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Delirium Cafe, Brussels: no small beer

Posted on 29/06/2018 by

A world of choice awaits at Brussels’ Delirium Cafe, writes David Whitley.
Nanjing Night Net

The barman returns to the table looking rather disappointed. “We’ve not got any of the Angolan mango beer left,” he says, as if the news he has to break dishonours his entire family. “We’re waiting for our importer to deliver another batch.”

It’s OK though. It’s not as if we’re lacking an alternative. The beer menu at the Delirium Cafe in Brussels is a genuine epic, better measured in kilograms than number of beers listed. Even the bar’s owner, Joel Pecheur, admits that he doesn’t quite know how many beers are listed on the 240-page monster.

He estimates that the Delirium sells approximately 2000 beers from Belgium alone, and around 500 from overseas. Not all are in stock at any one time, but most are.

Indeed, the Delirium is recognised by Guinness World Records as having the largest selection of beers in the world – a total 2004 when they measured it. Of course, the mature thing to do in such circumstances would be to seek out the finest tipples and savour them. The immature thing would be to attempt to drink one beer from as many of the 78 countries represented as possible.

That’ll be one Breznak Pils from the Czech Republic and one Cubanero Fuerte from Cuba, please Mr Barman.

Some of the collection is instantly recognisable. You can have a Guinness from Ireland, a Singha from Thailand or an Asahi from Japan. You can also indulge in a truly pointless exercise by ordering a VB.

But it’s all the more exciting when you start plunging into the more obscure tipples. It’s unlikely that many visitors to Delirium have encountered Foraya Portari from the Faroe Islands, Akosombo from Ghana or Hinano from Tahiti before.

Of course, this is all a big gimmick. But it’s an excellent one that has proved exceedingly popular. The original bar opened in 2003, but the extended realm now takes over an entire alley.

There are now seven bars under the Delirium banner, each specialising in something different.

There’s a pirate-themed rum bar, a faux-Aztec tequileria, a vodka-toting “monastery” and an absinthe specialist. Each has hundreds of its chosen poison.

But beer is still the calling card, and the logistics of getting more than 2000 varieties in the same place are eye-popping. We sit down with Joel Pecheur, who is parked at a table in the alleyway, somewhat ironically sipping on a Coke.

He explains that getting the inventory in is a phenomenally difficult task – they’re reliant on several importers to bring in the obscure finds from around the world, and getting the numbers right is tricky.

Order big numbers and you’ve got to find somewhere to store them.

“We’ve got a warehouse on the outskirts of Brussels,” says Pecheur. “But we grew 40 per cent in the last year and need a new one.”

Sell-by and use-by dates are also an issue, but a small stock of one beer can end up wiped out in a session by a group developing a taste for it. Sourcing is also a big task – Delirium has 10 full-time employees devoted to finding beers, many of which come from tiny breweries.

“A new phenomenon is vintage beers – like wine, it’s the beer from a certain brewery in a certain year,” says Pecheur. “It’s very difficult to keep them the right way, but when the brewery stops producing them we try to keep some for the connoisseurs.

“There are also beers from breweries that have since disappeared. More than 50 per cent of the beers on our original list are no longer made.”

We’re given a behind-the-scenes tour. There are shelves and shelves of bottles, all divided by country and put in alphabetical order. The Belgian beers are slotted into categories and there’s a vast collection of specialist glasses.

Most breweries demand that their beers are served in a specific glass, and hundreds of these get “appropriated” as souvenirs each weekend.

The fields of crates and kegs show an almost industrial-scale operation.

Once the round-the-world challenge begins in earnest, we’re met with a few interesting novelties. The Taybeh from Palestine has an extremely distinctive spicy taste, while the Bolivar is a truly multinational effort. It’s made with rice from Thailand, quinoa from Bolivia and cane sugar from Costa Rica, but tastes heartily Belgian.

A few rounds in, the flagship Delirium Cafe gets sweatily, noisily busy, and we elect to head upstairs to Delirium’s latest baby.

