Country Women’s Association to sell Sydney head office

26/06/2018 // by admin

Exciting new time: Tanya Cameron, president of the Country Women’s Association. Photo: Nick Moir Support needed: Anita Dulhunty stayed at the CWA club while her husband was treated for cancer. Photo: Lindsay Moller
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Inside the Country Women Australia (CWA) building in Potts Point, Sydney. Photo: Lidia Nikonova

The Country Women’s Association will relinquish its long-standing place in Sydney’s urban heart after members voted to sell its Potts Point headquarters.

The sale is expected to net the iconic volunteer organisation more than $12 million, bringing to an end a debate that has deeply divided its 10,000-strong membership.

Delegates at this week’s annual conference in Griffith voted 397 to 142 in favour of selling the Greenknowe Avenue address, which has housed the association’s head office and residential club since 1955.

The association plans to use the proceeds to buy a more modern, lower cost office building without an accommodation component, and with floors that could be rented out for additional revenue.

Its executive committee had argued it would be “an extremely questionable commercial decision” to hold on to the property, that it estimated would cost between $1.7 million and $3 million to upgrade.

State president Tanya Cameron said the vote was much closer than she expected, but the outcome meant the CWA could now begin looking into the sale process ‘‘and where we go to from here’’.

“I think this decision will mark the beginning of an exciting new time in the history of the CWA of NSW as we continue to adapt to meet the changing needs of rural women and families,” Mrs Cameron said.

But the decision will also mark the end of the association’s modest 50-room residential club at Potts Point, which opened almost six decades ago to give country women a cheaper and ‘‘more homely’’ alternative to a hotel.

The decision means members who can currently stay at Potts Point for as little as $50 a night will in future stay with “an appropriate established accommodation provider” instead.

It is this change that has particularly dismayed the sale’s opponents, who argue that the residential club is an irreplaceable resource for rural and regional women while in Sydney, often during times of great need.

Anita Dulhunty, who had stayed at Potts Point while her late husband battled cancer, predicted the move would prompt people to leave the association.

“I think there will be a rapid decline in numbers now,” Mrs Dulhunty said. “A lot of people are most upset by that decision.”

Mrs Cameron said the association risked losing members whichever way the vote went.

“Obviously there will be some members who have been really quite upset about this possible sale, and so we have to recognise that they will be disenfranchised,” she said.

“We’ll have to hope that we can all move forward and keep doing what CWA does best.”

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Cannes film festival diary: Macbeth gets Snowtown director Justin Kurzel’s bloody touch

26/06/2018 // by admin

More movies coverageMovie session times
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Cannes has been treated to a sneak preview of Australian director Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, which stars Michael Fassbender as the medieval Scottish laird and Oscar-winning Marion Cotillard as conniving Lady Macbeth.

A two-minute trailer and a scene showing a black-clad Fassbender on a blowy Scottish highland suggested Kurzel has given Shakespeare’s tragedy a Gothic twist, with the future king looking almost vampiric.

The clips formed part of a sizzle reel  shown at a promotional reception thrown for buyers and press at one of the festival’s most luxurious venues, the Majestic Hotel.

Colourful American producer Harvey Weinstein showed both the sizzle reel, which included images from about 20 forthcoming films, and some excerpts from completed films. Trade magazine Variety rated Fassbender’s Macbeth “the best trailer performance of the bunch”.

Justin Kurzel gained industry traction as the director of Snowtown, a violent thriller about the real-life murder case in South Australia that won a special mention in the Cannes Critics’ Week section three years ago. Macbeth is produced by The King’s Speech team Iain Canning and Emile Sherman; key crew include cinematographer Adam Arkapaw, who shot both Snowtown and Animal Kingdom, and Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran who has created Macbeth’s black garb. Shooting in Scotland began in February.

Snowtown was certainly bloody. So is Macbeth.

Roman Polanski’s landmark version of Macbeth scandalised audiences in 1971 with its graphic scenes of beheadings and eviscerating swordplay. At the beginning of production, Kurzel was quoted in Variety saying that his version would also offer “a thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a truthful re-imagining of what wartime must have really been like” in the 11th century.

The film is expected to be released towards the end of the year in the run-up to awards season.

Kurzel, meanwhile, is reportedly discussing directing a film adaptation of the video game Assassin’s Creed, again with Michael Fassbender in the lead. The game follows an everyman bartender who is kidnapped and sent back in time to relive the memories of his ancestors, who are all professional assassins.

The Weinstein Company’s presentation also included first footage of St Vincent de Van Nuys, starring Bill Murray and Naomi Watts as a Russian stripper; Harvey Weinstein joked that Watts, who was at the event along with Ryan Reynolds, was being typecast.

Other featured films included Big Eyes by Tim Burton, featuring Amy Adams as an artist famous for very cheesy paintings of characters with the big eyes of the title; World War II romance Suite Francaise with Michelle Williams; and The Imitation Game, with current heart-throb Benedict Cumberbatch as code-breaker Alan Turing.

