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SOCCER SEVEN out of 14 local clubs remain in the 2024 Australia Cup after last weekend’s second preliminary round. The early stages of the prestigious national competition are regionalised along federation jurisdictions with Victoria using the Dockerty Cup name for its knockout rounds until A-League clubs enter the fray. Mornington, Peninsula Strikers and Skye United enter the knockout tournament at the next stage joining the survivors from round two – Frankston Pines, Chelsea and Mount Eliza. Langwarrin enters the Cup at the fourth round stage. In last weekend’s Cup action Pines came back from a two-goal deficit to overhaul Diamond…

CRICKET WOMENS BALNARRING are the champions of the MPCA Women’s division. Emil Madsen Reserve hosted Balnarring and Rye on 18 February for the women’s Grand Final. Balnarring was sent in to bat first. Opener Jemma Reynolds got her side off to a good start. She scored 39 runs before being stumped. Her opening partner Catherine Donlon scored 25. Balnarring went on to score 125 from 30 overs. Some excellent bowling wrapped up the win and the trophy for Balnarring. Rye was bowled out for just 66 runs. Kayla Turner was her side’s best bowler – she posted final figures of…

LACHLAN Vize, of McCrae, is making waves in windsurfing and wing foiling, having recently returned from the Windsurfer World Titles held in Perth, where he won the male youth title and came fourth out of a fleet of 250 boards in the slalom. He competed against local and international sailors in the light weight division slalom event and a marathon. His placing in the youth division means he also won a scholarship to help pay his way to the next windsurfer world titles. Vize also represented Australia late last year at the Pacific Games where he won silver and bronze…

SOCCER ONE of the greatest goalscorers in Victorian football history could be on the verge of a sensational comeback if a plan hatched months ago by Rosebud comes to fruition. When Stuart Johnston and assistant Stan Packer took over as senior coaches they identified a need to add to the team’s firepower. Johnson knew Nathan Yole from their days at Mornington while Packer was a long-term friend of Dave Greening and given that both forwards had joined forces at Baxter a couple of years ago it seemed logical to try and revive their partnership. The first part of the plan…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL LONG Island held on for a thrilling win over Sorrento last Saturday. Long Island scored 272 runs on day one, giving the Sharks a tough task to tackle on day two. After a few early struggles, middle order batter Matthew Rulach took control of the game. Rulach smashed 103 runs from 151 balls for the Sharks to keep them in the contest. Jake Wood’s late half-century also kept them in the hunt. The game ended up going down to the final over. With one run required to draw level with four balls left to face, Sorrento lost their…

SOCCER IF JAMIE Skelly thought about his debut as an NPL senior coach he’s unlikely to have imagined a more positive scenario. It’s the second minute of the season opener and Skelly’s newlook Langwarrin is facing NPL heavyweight Bentleigh Greens at Lawton Park. Luke Goulding sends a long ball forward and quicksilver Tom Youngs reads the defender’s intended header back to Greens keeper Andrew Withers. Youngs nips in and wins the ball and Withers flattens him. Referee Jackson Landy points to the spot, Youngs converts and it’s a dream start for Skelly’s men. Five minutes later any remaining naysayers among…

CRICKET WOMENS BALNARRING and Rye will face off in the MPCA Womens Grand Final this weekend. Balnarring hosted Tooradin in the semi-final on Sunday. Balnarring batted first and put a huge total on the scoreboard. An unbeaten century from Jemma Reynolds helped Balnarring reach a final total of 3/207. Tooradin batted well but couldn’t maintain the run rate needed to win. They finished up at 5/132 after their 30 overs. Rye and Somerville went down to the wire on Sunday in the other semi-final. Rye batted first last weekend. They set Somerville a target of 106 to score to win.…

