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Rivals ready their troops

WITH both semi-finals set in stone, the participants will use this last home and away round to settle their squads for their respective attempts at premiership glory.
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As for the non-participants, there is still plenty of pride to play for.

Nangiloc will hope for enough troops to prevent back-to-back forfeits and face Cardross at home in one last fight to avoid a winless season.

Continual losses, serious injuries and player unavailability have decimated the Demons so much that only 12 players could pull the boots on last week, fuelling speculation about a mid-2000s recess relapse.

But if what president Craig Parker said during the week is anything to go by, the Demons will return bigger, stronger and injury-free in 2013.

Hopefully Nangiloc can take the field today, especially considering Ben Crosbie, Ben Mansell, Cameron Peters, Jared Turvey and Luke Collett are all still chances to win various league awards.

The Lions’ contender credibility has been underlined after taking care of Bambill and dutifully responding to Euston’s last-ditch challenge.

So with good form heading into the finals, what is now needed is for the likes of Jason Cox, Scott Richards, Cameron Berry, Chris Prevedello and Ben Aworth to continue showcasing the extra strings to Cardross’ bow.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 18-8-2012.

On the front foot: Werrimull coach Ryan Tierney will lead his troops against Bambill at Lake Cullulleraine today.

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St Pat’s vying for footy history

There is plenty of talk in football circles about what St Patrick’s College might achieve against St Bernard’s College at the MCG tomorrow.
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Three consecutive MCC-Herald Sun Shield titles from a fourth-straight final.

St Pat’s remain undefeated this season, having obliterated the Ballarat Associated Schools’ competition, made light work of Assumption College (Kilmore) and St Joseph’s College (Geelong) in friendlies, then moving past Sunbury’s Salesian College in a semi-final 10 days ago.

This St Pat’s line-up has a reputation for being formidable.

St Pat’s football captain David Morris said the team’s depth was the key, evident in a strong partnership and overlap with North Ballarat Rebels’ TAC Cup under-18 program.

But Morris said his team was very much focused on its final mission this season.

“As a group we haven’t put pressure on ourselves,” Morris said.

“There are outside expectations about winning but as a group we will do what we have been all year – try to win each game.”

Morris met his rival captain Liam McBean for a shield grand final preview on Tuesday and knows St Bernard’s College means business.

McBean will lead his team out on the ‘G in a bid to restore the state’s premier schoolboy football title to St Bernard’s for the first time since 2003.

St Bernard’s, like St Pat’s, is undefeated this year.

They are led by former Western Bulldogs and Werribee Victorian Football League coach Simon Atkins, who also leads the St Bernard’s Old Collegians football program, and feature a string of strong TAC Cup players such as Calder Cannons duo Daniel Thompson and Daniel Allison.

But St Pat’s, led by Howard Clark, has player experience on the MCG About half of the St Pat’s line-up were in the premiership team last year.

Preparation has remained the same at school this week.

Morris said the team was not changing anything.

St Pat’s has a big job to do.

There is a legacy to be created.

St Patrick's skipper David Morris pictured with the 2010 and 2011 trophies.

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Thomson loyal to Saints: Merbein South captain-coach to stay on for another three seasons

MERBEIN South captain-coach Adam Thomson has re-signed with the Saints for another three seasons.
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The 22-year-old put pen to paper this week, extending his ties to the club until the end of the 2014/15 Sunraysia Cricket Association season.

Thomson said it was good to be able to re-sign with the club.

“I’ve got another three years at it so hopefully I’ll get a good run at it and continue the success we’ve had over the past couple of years,” Thomson said.

“We’ve played in the past four grand finals so hopefully we can continue that success.”

Thomson said the playing group was determined to make amends for the grand final heartache of the past two years.

“The past two years we have missed out so a few of the boys are pretty keen to get back and try and win another premiership,” he said.

After struggling in recent times, Thomson said the club was in a healthy position both on and off the field.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 18-8-2012.

Merbein South Cricket Club has been buoyed by the re-signing of coach Adam Thomson for the next three seasons.

Successful: Adam Thomson has re-signed with Merbein South for another three years.Picture: Clancy Shipsides

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Greens spark  power debate

THE Greens' proposal to break Hydro Tasmania's monopoly could pose a major obstacle to the state government's plans to shake up the electricity market and lower power prices.
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The Greens finally unveiled their response to the Electricity Supply Industry Expert Panel's report yesterday outlining their vision for the state to be supplied by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

Importantly, all three parties back full retail contestability, which will give households the ability to choose their electricity retail provider.

However, the Greens and Labor are split on their approach to tackling Hydro's monopoly.

Both rejected the panel's recommendation to set up three separate ``gen traders'', fearing that would lead to privatisation.

Instead, Labor has proposed regulatory reforms to control the price Hydro charges, while the Greens favour setting up three ``trading rooms'' to operate separately within the government-owned business.

