Bathurst fighter Joel Noonan has claimed the MASA junior middleweight NSW amateur title after he beat Penrith’s Jake Rasion at the Conquest 2 competition in Orange recently.
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Noonan, who trains at High Impact Gym in Orange, was coming off his first loss in the sport a month before but avoided two in a row by taking a unanimous points decision.

“The fighter I was against [Rasion] was undefeated as well until I beat him,” Noonan said.

“It went the whole five rounds but I won by unanimous points. It was a good fight and my shins are still feeling it.”

A month earlier in Tamworth, Noonan put in an impressive showing against three-time Australian champion Brendon McLean but ultimately went down in a close decision.

While he was disappointed to lose his undefeated status, Noonan was very pleased with how competitive he was.

“He’s contested about three times the amount of fights that I have. There was barely anything in it,” the fighter said.

Conquest was the brainchild of Phil Bennett, who has some high profile contacts and wanted to bring quality fights to the Central West.

Noonan said he enjoyed being a part of them and is hopeful that the opportunity arises again.

“The Conquest event manager, Phil Bennett, lived in Thailand for a couple of years but his hometown is Wellington. He moved back there with all these contacts in Thailand and for this one he brought two of the best fighters from Thailand to take on two Aussies,” he said. “It was a big event and I got to be four fights under the main events, which was good.”

Noonan’s High Impact Gym mate Tristan Roach celebrated a win over Penrith’s Ben Kelly in their junior featherweight bout while fellow club mate Charlie Bubb drew his catchweight fight with Jayden Phillips from Parkes. Phil Tyquin went down in his bout.

Bennett is currently trying to organise two more Conquest tournaments, one in Bathurst in October and another in Orange in November. It is hoped that some big names in Muay Thai will be lured to the events.

HOW BOUT THAT: Joel Noonan with the two belts he now holds in kickboxing and Muay Thai after he won a bout at Conquest 2 in Orange recently. Photo: CASEY BAYLISS 060712noonan

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THREE-nil defeats aren’t usually cause for a positive reaction, but after seeing what Bathurst ’75 had to deal with against Hakoah on Saturday night at Alec Lamberton Field in their State League Division Two contest, coach Mark Rooke had a pretty good point.
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Against the runaway competition leaders, who dismantled Rooke’s team 8-0 last time they met, ’75 gave a strong account of themselves and managed to compete on level terms with the high-flyers for most of their match.

In the lead up to the contest Rooke had spoken of Hakoah’s attacking potency and the class of some of their players and it took them just 10 minutes to make his words prophetic, with both Justin and Nathan Kosmina finding the back of the net.

The pair are sons of A-League coach John Kosmina, himself a former Socceroo and one-cap Arsenal player, and their class ultimately proved the difference on Saturday night at Alec Lamberton Field.

“I couldn’t be happier with the effort and attitude of the players, especially in the second half,” Rooke said.

“Early on it was as though we were watching Hakoah a little bit in awe of how good they were but in the last 15 minutes of it [first half] we started to get ourselves into the match and compete on even terms.

“In the second we conceded another goal, but in general we gave as good as we got all around the pitch and I can’t fault any of the players. The contrast between this game and the first game against them was chalk and cheese.”

Justin Kosmina scored his team’s first from a well-directed header before his brother fired in their second and another thrashing looked a distinct possibility.

As Rooke correctly pointed out though his players began to find some possession and move the ball around.

The contest was willing and there was no shortage of physicality, but the home team weren’t going to be pushed off the ball and they would have been relatively satisfied to go to the break at 2-0 down.

Early in the second half Ranni Rimmer trapped a pass in Bathurst’s 18-yard box and turned nicely to finish his team’s third goal. Again a blow-out became a distinct possibility, but the scoring was to end there.

In terms of the territorial battle ’75 could even claim bragging rights in the second half as they regularly took the ball forward, but in reality the Hakoah defence were too classy to allow them any scoring chances.

Rooke is under no illusions as to the quality of the victors.

“They’ve conceded eight goals all season, their transition from the back is fantastic and so hard to break down,” he said.

“To be honest, no, I can’t see any team beating them this season. They were actually missing a few guys tonight too, good players. They would give most NSW Premier League sides a run for their money.”

