Baa Baas maintain focus

BARBARIANS continued their surge with a 42-7 win over Glen Innes at Alcatraz onSaturday.
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After rolling St Alberts last week, Baa Baas were intent on going back to back, which they did.

“It was good,” co-coach Sam Piddington said.

“We were actually able to score a few tries.”

The foundation was set up front.

“The forwards laid the platform,” Piddington said.

“They’re a big strong pack, the Glen Innes boys.”

It allowed their backs to shine.

The class of their backs was probably the difference in the end, Piddington felt.

The second half was better from them.

There were a few things at half-time they weren’t quite happy with.

“Our attitude in defence in the first half was pretty ordinary,” Piddington said.

“We really stepped that up in the second half.”

Their willingness to run the ball also picked up.

They were a bit soft into contact at times in the first half.

One of the most pleasing aspects was the set pieces.

“We hardly lost a lineout all day, which is something we’ve been struggling with,” he said.

The scrum also did well, which was encouraging.

League convert Mitch Cooper was again very strong in the centres.

“He’s really starting to find his feet,” Piddington said.

Second-rower Sam Noakes, fullback Keith Ellis and hooker Aaron Mackay were other standouts.

The other first grade game was deferred until after the university holidays.

TABLE: Armidale 34, St Alberts 25, Robb College 18, Barbarians 15, Glen Innes 1.

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Pirates get out of jail at Barraba

BARRABA almost repeated their 2013 heroics, while Inverell accounted for Quirindi and Moree and Narrabri continued on their merry ways in an absorbing round of Central North action onSaturday.
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It did little to make the top five picture any clearer though.

All it did was probably secure Pirates third, although it was a close call for them at Barraba.

They “got out of jail”, as coach Andrew Verrell put it, sneaking home 21-16 after trailing 13-nil at one stage.

They have struggled at Barraba in recent years, with the Rams famously upsetting them 20-15 two years ago.

At Inverell, it finally started to click for the Highlanders as they outgunned Quirindi 46-7.

The first half was where they set it up, laying on 36 unanswered points.

The Blue Boars rolled the Rams 31-17.

They led 17-7 at the break, with the Rams scoring a runaway try late in the half to give them a sniff.

The home side then kicked away in the first half of the second half but had to withstand a late charge from the visitors.

At Scone, Moree’s defence was again impenetrable, with the Bulls accounting for the Brumbies 64-nil.

It was the competition leader’s third shut-out in as many games and, with the Blue Boars’ win, ensures a mouth-watering finale to the first round next week.

Both teams will head in undefeated.

“The boys played pretty well. They controlled the ball and got it wide, and the backs carved up,” Bulls co-coach Peter Copeman said.

Heath Riggs led the onslaught with three and was the only multiple tryscorer.

They set the tone early, running away to a 17-nil lead after about 20 minutes.

“They (Scone) had their moments but never really looked like threatening,” Copeman said.

He’d spoken leading in about just looking for more of the same and they delivered on that, with the core of the win again their defence.

“The defence was excellent once again,” he said.

They got off the line and put a lot of pressure on the Brumbies.

He said Jordan Cosh was strong at five-eighth.

Skipper Ben Colley was the pick of the forwards at breakaway, along with Fraser Brown and number eight MattWannan.

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Plenty of support for DREAM Festival

Funding for the Dream Festival, or the lack thereof, has prompted a flood of submissions on Dubbo City Council’s draft budget.
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During the 2015/16 Draft Operational Plan and Budget public exhibition period 79 submissions were made, 70 of which were in regards to the Dream Festival.

All but one submission were in support of council maintaining funding beyond 2015/16.

In her submission, Dubbo Ratepayers and Residents Association president Merrilyn Mulchay said while the Ratepayers Association supports the organisers of the Dream Festival, they did not think council should continue its funding.

“We can not find reason for council to justify spending $40,000 on the festival each and every year,” Ms Mulchay said in the submission.

“There are plenty of other worthy community based organisations that do not secure once cent of rate payers funds.

“We also can not understand why council pointedly supports an organisation that is clearly skewed to the big end of town.

“If council were to support an event, surely support such an event that incorporates all of its citizens as opposed to an elite few.”

Primary teachers, exchange students, festival volunteers, Sydney residents who travel to Dubbo every year for the festival, medical students considering working in Dubbo, and many concerned residents have all written submissions.

Twelve-year-old Kate Fuller was full of praise for the festival.

She said she couldn’t believe council didn’t consider the festival important enough to continue funding.

“I really look forward to the Dream Festival every year because there isn’t much for kids my age to go to in Dubbo,” she said in her submission.

“My mum and dad always take our family to the Dream events because it’s heaps of fun and doesn’t cost a fortune.”

Angie White from Western Studio of Performing Arts said the funding should be continued to help keep dreams alive.

“I bring my students to Dubbo each year and they are thrilled to be able to take part in the dance components particularly given that we live so far away,” she said.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for these kids to gain exposure to amazing dancers, to take part in a big performance and to meet like minded kids in a safe and open setting for all.”

