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FEBRUARY 20, 2018 \ STARWEEKLY.COM.AU

NEWS + SPORT + PROPERTY GUIDE

(Marco De Luca)

Colours of the carnival There’ll be a cloud of colour over Epping on Sunday, with the Meadowglen athletics stadium set to host the Whittlesea Colour Carnival. The annual event is based on the Indian Holi Festival and aims to promote cultural diversity. Organiser Nishtha Goel said Holi is known as the festival of colour and love and signifies the victory of good over evil. “For many, it is a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships,” she said. “We want to include and celebrate the cultural diversity in Whittlesea, so we named the event as Whittlesea Colour Carnival where people can come along to have fun in an inclusive way. “People should forget the daily routine, the stress in their work or life, or any problems they are facing and just come for great fun, dance and play with colours.” There will be a colour run for people of all ages and abilities, carnival rides, food trucks, a DJ, and dancing workshops. It’s at 146-156 McDonalds Road, from noon-6pm. Details: facebook.com/events.seashell NISHTHA GOEL, MELISSA FLENTJAR AND SHANTI RAJ

Laura Michell

Cops in body camera trial By Laura Michell Epping police will be among the first in the state to wear body cameras, as part of a trial of the cutting edge technology. Two hundred police stationed at Epping and Ballarat will begin wearing the cameras from April in the first stage of a multi-million dollar plan to roll out 11,000 cameras across the state by 2020. The move will bring Victoria into line with Queensland and New South Wales where the

cameras are already used. Police Minister Lisa Neville said body cameras will support better and more efficient justice outcomes and aim to reduce trauma for victims of family violence. The cameras were recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence as a way of enabling police to collect evidence from victims to use in court. The cameras will enable officers to capture real-time video evidence of the scene of an incident. In August last year, the state government introduced new laws to ensure

police officers can legally use body cameras in their daily duties. Ms Neville said the roll-out would equip Victoria Police with some of the most advanced technology in the country. “Body worn cameras will be a critical tool to respond to family violence issues and other crimes in our community,” she said. “Information is the lifeblood of modern policing, and this technology will build on our huge investments in frontline policing and help keep Victorians safe.”

Whittlesea Inspector Andrew Falconer said local police jumped at the chance to be involved in the trial. “It is a change to our business we knew would be coming and we were keen to make sure the technology meets the needs of our members,” he said. “My personal experience with CCTV is that it is a really effective way to show people’s behaviour. “We see this as a great way of giving credibility to our evidence and enhancing our accountability.”

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Jobs in jeopardy as centre shuts By Laura Michell Close to 200 jobs could be on the line after Whittlesea council voted to close the Mill Park Leisure Centre for almost two years while it is being redeveloped. The YMCA Whittlesea-managed centre will close from mid-2018 to allow the $25 million upgrade to begin, with work expected to be completed in early 2020. Mayor Kris Pavlidis said the council chose to close the centre during the work to reduce the “risk to users”, and to allow construction to be completed earlier and save money. It is not yet known how the closure will

affect the centre’s staff members, with YMCA Whittlesea considering its options. Cr Alahna Desiato said the council’s decision could cost 200 people their jobs. “By going ahead with this decision, [councillors] are going against everything council stands for. We are meant to be promoting jobs and encouraging people to get fit,” she said. “It didn’t need to close for the redevelopment to happen. It could have been done another way.” The closure has angered the community, with gym users accusing the council of keeping them in the dark about the centre’s future.

‘‘

We feel like our concerns have been - Danielle Black dismissed

’’

Councillors approved the closure during a confidential section of the February 6 council meeting. Centre member Danielle Black, who presented a 1200-signature petition calling for the centre to be kept open, said the council had let the community down. It is not known if the 2768 members will be

accommodated at YMCA Whittlesea’s other centres during the closure. “We feel like our concerns have been dismissed,” she said. “As a healthy person, I can drive to a different facility, but for so many others, they don’t have that option,” she said. The redevelopment will include new pools and water play features, an enlarged gym and fitness program areas, a disability access ramp into the current 25-metre pool, new change rooms and family play and barbecue areas. The building will be expanded to accommodate a reception, cafe and meeting space.