The Hoppy Loft focuses on microbrewed keg beers from around the world. You could happily swat a pterodactyl with the catalogue-style menu.

Befuddled both by prior intake and choice, we end up telling the barman to just give us one from each country. The Scots, Americans, Dutch and Danes get their chance to impress, and the table fills with some dark, stormy-looking beverages.

My friend takes one look at the bottle of Rasputin from the Netherlands: “Uh-oh,” he says. “We’re on the 10-per-centers. This is not going to be pretty.”

It isn’t – and the likes of Mutzig from Cameroon and Chinggis from Mongolia are left untouched in favour of a spectacularly ill-advised jaunt through the absinthes, rums and vodkas in the other bars. As the evening goes on though, one thing becomes oddly clear. Delirium should be a paradise for knowledgeable connoisseurs, tasting their way through some of the finest Belgian Lambic and abbey beers.

But the crowd is all wrong. The later it gets, the more the alley looks like a youth club.

The local kids and the party-focused tour bus crowds are in for the famous booze theme park, and the place with the best selection of drink on the planet is filled with the people who are least likely to care what they’re drinking.

Alas, those Togolese tipples and Bolivian brews will have to remain in the backstage beer labyrinth for a little longer.

The writer was a guest of the Belgian Tourist Office.

TRIP NOTES

GETTING THERE

Thai Airways is offering flights to Brussels from Sydney via Bangkok from $1708. Phone 1300 651 960; see thaiairways南京夜网.au.

DRINKING THERE

The Delirium empire can be found in Impasse de la Fidelite, an alley off Rue des Bouchers in central Brussels. See deliriumcafe.be.

STAYING THERE

The Crowne Plaza at 3 Rue Gineste has historic charm and four-star rooms from €190.80 ($272) a night. See crowneplazabrussels.be.

MORE INFORMATION

belgiumtheplaceto.be.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok: write minded

Posted on 29/06/2018 by

Colonial influences: the Mandarin Oriental Hotel spa. Mandarin Oriental Hotel executive suite.
Nanjing Night Net

Dining on the terrace.

The spirits of literary greats permeate these halls, writes Catherine Marshall.

There’s an elephant in the room – and it’s made entirely of chocolate. It carries on its back a saddle wrought from confection, and inside the saddle is a load of exquisitely crafted chocolates. Propped against a miniature easel beside the elephant’s flank is an edible painting of Bangkok’s legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

I bite into the painting; it is deliciously sweet, but leaves a vaguely subversive taste in my mouth, too, for I’m standing inside the very building that I have just – metaphorically – eaten. From my suite high up in the hotel’s River Wing extension I can see the Chao Phraya River snaking languorously past the hotel terrace and meandering back towards Bangkok’s northern outskirts; the sun is beginning to sink and its rays briefly glaze the coffee-brown waters of this city thoroughfare.

The riverboats churning through it can’t have changed much since 1887, when expatriates and local aristocrats gathered here to celebrate the opening of this establishment, built in place of the original Oriental Hotel.

Grand and neoclassical, it was seen as an appropriate addition to the city of Bangkok, which by then was the fast-growing capital of Siam, as Thailand was then known, the only country in south-east Asia spared colonial rule.

But colonial influences abounded then and still do today, in the golden teak bells that hang from the vaulted ceiling in the lobby, in the white wicker chairs and lazily whirring ceiling fans in the Authors’ Lounge, in the stationery that has been embossed with my name and placed on a writing bureau overlooking the river, and, of course, in the chocolate elephant that stands on the dresser and carries in its regal bearing the memory of a time long since past.

Sitting at my bureau with its leather and teak accents, its pens and gold-stamped paper, and all of Bangkok lying sprawled outside my window as inspiration, I can easily conjure that intellectual, jasmine-scented past. The new hotel attracted visiting writers from the West who would drink gin and tonics on the terrace and imagine into being the characters who would populate their novels.

John Le Carre completed The Honourable Schoolboy here, W. Somerset Maugham recovered from malaria in one of the cool, soothing suites, and Ernest Hemingway ever-faithfully propped up the bar.