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Digging for budget nuggets

26/06/2018 // by admin

Panning for positives: Tiny budget blessings can be found if you look hard enough. Photo: Marco Del GrandeBet you didn’t know there were some goodies in the budget. I counted two.And one of them, the company tax rate dropping 1.5 percentage points next year, has a use-by date.It doesn’t sound much but it might just be enough to save a job or two. Besides, there’s something else.The beauty is there’s an incentive for companies hoarding franking credits to pay out a bit more next year in dividends to give their shareholders a last crack at the 30 per cent credit before it drops to 28.5 per cent.I’m afraid the paid parental levy of 1.5 per cent also starting next year won’t count toward franking either. I did say there was a use-by date.Funnily enough, super was the other goodie, even if I’m scraping the bottom of the, um, budget here.Previously putting too much into super from after-tax pay – not salary sacrificing where the problem had already been fixed – could be taxed at up to 93 per cent.But from July you’ll only be taxed on whatever was earned on the extra money.Mind you, we don’t know what that charge will be. Judging by the vagueness of the budget documents the government hasn’t figured it out yet.Whatever, the point is don’t lose sleep over accidentally putting too much in super, which with a $150,000 and soon to be $180,000 a year limit on voluntary contributions you probably wouldn’t have anyway.It’s great the government is being less vindictive about accidentally going over the limit but my worry is that super is becoming a honey trap. It’s an open secret that at some point the government wants to lift the age you can get at your super to 65.So if you’re under 40 “go light on super” is the advice of Michael Hutton, a personal wealth management partner at HLB Mann Judd.You’d do better paying off the mortgage, or if you don’t have one, mimic super with your own portfolio of investments or a managed fund. Just remember to put it in the name of the lowest earning member of the family to save on tax.Over 40 the name of the game is to shift from bad (because it’s not tax deductible) to good debt (because it is). So a home loan is bad and gearing into an investment is good.But don’t get carried away by negative gearing, either. You’ll be lucky if the end gain makes up for years of losses. HLB Mann Judd says you need a 7 per cent a year – including price growth – gross return on a property to beat paying off a mortgage of around 5.5 per cent with the same money.Positive gearing, where you’re ahead form the start and there’s no cash drain, is better. The fact is you’re more likely to achieve it in the sharemarket thanks to dividend franking.I’m in a quandary about whether to count ditching the carbon tax as a goodie.The budget estimates its abolition, assumed to be on July 1, will trim 0.75 per cent off the consumer price index in the year to the June quarter next year.Or rather it compares what would have been with a carbon price of $25.40 which it isn’t. There’s the problem. How real is a 0.75 per cent cut to what would otherwise have been?And if it is real, it means a host of government handouts will increase by a smaller amount because of the lower inflation rate.Might leave that one for you to ponder.
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Inspector Morse revisited through books

26/06/2018 // by admin

  About forty years ago Colin Dexter,  then working in  the Oxford Education Office,  found himself and his family on holiday in North Wales. It was raining and as he had nothing else to do he started to write a detective story. Two years later his book Last Bus to Woodstock, a mystery featuring a detective named Morse, was published. The scene of this, and all the novels that followed, was  university city Oxford. Today tourists travel to Oxford just to see places featured in the novels and the television series featuring the actor John Thaw.  I have been particularly intrigued by the Morse novel that Dexter published in 1989, The Wench is Dead. When I first read this story I was immediately reminded of a much earlier novel by Josephine Tey entitled The Daughter of Time, published in the 1950’s. A Scotland Yard detective finds himself in hospital and starts to research the ancient mystery of the death of the Princes in the Tower in the  15th century. Did their uncle, King Richard III, kill them in order to claim the English throne? Colin Dexter also took an old murder mystery and portrayed Inspector Morse,  bedridden with a bleeding ulcer, as being intrigued by “the Murder on the Oxford Canal”,  said to have taken place in 1859. The author got the idea from  a real-life murder in 1839. Two men were executed for the murder of Christina Collins on a canal boat and I was intrigued to discover that a third man, William Ellis, may possibly have been transported to Australia. I am deeply grateful for research help by the National Library in trying to trace this convict, though his paper trail seems to have gone cold and he was probably acquitted. I found it fascinating to read Dexter’s novel The Wench is Dead and then to compare it with the television adaptation. In the book Morse says he is sick in body but his mind is still sharp. He enlists his sergeant, the ever patient Lewis, to do the leg work in researching this cold case. However in the television version Morse meets an attractive female American academic who is researching the case. It is a compelling story. Like all good authors Colin Dexter puts so much of himself into the character of Inspector Morse. Dexter loves crosswords, the more cryptic the better. He got the name for his fictional detective, Morse, from Sir Jeremy Morse, banker and noted creator of crossword clues. Dexter says that murder mysteries are like crossword puzzles. Dexter is a classical scholar and a wide reader and many of the Morse stories include fascinating bits of erudite information, and quotes from the author’s reading. Morse has been described as melancholy, vulnerable, sensitive, independent, ungracious and mean in little things. His sergeant, Robbie Lewis, has to buy the beer in the pub where they ponder a mysterious case. Morse never seems to have any money. But he always has time for an attractive woman. He pretends that he has no Christian name, just “Morse”. If they ask for a first name he says “Inspector”. A number of the thirteen Inspector Morse novels that Dexter wrote include a strong religious theme. Morse has no time for the church, though his Sunday School background is mentioned. The novel Service of All the Dead is set in a fictitious Oxford church named St Frideswide. There is in fact no such church but as St Frideswide is the patron saint of Oxford visitors might expect one. Dexter makes that church the scene of no less than four murders and finally on the tower the murderer is cornered and Morse is saved from almost certain death by Lewis.  The description of every part of this High Anglican or Anglo-Catholic Parish is remarkably authentic. The little details of music and vestments and ritual and architecture, even the smell of the incense at High Mass, and the appearance of the hymn books and prayer books, rings true for those who have been regular worshippers in such parishes, as I have. The author certainly knows the Church of England. Morse loves the sacred music and sometimes sings in church choirs. He questions formal Christian doctrine but admits the continuing fascination he has for the person of Jesus Christ, as so many do in the modern world. Colin Dexter wrote thirteen Inspector Morse novels, but the television series numbered thirty-three episodes. He took a keen interest in the plot of all the television films and worked with the writers of many of them. He made a cameo appearance in almost all episodes and it is fun to pick him out. One episode, Promised Land, was filmed in Australia where Morse and Lewis investigate a “cold case”. They spend much of their time in Canowindra, renamed “Hereford” for the series, but the sign posts to Orange and Eugowra give the location away. Colin Dexter does not make a cameo appearance in that one. The story ends with Morse and Lewis back in Sydney and Morse mounting the steps to the Opera House to satisfy his passion for classical music. The Inspector Morse series, both the novels and the television dramas, are among the finest creations of British culture and are known and loved all over the world.
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Diva’s little sister ready to hit her straps for Team Hawkes

