Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Tue 5 Jan 2010



The Northern Territory news Tue 5 Jan 2010

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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www.ntnews.com.au Northern Territory News, Tuesday, January 5, 2010 35 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:5-JAGE:35 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K SPORT Territorys shooting ahead INSTRUCT: Storm coach Stacey West rallies her troops IT was a year of new horizons for the NTs biggest womens sport. A year of growth and change has set solid foundations for netball to build on heading into the new decade as ANDREW ALOIA reports. HOME, sweet home. That was the feeling when the gates were finally opened on the multi-million dollar new home for Territory netball at Marrara in May. It was a lot of years in the making and a lot more in waiting, but rather than put up with a cracking, dilapidated complex in Parap, players young and old could enjoy one of the nations finest outdoor facilities. BUT it was indoor that the Territory made a real impression on the national game, achieving a record eighth-place finish in the Australian Netball League. If guts and determination is what defines NT sporting culture then the award for No. 1 tenacious outfit in black, white and ochre would have to go to the Storm. The Territorys second season in the competition will be better remembered for their near misses rather than the three wins they actually scored. An opening round win against Canberra, home triumph over Tasmania and record thrashing of Singapore, in Territory netballs first ever international mission, were overshadowed by heartbreaking losses to South Australia, NSW Waratahs, Queensland and Western Australia. The find of the season was teenager Jess Moller, who not only earned her first senior cap for the NT but went on to star in every minute she graced the court. There was a New Zealand Olympic basketballer, Kate McMeekan Roscoe, who turned out to be a fairly handy netballer going on to play a leading role in PINTS Darwin Netball League grand final win. Tina Way took on captaincy of the side as if born to it and was never short of support with Natasha Munns, Jodie Sefton and Katherine Hollis playing leading roles. Plenty of class was imported in the sharp-shooting form of Erin McCarthy, lightning quick Kim Klaver and sturdy Samantha Poolman. They all combined to give foundation coach and Territory netball icon Stacey West a fond farewell in Singapore with the experienced NT Institute of Sport coach relocating to Melbourne. WESTS departure wasnt the only change at the top in 2009 with NT netball boss Sue Chilman also moving on. But diligence in search of replacements has seen the sport recruit well. Successful business woman and former government adviser Sue Shearer takes over as NT netball chief executive while hugely experienced New South Wales coach Dianne Brown takes over from West. ON court 2009 was an unpredictable year. Be it the Territory Storm or PINTS Darwin Netball League side. Tracy Village had its premiership hat-trick aspirations scuppered by big season mover and shaker Nightcliff at the first finals hurdle. Nightcliff was true to its word, going one better than its first season back in the top flight in 2008 to make it to the preliminary final stage of the competition. PINTS topsy-turvy season was best defined by its finals form. Beaten convincingly by Uni Hoggies in the first week only to bounce back against Nightcliff and eventually railroad Hoggies in the grand final. Hoggies may have been beaten at the final stage for the second year in a row but the ladies in pink had plenty to celebrate, easily winning the minor premiership and boasting the leagues best and fairest Shannon Millar. AND Alice Springs proved no different with the Centralians emerging shock winners of the NT Link Open Netball Championships. Federal Bonanni were crowned Alice Springs Netball League champions after trouncing Memo Rover by 10 goals. AUSSIE DUTIES: Darwins Heather Langham (in pink) represented Australia in the Womens Champions Trophy at Sydney Olympic Park Biggest little sport left its stamp on a huge year PROUD traditions were maintained and nightmarish hoodoos broken in just another outstanding year for the biggest little sport on the Territory landscape. Northern Territory News hockey reporter ANDREW ALOIA offers a snapshot look at what made news in 2009. THE A-TEAM MR T was nowhere in sight, but there was record Australia representation for Northern Territory hockey players. HEADING the A-Team was Kookaburra Des Abbott, racing past 50 international caps on the way to playing a heros hand in Australias Champions Trophy triumph. THE hard-luck story of the year was that of Abbotts cousin Joel Carroll. Finally earning a national call-up, the Nightcliff Uni Tigers product went a long way to making a place in the Aussie backline all his own. And just when a place at the biggest tournament of the year was his for the taking, a bizarre training incident saw him out injured on the eve of the Champions Trophy. History will show he missed out on a gold medal. THE Territory was represented on the womens international hockey stage for the first time in two years with teenager Heather L a n g h a m f a s t - t r a c k e d t o Hockeyroo duties. Only a matter of months after winning her first Australian junior call-up the St Marys product found herself marking some of the worlds best on tour in South Africa. And the Top Ender proved a hit, going on to feature in Australias silver medal Champions Trophy campaign. In the meantime, she also played a leading role in the Australian under-21 sides fifth place finish at the Junior World Cup. METEORIC rises were the flavour of the year with Leon Hayward wooing national selectors. The Waratahs goalkeeper was instrumental in Australias bronze medal finish at the Junior World Cup. But that is not where he stopped, going on to play for Australia A and tour Germany with the Australian indoor side despite never playing the version of the sport seriously before. And it all started with a gold medal win at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney. ALSO enjoying Burras glory was Adrian AJ Lockley who was part of the leadership group in Australian World Cup success. Lockleys allaction performances were a hallmark of both Australian and NT Stingers sides. JONATHAN Peris may have missed out on a World Cup but but he did still enjoy the fruits of success, playing in the Aussies Youth Olympic win. That elusive Australian call-up never came for the versatile Robbie Duguid, but the professor impressed enough to be included in the final selection camp in Darwin. Duguid took massive strides towards Australian selection after proving capable of captaining the NT Stingers Australian Hockey League (AHL) side on debut. LEADING the next crop of green and gold-clad NT players is Sarah Paul who toured England with the national schoolgirls side. GRINNING WINNERS IT was 29 years in the making, but finally Waratahs claimed a Darwin Mens Hockey League premiership. After starting the season slowly, bottom of the table after four rounds, the red and white went on a history-making run. In the end it was a combination of luck, hard work and sublime skill that got them over the line in a 2-1 win over minor premiers Nightcliff Uni Tigers. The man Waratahs had to thank was a dreadlocked midfielder they call Hannibal, Xavier Harvey, scoring the deciding goal in a tight decider. IT was all one way traffic in the womens league with the Tigers wrapping up an unbeaten season with a 3-0 grand final win over Tahs. EVERYONE enjoyed a winning feeling in 2009 with Commerce-PINT mens side ending the longest losing streak in Darwin Hockey League history, downing Waratahs 3-1 in the opening round to end a four year drought. TWO years and 22 games since their last win, the Territory Stingers tasted triumph once more in the AHL. It took a Des Abbott golden-goal in Tasmania to seal a dramatic 3-2 win over Canberra. The Stingers went on to finish the competition sixth. THE NT Pearls womens AHL side had to wait until the second period of golden-goal extra time in the last match of its season to earn victory. And it was cult favourite, US international Lauren Powley that left her adopted Aussie home with a gift, nailing her only goal of the season to seal the win and a seventh place finish.

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