For my own part, I took afternoon tea in the Authors’ Lounge, sitting amid the ghosts of all those legendary writers as I drank my specially formulated oriental brew and nibbled tiny quiches and croissants. I could picture Joseph Conrad sitting in the corner just over there, and Dame Barbara Cartland holding court across the room, a pot of creme brulee held between her jewelled fingers. The lounge had felt like the repository of an intriguing literary history, for it takes up much of the first floor of the original wing at whose opening all those expatriates and aristocrats could be seen rubbing shoulders back in 1887; today, the upper level has been commandeered by four heritage suites named for Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and James Michener.

Their books are squeezed among countless others on shelves in the library, which is tucked just off the lounge and doubles as a reading room for guests who wish to linger.

The hotel’s later additions, separated from the original building by richly scented tropical gardens, are also appointed with suites bearing the names of literary patrons: Gore Vidal, Jim Thompson, Wilbur Smith.

But this theme is not just a marketing gimmick, for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel pinned its literary colours to the mast in 1979 when it co-founded the South East Asian Writers’ Awards (also known as the SEA Write Award).

I had briefly browsed the library at afternoon tea, but decided that too much cerebral activity was sinful in a city so attuned to the importance of holistic well-being. So I caught a teak barge – used to shuttle guests – to the other side of the river, where an annex contains the hotel’s health centre, jogging track, Thai cooking school, the Sala Rim Naam restaurant and the serene, wood-panelled cocoon that is the Oriental Spa.

Here, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s spa wellness manager, Neelam Khatri, explained that the establishment sought to maximise their guests’ experience by combining traditional massage with Ayurvedic consultation, yoga and meditation. Khatri’s gentle voice, the scent of oils and steamy Thai fruit tea and the abiding silence were already inducements to a somniferous afternoon, but I believe I may have actually slumbered when my therapist gently delivered a signature aromatherapy massage.

Reawakened, I had returned to my suite. And now here I stand, high above Bangkok, observing a city transformed by darkness and the glitter of electric light.

The writer was a guest of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok and Qantas.

TRIP NOTES

WHERE

The Mandarin Oriental, 48 Oriental Avenue. Qantas flies to Bangkok from Sydney daily. Phone 131313, see qantas南京夜网.au.

HOW MUCH

Rates for a superior room start at $362 a night. See mandarinoriental南京夜网/bangkok.

TOP MARKS

Attentive yet unobtrusive staff; daily bowl of tropical fruit with a card explaining its origins; the personalised invitation to attend cocktails; welcoming treats such as that chocolate elephant.

BLACK MARK

Watching those expansive riverside windows being cleaned somewhat spoils the romance.

DON’T MISS

Dinner at the hotel’s five-star Sala Rim Naam restaurant. Set across the river from the main compound and housed in a beautiful Northern Thai-style pavilion, it delivers a rich sensory experience of Thai cuisine.

MORE INFORMATION

tourismthailand.org; smartraveller.gov.au.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hong Kong: the green unseen

Posted on 29/06/2018 by

Sai Kung East Country Park.There’s more to Hong Kong than shopping in its steamy canyons, writes Natasha Dragun.
Nanjing Night Net

Hong Kong may be one of the world’s great cities – with towering skyscrapers and endless shopping malls – but beyond the bright lights a host of fresh-air activities await. Away from the congested cityscapes hugging Victoria Harbour, more than 70 per cent of Hong Kong, hard as it may be to believe, is given over to land and water nature reserves.

And because the city is so compact, many activities are within easy reach of hotels. Here’s a look at the best ways to get a taste of Hong Kong’s surprising great outdoors.

HIKING

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy wilderness – in fact, some of the city’s top hiking trails are located on Hong Kong Island, easily accessible by public bus.

The Dragon’s Back is probably the best-known of these, the ridge sweeping down to a fishing village in Shek O Country Park. You’ll wander through groves of bamboo and woodland before emerging to open hillsides blanketed with wild azaleas and rose myrtle, offering unbroken views over Clear Water Bay, Stanley and Hong Kong’s eastern islands.