Greens leader Nick McKim said it was essential to introduce competition into the wholesale market to drive down power prices, given the wholesale component accounted for 40 per cent of electricity bills.

Mr McKim said the Greens' plan would deliver lower prices and make Tasmania a more attractive option for other electricity retailers, but he was prepared to negotiate with Labor or the Liberals.

``We're very confident that we've got it right and we'll do everything we can to deliver it in full or as much of it as we possibly can understanding that we, like Labor or Liberal, don't have the numbers on our own to get anything through the house,'' Mr McKim said.

The Greens' policy also includes:

Mothballing the Tamar Valley power station after 2017, but retaining it in public hands in case of drought.

Selling Hydro's consulting business Entura and consider selling its mainland retail business Momentum.

Supports merging Aurora's distribution network with Transend.

Energy Minister Bryan Green said the government's package of energy reforms remained on track with support from the Greens on key elements.

Liberal energy spokesman Matthew Groom said the split left the government's energy plans in a shambles.

THE PLAN

How would the Greens' plan work?

Hydro Tasmania would be responsible for generating the electricity. Three separate entities would be created, called ``trading rooms'', and allocated a third each of the power supply to sell on the national electricity market. These would be mainly staffed by Hydro Tasmania employees.

Mr Groom said the Greens' proposal was no different to the ``gen trader'' model.



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Olympic medallist Tallent aims for world

JARED Tallent wants to go the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games as a world champion.
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Winning a world racewalking title is the three-time Olympic medallist’s next major ambition.

Olympic gold, to add to his two silver medals and a bronze, is naturally still a burning desire, but he will get two opportunities for a world crown before Rio comes around.

Next year’s world championships are in Moscow and the 2015 titles are in Beijing, where he claimed silver and bronze in the 2008 Olympics.

Tallent finished third in the 50km at last year’s world championships in Korea.

The new world number one walker over 20-50km spoke about his ambitions during a busy day in and around Ballarat yesterday, catching up with family, friends and fans.

He and his wife Claire, who was disqualified in the women’s 20km walk in London, visited Black Hill and Creswick Primary Schools.

Jared has cousins who attend Black Hill, where his sisters Ebony and Rachel were also pupils.

He is a past Creswick PS pupil and also has nephews attending the school.

The world rankings, with Tallent on top, were released on Tuesday.

London Olympics 50km gold medallist Sergey Kirdyapkin is second.

Tallent, who is originally from Newlyn, said it was great to be home “chilling” out with his family.

He said that although he went to London to win a gold medal, he could not be happier with his performance in the 50km – especially after the shock of getting two red cards inside the opening 20km.

A third red would have disqualified him.

Tallent walked a personal best and bettered the previous Olympic record.

He said he recovered extremely well from the London campaign, which also included the 20km event.

The Olympics might be behind them, but this does not mean the Tallents will be easing back their racewalking program.

They will contest the Australian (20km) Road Walking Championships in Adelaide on August 26 and the final leg (10km) of the World Challenge in China next next month.

Tallent acknowledges neither event will be easy.

With 50km now his preferred distance, Tallent said he did not necessarily have the pace required over the likes of 10km.

He will have a short break after China before walking in the Melbourne Marathon, something he has done twice before and describes as a a “bit of fun”.

Jared and Claire Tallent begin a national tour next month, taking part in a series of Olympic welcome parades. They will be in Sydney on Monday, Melbourne on Wednesday, Adelaide on Thursday and Brisbane on Friday, leading into appearances in Perth and Canberra.

Claire and Jared Tallent show off the silverware in Ballarat yesterday.

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Pressure is on: Eagles and Demons battle for finals chance

MILDURA will book themselves a semi-final berth if they can manufacture a win over Robinvale in the SFNL match of the round at City Oval this afternoon.
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The battle for fourth spot has been a long running saga in season 2012 and a victory for the Dees will not only put an end to the drama, but also allow them to rest key players and those with niggling injuries the following week, allowing a full tilt attempt at winning a final against South Mildura.

Robinvale, however, have plenty of ink left in the well and will be planning on writing another chapter of their own.

A win today and next week against the out of form Merbein will have the Eagles cemented into finals action, providing Wentworth does what it is expected to do by beating Mildura in the final round.

Concentrating on today’s action though and where does one look to find a winner between these two teams?

Mildura again proved hard to beat in a tight contest last week and have now won six of their last nine games. Four of those wins have been by less than a goal with all of those four coming from a goal after, or close to, the final siren.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 18-8-2012.

Robinvale's Lindsay Romeo.

Mildura’s Andrew Richardson will play an important role in today’s encounter.

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Life of country racing: Inaugural August Mildura Cup the highlight of this year’s calendar

THE first female member of a country Victorian racing club committee is a homegrown Mildura girl.
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Kirsten James has been a member of the Mildura Racing Club committee for the past 12 years.

