falcon with custom built engine to line-up next to last year’s title winner on the starting grid.

CATHOLIC College Sale won the girls’ championship at the Marist basketball tournament. CCS defeated Lavalla College, Traralgon 59-51 at Maffra. St Joseph’s College, Sydney, won the boys’ event.

THE Pakenham Pumas won the Gippsland Baseball Championships, hosted by the Sale Rangers at Stephenson Park. The Pumas defeated the Dandenong Angels 3-2 in the final.

FOR the second successive season, Rhys Carter was collected a National Basketball League runners-up medal. Carter, from Sale, was part of the Adelaide 36ers team which lost the grand final series to the Perth Wildcats.

MORE than 50 teams competed in the 15th Sale Touch Knock-out at Stephenson Park. With prize money on offer, the event attracted teams from across Victoria as well as one from New South Wales. Teams from Monash, La Trobe and Melbourne universities also entered.

BAIRNSDALE’S Sophie Grumley won the President’s Cup women’s singles at the 88th Maffra Lawn Tennis Club Easter tournament. Grumley defeated Traralgon’s Kristen Antonopoulos 6-2 6-1 in the final. Daniel Walsh defeated Mitch Allman 6-3 6-3 to win the men’s title.

JAMES Clancy ticked off another achievement in his shooting career, being part of the winning Australian open team at the FITASC Oceania Championships in New Caledonia. Competing against shooters from New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia and fellow Australians, Clancy finished fifth overall from about 100 shooters contesting the event. He also placed fourth in the Oceania Cup.

SALE’S Ben Dessent has returned from the national under 18 basketball championships with a bronze medal. Dessent was part of the Victoria Country team which went through the championships in Canberra with only one loss.

FOR the second successive year, Sale Polocrosse Club’s A grade team is state champion. The state championships were held at Moorooduc, with Sale well-represented by six teams.

IT was a Honda one-two result in the premiere expert class of the Thundercross motocross event at Krusic’s Ride Park at Dutson Downs. Brad Matheson dominated the four-race program with perfect scores on his CRF450R machine ahead of fellow Honda rider Chase Mosig. Local rider Adam Miller filled the final podium position.

THE Gippsland League lost to Bendigo by 34 points in the AFL Victoria Country Championship. Gippsland never hit the lead at any stage although always in touch, several times during the second and third quarters cutting the margin to under a goal. Former St Kilda star Stephen Milne was the difference, kicking nine goals.

FIFTEEN goals, including six goals in the first term, from former AFL star Brendan Fevola inspired Lindenow to an 82-point victory over Wy Yung. Mike Brady performed before the senior game and sang the national anthem, and former AFL players Campbell Brown and Liam Pickering were special guests and along with Fevola, attracted a big crowd to Lindenow.

RETURNING home from the Victorian motocross championships, James Alen wasn’t expecting a phone call telling him to pack his bags to represent his country in China. Alen, who had never been overseas, rushed to finalise his passport in preparation for the trip to take part in the Pinglu invitational event, which featured competitors from New Zealand, Italy, France and China, along with other Australian riders.

REPRESENTING Victoria was a family affair for the Semmens, with all five members selected to playing for Victoria at the polocrosse nationals in Darwin. The family, husband and wife Michael and Vicki along with children Mikayla, Harry and Chelsea, formed part of a strong contingent of locals selected to represent the state following a selection tournament held at Sale.

SALE’S Josh Dunkley was part of the Victoria Country side which won three of its six matches at the AFL under 18 championships.

HAVING begun with losses to South Australia and Western Australia, Victoria Country finished the AFL national under 16 championships with a victory over rival Vic Metro. Maffra’s Kade Renooy, Sale’s Will Leslie and Sale City’s Keenan Hughes were part of the Vic Country squad.

SALE showjumper Courtney Shears was named Equestrian Victoria Young Show Jumping Rider of the Year..

CATHOLIC College Sale student Nick Hogan was named Victoria’s second best player in the team’s 11-point final victory over Queensland at the under 15 schoolboys’ football championships. Nick was also named among Victoria’s best in the semi-final win over New South Wales.

LONGFORD shooter Keith Ferguson finished in ninth place in the men’s skeet at the Commonwealth Games. Ferguson missed out on a spot in the semi-finals by three shots.

DARREN Sheen became the first Gippsland League senior footballer to kick 100 goals in a home-and-away season in 27 years. The Maffra spearhead kicked the 16 he needed to reach the ton against a hapless Drouin.

MAFFRA took out the AFL Gippsland youth girls premiership in its first year in the competition. The Eagles defeated their more fancied Bairnsdale opponents by 11 points.

THE Sale Rangers won the Latrobe Valley under 13 baseball grand final. After a strong tussle against the Traralgon Redsox, the Rangers had the edge to take the flag 3-1. The Rangers’ Brendan Laird received the association best-and-fairest award.