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

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Bathurst products Esther Hotham and Claire McGarity and their New South Wales team-mates will be out for revenge when they get their Under 21s Women’s Australian Championships campaign underway with a match against defending champions Western Australia this morning.
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The opening game of the tournament in Adelaide will be a rematch of last year’s final, but NSW will be hoping that they avoid a repeat of their 1-0 loss.

The NSW team arrived in Adelaide yesterday for the competition and had two training sessions in the morning to prepare.

It is McGarity’s last year in under 21s, while Hotham has been named in next year’s squad, but both are hoping that can reverse their state’s fortune after going close in the last three years, but ultimately falling short of the title.

“It’s my last year so it would be good to go out with a win,” McGarity said.

“We’ve been pretty unlucky, in the three years that I’ve been playing, we have finished second, third and second, so we are still searching for that win.”

McGarity said NSW had brought together a side that is capable of winning the tournament, but knows that they will face plenty of competition.

She believes they will have a good idea of their chances after their first three games, which are against their traditional rivals.

“We’ve got quite a strong team. Most of the players from last year have come back but there are a few young ones to replace those who are too old,” the former Souths player said.

“Our first three games are against the teams that we expect to be the strongest. Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria are always very strong teams but you really can’t rule anyone out because the other states can improve from year to year.”

Both Bathurst women played in last year’s final, in which neither team was able to score in 70 minutes of regular time. Eight minutes into extra-time, a piece of individual brilliance from WA attacker Kathryn Slattery saw her beat several defenders and put the ball into the net to ruin NSW’s title hopes.

Orange-based assistant coach Pete Shea is looking forward to the competition and said this year’s side had a very youthful make-up.

“We’ve got the basis of a good side. It will be interesting to see how they compete against opposition of this quality at this level,” he said.

“We have two 16-year-olds, a core of 18 and 19-year-olds and then a few older ones. It’s a young group, but that’s the talent in NSW at the moment.”

Shea is also of the belief that a good start will be crucial for NSW’s chances.

“It should be interesting. We had a good training session last week. We worked on a few things which are important like our set plays and our attacking structure,” he said.

“The first three games will be a big challenge for the young kids.”

NSW start their campaign today, taking on Western Australia from 9am (11am AEST).

STATE DUTY: Former Souths player Claire McGarity (left), seen here playing one of her last games for the two blues in 2010, and Bathurst City’s Esther Hotham will start their Australian Championships campaign with NSW this morning. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 071010csths3

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WHEN George Rose first pulled on a Manly Sea Eagles jumper and stepped onto the field for the NRL club in 2006, the barnstorming prop was not able to mark the occasion with a win.
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However, his 100th game for the defending premiers on Sunday was a different story.

With a bus load of his relatives and supporters making the trip from Bathurst to Brookvale Oval cheer him on, Rose helped the Sea Eagles to a 40-24 win over Parramatta.

There were some nervous moments as the Eels launched a second half comeback, but when the final siren sounded the former Bathurst junior was delighted.

“Was so good to have 16000+ screaming fans supporting us today at Brookvale Oval,” Rose tweeted.

“The best feeling. Love playing at our home ground.

“An ugly but effective win today. We had some negatives but some awesome positives too.”

After coming through the ranks at Bathurst and making a foray into higher level rugby league as part of Penrith feeder club St Marys Cougars, Rose got his real break with the Sydney Roosters.

He made his first grade debut with the Bondi club against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium in 2004, but it has been since switching to Manly that Rose has gained a cult following.

Rose’s first NRL game with the Sea Eagles six years ago resulted in a 40-14 loss at the hands of the Bulldogs.

His time since in the maroon and white has seen enjoy arguably the biggest moment of his career thus far and well as one of the biggest setbacks.

In 2007 he broke his leg in a match against Melbourne, the extent of the injury meaning it took Rose until 2009 to force his way back into Manly’s NRL side.

He went on to make his return season a good one – being named the Sea Eagles Player of the Year – but it was being a member of last year’s grand final winning side that stands as his highlight.

On Sunday as Rose prepared to mark his 100th game for the club, his Twitter account was flooded with congratulatory messages and best wishes while he had 58 relatives make the trip to Brookvale.

Sea Eagles head conditioner Donny Singe was one who paid tribute to him on the club’s website, saying the 113 kilogram prop knows how to use his size well.

