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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 10066

Mr JOHN COBB (Calare) (10:39): I proudly rise to speak about the sporting prowess of the electorate of Calare, particularly in this time of grand finals. I am keen on sport, particularly team sport, which is good for the young particularly. At the moment our competitions are drawing to a close.

First the mighty Molong Magpies, from my own home town, pulled off an incredible come-from-behind win to snatch victory in the GrainCorp southern division rugby union grand final. I was able to be at the game and witness both Molong and Blayney put on a terrific spectacle. It was basically won in extra time, with a fantastic Molong score in injury time to snatch the win, which gave them back-to-back premierships.

Bathurst St Pats ended a four-year drought in group 10 rugby league when they gave Cowra a bit of a touch-up. Making the effort even more impressive was the fact that Cowra actually beat St Pats on St Pats home turf in Bathurst in the qualifying final, but St Pats turned it around when it mattered most. I am told they celebrated long and hard, as indeed you might.

CSU, Charles Sturt University, topped off a great Centennial Coal Cup season when they beat Blackheath in their grand final. CSU yellow dominated the entire season. They lost just one match on their way to the premiership. It was a massive effort from the club, especially considering that they have a huge change in their playing roster each year depending upon who has left uni and who is going to it.

In Calare's premier hockey competition it was Lithgow that dominated for both men and women. The Lithgow Panthers men managed to score back-to-back titles, while the women scored their fifth, their second premiership in the space of three years. Both sides have dominated the competition for nearly a decade now, a fantastic effort considering that they come up to towns that have much bigger populations and lots more players to choose from.

While there are always stories of success, sadly the Orange Emus could not quite win Calare's premier rugby union competition, falling at the final hurdle. They did, however, give Dubbo an almighty fright in the grand final and should be proud of their efforts, as they came from last in 2013 to the grand final this year. Unfortunately, Dubbo also got over the top of the Parkes Spacemen, who went down in a terrific fight, 34 to 22, on Sunday.

These are not the only sports in which the people of Calare do well, but they are the ones I mention today. The team sports do such a fantastic thing, not just for rural and regional people and for Calare. Team sport is the best thing for young people. It teaches them, whether they want to or not, to communicate and to give their all.