The walk ends at Shek O, where cheap-and-cheerful seafood stalls sell barbecued octopus and bottles of ice-cold beer. Dragon’s Back can be done independently, but guided hikes are also available with Walk Hong Kong. The group’s popular Deserted Beaches Hike takes you to some of the New Territories’ prettiest stretches of sand in remote Sai Kung.

Here, lush tropical vegetation and forested ridges give way to white sandy beaches, many of which you’ll have entirely to yourselves. To reach them you’ll hike through old Hakka villages, where local farmers once nurtured “feng shui woods” to preserve local flora and fauna.

In the same neighbourhood, the group’s Geopark Hiking Tour takes you along Sai Kung East Country Park, home to a volcanic column wall, one of the world’s largest examples of its kind.

KAYAKING

Junks, ferries and container ships aren’t the only harbour traffic. A growing trend is to explore the city’s waterways by kayak.

Local outfit Kayak-and-Hike offers full-day packages to the Ung Kong archipelago, part of Hong Kong’s Global Geopark in the eastern New Territories. Trips launch from Sai Kung with a junk ride through coves and past forested hills to Sha Kiu Tau fishing village. There, you’re kitted with kayak, life vest and snorkelling gear before paddling out to explore caves, sea arches and eventually Bluff Island, to see some of Hong Kong’s coral and marine life.

Work up a sweat hiking to the island’s lookout before cooling off with a swim or snorkel – the visibility is typically great, and you’ll likely spot Chinese demoiselle, clown fish and racoon butterfly fish, among other species.

You can BYO picnic or join tour leaders for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant back at Sha Kiu Tau.

BIKING

You don’t see many cyclists in congested Hong Kong city, but biking opportunities do exist.

Several organisations, including the Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association are dedicated to the development and upgrade of off-road tracks in the relatively untouched New Territories, as well as on far-flung islands.

Excellent maps and trail descriptions on the association website mean that you can tackle different trails on your own.

The organisation also offers skills sessions and, in collaboration with Crosscountry HK, guided half and full-day trips tailored to different skill levels.

Similarly, Mountain Biking Asia leads two-wheel tours of Hong Kong on sedate tracks through the New Territories. Over 35 kilometres you’ll cycle through historic villages before reaching the Nam Sheng Wai Peninsula, where thousands of migratory birds flock for the winter.

A fortifying dim sum lunch in the old market town of Yuen Long ends a half-day tour; those wishing to extend the trip can cycle on through wetlands surrounding Deep Bay, near the border with mainland China. The bird identification cards handed out en route are a nice touch.

WILDLIFE

It’s hard to believe that anything lives in Hong Kong’s heavily trafficked harbour, but the waters are home to a surprising collection of marine life, including wild dolphins – pink ones at that.

Officially known as the Chinese white dolphin (apparently constant blushing gives them a rosy glow), the cetaceans call the city’s Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park, in the western waters, home.

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch – an avid supporter of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and supporter of dolphin research – leads trips to the park with informative talks on the fragile marine ecosystem along the way.

Despite their dwindling numbers (some estimate that there are only a few hundred left), the dolphins are a resident species of Hong Kong and can be spotted year-round. But if you’re unlucky and don’t see a dolphin on the tour, you can simply join again for free on any other scheduled trip.

BIRDWATCHING

Avid twitchers descend on Hong Kong during the city’s cooler months, when migratory birds take refuge in the marshes and mudflats of the city’s wetlands and nature reserves – more than two million birds descend on Mai Po Nature Reserve in the New Territories alone.

The Hong Kong Birdwatching Society offers guided trips to the reserve, led by ornithologists who will regale you with an astounding amount of information about the 380 species of birds that inhabit the park, 35 of which are of global conservation concern, including the Saunders’ gull and the black-faced spoonbill.