“Lucky for us George, even though he worked two or three times harder than the next person, has always embraced that [his size],” Singe said.

“Despite the focus that falls on his size, the overriding factor is that he’s a tremendous player and a tremendously skillful footballer.”

Off the bench against the Eels Rose played 41 minutes – his second longest involvement of the season thus far – and during that time he made 12 tackles and 89 metres.

“Manly is a big part of who I am now. I’m doing what I love and I think I’ve learned a lot from the players and people here,” Rose said.

Body

HAPPY 100th: Former Bathurst junior George Rose carts the ball up on Sunday in what was his 100th game for the Manly Sea Eagles. He celebrated the milestone with a win over the Eels. Photo: GETTY IMAGES 070912georgey

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COUNTRY Rugby League chief executive Terry Quinn has said he will support the referee who called off Sunday’s Group 10 premier league match between Mudgee and Lithgow after 37 minutes.
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Eglinton based referee Brett Masters called time on the game after four separate brawls had broken out and three players had been sin-binned.

At the time Lithgow were leading 8-6 in the top-of-the-table clash in Mudgee.

Speaking on The Ray Hadley Morning Show yesterday, Quinn said he would back Masters in his decision to call the game off before half-time had even been reached.

“We’ll support the referee in this,” Quinn told Hadley.

“I’ve got his report, it has just come through now … and what he’s done is absolutely correct. We’ll back him on that because we don’t want to see these brawls happening.”

The first brawl broke out in the seventh minute and Masters spoke to both sides about their actions.

After a second fight, Mudgee’s Jono George and Lithgow’s Corey Willmott were sin-binned.

A third fight broke out in the 22nd minute and resulted in Lithgow halfback Josh Howarth getting 10 minutes in the bin.

The fourth fight erupted with less than eight minutes left in the half and Masters pulled the pin.

After the game Mudgee captain Mat Stott said it was a disappointing way to finish the game.

“I don’t know what to say,” Stott said.

“It’s a shame really. It’s a waste. It did get physical out there but that is what happens.”

Lithgow coach Graeme Osborne had a similar opinion.

“It’s disappointing for the fans and disappointing for the game,” Osborne said.

“It’s probably an easy way out. It was a top-of-the-table clash, two good sides, two good clubs, and unfortunately the crowd probably got a bit too riled up too and perhaps encouraged players on the field.”

Hadley suggested the players and coaches from the two clubs needed to take more responsibility for what happened in Sunday’s game and Quinn agreed.

“They’re in control of their players on the field and they should do a better job,” Quinn said.

“This is one of the areas which concerns us greatly, particularly in Group 10.”

Sunday’s shortened match comes almost a year after the derby between Orange CYMS and Orange Hawks was called off 25 minutes early following an ugly brawl.

The fall-out from that match was massive with the Hawks club suspended from the remainder of the 2011 competition.

Hawks’ first division and under 18s sides were later reinstated following an appeal to the CRL.

Two Hawks players and one CYMS player were also suspended for a combined 32 months.

Meanwhile, Group 10 president Linore Zamparini said the Group executive were meeting last night with two representatives each from the Lithgow and Mudgee clubs along with the referees involved in the match.

“We’ll have the video. We’ll view all the evidence and decide whether anything needs to go to the judiciary,” Zamparini explained. “We haven’t seen any evidence yet so we don’t know if it’s a problem with the ground management, the players or the referees.”

The president was clearly unhappy with what had happened in Mudgee.

“It’s very, very disappointing,” he said.

“It’s not good for the game and it’s not good for our competition.”

Still, Zamparini was confident this was an isolated incident.

Group 10 Referees Association president Mark Edwards did not wish to comment on the matter prior last night’s meeting.

Last night’s meeting would also decide what the match result was.

Lithgow were leading 8-6 when the game was called off, but an official match result is still to be confirmed.

There is also the question of whether enough time had been played to constitute a match and Zamparini said he didn’t have the answer.

“That’s a technical thing we’ve got to work through,” he explained.

“Everyone has a different opinion. Some people think you have to play atleast three-quarters of a game to make it a game. Hopefully it’s in the constitution.”

UGLY SCENE: Players from Lithgow and Mudgee’s Group 10 premier league sides were involved in four separate brawls on Sunday, their actions leading to referee Brett Masters calling an early end to the match.

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