CCTV cameras to make May Road safer

Akshan Sheriffdeen, Caitlyn Camilleri, Laura Robertson and Ben Pascuzzi are ready for the fun run. (Damjan Janevski)

Festival of fun, food and fitness Hume residents are being encouraged to pull on their active wear and lace up their runners for the inaugural Craigieburn Twilight Run. The five-kilometre family fun run will be held on Saturday, March 3 as part of the Craigieburn Festival. It will start at Craigieburn Anzac Park at 5pm, with runners heading north along Windrock Avenue, then along a section of the Malcolm Creek Trail and back to Anzac Park.

Entry is $5 for adults and free for children with an accompanying adult. Participants can run or walk the event and wheelchair access is also available. Mayor Geoff Porter said the fun run was a great opportunity for everyone to get active in a fun environment. “The event welcomes runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels to get active and fit with friends and family,” he said. “After participating in the Craigieburn

Twilight Run, you can continue the fun by enjoying everything else that the Craigieburn Festival has to offer this year.” The festival, which runs from 11.30am-9.30pm, will feature rides, food trucks, fireworks, an animal farm, and performances by local musicians and entertainers. Details: hume.vic.gov.au/craigieburnfestival Laura Michell

A CCTV pilot will be launched in Lalor in a bid to attract more people to the May Road shopping centre. The state government has provided $200,000 for the pilot, which will be run by Whittlesea council. The project will involve the installation of CCTV cameras in the May Road precinct in a bid to deter criminal activity and help people feel safer as they go about their business. The council will work with local police to determine what cameras will be used and where they are placed to ensure they are of sufficient quality. The funding is part of the government’s Public Safety Infrastructure fund grants. Thomastown MP Bronwyn Halfpenny said the pilot would help improve community safety and confidence in public places. “This project will help shoppers in the May Road precinct stay safe. This means women, families and the wider community can use this space more comfortably,” she said. “I am often asked by residents why there are not more CCTV cameras in public places such as May Road, Rockdale Square playground and Lalor Bowling Club. “I encourage the council to take further steps in improve safety in these areas.” Laura Michell

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A community safety meeting will be held in Craigieburn on Wednesday to help residents increase their home security. The meeting, organised by Stockland, will include presentations from local police and Neighbourhood Watch chief executive Bambi Gordon. It’s at the Highlands Sales and Information Centre, 1 North Shore Drive, Craigieburn, from 6.30-7.30pm. To attend, register at bit.ly/2Gdt0Od

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A teddy bear is examined at The Northern Hospital. (Supplied)

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Cuddly patients took over The Northern Hospital last week, turning it into a teddy bear hospital for a day. Children and teddy bears filled the hospital foyer on February 12, with medical students on hand to examine the special patients. The Teddy Bear Hospital program allows children to act as parents of a teddy undergoing a pretend medical consultation, introducing them to the hospital and procedures. Northern Health women’s and children’s services general manager Debra Bourne said the teddy bear hospital helped to dispel children’s fear and anxieties about visiting hospital. “Visits to hospital can be daunting for anyone,

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particularly children who are not accustomed to the environment. Programs like the teddy bear hospital can make a real difference in the way that children view hospitals,” she said. “We operate the busiest emergency department in the state, experiencing over 95,000 presentations annually, with one-in-five patients a child. “The teddy bear hospital is a safe, controlled and fun environment to introduce children to their local hospital.” Ms Bourne said the program was also beneficial for Northern Health’s medical students, giving them the chance to engage with children. Laura Michell

Three probationary drivers are without cars after their vehicles were impounded in Bundoora on February 12. Police from Mill Park Drug Response Unit spotted the three cars speeding on Plenty Road about 11pm. It is alleged the vehicles were travelling in excess of 120km/h in 60 and 70 km/h zones.

