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Five questions for the ODI Tri-Series

Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas
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Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams

Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas

Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams

Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas

Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams

Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas

Now that the Test series against India is done and dusted, attention turns to the ODI Tri-Series between England, India and Australia, with the host nation playing its first match against England on Friday. Here are five questions that could be answered by the end of the tournament:

Can Eoin Morgan turn things around for England?

With Alistair Cook dropped as captain and Kevin Pietersen seemingly barred from ever being selected again, England’s squad is in transition. The team has a lot to be excited about, however, with batsman Ian Bell and spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali providing hope to the English with some stellar performances in recent tour matches. Into this state of flux steps new captain Eoin Morgan, and the Dublin-born 28-year-old now faces a hostile world of English tabloids, fired-up Aussie quicks and ECB politics. Morgan has to demonstrate that he can negotiate all of these things during the Tri-Series, or his stint as English captain may be short-lived.

Is the Big Show really ready for the big time?

Glenn Maxwell is as enigmatic as ever. After clubbing 136 runs off 89 balls as part of the Prime Minister’s XI against a full-strength English bowling attack, Maxwell continues to make himself indispensable to the Australian squad in the same way that Shane Watson has at Test level – by intriguing everyone with unfulfilled potential. The self-designated ‘Big Show’ has never had his ability called into question, but whether Maxwell succeeds or fails dramatically, the triangular series will no doubt make the selectors’ jobs even harder.

How much longer does Dhoni have in international cricket?

Despite retiring from Test match cricket, there can be no question that MS Dhoni is still a force in one-day internationals. His batting average may be just a hair over 38 in Tests, but the Indian captain averages almost 53 after 250 ODIs. In fact, Dhoni is the only player who averages – or has ever averaged – more than 45 after 250 ODIs, and has scored half-centuries in five of his last nine ODI innings. Don’t expect Dhoni to give up the Indian captaincy, let alone his spot in the team, at least until the Cricket World Cup is done.

Where to now for Australia’s captain?

Michael Clarke is racing to get fit for the World Cup, and faces weeks of hard work on the sidelines throughout the whole of the triangular series. His injury, however, sees him miss the much-needed match practice that this tournament offers before the first group game he can possibly hope to be fit for, the February 21 match against Bangladesh. Whether the lack of time in the middle will be too much for the Aussie skipper, only time will tell.

Are Australia’s bowling stocks being mismanaged?

Frontline Test bowlers Ryan Harris and Nathan Lyon haven’t been selected in the squad for either the Tri-Series or the Cricket World Cup, and pundits are questioning the omissions. With Xavier Doherty the only specialist spinner in the squad and every fast bowler (apart from Mitchell Johnson) aged under 25, Australia’s rookies will have to fight for their places with some standout performances. The inclusions of Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitch Marsh and Shane Watson suggest that all-rounders are prized above out-and-out bowlers for the World Cup, and the final XI for Saturday’s game against England will no doubt make the selector’s preferences abundantly clear.

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Brisbane woman to hike 3555km Appalachian Trail

Stephanie Jones is preparing for a 3555km hike across the Appalachian Trail. Photo: suppliedCome March 28, Stephanie Jones will be starting a 3555km, six-month hike she expects to push her to the very edge of her physical and mental limits – and perhaps beyond.
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But the Eatons Hill 27-year-old isn’t being subjected to some sort of cruel and unusual punishment, instead she’s paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of hiking the Appalachian Trail on the United States east coast.

Ms Jones believes she’ll be one of just five Australians ‘thru-hiking’ the trail this year. Meaning she plans to walk the whole track in one big block.

The former Navy sailor first heard about the trail on a cop show a few years back but it didn’t take for her long to become utterly obsessed.

First it was a book by author Bill Bryson, then discovering blogs and first-person accounts and by last year she was following the personal journeys of a couple of walkers and even sending them care packages.

A huge online community has sprung up around the 2000-3000 people who walk the trail every year, making it easy to become involved.

She left the Navy in July last year and made the call a few months later.