Free monthly birdwatching activities, in conjunction with the tourism board, take you to Hong Kong Park, where you might spot the white-crested hornbill or racket-tailed treepie, and Kowloon Park, home to flamingos, ringed teal and tropical pigeons.

The writer travelled courtesy of Cathay Pacific and The Upper House.

TRIP NOTES

GETTING THERE

Cathay Pacific operates daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Phone 131 747, cathaypacific南京夜网.

STAYING THERE

Designed by Andre Fu, the Upper House’s 117 rooms are all about pared-back luxury. Rooms start at $HK4500 ($619) and have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Victoria Harbour, free minibar snacks, Wi-Fi and satin amenity pouches. See upperhouse南京夜网.

SEE + DO

The Hong Kong Birdwatching Society offers free guided tours. See hkbws.org.hk.

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch’s four-hour trips run on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and cost $HK380 an adult. See hkdolphinwatch南京夜网.

Bikewise courses and guided mountain-biking trips with Crosscountry HK from $HK940 for the first rider, $HK560 for subsequent riders, bike included. See crosscountryhk南京夜网; hkmba.org.

Mountain Biking Asia’s guided tours include lunch and wetlands entry from $HK500. See mountainbikingasia南京夜网.

Kayak and Hike’s day tours run from 8.45am to 4pm and cost from $HK700 a person. See kayak-and-hike南京夜网.

MORE INFORMATION

discoverhongkong南京夜网.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Gallery: Launceston v North LauncestonTSL

Posted on 17/07/2019 by

Gallery: Launceston v North Launceston | TSL TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston
Nanjing Night Net

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

TSL | Launceston v North Launceston at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

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GALLERY: Police Officer of the Year Awards

Posted on 17/07/2019 by

In an awards ceremony heldin Griffith on Friday night, local police officers were recognized for their outstanding commitment and tireless work for the community.
Nanjing Night Net

Sergeant Brett Ryan was named Police Officer of the Year for his work tackling alcohol-related crime.

Sergeant Brett Ryan (middle, pictures with Rotary’s Denis Conroy and Local Area Commander Detective Superintendent Michael Rowan) has been named Police Officer of the Year.

Presenting Sgt Ryan with the prestigious award, Rotary Club of Griffith East PresidentDennis Conroy said through his work the humble police officer had made “a difference to the lives of everyone in our community”.

“We have seen a 15 per cent decrease in alcohol-related crime and Sergeant Ryan has made a significant difference to community safety around licensed premises in Griffith.”

GALLERY: Police Officer of the Year Awards TweetFacebookThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Gallery : Primary School Cross Country

Posted on 17/07/2019 by

Gallery : Primary School Cross Country The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler
Nanjing Night Net

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

The primary school’s Ron Hill Schools Cross Country Series, held at Queechy High School. Picture: Paul Scambler

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Video: Moss Vale Magic defeat Central Coast Crusaders

Posted on 17/07/2019 by

Billy Campbell gets the ball over the Central Coast’s defence to score. Photo by Lauren Strode
Nanjing Night Net

BASKETBALL

THE Moss Vale Magic bounced back from its overtime loss to competition leaders the Penrith Panthers last week with a comprehensive 26 point win over the Central Coast Crusaders at the Moss Vale Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.

It was an important game for the Magic with the Crusaders sitting in fifth position on the table, just one win ahead of the Magic who were holding on to sixth spot after last week’s loss.

With only the top six teams qualifying for the playoffs later this month the Magic were at risk of dropping out of the top six with a loss in this match.

The Crusaders showed they had come to play and took an early lead before Billy Campbell ignited the Magic offence with some deft moves to the basket on his way to six points for the quarter.

The Magic went basket for basket with the Crusaders in what was shaping up as an entertaining contest.

Chris Tyler was injected into the game and made an immediate impact when he connected on a long range three pointer with his first shot for the game.

When Nick Bizjak followed that up with another three pointer the Magic slowly started to gain control.

Dane Jensen,Pat Chaumont and Hayden Cook all chipped in with some nice finishes around the basket as the Magic went to the first break with a slender lead 19-17.