Family fundraiser

The Craigieburn community is being urged to get behind a fundraiser to help support the La Rose children after their mum, Danielle, died in a car accident on January 9. The accident has left four children without parents. A fundraiser has been set up. Strathmore Heights and Buckley Park Cricket Clubs will host a T20 match on Sunday, March 4, featuring an auction. Details: bit.ly/2ErEiCi FOR BREAKING NEWS, VISIT Web: starweekly.com.au Northern Star Weekly @nstarweekly @star_weekly

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Growth puts squeeze on schools By Laura Michell Five new schools will need to be built in Hume within the next five years to cope with soaring student numbers, according to Hume council. Council data reveals that in 2017, there were 43,161 school-aged children living in Hume. By 2035, the municipality will be home to 61,444 students. Over the next 17 years, there will be a 64 per cent increase in the number of primary school-aged children in Hume, and a 55 per

cent increase in the number of secondary school-aged children. Mayor Geoff Porter said there is an urgent need for more schools in the municipality to accommodate population growth. The council is lobbying for the state government to build five new schools by 2022, starting with the acquisition of land for Merrifield West Primary School this year. It wants the school to be open by 2021. The council is also lobbying for Greenvale North West Primary School and Craigieburn

South Secondary School to be built by 2020, and for land to be acquired for Kalkallo Common Primary School and Merrifield West Secondary School by 2019 to allow the schools to open in 2022. “Over the next 20 years as Hume continues to grow, it is anticipated that there will be a need for an additional 21 state primary and secondary schools to be delivered by the Victorian government in order to meet future population demands,” Cr Porter said. “As one of Melbourne’s fastest growing cities,

we want the Victorian government to ensure that existing schools are not put under further pressure and Hume’s residents are adequately provided for. “Our community needs the timely delivery of these schools to ensure education remains accessible for students of all ages.” The government is already planning to open a new school in Craigieburn next year, with work starting on Aitken Hill Primary School last month. The $13.8 million school was designed in consultation with the community.

Get ready to start your engines Motoring enthusiasts are putting extra shine on their prized cars, trucks and bikes ahead of an annual fundraiser in Craigieburn this weekend. The Craigieburn Car, Truck and Bike Show will be held at Craigieburn Central this Sunday, bringing together motoring enthusiats and the community. The show, which is now in its fourth year, raises money for the Isabella and Marcus Paediatric Brainstem Tumour Fund. Organiser Jim Overend said the show will feature cars dating back 50 years, as well as more modern models. “There will be lots of bikes, cars and trucks of all different shapes and sizes,” he said. Trophies and doors prizes will be presented throughout the day. It’s on from 10am-3pm, and costs $20 to enter a car or truck and $10 for a bike. The public can browse the vehicles for free. Details: bit.ly/2BU6bkL Laura Michell

Jim Overend with a 1928 Ford Roadster and a 1972 XA Fairmont. (Joe Mastroianni)

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Cop shop has crims on the run By Laura Michell The man tasked with running the recently opened Mernda police station is confident it is already helping to reduce crime. The $15 million station – on the corner of Bridge Inn Road and Pimpinella Pass – opened its doors on November 19. Three months on, station commander Dean Delle-Vergini said the new station and its officers were making a big difference in the community. “We have seen a reduction in crime across the board,” Senior Sergeant Delle-Vergini said. “We have extra units and members out there engaging with the community. “People have told us they are noticing an increase in the visible police presence in the area.” The station is home to close to 50 uniformed officers, including 45 new personnel. It also houses the Whittlesea Family Violence Unit, Mernda Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team and Sex Offenders Register, and the Whittlesea area commander, Inspector Andrew Falconer. The station was officially opened by Police Minister Lisa Neville and Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton last Wednesday. The station is the result of close to four years of campaigning by residents who were concerned about soaring crime rates in their growing suburb. Senior Sergeant Delle-Vergini said the station was responsible for responding to calls-outs in Mernda, Doreen and South Morang. It covers a significant part of the Whittlesea police area, freeing up police in Whittlesea, Mill Park and Epping.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett said the new station was an excellent resource for the local community “Mernda police station is a state-of-the-art facility that has been constructed to service the community now and well into the future,” he said. “As the population of Melbourne’s northern suburbs continues to grow, we are ensuring that the police response grows with it. “The local police response for the Whittlesea region is now stronger than ever with this brand new station and 45 additional frontline police joining the police service area.”