“I don’t really know what it is that draws me to want to challenge myself in that way,” she said.

“It’s sort of something that stuck in my mind and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I was just like, I have to do this.”

The Navy helped prepare Jones for the mental anguish of spending months away from family friends and she’s been hiking as much as possible for physical training. But she knows that no preparation can really be enough.

“How you prepare for 21 days straight of rain I don’t know,” she said.

“The impact that it has on your body to walk up and down X amount of miles worth of mountain, you know the knees and the ankles and the feet.

“Blisters will just be a small thing compared to the way the rest of my body will be feeling by the end of it.”

With a failure rate believed to be 70-80 per cent, Ms Jones knows she’s up against it.

Even a 2011 journey along the Kokoda Track, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, isn’t quite the same experience as six months in the mountains.

Where four years ago she was with friends from the Navy, this time she will be flying solo.

The hikers start out together but make their own way through the 14-state journey stopping only occasionally in towns to resupply. She plans to allow herself a handful of nights in a hotel along the way to help get herself through.

She’s almost ready to go but is looking for reader support to win an invaluable collection of hiking gear in a competition, which closes Monday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Man dies in Kennington crash

Man dies in Kennington crash The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN
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The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

TweetFacebookUPDATE 9.59am:

TOWNSEND Street in Kennington has been reopened following a fatal crash early this morning.

Townsend Street at Kennington has been reopened following the fatal crash this morning.

— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) January 15, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

American ace primed for Bayliss Classic

Bayliss Classic riders Josh Hook, Troy Bayliss and Jared Meers enjoying some R and R at Oxley Island before the Saturday January 17 event.AMERICAN Jared Mees is enjoying his first trip to Australia, but the AMA flat track champion bike rider assures he’s not here for a holiday.
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Mees will be one of the star attractions at tomorrow’s Troy Bayliss Classic at Taree Motor Cycle Club’s Old Bar Roadside Circuit. He’s also tipped to be Bayliss’s biggest challenger for overall honours.

But while they’ll be rivals on the track tomorrow, at the moment Bayliss is ensuring that Mees has a great time while he’s here. The Times caught up with Bayliss, Josh Hook, who’ll also be riding tomorrow and Mees while they were enjoying the Manning River at Oxley Island at the home of Col and Samantha Robb, close friends of Bayliss.

“It’s a pleasure to be out here,” Mees said.

“The weather’s just awesome and Troy is showing me the ropes and taking good care of me.”

Mees had heard about the classic while racing in America and he was invited to take part by Bayliss when both were competing at the Superprestigio in Barcelona in December.

“He said ‘hey mate, we need to get you out here man.’ So we started to work on it and put it all together,” Mees explained.

“Before I knew it we had me a plane ticket and all the accommodation was taken care of.

“They’ve taken care of me first class. I don’t have one thing I can complain about – maybe too much sun, that’s about it,” he laughed.

Mees was direct when asked if he can win the classic.

“Yeah, I think I can,” he said.

“I was testing at Gunnedah a week ago. Troy was going pretty good and another American Henry Wiles was going pretty good. But I feel I’ve got a good a shot as anybody.”

Mees has no doubt his bike will be up to the task.

“It’s a motor cycle, it’s got a throttle and a brake. I’ll figure out the rest,” he assured.

He concedes the Old Bar track is ‘a little different’ to what he races on in America.

“But I’ll adapt to it pretty quick I reckon,” Mees added.

He’ll start racing in America at the beginning of March.

“When I get home it’s all business until I get to Daytona. I’ve got bikes to build and I have to pay attention to my program.”

Mees hails from Michigan. The 28-year-old admits the weather will be freezing when he makes it home. He’ll leave early next week.

“If I knew I was going to have this much fun out here I would have stayed another week,” he smiled.

Mees hopes to be back again.

“As long as they keep inviting me I’ll be out,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cundletown’s Cudlin prepares for classic challenge

DAMIAN Cudlin was a late withdrawal from last year’s Troy Bayliss Classic after his wife fell ill.
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However, all is now on track for tomorrow’s event at Taree Motor Cycle Club’s Old Bar Roadside Circuit and Cudlin is determined to put on a good show.