The Crusaders showed why they have been one of the top sides this year as they regained the lead in the second quarter after connecting with back to back three pointers despite plenty of attention from the Magic defence.

The Crusaders remained in a zone defence which played straight in to the hands of the Magic who boast one of the best, if not the most lethal outside shooting rosters in the league, with players like Bizjak, Tyler, Campbell, Davies, Cook and Rhys Pryor all capable of lighting it up from the three point line.

It wasn’t long before Bizjak started to find his range with two long bombs and was back up by Tyler backed with another three.

The Magic took a slender three point lead at half time 36-33.

The Magic came out with more intensity in the third quarter and got their transition game going to take control of the match.

Moss Vale’s shooters found their rhythm and were on fire from outside with Tyler showcasing his shooting skills as he lit up the court with 13 points for the period which included three three pointers.

The Crusaders had no answers and struggled to contain the outside shooting triple threat of Bizjak, Campbell and Tyler as the Magic took control of the game.

Hayden Cook complimented the Magic shooters with some strong drives to the basket and also got in on the act with a pull up three pointer in transition.

However he had his foot on the line and had to settle for two points with the score 66-49 at the final break.

Coach Kevin Campbell emphasised the need for the Magic to really go on with it in the last quarter given the closeness of the teams vying for the top six finals position particularly with points for and against possibly going to be a factor.

The players responded in emphatic fashion as they proceeded to rack up another 33 points led by Billy Campbell who was having his best game of the season with back to back three pointers and 12 points for the quarter on his way to a game high 23 points.

Luke Clarke had his best of the season for the Magic with some strong rebounding at both ends of the floor as well as running the fast break well.

He also showed some great shooting touch with 100 per cent from the field and also a perfect 100 per cent free throw record making six from six from the charity stripe.

The Magic’s shooters were not missing many.

Whenever they did miss one Grey, Jensen or Pat Chaumont were there as usual to grab the rebounds and complete the put back.

Jensen with 10 points and Chaumont with nine points were consistent all night and kept the Crusaders 6′ 8″ centre Tyler Payne relatively quiet for most of the game.

Development player Nick Gardiner had an opportunity to put the Magic over the 100 point mark for just the second time this year however he was just short with a couple of three point attempts as the Magic ran out comfortable winners 99-73.

Top scorers for the Magic were Campbell (23 points), Bizjak (20 points), Tyler (19 points), Jensen (10 points), Chaumont (nine points), Clarke (eight points), Cook (eight points) and Davies (two points).

The Magic will now play third placed Sydney University Spiders in another crucial match on Saturday afternoon at Sydney Uni with tipoff at 3.30pm.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Boxers ready to turn golden run into Olympic success

Posted on 17/07/2019 by

Shelley Watts excelled at her first major tournament. Photo: James Brickwood Andrew Moloney out-pointed Muhammed Waseem of Pakistan. Photo: James Brickwood
Nanjing Night Net

Joe Goodall was outclassed by Joe Joyce of England. Photo: James Brickwood

Kevin Smith doesn’t do a lot of talking. “I’ve just got to go and, er…” was all he had to say as he whizzed past Australian journalists in Glasgow, disappearing down the corridor with a sly grin and leaving his number one man, Don Abnett, to do the talking.

“I’ve got a good feeling about it,” Abnett said about the future prospects of Australian boxing after a successful tournament at the Commonwealth Games.

“I like working with coach Kevin. I have since I met him and I really believe he can bring something good to Australian boxing.”

He already has. The Liverpudlian, who only took over as Australian boxing’s head coach in May, doesn’t say much outside of the inner-circle but his methods clearly work. After the final night of boxing in Glasgow, he could count two golds and a silver as reward for his techniques.

Australia didn’t win a single medal in Delhi four years ago and despite sending some 11 fighters to the Olympics, none returned with a medal of any colour. It was back to the drawing board but the signs are promising.