Left: First Constable Melisa Steer works the phone. Above: Acting Sergeant Richard Blundell, Senior Sergeant Dean Delle-Vergini and First Constable Melisa Steer outside the new station. Right: Acting Sergeant Richard Blundell settles in to the new station. (Pictures: Marco De Luca)

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Custody staff on the job Police at Broadmeadows and Mill Park will be freed up to return to frontline duties after more than 36 Police Custody Officers were deployed to the stations. Twenty-one Police Custody Officers (PCOS) are now working at Broadmeadows station, with 15 based at Mill Park. They are responsible for searching people coming into the cells; looking after their welfare by organising medical treatment, meals and visitation; and supervising them when attending court. There are now 400 Police Custody Officers, including 50 supervising PCOs, working at 22 of the busiest police stations across the state. The latest recruits graduated from the Victoria Police Academy on February 2. Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam said custody officers provided a vital service to Victoria Police. “PCOs have now been managing people in police custody for two years. In this time, we have seen great improvements in the quality, professionalism and consistency of custody management,” she said. “PCOs have reduced police shifts dedicated to custody by just over 90 per cent – the equivalent of more than 90,000 shifts or hundreds of thousands of hours of police work.” Police Minister Lisa Neville said new police officers would also be deployed across Whittlesea in the coming months. Laura Michell

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Small call for old school housing By Laura Michell Hume council wants a proposed housing development on the site of the former Broadmeadows Primary School to include a mix of one and two bedroom social housing properties and a neighbourhood park. The state government in November announced plans to sell the 2.16-hectare site at 2-16 Nicholas Street. The site has been deemed surplus to requirements and earmarked for rezoning and development as part of the government’s Inclusionary Housing Pilot.

Private and social housing will be built on the land, which will be developed by a private builder in conjunction with community housing providers. In a submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the council said it was important the site offered one and two bedroom properties. According to the council, 87 per cent of Broadmeadows’ social housing are three-bedroom properties, while seven per cent are two bedroom and just one per cent are one bedroom properties.

Close to 14 per cent of the suburb’s population is single-parent households. “Housing stock in Broadmeadows largely comprises older, former public housing two and three bedroom dwellings that although affordably priced when compared to Melbourne’s median houses price, offer few options for small and ageing households seeking well-located and sustainable housing,” the submission said. “Given the significant proportion of single-parent households and an ageing population, there is a need for greater housing

diversity within Broadmeadows to ensure housing supply is meeting the needs of the wider Broadmeadows community.” Cr Karen Sherry said the council would like the development to include a 0.75-hectare neighbourhood park. The department is proposing that a much smaller “pocket” park be built. The department is expected to make a recommendation on how the Nicholas Street site should be developed to Planning Minister Richard Wynne by about the middle of next month.

Time to adopt a pet A three-day adoption blitz will begin this Friday as RSPCA Victoria seeks to house about 1000 pets in desperate need of a home. The RSPCA ‘Clear the Shelter’ promotion will offer $29 adoptions of dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. The drastically cut price will be on offer from Friday to Sunday at all seven RSPCA Victoria animal care centres and participating Petbarn stores. RSPCA Victoria chief executive Dr Liz Walker said the promotion aims to find forever homes for animals currently in RSPCA care. “We monitor adoption promotions carefully and have found that the price someone pays to acquire an animal has no impact on return rates and no negative impact on the animal’s welfare,” she said. Dr Walker said RSPCA Victoria does not have a limit on how long an animal can remain in its care, but believes that pets belong in

homes not shelters. “The $29 fee is nowhere near what it costs to prepare an animal for adoption, but if we can get hundreds of pets into permanent homes then that’s a really worthwhile investment,” she said. All adoption animals are desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, health and behaviour checked and adoption procedures will ensure each animal is matched to the right family. Visit the Epping Animal Welfare Facility at 20 Companion Place, Epping between Friday and Sunday, February 23-25. Further details: rspcavic.org/adoption Benjamin Millar Store manager Shannon Hill with an RSPCA Victoria adoption kitten. (Damjan Janevski)

If you live in a suburb near grasslands, you’re at risk of fire. If you live directly next to parks or paddocks and a fire starts, walk at least two streets back. If you live two or more streets away, stay where you are. Grassfires are unlikely to spread into built up areas. Stay alert and monitor conditions. Don’t drive, visibility may be poor, accidents are likely, and you could block emergency services.

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NEWS STARWEEKLY.COM.AU

MY PLACE Rick Byers has been volunteering in Attwood and Westmeadows for more than 25 years. He was recently named as joint citizen of the year for Hume. He chats with Laura Michell. How long have you lived in Attwood and what brought you to the area?

with the community house over the next few years and I’ve been there ever since.