Cudlin rode in the inaugural event in 2013 but admits his results were somewhat underwhelming. This time around he believes he has a bike that will roar him into contention.

“I’ll be in there trying anyway,” he said.

Cudlin nominates Bayliss as the rider to beat. However, he was one of a number of riders who tested at Gunnedah last weekend on a track that is similar to Old Bar. He said the American contingent will also give plenty of cheek tomorrow.

“They’re going to be fast,” he said.

Cudlin enjoyed his first experience riding in the classic.

“It’s a good event,” he said.

“They get a big crowd out at the track. It should be the same this weekend so hopefully we can put on a show for them.”

Cudlin started his racing career at the Old Bar track. The sport has taken him around the world and he was based in Germany for a number of years.

But these days he’s happy back living in Cundletown, although he still rides in Europe.

“I’ve missed too many family birthdays and Christmases because I was living away,” he explains.

“So it’s good to be back living here. There’s a bit of travel involved, but that doesn’t bother me.”

Cudlin has signed with Yamaha and will be riding in the European Superbike Championship this year.

He’ll be in Italy next month for the launch of Yamaha’s new bike.

“I’m also hoping to ride with Yamaha in the World Endurance Championship,” he said.

“The details haven’t been fully financed yet. But I’m hoping to sign the contract when I’m in Italy.”

Cudlin has also gained sponsorship from Saxby’s Soft Drinks for tomorrow.

“Sponsors are hard to find and it’s great that a local firm like Saxbys will back a local rider,” he said.

Cudlin’s brother, Alex, will miss tomorrow’s classic.

He has commitments in Qatar, where he’s defending the Qatar Superbike Championship.

He’s won the title there for the last four years, which is a record.

Paul Berg from Saxbys Soft Drinks wishes Damian Cudlin all the best as he prepares for Saturday’s Troy Bayliss Classic

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Danny Buderus Field to be named at Taree Recreation Centre

THE official naming of the Danny Buderus Field will be held as part of the Manning in Motion’s celebrity league tag challenge on Saturday January 24.
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Taree Panthers Junior Rugby League Club made the suggestion to council to name the field opposite the canteen at Taree Recreation Centre in Buderus’s honour. Buderus started his rugby league career at a junior playing at the recreation centre. He is also a patron of the Taree Panthers.

Buderus is Taree’s most decorated footballer. He played for Australia 25 times and represented NSW in 21 State of Origin matches. While playing in England with Leeds he captained the Exiles team against England – a team made up of overseas players involved in the English Super League.

A hooker, Buderus played a record number of matches with the Newcastle Knights while he was a member of the club’s premiership winning side in 2001. He was the Dally M player of the year in 2004. Buderus was inducted into the Greater Taree City Council Sporting Hall of Fame in 2010.

He retired after the 2013 season but remains involved with the Knights in a coaching capacity.

His last game in this area was in 1994 when he played five-eighth for Taree United’s premiership winning under 18 side.

“It is very fitting that this field be named in his honour to recognise his achievements,” mayor Paul Hogan said.

“His sporting achievements are something that many young Manning athletes can aspire to.”

Buderus will join the mayor, the executive of the Taree Panthers and Manning in Motion organisers at noon on Saturday January 24 to officially name the field. The community are invited to attend.

Danny Buderus makes a break for NSW in a State of Origin clash in 2005. A field will be named in his honour at Taree Recreation Centre on Saturday January 24.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Taree footballer off to high performance camp

Clive Bloomfield from Iguana with the first sportstar of the week for 2015, footballer Sam Modderno.TAREE’S Sam Modderno has been selected for the Northern NSW Football’s Telstra High Performance Camp.
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Sam has been named in the 12 years division. The camp will be attended by selected country and Emerging Jets players.

Sam is the only Manning-based player named.

The camp will be held at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility in Spears Point this weekend.