SOCCER LANGWARRIN’S league season kicks off on Saturday evening when the local club hosts Bentleigh Greens in the opening round of the rebranded VPL1 competition. It’s been almost 15 years since these teams met in a league game at Lawton Park and the locals will be hoping for a different outcome to the 1-0 loss suffered on 4 July 2009. Langy head coach Jamie Skelly is under no illusions about the task ahead against an NPL heavyweight still smarting from last season’s relegation. “It’s probably as tough an assignment as we could have got for round one but I think…

CRICKET WOMENS DELACOMBE Park closed their season with a thrilling win over Mt Eliza. Mt Eliza scored 123 runs from their 30 overs. Ingrid Harvey top scored with 38 not out. The wickets were shared evenly among the Delacombe Park bowlers. They would have to bat well to chase down their target and grab a win. A brilliant 38 run ninth-wicket partnership between Trish Hawkins and Melissa Newham won the game for Delacombe Park. They hit the winning runs with an over and two wickets to spare. Hawkins, who returned to the game after the scorching weather forced her from…

FLINDERS Cricket Club will celebrate its 150th birthday on the weekend of 17 and 18 of February with a special round of matches, cocktail party and a family day. Mornington Cricket Club is the only club on the Mornington Peninsula that can boast about being older, having been founded in 1863. On Saturday, the seniors will be at home for the second match of the day with longtime adversary Balnarring. During the evening teams of six decades will be announced, culminating in the unveiling of a champion team. Flinders Cricket Club owes it origins to the Eastern Extension Cable Company,…

SOCCER IT’S the largest senior squad makeover on the peninsula and the Donn Delaney revolution at Frankston Pines continues apace. The former Peninsula Strikers head man has confronted a huge player exodus at Monterey Reserve and has responded with a recruitment drive the size of which is rarely seen in local ranks. So far 19 players from other clubs have been brought into the senior squad and there will be more. “The squad is by no means finalised,” Delaney said. “But I’ve been really impressed so far and the club has been very welcoming and inclusive of everyone who has…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL A MATCH-winning century from Simon Dart proved the difference as Red Hill wrapped up a thrilling final over victory last weekend. Red Hill played Baden Powell at Red Hill Recreation Reserve in one-day cricket. The visitors were sent in to bat first, and put 215 runs on the board. A knock of 91 from 88 deliveries by Rhys Elmi was the highlight of Baden Powell’s innings. Opener Travis Kellerman also scored 66 from 87 before being dismissed by Dart. After Red Hill fell to 2/33, Simon Dart came in and dominated. He scored an unbeaten 106 at a…

SOCCER LANGWARRIN has agreed terms with Japanese defender/midfielder Ryo Takahashi. The 23-year-old has been signed from current Singapore Premier League champion Albirex Niigata. Takahashi and his Niigata teammates denied ex-Langwarrin and Socceroo star Bailey Wright from celebrating a league title in his first season in Singapore as Wright’s club Lion City Sailors finished runner-up. Playing primarily at right back Takahashi made 19 appearances for Albirex Niigata last season scoring three goals and being credited with assists for two others. He became a free agent on 1 January and recently concluded successful negotiations with Langy businessman and major sponsor Greg Kilner.…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL MPCA CRICKET returned after the Christmas break on Saturday. The first day of two-day matches were played across the peninsula. At Bruce Park, the travelling Red Hill are off to a good start against Heatherhill. Red Hill batted all day long on Saturday. An excellent middle order partnership between Will Cooper and Andy Restein helped them reach a final total of 9/177. Restein scored 50 from 79 deliveries. Cooper played an important supporting role, scoring 33 from 140 deliveries. Heatherhill’s Brett Maxwell was the pick of the bowlers. He took 4/35 from 19 overs, wiping out most of…

SOCCER KEVIN “Squizzy” Taylor is the new head coach of State 4 outfit Baxter. Taylor’s friend Stephen Fisher resigned from the role after one year in charge citing an impasse between club and coach that could not be resolved. In an interview in early September Fisher called for the club to move from an amateur to a semi-professional structure and said if the status quo remained then his future there was uncertain. “I kept making demands that this needs to change and that needs to change but it became clear that it wasn’t going to change,” Fisher said. “To put…

