ONE WEEK AT A TIME: Snippets of interest in Border sport

Wodonga umpires in training Emma Puiatti, 13, Hannah Barton, 12, Ellouise Shanahan, 13 and Caitlin Ward, 14 with Ann Castles last week. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
Wodonga umpires in training Emma Puiatti, 13, Hannah Barton, 12, Ellouise Shanahan, 13 and Caitlin Ward, 14 with Ann Castles last week. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

WODONGA netball has been given the thumbs up from one of the head honchos of the sport in Victoria.

Last weekend Ann Castles, responsible for umpire development for Netball Victoria, dropped in on the “boutique” competition at Kelly Park.

She couldn’t have been more impressed.

“What they are doing there with the young players and umpires is just outstanding,” she said.

“They have 15 newly badged level 1 umpires (able to umpire under 11s) in what is a relatively small association compared to some in Melbourne that have up to 3000 players.

“Most of those associations are struggling for umpires and yet Wodonga is incredibly healthy — they are certainly doing things right up there.”

Castles also highlighted the performance of the under-15 rep side that will play in the regional carnival in Melbourne tomorrow, that will also include the Ovens and Murray open and under-17 sides.

“Again for this association to get to that level is outstanding — they will be up against the best netballers in the state.”

Netball Wodonga’s Aimee Vicary said they had been overwhelmed by the interest in umpiring at the Kelly Park competition this year.

“Every year we ask the juniors if they are interested but the response this winter was remarkable,” she said.

“As far as we can work out 15 new umpires is most likely a record for our association.”

Jesse Featonby

Jesse Featonby

GUN triathlete Jesse Featonby will no longer be able to laugh off the international myth of Australia as a land where kangaroos bouncing down the main street are as prevalent as men with cork-string hats and big knives.

Last Sunday Featonby, a tireless supporter of local events, took part in the Huon Hill Trail Run — almost 14 kilometres up and down dale and all above the low-lying cloud that kept Albury and Wodonga in the fog.

But it was the start that brought a smile to the face of the four-time international winner.

“When we started there was a mob of kangaroos who appeared from nowhere and started bouncing along in front of us,” he said.

“I normally tell people overseas that, that just doesn’t happen — now what do I tell them?”

Peter Miller

Peter Miller

PETER Miller had a day to forget on all but the golf course last Sunday.

The +1 handicapper took out the North East title for the first time on a wet and heavy Wodonga layout.

But Miller had to get a service station attendant to run him to the course.

“I took the wife’s car up to the servo because one of the tyres was a little low, by the time I got there it was a flat,” he said.

“Then I found out there was no jack in the car, the servo worker ran me to the course and one of the boys then gave me a lift back there to change the tyre after the play-off.

“Then after all that I grabbed a couple of pizzas to take home and they flipped over in the back seat.

“Thank god I actually won the golf.”

Miller birdied the first play-off hole in beating Vaughan Saunders for the title.

Braedon Hensel earlier this year with his dog Banjo.

Braedon Hensel earlier this year with his dog Banjo.

IT would be impossible not to be moved by the tragic loss of Braedon Hensel this week.

I had the privilege to meet the young man early in his battle with cancer.

The St Patrick’s cricketer and Albury footballer was at the time wearing a neck brace and had lost his hair during the early stages of chemotherapy.

But despite the obvious adversity he was still upbeat — wanting to thank all the people who had supported him rather than dwell on his circumstances.

Even this week the 22-year-old chose to come home and spend his last days with family and friends.

More than 100 of them visited his home in the two days leading up to his passing on Thursday morning.

You sense Braedon will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.

Luis Suarez.

Luis Suarez.

LUIS Suarez put the bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini but it was the punters who took a bite out of corporate bookies.

One mob in Norway offered a tasty 175-1 for the Uruguayan serial biter to be a repeat offender at the World Cup.

Considering Suarez had bitten two others on a soccer field, the odds weren’t that bad.

And One Week wasn’t alone with that thought, some 167 gamblers in the northern hemisphere took the punt on the serial offender.

Apparently the biggest collect was $3300.

But while we have all seen the jokes, the biggest gaffe is the penalty — a couple of months on the sidelines for the “chompian” player.

It should have been 24 months out of the game.

Steve Murphy

Steve Murphy

STEVE Murphy will be missing from the 2AY commentary team when they broadcast the match of the day between Albury and Wangaratta Rovers today.

But it’s been a rough few weeks for Murph.

The main voice in the Ovens and Murray live coverage is rumoured to have got lost on the way to the game between Lavi and Corowa and then was rushed to hospital after the first quarter of the Rovers vs Hoppers game at the W.J Findlay Oval last Saturday.

Murph was a bit off colour ahead of the opening bounce but went further downhill as the game wore on.

“The great man” was later diagnosed with pneumonia and spent a few days in hospital. 

Hope to hear him back in the team soon.

AFTER a series of sporting highlights earlier this year, the Border is looking towards a summer drought when it comes to elite national sports.

First came the news that the Sheffield Shield game that was seen as a matter of when, not if, would not be played at Albury but up the road at Wagga.

Now the grapevine is tipping a swing and a miss with an international team preparing for the soccer Asian Cup.

Three of the 16 teams have already announced their training locations but we understand no interest to date with the Border.

Dante Exum (R) shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected with the #5 overall by the Utah Jazz. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Dante Exum (R) shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected with the #5 overall by the Utah Jazz. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

It seems the young Aussie’s selection, and a cool $4 million-plus a year, three-year contract, even has one of our own pretty excited.

John Martiniello.

John Martiniello.

1. Shorty Martiniello. A good news story from an almost tragedy and a great reason why all sporting clubs should carry defibrillators. An O and M legend brought back from the dead.

2. Greenfield Park shenanigans that saw an all in brawl in the flogging of Tumbarumba. Who needs cage fighting?

3. Nick Kyrgios. A five-set marathon showed a bit of heart as well as class. Shame some more notable Aussie talent can’t apply that same grit and determination.

4. Wodonga Catholic College Year 11 student Trent McMullan’s selection in the Australian under-17 basketball side for the World Championships.

5. Luis Suarez. Surely it should be three bites and you’re out!