We moved to Attwood in 1990. We had a flat in Ascot Vale and were looking to expand the family. It seemed like a nice quiet area and I was familiar with it having grown up in Glenroy. It was affordable and had everything I needed.

What’s your connection to Westmeadows Football Club?

I like the village atmosphere and the shops at Westmeadows. I can walk down to the pub if I choose. I rarely go anywhere these days without saying “G’day” to someone I know. It’s a nice little area. How long have you been involved with Attwood House Community Centre? How did you get involved? I think it’s since late 1991 or 1992. I was part of a tree-planting program through Greening Australia and asked the community house if I could plant trees near their site. I got involved

What do you enjoy about volunteering? I always take the view that somebody has got to do it. My dad was a good role model. He was involved with Glenroy Youth Club and I joined the committee there at 17. I have been on committees pretty much ever since. Where is your favourite local place to spend time? Where I live backs on to Attwood Creek. It is a lovely walk along there. And it is even nicer if the destination is the local bakery or pub.

(Damjan Janevski)

What do you like about the area?

My son played there for six years and I did goal umpiring. A friend of mine got me in to coach. I was involved with junior football for seven years and Auskick for 20.

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR WANT YOUR EVENT LISTED? Community Calendar is made available free of charge to not-for-profit organisations to keep the public informed of special events and activities. Send item details to Star Weekly Community Calendar, Corner Thomsons Road and Keilor Park Drive, Keilor Park, 3042, or email to communitycalendar@starweekly.com.au. Deadline for copy and announcements is noon Tuesday.

Pokie nation

Rose garden working bee

Outdoor cinema

Dance workshops

Get those toes tapping at free dance workshops in Doreen and Mernda every Wednesday until March 28. Organised by Ausdance, the sessions are suitable for people of all ages and abilities. A parents and bubs session will run at Orchard Road Community and Early Learning Centre in Doreen from 10-11.30am, with adult sessions to follow at Waterview Pavilion, 60 Waterview Road, Mernda, from 1.30-3pm. ■ 9217 2172

Family fun day

Visit Thomastown Neighbourhood House on Saturday, March 3 for a family fun day. There will be stilt walkers, market stalls,

Help the Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden to bloom by taking part in a working bee on Friday, March 2, from 9am. Bring your own gloves and boots. At the corner of Green Street and Bulla Road, Bulla. ■ 9205 2306

(iStock)

Make your way to Broadmeadows Civic Plaza, on Friday, February 23, for a free screening of Despicable Me 3. The movie is part of Hume council’s summer sessions movie series. There will be food stalls and fun from 6pm, with the movie kicking off at 7pm. BYO chair or rug. ■ www.hume.vic.gov.au

face-painting and stories in the garden from 10am-1pm. At Main Street Reserve. ■ 8376 6939

Volunteer youth mentors

Raise Foundation is seeking mentors from Whittlesea and Hume to work with high school students for two hours per week during terms two and three. Mentors need to be over 21 and have a genuine interest in working with young people. ■ mentorvic@raise.org.au

Nannas Makers Market

Browse the stalls at the Nannas Makers Market at the Uniting Church hall, 105

WIN THIS Skinny Sugar lets you enjoy the same sweet taste of your favourite cakes and biscuits with 50 per cent less sugar. It’s made from a blend of plant-derived sweetener and Australian grown cane sugar. We’ve got five prize packs (valued at $44 each) to give away so you can bake all your favourite treats. www.skinnysugar.com.au To enter, click on the WIN tab at www. starweekly.com.au and follow the prompts. Entries close at 11.59pm on Sunday, February 25 and will be drawn the next day at 380 City Road, Southbank, 3006. Entrants must be over 18 years old and reside in Victoria. See our Competition Terms & Conditions for more details. All winners will be contacted direct by the prize supplier and within seven days of the winners being drawn.