SOCCER ICON, pioneer, legend, stalwart – choose any one or choose all four for they apply in equal measure to 81-year-old Tony Hall. Once viewed by the sport’s establishment as a pariah for masterminding the birth of a breakaway football association Hall is now the most decorated football personality on the peninsula. He is a life member of Peninsula Strikers and the Bayside Football Association, recipient in 1985 of a Victoria 150th anniversary medal, holder of a certificate from FIFA issued in 2001 honouring his contribution to the sport and in 2010 was declared a Sporting Legend of the municipality…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL AFTER a frustrating two consecutive weekends of rain interruptions and cancellations, MPCA weekend cricket returned with one-day action on Saturday. In the Provincial division, Pines won a tight one against Heatherhill. After winning the toss, Heatherhill chose to bat first. Captain Kristian Miller was the star for his side, scoring an unbeaten 96 from 104 deliveries. Miller didn’t get much support from his batting partners. Heatherhill ended up scoring 9/181 from their 40 overs. Pines openers Kane Hawkins and Nick Christides made good starts during the run chase, scoring 30 and 45 respectively before being sent back to…

SOCCER ANDREW Hall will be in charge of Mount Martha’s senior side next season. The local State 5 South club announced Hall’s appointment last week just before pre-season training started at the club’s Civic Reserve headquarters. Hall, 53, replaced Mark Larner who resigned in October and was appointed senior coach of Somerville Eagles shortly after. Born in Falkirk Hall was brought up in Yorkshire and arrived in Melbourne with his wife and two children in 2009. “As a kid (in England) I played for Barnsley schools which is like the equivalent of county sides through to 15 then I started…

SOCCER BILLY Painting joined Rosebud last week hellbent on being part of the Olympic Park club’s title tilt next year. “I’m not just here to make up the numbers – I’m here to win the league,” Painting said. “And from what I hear that seems to be the mentality of everyone down there.” Painting’s switch ended a seven-year stint at Skye United and the 28-year-old central defender is hoping the move reignites his passion for football. “I really needed a new challenge because I’d fallen out of love with the game,” he said. “I don’t really know why. “I just…

SOCCER KEEGAN Myatt would like nothing better than to strike fear into the heart of opposition defenders next season. Baxter’s 20-year-old left winger has held his own debrief of season 2023 and is his biggest critic. “I didn’t have a great season,” he said. “I didn’t do terrible but I didn’t have as good a season as I wanted because I aimed to score at least 18 goals and maybe get 15 assists but only scored 12 and assisted a few but not enough. “When I was younger football was my life but now I’m getting lazy, getting distracted and…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL SOME good bowling has put Sorrento in pole position for a win over Langwarrin on the first day of their two-day clash. Langwarrin chose to bat first on what was a wet and dreary day of cricket on Saturday. Their first three batters made starts, but were sent back to the sheds without converting them into big totals. Luke Kranzbuhler bowled well for Sorrento. He took 3/27 from his 11 overs, including the important wicket of opener Sam Prosser. Langwarrin ended the day on 6/80 after a long rain delay. Old Peninsula and Red Hill had better luck…

SOCCER FRANKSTON Pines’ immediate future is on the line with the local club scrambling to avoid being booted out of State League by Football Victoria. That’s the bleak prospect facing the men from Monterey if they can’t pay a large percentage of a five-figure debt owed to FV by the end of this month. Last week the state federation announced that many clubs “failed to meet their financial obligations in 2023, resulting in a historic level of debt … nearing $2 million.” It then delivered the bombshell news that “clubs unable or unwilling to meet their financial obligations will be…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL A MASSIVE century by Harley Peace-Stirling has secured an important win for Pines. Sorrento set Pines a target of 113 to score to win. Pines looked shaky batting on day one, and finished up at 5/51 at stumps. Pines looked much more comfortable on day two. On the back of a brilliant knock of 109 not out by Peace-Stirling, they easily surpassed their target. Some excellent bowling saw Long Island get a win over Old Peninsula last Saturday. Long Island were in a good position coming into day two – they scored 261 runs on day one. A…