Shelley Watts (lightweight) and Andrew Moloney (flyweight) both won gold in Glasgow’s cavernous Hydro arena, making it a perfect start for the Australians on finals day. Super heavyweight Joe Goodall, still a relative novice in the ring, had a much tougher assignment against England’s Joe Joyce, who beat him convincingly over three rounds.

“It was overwhelming the pressure and I just felt I had nothing,” said Goodall, still just 22 and with only four years of boxing under his belt. “I was looking for the one-punch knockout at the end there but my timing was out. I was sloppy with my footwork and off balance.

“I think I had a good tournament all in all. I am happy with winning silver.”

Daniel Lewis would have been a chance at gold, as well, before a bad cut on his eye saw him bow out of the competition. There has been much debate about the withdrawal of head protection for the male fighters but AIBA, boxing’s governing body, insists they new laws will remain, despite a proliferation of split heads.

The big question for Smith is how he turns renewed momentum in Australian boxing into some success in Rio. Australian wasn’t short of representatives in London but none made much headway, even if fighters like Jeff Horn and Damien Hooper have made promising starts to their respective professional careers.

It may well be Australia’s brightest hope in Rio is Watts, who blazed her way through the Commonwealth tournament in fine style. At 26 and competing at her first major event, she looks a serious talent with immense amounts of improvement still to come.

She fights in the same division as Ireland’s Katie Taylor, the Olympic gold medallist and four-time world champion. And while she has yards to make up on the Irish great, the potential for Australia’s first Olympic boxing medal since 1988 (Grahame ‘spike’ Cheney’s silver) is apparent.

The Commonwealth Games boxing tournament was missing some of the sport’s biggest hitters; Russia, Ukraine and Cuba. It obviously takes some sting out of the results but after some lean years, the Australian camp will grab any momentum they gained and run with it.

How far they can go will be revealed at the 2015 World Championships, then Rio. But even getting to the Olympics has become a mission of its own, with Australia qualifying a certain amount of fighters through Oceania and the rest through an Asian qualifier that includes powerhouses like India and Kazakhstan, which has become a dominant force in the amateur ranks.

To make it more difficult, no Australian fighters compete in the World Series of Boxing, which allows fighters to compete as professionals while still being eligible for the Olympic Games. Joyce, who gave Goodall a boxing lesson, has operated in that competition and the difference was on show for all to see.

Coaches like Abnett and Smith know the lay of the land of Australian boxing and how difficult it has become to turn talents into Olympians. But with the likes of Watts at the vanguard of the next generation of prospects, the wait for more Olympic success may be shorter than you think.

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Ballarat breakfast report: August 3

Posted on 16/06/2019 by

WEATHER
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There is plenty of sunshine for outdoor activities today with the mercury expected to creep to 10 degrees.

Morning frost after an overnight low of -4.6degrees at 5am.

Light winds.

POLICE

Local police had nothing to report from overnight.

FIRE

Several fire crews attended a Ballarat East house fire on Saturday evening.

Crews were called to a Webb Avenue address just after 6.30pm where a fire is believed to have started in the kitchen.

AMBULANCE

Paramedics had no trauma incidents to report on.

V/LINE

Ballarat train services appear to be running on time.

An updated timetable has been released for AFL Round 19 services. Click here.

TOP STORIES

More than 2500 birds sold at Ballarat Bird Sale

Black ice warning issued after dozens slide off roads

Snow falls in Ballarat city centre

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Commonwealth Games 2014: hockey, day 10PHOTOS

Posted on 16/06/2019 by

Commonwealth Games 2014: hockey, day 10 | PHOTOS Australian Hockeyroos players celebrate winning the gold medal after the Women’s Gold Medal Match against England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images
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Ashleigh Nelson of Australia takes on Laura Unsworth of England in the Women’s Gold Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