Schotters Road, Mernda, on Saturday, February 24, 10am-1pm. There will be an array of handmade goods, including jams, toys, tutus and candles on sale. Bring the kids and get their faces painted. ■ facebook.com/nannasmakersmarket

Support and exercise group

The Craigieburn Support and Exercise Group meets at Newbury Child and Community Centre, 440 Grand Boulevard, on Wednesdays. Take part in chair-based exercises or Nordic walking from 9.30-10.30am, or craft classes from 11am-1pm. ■ 9308 4456

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Learn more about the addictive design and nature of gaming machines with the screening of award-winning documentary, Ka-Ching Pokie Nation at Craigieburn library on Tuesday, February 27, 11am-12.30pm. At 75-95 Central Park Avenue. Bookings required. ■ 9356 6980

NEWS

11 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ FEBRUARY 20, 2018


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SPORT Jacana’s bowlers bring out their best By Tara Murray A devastating spell of bowling from Jacana turned a match in the balance into a good win against Aberfeldie Park in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association north A1. Aberfeldie Park was looking on track to chase down Jacana’s 197-run total, but with Aberfeldie at 3-117 the game turned on its head. The Jaguars took 7-25 to bowl Aberfeldie Park out for 142 and seal the win. Jaguars captain-coach Luke Macumber said they had battled hard in the worst of the conditions on day one to set up the win. “The pitch was sticky and the outfield was slow with clippings still on the ground when we batted,” he said. “This week the pitch was flat and easier to bat on. We thought if the conditions were the same we had more than enough on the board, but when we looked at the pitch on day two we

thought the score was probably just on par.” The Jaguars started well with the ball, taking 3-32, before a 90-odd run partnership turned the game in Aberfeldie Park’s favour. But after tea it was all the Jaguars. Sameera Vithana took 6-28 to go with his 87 on day one of the match. The win is the Jaguars’ fifth of the season. With one round remaining, they sit sixth on the ladder, but finals are already out of the equation. Macumber said in the pre-season the team had hoped it could make finals with both its top sides but it didn’t happen. “We struggled to get our regular team on the park every week. We had a changing side every week … with our top side we would have been pushing for top four easily. “It is a little disappointing as we had good numbers at the start of the season and were looking at finals.

“There was a few players unavailable and a few disappeared after Christmas.” Macumber said there were plenty of positives to come out of the season, with several second XI players getting shots in the top side. In other results, Greenvale Kangaroos got their second win of the senior division season, defeating Keilor, while Tullamarine was defeated by Strathmore. After conceding first innings points on day one, Craigieburn batted well on day two to avoid an outright result against Altona North in the north-west division. In north-west A1, Westmeadows got its third outright win of the season to cement its spot on top. In north-west C3, Roxburgh Park defeated St Andrews Pascoe Vale. The win is the Falcons third in five games and a reversal of fortune after the club dropped games due to a lack of numbers earlier in the season.

Paul Higgins was one of the better bowlers for Lalor Stars, but it wasn’t enough. (Damian Visentini)

Game Stars fall just short in T20 final

John Lever was the pick of Epping’s bowlers on Saturday. (Damien Visentini)

Narrow loss hurts Epping

By Tara Murray

Epping’s season may have been all but over, but the side wasn’t going down without a fight in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association’s Barclay Shield. Epping needed to win its last two games and hope a raft of other results went its way if it was going to sneak into the top four. While unable to get that first win, Epping coach Andrew Bennett was thrilled with how his side fought it out to the end against North Eltham Wanderers. Epping made 167 on day one of the match, and both sides looked like winners at times during the second day. “It was close the whole way,” Bennett said. “We were defending a modest total all day long and were only beaten on the final ball. “We started off well and continued until they were 6-100-odd after we got some wickets in the middle order. “They got one partnership towards the back 14 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ FEBRUARY 20, 2018

end of the innings and that got them to the brink of winning. They needed 10 runs with three wickets in hand.” Blake Dobbin took two wickets in an over to give Epping a shot at victory but it wasn’t to be with the North Eltham Wanderers finishing 9-168. John Lever was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets for Epping. The loss ends Epping’s finals chance, with the side sitting eighth ahead of a final round match with Diamond Creek. Bennett said the season hadn’t panned out the way they had hoped. “We brought together what we thought was a good squad,” he said. “[But] Every week someone has been unavailable with work, a wedding or other engagements. We haven’t had consistency in the first XI squad.” Bennett said Michael Fitzpatrick and Shanyn Kearney had been given chances in the top side in recent weeks and both had done the jobs asked of them.

