LUKE’S NEW LOVE: Luke Murrell nuzzles his prize possession – the 2014 Melbourne Cup – as wife Sharyn watches on. Picture by CATH BOWENMaitland Mercury sports journalist Josh Callinan looks back on the city’s top 10 sporting highlights of 2014.
1. THE MELBOURNE CUPIt is the most sought-after trophy in Australian sport and this year it ended up in little old Maitland.
The Melbourne Cup came home to postcode 2320 only 24 hours after Aberglasslyn owner Luke Murrell had led champion horse Protectionist into the winner’s circle at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
It was the first time the famed piece of silverware had belonged to Maitland since Morpeth’s Posinatus claimed victory more than a century ago in 1913.
Quicker than Phar Lap and more dominant than Makybe Diva, the German born Protectionist recorded the fourth-fastest time in the event’s 154-year history and the fourlengths he put on the rest of the field after two miles was the biggest winning margin since 1995 and the best on a good track since Rain Love in 1969.
Not only that, but in possibly one of the greatest deals ever struck, Murrell and his Australian Bloodstock syndicate took full ownership of the five-year-old stallion the moment after he saluted.
Maitland sporting moments of 2014 | PHOTOS Protectionist.
Bunny fans, the Threlfo family.
Maitland Mercury Sportsperson of the Year winner waterskier Garry Barton.
Commonwealth Games gold winner Daniel Repacholi.
Maitland cricketers pay tribute to Phil Hughes.
TweetFacebook2. ORDER OF AUSTRALIA MEDALTo receive an Order of Australia Medal is an honour at any stage of life, but to be recognised at the age of 15 is almost unheard of.
Gillieston Heights Paralympic swimmer Maddi Elliott became one of, if not, the youngest recipient of the OAM after being included on the Australia Day honours list for 2014.
She was named alongside the likes of Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush.
The honour came on the back of a startling Games debut in London in 2012, setting a world record and picking up a Sport Australia Hall Of Fame scholarship.
3. GLORY, GLORY TO SOUTH SYDNEYThe South Sydney Rabbitohs broke a 43-year premiership drought in the NRL this year, but there was more to the story closer to home.
Among the thousands of relieved Bunnies fans was a family from Telarah watching the 30-6 victory over Canterbury with a special interest.
The Threlfo family had cheered on the red and green for 61 seasons since grandfather and legendary Maitland Pickers centre Frank had played in a successful grand final.
Not only that, but Sunday, October 5, 2014, marked the second anniversary of his death.
They reckon Frank might have been celebrating somewhere in rugby league heaven.
4. A FINE HALF CENTURYThe Maitland Sportsperson of the Year awards were presented for the 50th time in 2014.
The awards kick-started in 1963 with Commonwealth Games swimmer Marguerite Ruygrok and has also acknowledged the achievements of waterskier Garry Barton and Maitland Pickers premiership skipper Terry Pannowitz.
Former winners such as Brian Burke, Trisha Greaves, Tony Howard and Brian Morgan were present at Maitland Town Hall to celebrate the half century and saw Maddi Elliott claim the second of back-to-back crowns.
5. GLASGOW GOLDThe Commonwealth Games in Glasgow provided plenty of golden moments for the Australian team, including a few from the Maitland region.
Kookaburras representative Simon Orchard, Nulkaba shooter Daniel Repacholi and Gillieston Heights swimmer Maddi Elliott all won gold medals, along with former Novocastrian lapper Thomas Fraser-Holmes.
6. TEENAGE CHAMP IN TOP GRADEBolwarra Heights golfer Clayton Small became the youngest winner of the Maitland A-Grade club championship this year at the age of 14.
7. MAGPIES FLY HIGHThe Maitland Magpies ended a 12-year quest when they claimed a minor-major premiership double in First Division and earn promotion to the Northern NSW Football top tier competition in 2015.
8. TOUCHING TRIBUTESThere wasn’t a cricket ground around Australia that didn’t pay tributeto Phillip Hughes following the25-year-old’s tragic death in November.
Maitland was no exception with touching moments (like this one) played out across the district just two days after the Macksville junior was felled by a bouncer at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
9. TWIN TITLES ON STATE STAGEThe singles title is the blue ribbon event in the world of lawn bowls and in 2014 the Maitland region can lay claim to a little piece of sporting history.
For the first time, it is believed, the winner of both the men’s and women’s NSW crown hailed from the same club with Raymond Terrace duo Lennon Scott and Kelly Richards reigning supreme in their respective statewide competitions.
10. HILLS FINALLY BREAK HOODOOAfter losing three straight deciders by a collective four goals Hills Solicitors broke their Maitland A-grade netball grand final hoodoo and claimed their maiden major premiership with a convincing 38-29 victory over rivals Lantry Plumbing.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS:Female First – Western Suburbs leg-spinner Maisy Gibson becomes first female to play first grade in 120 years of Maitland cricket.Magic Milestone – Nathan Morris scores a trademark free-kick to claim victory for the Weston Bears in his 200th first grade game.Eagle Rock – Steve Lill shoots back-to-back eagles in the opening round of the Maitland A-grad gold club championship.Hot To Trot – Keinbah harness racing couple Shane Tritton and Lauren Panella become the first from the NSW country region to claim NSW Metropolitan trainer’s and driver’s premiership respectively.Catch Me If You Can – Australia’s most-winning jockey Robert Thompson clocks up his 4000th career victory by saluting at Newcastle in May.Grammar Girl – Hunter Valley Grammar School alumni Kate Gill named captain of Australia’s female football team for the Cyprus Cup.Last Stand – City United pair Michael Jordan and Paul Brownlee combine for a Maitland district first grade record tenth wicket partnership of 113.Final Fling – Commonwealth Games lawn bowls representative Natasha Scott delivers a match-winning three with her final bowl to claim state triples title for Raymond Terrace.Unforgettable night – West Maitland junior rugby league player Greg Bird helps NSW end an eight-year State of Origin drought against Queensland and a few hours later Socceroos striker Tim Cahill scores “that goal” at the World Cup in Brazil.Lucky Escape – Northern Suburbs win their Maitland cricket semi-final outright after losing the first innings on the same day and go onto clinch minor-major premiership double as the Lorn club becomes the first to claim the top four grade grand finals in one season.Charity Work – The Mark Hughes Foundation, Moving For Mel triathlon and the Newcastle Jets turn Pink for East Maitland goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.