PAYNESVILLE’S Damien Ashcroft won the East Gippsland Football-Netball League senior best-and-fairest award. Stratford’s success on the football field and netball court this season was reflected in its players receiving awards. Simone Turner was named the A grade netball best-and-fairest, Aaron Lynch won the reserves football best-and-fairest, while Merewalesi Pritchett shared the B grade netball best-and-fairest.

SALE’S Jayden Allison shared the Bruce Wilkinson Medal for the Gippsland League under 18 football best-and-fairest with Bairnsdale’s Bryce Mitchell. Maffra’s Liam Harrington won Shaw-Carter Medal for the under 16 football best-and-fairest.

ADELAIDE cyclist Tim Roe sensationally clinched the Tour of Gippsland on the final day in Traralgon. Roe claimed the tour on the final stage after bridging solo to a seven-man breakaway and finishing 11 seconds ahead of overnight tour leader Raphael Freinstein.

SALE City had the better of College from the first bounce to take out the Sale and District Junior Football under 16 premiership. Sale defeated College in the under 14A grand final. Maffra defeated Stratford by three points in a tight under 12A grand final. In the under 10s, Maffra Red defeated Maffra Black.

SALE City’s Harrison Evans won back-to-back in the Kevin Hogan Medals for Sale and District Junior Football Association’s under 16 best-and-fairest. The Southern Suns’ Xavier Moore won the under 12s Gavin Dessent Medal, while Maffra Red’s Jack Allman won the under 14 Bob Mayman Medal.

Maffra midfielder Alex Carr joined an elite group of Gippsland Power players when he announced as a deserved winner of the TAC Cup’s prestigious Morrish Medal for the best-and-fairest player.

THE Traralgon Redsox needed an extra inning to overcome the Moe-Newborough Dodgers in the Latrobe Valley A grade baseball grand final.

HEYFIELD midfielder Josh Stubbe and Churchill’s Travis Brighton tied for the North Gippsland Football-Netball League senior best-and-fairest award. Sale City’s Daniel Bird won the reserves best-and-fairest award, while Churchill’s Ben Skinner claimed the thirds award. Rosedale’s Bron Tebb claimed her third league A grade netball best-and-fairest honour in four seasons. The under 17 count went down to the wire, with last year’s joint winner Jess Adams of Boisdale-Briagolong again claiming the award. Heyfield’s Kelsey Pilbeam won the under 15s. 

CHURCHILL stunned raging favourite, the previously unbeaten Heyfield to claim the North Gippsland football premiership. Best-on-ground Brendan Holt kicked seven goals to steer the Cougars to the shock victory. Cowwarr inflicted Heyfield just its second loss of the season to claim the reserves premiership. Churchill claimed its second thirds premiership in four seasons with a crushing victory over Traralgon-Tyers United.

SALE denied Swan Reach a third successive East Gippsland women’s hockey premiership after winning the grand final 2-1. Maffra lost the under 13 grand final to Nagle after a penalty shoot-out. Nagle defeated Maffra in the under 15 grand final 2-1. Nagle scored a golden goal in extra time to defeat Bairnsdale in the under 18s. The open final went to penalty strokes, with Nagle overcoming Orbost.

A GOAL from Josh Kiss with the last kick of the game gave Stratford victory in the East Gippsland football grand final. The Swans led Wy Yung by 25 at the final change before the Tigers made a charge, booting four goals and taking the lead late. Stratford was too strong for Lucknow in the reserves, Wy Yung won the under 18s against Orbost-Snowy Rovers, while Lakes Entrance defeated Orbost-Snowy Rovers in the under 16s.

STRATFORD won four of the five East Gippsland netball premierships. The Swans’ A and C grades claimed back-to-back flags, while their B and D grades sides also won. Stratford lost the C reserve final to Wy Yung.

MORWELL won back-to-back Gippsland League senior football premierships for the first time after defeating Wonthaggi in a low-scoring grand final. Maffra lost the other three football grand finals, outclassed by Traralgon in the reserves and under 18s, and going down to Moe in the under 16s.

MORWELL lifted in the closing stages to defeat Sale and claim the Gippsland League netball premiership. The Magpies had won their previous three meetings with the Tigers this season, but Morwell won the one that mattered 32-26. Maffra’s under 13 team completed an undefeated season to claim the premiership over Traralgon. Traralgon claimed premierships in B and C grades and under 15s, while Moe won the under 17s.

SALE United put in a brave performance in the Gippsland Soccer League grand final, going down 2-0 to Moe United. With captain Ash Ross on the sidelines with a knee injury and midfielder Raymond Allred hampered by a shoulder injury, the Swans’ situation became worse in the second half when goalkeeper Chris Richardson came off second best in a collision with a Moe player.