Director community services David Dwyer said due to the level of community interest in the festival it was recommended council determine its position. Others included concerns about water charges, the establishment of an ice skating rink and combining a caravan and camping show with the Dubbo Show.

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Magic too tricky for South Armidale in Cup

SOUTH Armidale Scorpions’ FFA Cup run came to an end in Newcastle on Saturday as did the unbeaten NIF Premier League run of Inverell’s Joeys FC at Doody Park, Armidale.
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While the Scorpions were bundled out of the FFA Cup 7-1 by Broadmeadow Magic, East Armidale were delivering the Joeys their first loss of the McDonald’s-sponsored PL 3-2 at Doody Park.

It left Oxley Vale Attunga the only unbeaten NIF side when it snared a 1-all draw with Moree FC at Moree.

In other games, Tamworth FC leapfrogged Gunnedah United with a 4-2 win over the home side in Gunnedah after a hat-trick from Englishman William Webb.

Countryman Michael Roberts also scored for the visitors on a good day for the club after its second grade won 6-2 to remain top of the second grade Southern Conference.

OVA’s second grade also had a 3-2 win over Moree while its first graders snatched a 1-all draw thanks to a Lachlan Browne goal which equalised Ryan Kemp’s strike.

North Companions also grabbed a narrow away victory when 1-nil victors against Namoi United, Ben Davis the goalscorer.

In Newcastle the Scorpions also scored the lone goal, a Cody Watts penalty, as their FFA Cup run ended at the hands of the Magic.

Newcastle sides dominated the regional match-ups.

West Wallsend beat Jesmond 5-4 on penalties after the two sides were locked at 4-all.

Adamstown then beat Valentine 4-nil and Edgeworth had the same scoreline in their win over Coffs City.

The Scorpions fell 7-1 but were far from disgraced, coach Joe Campbell said.

“It was great experience for the boys,” he said of the Newcastle trip.

“It was a tough game. 7-1 sounds bad but we played well and were right in it in the first half.

“They only led 2-1 in the first half with 10 minutes to go before half-time.”

Cody Watts had scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 after Chris Berlin and Rhys Tippet had scored for the Magic.

Tippet bagged his second just before the break and he and Berlin added a couple more in the second half for the six-goal success.

They were to play West Wallsend yesterday in one game with Adamstown playing Edgeworth in the other, with the two winners automatically qualifying to represent NNSWF in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.

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Tamworth pips Gunnedah to go fifth

TAMWORTH snuffed out a late push from Gunnedah to win a see-sawing tussle at Tamworth Rugby Park on Saturday and push their way into the top five.
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The Magpies twice came from behind in the second half to claim the points 25-22 and, with the bonus point, leapfrog the Red Devils and Barraba into fifth.

Their top five hopes were on the line and they had dig deep to save them.

Co-coach Mark Daly admitted it was difficult to watch at times, especially the final minutes after Red Devils winger Tom Adams had brushed his way out of a couple of tackles to make it a three-point game with four minutes to go.

Not long after, fullback Keegan Loughrey looked like he might step his way through to steal it but the Magpies managed to cut him down and hold on.

It was typical of what was a rollercoaster second half, with the Red Devils hitting the front through half-back Dave Heyman just a couple of minutes in.

The home side had led 10-7 at the break on the back of tries to Lewyn Rapana and Patrick Strong.

Strong had the crowd on their feet, the fullback chipping and winning the race to the ball to finish off a spectacular 50m raid.

Harry Veitch instigated it, slipping an offload to Sanimo Navatu.

The big number eight then popped a pass to Sam Wheaton and quick hands found Strong out wide.

It pushed them out to 10-nil with just over 15 minutes to go in the first half.

Minutes later though they were reduced to 14, with second-rower Simon Vumilagi binned and the momentum started to turn.

The Red Devils were virtually camped in Tamworth’s 22 for the last 15 minutes, most of which the Magpies had to play a mand down after Sam Scott was yellow-carded with a couple of minutes to go.

But they managed to weather the storm until just after the half-time buzzer when prop Josh Leys crashed over.

Strong’s second – this time running off a great pop off the ground from Vumilagi – put the Magpies back in front, but only briefly, with Pete Henderson kicking the Red Devils two in front with 25 to go.

Their time in front was equally brief, with winger Nick Humphries crossing minutes later to restore the Magpies’ lead.

They were never headed from there, a perfectly executed driving maul off a lineout giving them a more than converted try buffer which, in the end, proved invaluable.

“We were our own worst enemies at times,” Daly said.

“We looked fantastic ball in hand but we just gave away a few silly penalties.”

He thought their defence was where they won it and their pressure at thebreakdown.

Tamworth number eight Sanimo Nevatu tries to power his way out of the clutches of Gunnedah’s Joe Duffy (left) and Dave Heyman. Photo: Barry Smith 200615BSF22

They won the battle there and pilfered a lot of ball from the Red Devils in attack.

In the first half alone they would have turned over the ball four or five times with the Red Devils hot on attack.

That was where it was lost for Gunnedah.

“We just turned over too much ball in that first half,” Red Devils co-coach Tim Walsh said.

“We’d make 50m breaks then we’d turn the ball over.

“Hence we didn’t have enough ball.”

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