The Northern Territory news Mon 14 Dec 2009
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www.ntnews.com.au Northern Territory News, Monday, December 14, 2009 37 P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 4 -D E C -2 0 0 9 P A G E : 3 7 C O L O R : C M Y K e r2 5 0 1 0 2 SPORT Dellacquas tough first round Molik Dellacqua MELBOURNE: Former world No. 39 Casey Dellacqua will continue her comeback to tennis today with a tough first round clash at the Australian Open play off at Melbourne Park. The West Australian left-hander, on the comeback trail after a year riddled with shoulder and foot injuries, will square off against top seeded Melburnian Olivia Rogowska in the first of their round robin matches. Obviously Im a bit undercooked in terms of time on court but the play-off is the perfect opportunity to get some match time against quality opposition, said 24-year-old Dellacqua. For me its just about getting back out there and playing some matches. Rogowska had a breakthrough year on the tour rising to a world ranking of 138 and nearly toppling then world No. 1 Dinara Safina at the US Open. Theres a lot of pressure on me as top seed but there are a lot of tough competitors here and everyone is going to be a difficult opponent, Rogowska said. Its a tough draw and its going to be a tough competition. Former world No. 8 Alicia Molik shapes as another major contender for the event and she plays Victorian Jade Hopper in her first round robin match. In the mens draw top young guns Bernard Tomic and Brydan Klein also face some challenging opponents. Tomic, a two-time junior grand slam winner, will play US college champion JP Smith in their opening match. World No. 200 and mens top seed Klein plays NSW teenager James Duckworth. NSW hopes may hinge on Smith BRISBANE: It will be a hard act to follow, but Steven Smith may need to repeat his first innings heroics to help NSW hold out a spirited Queensland in their Sheffield Shield clash today. At stumps on day three, NSW was 6-175 holding an overall lead of 158 runs with Smith 22 not out after Queensland managed to turn the tables yesterday. The 20-year-old allrounder Smith has already impressed in this game, thrashing a run-a-ball 102 his maiden first class ton in NSWs first dig. His 160-run stand with Usman Khawaja (132 not out) set up NSWs daunting first innings total of 5(dec)-451 on Saturday. But Queensland still overhauled it yesterday to be bowled out for 468 and grab first innings points. Victoria cruises to big victory MELBOURNE: Victoria moved well clear of its rivals on the Sheffield Shield table by beating South Australia by six wickets at the MCG. The Vics pulled off a fourthinnings run chase of 381 with a minimum of fuss, as they won early in the last session with 18.2 overs in reserve. Opener Nick Jewell made 96, skipper Cameron White 82 not out, David Hussey 66 and Brad Hodge 61 in his last first-class innings at the MCG before his pending retirement from the longer form. Victorias win moved it to 20 points at the top of the table, 10 more than its nearest rival. South Australia at least took two first-innings points, which gave it a share of second spot. Darchinyans out to get revenge LOS ANGELES: Vic Darchinyan will embark on a revenge mission after destroying Mexicos Tomas Rojas in the second round of their super flyweight world-title fight in California yesterday. The WBA and WBC champion fired a powerful left hand to Rojas chin that left the Mexican flat on his back and unable to get up. Minutes after the devastating win at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, outside Los Angeles, Darchinyan revealed his plan to avenge the two losses that blight his stellar 36-fight professional record. I want rematches, he said. On Darchinyans hit list is Nonito Donaire and Ghanas Joseph King Kong Agbeko. Freers MVP double ByPETERTIFFEN BASKETBALL ace Nick Freer (pictured) has won his second MVP award in a week. Rebels guard Freer was named the DBA mens league season MVP on Saturday night after his side won the Championship Season grand final. It followed his MVP honour as the best player at the Surabaya International Challenge while playing for the victorious Darwin Airport Resort All Stars in Indonesia last week. Its humbling, Freer said. I wasnt expecting to get it. Slam-dunk sensation Freer said he thought grand final rival, and fellow American, Bayi Handy would get the award. Especially after the great season he has had averaging over 35 points, Freer said. Freer scored 21 in the grand final to take his season tally to 565 points in 20 games at 28.25 per game. Handy had a game-high 29 points in the season decider to finish with 640 points in 18 games at 35.5. But Freer put his award down to his Rebels teammates. It was a team contribution, I thought, he said. He paid tribute to inspirational captain Marcus Chng. Marcus drew so much attention on the court it kind of left me and Jarrod (Sheppard) open and able to score, Freer said. But the award is great. I have never won anything like this before for a season. Freer said making the move from the Great Lakes state of Michigan to tropical north Australia this year had been worthwhile. I am definitely glad I came, Freer said. Freer nominated Rebels veteran Jamie Hamills 500th game as the highlight of his season. That was pretty cool, getting to know him and his brother and (Rebels president) Derek Lee as well, he said. Just to know how much this season meant to those guys. It was great fun to play with them and win the championship for the first time for Rebels. But Freer said now, in the absence of a Darwin team in an Australian Basketball Association league, he would be forced to leave the NT. I am going to try and break into the ABA down south, he said. I havent had any offers as yet but hopefully I can get into the tryouts after Christmas. Ansetts Samantha Drescher won the MVP award in the womens league her second this year after also being named the best player in the wet season comp. DEFEND: Lightnings Taylor Silas looks to shoot over Ansetts Eloise Drescher. Picture: BRAD FLEET Lightning win results in joy ByPETERTIFFEN COACH Jason Ivinson said Lightnings win in the Darwin Basketball Association womens league grand final was a breakthrough. It means a lot to us as it is our first Championship Season trophy, he said. A lot of the girls in the team have been with us since under twelves. Ivinson said the win could spur the side on to greater success. The players are enjoying their win but they are already starting to talk about training together again and winning next season, he said. The win was hard-fought however and many of the Lightning players battled injury and illness to lift the Championship Season crown. Claire OBryan suffered an asthma attack and played with a dislocated finger after an errant pass hit her in the fingers, Ivinson said. Tamara Sheppard tripped and suffered a bad bruise and Lauren Sealy was playing with a busted ankle. Ansett also made life difficult, roaring back from a 14-point half-time deficit to take the lead in the last quarter. The fatigue factor kicked in as many of our players had played in many grand finals and it was a long weekend, he said. To our credit we stuck to it and came out on top. Lightning lost the 2008 grand final to Rebels in a thriller and Ivinson said that experience had helped in the 2009 decider. The experience of the close loss last year spurred a lot of the team on, he said. They werent about to let it happen again. Lightning won seven out of the 11 grand finals it was involved in over all grades. It was a great weekend for the club, Ivinson said. Sarah Carbone, Michelle Winch and Tamara Sheppard were involved in three winning grand finals. Sheppard scored a combined total of 83 points in the wins.