A BRACE from captain Jesse Kennedy inspired Falcons to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory in the Gippsland Soccer League Battle of Britain Cup title bout against Sale United. It was a tough day out for the Swans, going down in all three men’s cup finals.

CHILDHOOD dreams have been surpassed for Maffra’s Rebekah Carrolan, who took out Best First Year Competitor at the prestigious Garryowen equestrian event at the Royal Melbourne Show.

CODY Dyce returned home to Tinamba as Australia’s best junior motocross racer in his class, taking out the event at the Australian Junior Motocross Championships at Appin, New South Wales. In the 125cc two-stroke 13 to 15 years class, Cody beat Queenslander Hunter Lawrence and Wayde Kirkland from Tasmania to the top of the podium.

LOCAL gymnasts put in impressive performances during the state seven to 10 open Victorian championship qualifiers at Maffra. The event attracted gymnasts from across Victoria, with local gymnasts Brittney Gray (level 10), Chloe Johnstone , Holly Taylor (level nine), Jess Lang and Leyla Berry (level seven) qualifying for the Victorian championships.

THE relocation of the Sale Greyhound Racing Club has taken another step toward becoming reality. A planning application to establish a new racing and function complex was approved by the Minister for Planning.

QUEENSLAND Derby winner Sonntag was an impressive winner of the 1600m Sale Cup. There were good and bad luck stories attached to Sonntag’s win as Chad Schofield, who won on Sonntag in the Derby, was booked to ride in the cup but was replaced by Michael Rodd after a fall at Moonee Valley the day before.

SEASPRAY Surf Life Saving Club member Robert Jones is the 2014 Wellington Sports Star. Jones has been recognised for an outstanding year in surf ski, which culminated in an invitation to join the Victorian high performance squad. Jones took home a gold, silver and two bronze medals at the Victorian state titles, and was a finalist in single ski at the Australian titles.

AFTER placing second in level 10 at the state gymnastics championships in Geelong, Maffra’s Brittney Gray has retired. Gray competed in bars and beam, placing first for vault and second on floor, and second overall for level 10.

BOISDALE-Briagolong Football-Netball Club will begin life in the East Gippsland Football-Netball League with a clash against local rival Stratford in round one of 2014. In the final step of the transfer, AFL Victoria approved the Bombers move from the North Gippsland league to the EGFNL after  the NGFNL, AFL Gippsland and the EGFNL gave their approval.

OLYMPIC hopeful Jess Brown won the Sale Showjumping Club Grand Prix. The 24-year-old from New South Wales, rode 10-year-old grey gelding Casco to claim the first prize of $10,000.

LOCAL motocross rider Jono Krusic has completed a successful Australian Arenacross and Supercross series, wrapping up a second place in the MX1 pro class championship. Krusic finished third in round one at Bathurst before finishing top of the podium at Brisbane, with a crash at Bathurst costing him the overall victory by just five points.

IKE Murray earned his first national selection in polocrosse. The local, who has been involved in the sport for about six years, was selected for the Australian mixed under 21 team to compete in New Zealand in January.

SALE bowler Jan Morton won the state open pairs championships. Morton teamed up with Finley RSL bowler Jane Ritchie to win the event at Shepparton.

LUCA Neveelk claimed his second country greyhound cup. Trained at Denison by Gerry and Rose Kleeven, Luca Kleeven recorded an emphatic victory in the group two Ballarat Cup over 450m. The $60,000 winner’s cheque is the biggest of the Kleevens’ career. In November, Luca Kleeven won the Geelong Cup before a disappointing run in the Melbourne Cup.

SALE brothers Robin and Peter Lowe won the classic division of the Australian Tarmac Rally Championship series after two days of nail-biting competition in the hills of east Gippsland.

TWELVE-year-old Sale junior golf champion Levi Sclater continued to do amazing things on the course. Levi won the state primary schools championships in Melbourne, equalling the event record, carding 66 for the 18 holes.

SALE claimed both North Gippsland midweek pennant finals. In division one, Sale led all day and defeated Sale Golf, while Sale won a close encounter in division two against Heyfield.

MAFFRA Secondary College’s under 17 girls’ team clinched the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup division one championship. The gold medal match demonstrated how far the team had come as it ruthlessly dispatched Loxton from South Australia in straight sets.

STRATFORD won its second Sale-Maffra twenty20 cricket title in three seasons, making light work of Collegians in the final.

STAR Recall produced an all the way victory in the final group one greyhound race of the year, the 650m Sale Cup. The former West Australian chaser was never challenged on her way to the $75,000 first prize.

POWERFUL hydro GP1, driven by Melton’s Grant Harrison, thrilled the big crowd with its powerful runs down the strait to claim the Glenmaggie Cup.