Newcastle Jets coaching staff will attend. Sam will be hoping to be named in the Northern NSW team to contest the Australian championships later this year.

Sam is the first Manning River Times Iguana Sportstar of the Week for 2015. He wins a $50 open order at Iguana.

He started playng football when he was five. He says it’s the number one in his life.

“I played school basketball, but that’s it,” Sam said.

During football season Sam’s weekends are spent travelling to Port Macquarie and Newcastle to play in the Football Mid North Coast team in the under 13s National Premier League.

The team has been in training with their coach Daryl Pascoe since September, with their season starting in March.

Sam’s inspiration comes from his favourite players Tim Cahill and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sam is looking forward to the Telstra High Performance Camp, although another football event is on his mind.

“My uncle got me tickets to the semi-finals of the Asian Cup in Newcastle,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Great nominations for upcoming race meet

TAREE Wingham Race Club has again received great nominations from city, provincial and country trainers for its seven-race TAB meeting at Taree on Tuesday.
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A feature race, the Manning In Motion Raceday Benchmark 60 Handicap over 1267m, has attracted runners from Hawkesbury, Muswellbrook, Broadmeadow, Scone, Taree and Port Macquarie, many of them placed or recent winners in what should be a very competitive event.

Four-year-old gelding Showmaster is a last start winner at Bathurst for Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer, that being its first start back from a spell over 1200m on December 19.

Broadmeadow trainer Grant Marshall has had plenty of success with Slots and Miss Tripod at this track and he has a handy one in four-year-old mare Gods Gift To Women which has run third at Port when resuming and then was only beaten a half-length over 1200m at Gosford on December 31.

Port five-year-old gelding Friendsinlowplaces resumed from a spell with a solid win over 1100m on its home track on December 15 and wasn’t disgraced when 2.6 lengths back in fifth behind Youwaitandsee over 1206m at the same track on January 8.

Placed in the same race was five-year-old gelding Delagos, trained at Port by Neil Godbolt, it being capable on its day.

Taree seven-year-old mare Ruling Class had strung four thirds together at its past four starts at Port, Scone and Taree before a 3.4 lengths seventh to Youwaitandsee and has placed five times at Taree.

Broadmeadow trainer Paul Perry had a frustrating run with his gallopers at Taree’s five previous meetings, but grabbed the feature Wingham Beef Exports Cup over 1400m at the club’s last meeting with six-year-old gelding Pesaro.

He has a live chance in four-year-old gelding Salerton which was beaten less than two lengths by Dream Habit over 1100m at Scone and should be suited here.

Another exciting race will be the Winning Post Function Centre Benchmark 55 Handicap over 2018m where three last start winners in Just Atina, trained at Coffs Harbour by Brett Dodson, Dubai Dusk, trained at Broadmeadow by Mick Dwyer and Kempsey’s Brasileiro Macho, from the in-form stable of Julie Lynch, are engaged.

Just Atina and Dubai Dusk won races around the distance at Port whereas Brasileiro scored at Kempsey after being a close second in the Woop Woop Cup at Wauchope on Boxing Day.

The track should be in perfect order despite a few showers, it gaining widespread acceptance from visiting trainers who scooped all seven races at Taree’s last meeting.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

School’s out: Junior Country Music academy kids graduatePHOTOS

School’s out: Junior Country Music academy kids graduate | PHOTOS Jessikah Baillie, Siobhan Cotchin and Ella Radbone. Photo:Gareth Gardner 15011GGE04
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Ruby Gilbert, Bonnie-lee Jessen and Caitlyn Wessels Photo:Gareth Gardner 15011GGE02

Tyson Lucas, Tim Drury and Jenny Mitchell. Photo:Gareth Gardner 15011GGE03

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Darren Galea shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity, police say

Darren Galea was shot in the head at close range. Photo: Kate Geraghty Darren Galea was shot in the head at close range. Photo: Kate Geraghty
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Police believe Galea may have been shot in a case of mistaken identity. Photo: Kate Geraghty