England players celebrate the field goal scored by Lily Owsley in the Women’s Gold Medal Match against Australia at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Jodie Kenny of Australia is closed down by Ellie Watton of England in the Women’s Gold Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Australian Hockeyroos players celebrate winning the gold medal after the Women’s Gold Medal Match against England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Georgia Nanscawen of Australia hits her shot away from Hollie Webb during the Women’s Gold Medal Match between Australia and England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Sophie Bray of England is tackled by Karri McMahon of Australia in the Women’s Gold Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Edwina Bone of Australia passes in the Women’s Gold Medal Match against England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Jayde Taylor of Australia is tackled by Lily Owsley of England in the Women’s Gold Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Jodie Kenny of Australia celebrates with her team mates after scoring a goal with 16 seconds left as England look dejected during the Women’s Gold Medal Final match between Australia and England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Ellie Watton, Georgie Twigg, Maddie Hinch, and Giselle Ansley of England look dejected after losing the penalty shoot out to the Hockeyroos. Photo: Getty Images

Australia players celebrate winning the gold medal after the Women’s Gold Medal Match against England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

England players are dejected after they were defeated by Australia after the Women’s Gold Medal Match against England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Australia celebrate their goal during the Women’s Gold Medal Match against England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Jodie Kenny of Australia is fouled by England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch during the Women’s Gold Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Lily Owsley of England controls the ball during the Women’s Gold Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Ashleigh Nelson of Australia collides with goalkeeper Maddie Hinch of England in the Women’s Gold Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

The Hockeyroos look on during the penalty shoot in the Women’s Gold Medal Final match between Australia and England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

England players look dejected after losing the penalty shoot out to Australia in the Women’s Gold Medal Final match between Australia and England. Photo: Getty Images

Gold medalists Australia, silver medalists England, and bronze medalists New Zealand pose together with their medals following the medal ceremony after the women’s gold medal final match. Photo: Getty Images

Australia celebrate winning the Women’s Gold Medal Final match between Australia and England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

The England team pose with their Silver Medals after winning the Silver Medal in the Women’s Gold Medal Final match between Australia and England. Photo: Getty Images

The New Zealand team pose with their Bronze Medals after winning the Bronze Medal in the Women’s Bronze Medal Final match between New Zealand and South Africa. Photo: Getty Images

New Zealand celebrate a goal during the Women’s Bronze Medal match between New Zealand and South Africa at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Lenise Marais of South Africa tackles Krystal Forgesson of New Zealand in the Women’s Bronze Medal Match at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

New Zealand celebrate winning the Women’s Bronze Medal match between New Zealand and South Africa at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Samantha Charlton celebrates with Emily Naylor of New Zealand after the Women’s Bronze Medal match between New Zealand and South Africa. Photo: Getty Images

Simon Orchard of Australia battles for the ball with Nick Catlin of England during the Men’s Semi-Final match between Australia and England. Photo: Getty Images

Manpreet Singh of India and his team-mates celebrate winning the Men’s Semi-Final match between New Zealand and India at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Goalkeeper Sreejesh Raveendran Parattu of India makes a save as Dharamvir Singh of India battles for the ball with Alex Shaw of New Zealand during the Men’s Semi-Final match between New Zealand and India at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

New Zealand discuss tactics during the Men’s Semi-Final match between New Zealand and India at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Players from Australia and England shake hands prior to the start of the Men’s Semi-Final match between Australia and England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Players from Australia discuss tactics during the Men’s Semi-Final match between Australia and England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Simon Orchard of Australia celebrates with his team-mates after scoring a goal for Australia in the Men’s Semi-Final match between Australia and England at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Photo: Getty Images

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Gallery: Hawks and Bulldogs training

Posted on 16/06/2019 by

Gallery: Hawks and Bulldogs training Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston
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Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs take to Aurora Stadium for training ahead of Sunday’s AFL clash. Picture: Scott Gelston

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Dragons fire on home turf: Photos

Posted on 16/06/2019 by

Dragons fire on home turf: Photos Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
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Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Dragons win 42-32 over the Berwick Miners at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

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Gallery: Rocherlea v South LauncestonNTFA

Posted on 16/06/2019 by

Gallery: Rocherlea v South Launceston | NTFA NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler
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NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

NTFA | Rocherlea v South Launceston. Picture: Paul Scambler

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