Despite missing finals the club is looking to finish the season on a high against Diamond Creek, and a win would be extra special as the club celebrates 10 years since its 2007-08 Barclay Shield premiership. Epping defeated Diamond Creek on that day, with current player John Lever top-scoring for in the win. Bennett said several past players would be in attendance at the match. In other Barclay Shield matches, Bundoora kept its finals hopes alive with victory against Old Paradians. The Bulls’ total of 139 proved enough, with the Wolves bowled out for 129. Bundoora sits sixth heading into the final round, only percentage outside the top four. Bundoora United and Mernda need things to go their way if they are to sneak into the Money Shield top four. Both sit six points outside the top four, after a win and loss respectively at the weekend. A loss on Saturday, ended Lalor Stars finals hopes.

Lalor Stars fell just short in their chase for a first Northern Region T20 title on Tuesday night. A surprise packet of the competition, the Stars were thrilled to be in the final against Diamond Creek in the first place. Last season the Stars didn’t enter a team in the competition and made it through to this year’s final by defeating the Diamond Valley Cricket Association’s top side, Riverside. The Stars were more than competitive in the final, falling eight runs short of victory after a below par start with the bat. Diamond Creek got away from the Stars with the bat, making 4-157 from its 20 overs. Victorian Premier Cricket batsman Michael Hill, who was a guest player for the Creekers for their past four games, was the standout, making 61 at the top of the order. Jordan Steele was the only bowler to take multiple wickets for the Stars, taking 2-32. Paul Higgins was the tightest of the bowlers, going for a run a ball. The Stars got off to a disastrous start in their run chase and were in trouble at 3-7. They regrouped with a 64-run partnership between Andrew Fergusson and Steele and looked to make a late run at the total. The loss of two quick wickets slowed the Stars down before some big hitting from skipper Ricky Mittica. He fell for 50 pushing for late runs. His 50 came from 29 balls which included three fours and four sixes. In the end, the Stars fell eight runs short, making 7-150. The win means Diamond Creek is through to the finals of the statewide Regional T20 competition to be held later this year. Tara Murray


STARWEEKLY.COM.AU

SPORT

Positive thinking puts Bats finals bid back on track

James Dickinson top-scored for the Bats with 66. (Mark Wilson)

Plenty Valley took a more positive mindset into its Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association north-west match with Ivanhoe – and it paid off in spades. Coming off the back of two losses, the Bats entered the match with a finals spot on the line and under more pressure than they had faced in recent years. The Bats put together a well-timed performance, with all involved contributing to getting the side into a strong position. Skipper James Dickinson said in the lead-up to the game the players spoke about getting their batting approach back on track. “We tried not to get tied down and take more initiative and put it back on the bowlers more than we had the last few weeks,” he said. “We’ve got guys who can play their shots and they did that yesterday.” The Bats produced their most even batting performance of the season, making 9-306 off their overs with a spread of contributors. Dickinson top-scored with 66 and Daniel Heatley made 60, as nine of the 11 players reached double figures. Dickinson said it was about making sure they got the timing of the

innings right. “Everyone played their role,” he said. “The top order batted time and made sure they minimised the loss of wickets, which allowed the lower order to hit out a bit more in the second half of the innings.” Sanjeet Ajgaonkar’s debut for the Bats on Saturday was a proud moment for the club. Ajgaonkar started at the club in Milo cricket and has progressed through the ranks to the top side. Dickinson said he was a pleasure to have around the senior side. “He loves his cricket and has fitted in so well,” he said. “He didn’t make many runs, but he acquitted himself well while he was out there.” Despite having 300 on the board, the Bats won’t be taking it easy, having lost from a similar position two rounds ago. Dickinson said they would look to target Ivanhoe’s better players and hope to get early wickets. A win this week would go a long way to sealing the Bats finals spot. Currently sitting fifth, they are one of six