SOCCER A UNIQUE end-of-season trip took place recently with participants from various Australian states ranging in age from men in their 20s to octogenarians. It was the annual Monkey, Rat and Missing Pals Tour held in Moama during Victoria Derby weekend and this year it attracted a record number of attendees, 98 in all. The event’s origins date back more than three decades and it originally was an end-of-season getaway for members and supporters of Langwarrin soccer club. Former Langwarrin assistant coach Neil Collyer took on the task of event organiser 13 years ago and gave the trip a makeover…

SOCCER BRETT Heskins may have played his last senior game for Skye United. And he could join a growing list of departures from the local State 2 South-East club. Boris Ovcin has retired, Jason Nowakowski is thinking about the lesser demands of the club’s Bayside team as is first-choice keeper Jonathan Crook while Alex Van Heerwarden is assistant coach to Ben Caffrey with Langwarrin’s under-23s. “That’s a lot of quality and experience right there,” Heskins said. “If ‘Jono’ goes it will be a huge loss because he is a phenomenal shot-stopper. “Unfortunately we’ve had to rely on him more than…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL RED Hill bowled well to defend a total of 172 against Heatherhill last weekend. Red Hill hosted the one day clash. They batted first and scored 9/172 – Luke Jackson top scored with 36 runs from 33 deliveries. Heatherhill opener Neil Barfuss got his side off to a good start early with a knock of 32 from 37 deliveries. Unfortunately he lost his first two batting partners for scores of 0 and 5. After Barfuss’ dismissal, Heatherhill struggled to keep up with the required run rate. A late 38 run innings at a run a ball from Daniel…

THE Mornington Peninsula Football Netball League will launch a women’s division in 2024. The establishment of the MPFNL’s women’s football league was announced last week. The league’s creation was approved by a majority of the MPFNL’s member clubs. A statement from the MPFNL read that the creation of the new league would help football grow. “The MPFNL Board & AFL South East administration are hopeful this will see further growth of other MPFNL clubs participating in this competition in 2024 and beyond. The MPFNL has a proud football history dating back to 1908 through various competition iterations and in 2024…

SOCCER RYAN Paczkowski has reunited with Mornington gaffer Adam Jamieson while Langwarrin has signed WA-based goal ace Joe O’Brien. And both Frankston Pines and Somerville Eagles have settled on the men to head up their coaching staff for the upcoming season. Paczkowski turned 34 this week and the ex-Bentleigh Greens, Oakleigh, Langwarrin and Preston player last played for the Seagulls in 2017. He played for Preston Lions last season and could have stayed there but agreed terms for a second stint at Bentleigh before a change in his work circumstances forced him to head back to Dallas Brooks Park. “I…

CRICKET PROVINCIAL PINES had to work for it but managed to score a win over Old Peninsula on day two of their clash at Peninsula Grammar. Old Peninsula was bowled out for just 145 on day one, giving Pines an attractive target to chase down. Pines struggled to take control of the game, and looked in trouble until Pat Jackson came in at number eight. Jackson scored an unbeaten 39 to get his side over the line. Pines won with just two wickets to spare. A brilliant century from captain Kristian Miller saw Heatherhill score a win over Long Island.…

SOCCER LOCAL coaching legend Gus Macleod is the new gaffer of ambitious State 4 outfit Chelsea. Macleod ended a five-year senior coaching hiatus when he agreed terms with Chelsea a fortnight ago. He was last in charge of a senior team in 2018 when he completed his 20th straight season at Langwarrin. Since then he has worked as a technical director at Lawton Park but the lure of the Chelsea post was impossible to ignore. “I never lost that itch that urge to coach senior players,” he said. “I enjoyed coaching the coaches at Langy but the Chelsea job just…