Darren Galea was shot in the head at close range. Photo: Kate Geraghty

Darren Galea was shot in the head at close range. Photo: Kate Geraghty

A car similar to the white Toyota Corolla seen in the South Wentworthville area on January 16. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea’s Toyota Corolla that was found burnt out two hours after he was murdered. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea, 34, murdered at Auburn in 2014 in what police believe may have been a case of mistaken identity. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea, 34, murdered at Auburn in 2014 in what police believe may have been a case of mistaken identity. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea’s Toyota Corolla that was found burnt out two hours after he was murdered. Photo: Police Media

A car similar to the white Toyota Corolla seen in the South Wentworthville area on January 16. Photo: Police Media

A car similar to the white Toyota Corolla seen in the South Wentworthville area on January 16. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea’s Toyota Corolla that was found burnt out two hours after he was murdered. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea, 34, murdered at Auburn in 2014 in what police believe may have been a case of mistaken identity. Photo: Police Media

A car similar to the white Toyota Corolla seen in the South Wentworthville area on January 16. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea’s Toyota Corolla that was found burnt out two hours after he was murdered. Photo: Police Media

Darren Galea, 34, murdered at Auburn in 2014 in what police believe may have been a case of mistaken identity. Photo: Police Media

He was a quiet family man, a hard working restaurant manager and an upstanding citizen that “mostly kept to himself”.

But Darren Galea’s body was found under the Duck River Bridge in Auburn last year, shot in the head at close range and dumped in muddy parkland with his hands bound.

One year after his death on January 16, police have made the shock revelation that Mr Galea, 34, was most likely the victim of a case of mistaken identity in a crime that has links to the Ibrahim family.

Ballistics testing on the single bullet that killed Mr Galea was able to establish links to two other shootings in Sydney – the shooting of a man in Auburn in 2012 and a drive-by shooting in Merrylands in 2011 targeting notorious cousins of the Ibrahim family.

The first was related to a drug activity and the second was related to a Nomads bikie gang dispute however Mr Galea had nothing to do with either.

“There is nothing in Mr Galea’s past to suggest any links with organised crime or drug activity, which is why we believe it could have been a case of mistaken identity,” said Detective Inspector Mark Henney from the Homicide Squad.

“By all accounts, Mr Galea was close to his family, worked hard at his job as a manager of a fast food restaurant, and kept mostly to himself. There is certainly nothing in his past to indicate why he would be targeted in this fashion.”

Police will use the anniversary of Mr Galea’s death on Friday to appeal for information that may help their hunt for his killer.

Mr Galea was kidnapped, taken to the reserve beneath the Duck River Bridge and shot in the head just after midnight on January 16. His hands were bound and his body was dumped

His white Corolla hatchback was set alight hear his home in South Wentworthville two hours later. A second white Toyota Corolla with two men was seen in the area and detectives believe it is linked to the murder.

At 6am, a 62 year-old man discovered the body while on his morning walk and initially thought it was headless.

Early information suggested that Mr Galea may have been murdered because he was involved in the reported sexual assault of a six-year-old girl in a toilet block at Guildford just a week earlier.

However, Detective Inspector Henney said they have conclusively ruled out any involvement by Mr Galea.

He had no known enemies and no links with organised crime, he said.

Police are hopeful someone may have seen the white Toyota Corolla with two men in the Wentworthville area in the early hours of January 16.

They are also hoping someone can shed light on Mr Galea’s movements the night before. They know he drove from Merrylands to his home about 4pm and that he was seen by a friend at a service station on Merrylands Road at 8.20pm.

The next four hours before his execution are a mystery.

In a frightening coincidence, the gunman in the Merrylands shooting also appears to have got the wrong target.

Shots were fired at a house in Eddy Street where the Tajjour family, cousins of the Ibrahims, used to live but they had moved out.

An innocent family-of-three were inside and missed being hit by about a metre.

In the days after, police said Sydney’s gun crime had gone beyond stupid and it was only a matter of time before an innocent member of the public would be killed.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.