Ranges take their time By Tara Murray New Whittlesea Ranges coach Gianfranco Impellizzeri believes it will take a few weeks to get a better indication of the real Ranges in National Premier League west 2. With a new coach and massive changes to the playing group, Impellizzeri knows it will take some time for the side to gel on the field. The Ranges kicked off their season on Saturday against St Albans and suffered a 2-0 defeat. “Unfortunately the start didn’t go the right way, but we picked up some positives and negatives,” Impellizzeri said. “The negative was that we didn’t get the three points, but the positives are we got something from the game and know where we can improve. “Long term, I think we can definitely improve, we are a quite competitive team. We have a lot of new players and it will easily take a month before we get it all together in games.” In Saturday’s game, a 10 minute period in which the Saints scored twice to take control of the game made all the difference. Impellizzeri said the game could have easily gone either way. “With St Albans coming back from NPL we knew their squad was a strong squad … I knew it would be a physical game. “We had a few chances in the first half to score some goals and we didn’t take our chances. “It could have gone either way. St Albans got the first goal and then the penalty in 10 minutes and we couldn’t come back from there.” Impellizzeri said he was happy with the performances of some of the new recruits, headlined by former Socceroo Simon Colosimo. Colosimo played under Impellizzeri at Dandenong Thunder and followed him across during the off season. Saul Halpin, Jose Ramirez, Nicholas Kostadinoski, Greg Lombardo, Anthony Colosimo and Majok Piok are among other recruits. The Ranges squad also has plenty of youth, with nearly 10 players in the senior squad aged 19 and below. Impellizzeri said the aim this season was to be competitive and hopefully push for promotion. He said it was about helping the club become more powerful in Melbourne’s north. “I come from a winning competition, my understanding for this year is to be competitive and try and win again, but not at any cost. “I want to start a new era for Whittlesea Ranges.” The NPL top grade season will begin this weekend, with Hume City facing Kingston

teams separated by six points with two rounds remaining. “Hopefully, we win this one, and then win the next one and take some good form into finals,” Dickinson said. In Victorian Women’s Premier Cricket, the Bats had a thrilling win against Prahran. Returning to the one-day format for the first time since November, the Bats held their nerve late to get the victory. The Bats made 6-196 with Providence Cowdrill starring in her first one-day game for the Bats. She made 78 not out at the top of the order. Prahran looked in trouble at 5-96 and then again at 9-171. It continued to fight until the last over but fell short at 9-191. Kiara Jones and Jane Riley took two wickets each for the Bats. The win is the Bats’ first of the one-day competition. They sit in fifth spot after seven rounds. The Bats will face Essendon at Maribyrnong Park on Sunday. Tara Murray

Sports shorts Premier

The tough times continue for Greenvale Kangaroos in Victorian Premier Cricket. Coming off successive outright losses, the Kangaroos again struggled with the ball, this time against Camberwell Magpies. The Magpies put on a massive 5-356 from their overs. Jordan Buckingham was the best of the bowlers taking 3-47. The Kangaroos faced five overs at the end of the day, getting through unscathed, 0-13.

NMCA

Rivergum’s hold on top spot of the North Metro Cricket Association’s Jika Shield is under threat, despite a good win against Holy Trinity. The Kookas had already claimed first innings points on day one and declared at 3-130, with a lead of 55. Holy Trinity made 278 in its second innings to avoid an outright loss and the Kookas were 0-23 in their second innings. Preston Baseballers got an outright win to move equal top with the Kookas. Lalor Warriors tough season continued with an outright loss to North Brunswick-Rosebank.

Bowls

Bundoora RSL came away with one point from its match with ladder-leaders Altona in Bowls Victoria pennant premier division. Bundoora was able to square one rink, but was easily beaten in the other three rinks to lose, 100 (17)-70 (1). Bundoora sits seventh with two rounds remaining. Bundoora’s second side lost to Whittlesea 80 (14)-65 (4) in division 1, section 2. The win keeps Whittlesea on top of the ladder and Bundoora sits fourth.

Cricket

Only a miracle will stop Gladstone Park from playing finals in the North Metropolitan Cricket Association’s George Lucombe Shield. The Burras, who had the bye at the weekend, sit 10 points clear of Burnside Springs heading into the final round. The Burras face third-placed Pascoe Vale Central in a two-day clash. A win would move the Burras ahead of Pascoe Vale. In weekend results, Donnybrook was defeated by Northern Lions. Simon Colosimo headlines the signings for Whittlesea Ranges this year. (Damien Visentini)

City on Monday night. Meanwhile, in the opening round of FFA Cup qualifying, Bundoora United won through to round one of the Victorian stage. United defeated East Kew 2-0.

Meadow Park lost to Old Trinity Grammarians, while Campbellfield Lions lost to Waverley Wanderers. The draw for the next round was expected to be released on Monday.

FOR MORE SPORT, VISIT Web: starweekly.com.au Northern Star Weekly @starweeklysport @star_weekly 15 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ FEBRUARY 20, 2018


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