She started out with a shetland pony when she was five years old on the family property at Koorlong.

Jimbo and Kirsten went through the pony club ranks for a few years until it was time for a bigger horse and a bigger challenge.

Kirsten progressed in her chosen sport of show riding and had several different partnerships with horses throughout her junior dressage career.

“Show horses are the ones that are featured on the main arenas of the shows around the country with the best known show horse event being the Gary Owen Trophy held at the Royal Melbourne Show,” Kirsten said.

“Being involved in the Mildura Racing Club (MRC) committee has been a fantastic experience for me over the last 12 years.

“We’re a hands on and ‘for the good of the club’ committee – there’s no elitism here – last week I dressed in a horse costume and had kids chasing me through the city mall,” she laughed.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 18-8-2012.

Passion: Mildura Racing Club committee member Kirsten James, pictured above, has been involved with horses since she was just five years old.

Kirsten James with this year’s Mildura Cup Face of the Races Brooke Lindsay. Picture: Luke Birch

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First battle: Mildura Heat take a five-game winning streak into grand final series

THE Hydraulic Solutions Mildura Heat are back on the road this weekend for game one of the 2012 Big V Division One grand final series against the Geelong Supercats.
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It is shaping up to be a wonderful series between two teams who have saved their best quality basketball for the serious end of the season.

After their strong preliminary final win on the road against Camberwell, the Heat take a five-game winning streak into the grand final series.

The Supercats had strong finals victories over Hawthorn and McKinnon and will look to win back-to-back championships after finishing the regular season in third position on the Terril conference ladder.

The sides have confronted each other twice in 2012 with Mildura winning both games; 88-66 in round five in Geelong, and 96-75 at the Toyota Hothouse in round 16, which was the start of their current winning streak.

The Heat were outstanding against the much fancied Dragons in the city last Sunday in which they put up 98 points on the title favourites at a sizzling clip of 49 per cent from the field and 53 per cent from beyond the three point arch.

Veteran sharp shooter Shannon Erskine is adding the x-factor required by the Heat in these playoffs, with 15 points and four long range bombs which helped put his team over the line, while Mildura’s 80 per cent from the foul line certainly helped as well.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 18-8-2012.

Jermaine Williams.

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Six months for drug seller

HE on-sold methylamphetamine for alleged drug traffickers and was found with small quantities of drugs in his house.
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When Invermay man Jason William Wood pleaded guilty to selling methylamphetamine and a string of other drug and firearm offences on Wednesday, police said he was only a small player in the game.

Yesterday, the 40-year-old was jailed for six months.

Handing down the sentence in the Launceston Magistrates Court, Chief Magistrate Michael Hill said it was important that the courts sent a strong message that any involvement with drug selling would not be tolerated.

``It's not suggested, and it's not said by me, that you were near the top of the tree, but you were prepared to do what you were told to do for money,'' Mr Hill said.

``In my view, a period of imprisonment is appropriate to show you how serious these offences were and to show the community that this will not be accepted.''

Mr Hill said Wood had ``no real criminal history'' before police searched his home on April 18 this year.

Police found small quantities of methylamphetamine, cannabis and steroids as well as two shotguns and some ammunition, which Wood did not hold a licence for.

The search was one of a series of raids conducted as part of Operation Dizzy, a six-month investigation by Launceston CIB into an alleged drug network funnelling methylamphetamine from Victoria into Northern Tasmania.



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Law reform vital: sex worker

``YOU have got me for an hour and you do not have to pay for it,'' a sex worker joked with her audience at a leadership forum in Launceston yesterday.
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Rachel Wotton addressed about 20 people at a Tasmanian Leaders Program lecture day at the Silverdome.

Ms Wotton, 38, of Hobart, said she had been in the sex industry for 18 years and had worked in different parts of the industry but now specialised in an overlooked clientele _ people with a disability.

She said people at the forum could probably go home that night and be ``frisky'' if they wanted, but some people with a disability had to plan three months in advance, because that was how long it could take to see a sex worker.

``We put man on the moon . . . but in Australia we are still talking about the right of consenting adults to touch each other,'' she said of sex law reform.

But she said the situation had improved, she used to have to ``sneak into'' the places where people with disabilities lived, but now she could often use the front door and sign in as a visitor.

She is a founding member of a group called Touching Base, which assists people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other.

She is also the subject of a 70-minute documentary, Scarlet Road, that screened in Hobart this week that followed her work with clients who had disabilities.

She was also critical of the media, saying some ``lazy journalism'' gave incorrect information and ``gives people permission to slag off sex workers''.

Tasmania is now reviewing sex laws and she called for laws similar to New South Wales, where sex work has been decriminalised, and she said the worst model was the Swedish, or Nordic model, which prosecutes clients.

Sex work in Tasmania is legal if no more than two sex workers work together and neither can manage the other.

Sex worker Rachel Wotton

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