26/06/2018 // by admin

Team Hawkes is planning ahead with La Amistad as she steps out in Saturday’s McKell Cup (2400 metres) at Randwick, a dream that could have her follow in the footsteps of three-quarter sister Makybe Diva.
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“She is a horse that we have been very patient with and this [preparation] is all about getting her through her grades,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said. “She doesn’t know who her sister is, but we think she can make a name for herself.

“Makybe Diva was a freak and no horse will do what she did.”

The Diva won three Melbourne Cups and La Amistad is showing the same ability to stay after four wins from 10 starts, over 2200m twice before a 2100m Echuca victory and over 2400m at Warwick Farm last time.

La Amistad, like her sister, has taken time to mature and Hawkes says she is still relatively untapped.

“She is still not there yet but we need to get her through the grades and it is right time to step up to this level,” he said. “We see her as a stayer and think she can get to a Melbourne Cup if everything goes right. Maybe, maybe not this year, probably next year.”

La Amistad is by champion sire Redoute’s Choice and the steady approach of the Hawkes stable meant she didn’t make her debut until late in her three-year-old year. She is starting to hit her straps with wins at her past two.

“She is starting to show what she can do and will only get better,” Hawkes said. “She went to Echuca for a reason, to get confidence, and then we opted for Warwick Farm midweek instead of a Saturday race to give her another win. This is an important next step for her and a big test.

“Her breeding means winning a listed race is important for her value after racing, but it will also help with her rating to make sure she can get into the better races.”

La Amistad is the favourite for the McKell Cup and will shorten further in betting when well-bred stablemate Zephyron comes out of the race to run in the Premier’s Cup in Brisbane.

The $2 million buy in New Zealand as a yearling won the Lord Mayor’s Cup at his last start and will target the Brisbane Cup in his northern campaign.

“He will head to Brisbane for in the Premier’s Cup and it is the right time to try him in a race like the Brisbane Cup, provided he runs well on Saturday,” Hawkes said. “He is in good form and will be hard to beat up there.

“He is at a different stage of his career to La Amistad, who probably won’t go up there.”

Team Hawkes will also debut More Than Frank in the two-year-olds’ race that opens the Randwick program, while import Swooning, a winner of two from 10 in France, will have her first run in the Australia in a benchmark 80 sprint.

“More Than Frank is a nice horse with a good draw [one],” Hawkes said. “It will be interesting to see how he goes.

“Swooning has done a lot of her work in Melbourne and the key with these imports is how they settle in, and we will get a guide on that on Saturday.”

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Andrew Dunkley’s teenage son Josh hopes to join Swans

26/06/2018 // by admin

Andrew Dunkley during his playing days at Sydney Photo: ALLSPORTJosh Dunkley would love to play for Sydney, if he does enough in the next 18 months to convince the club to take him on.
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Dunkley is eligible to join the Swans as a father-son selection at the end of 2015, but it was reported last year that his father’s strained relationship with the club in recent years might affect his future.

Andrew Dunkley played 217 games in defence for Sydney – and in the 1996 grand final – before moving to Gippsland to start coaching after he retired in 2002.

Josh has already played two seasons of senior football in Sale, debuting as a 15-year-old, and captained the AIS-AFL Academy’s level one squad on its trip to New Zealand in January.

He is one of a handful of talented players Sydney has first call on this year and next, starting with midfielder Isaac Heeney, who will demand the club’s first round pick this year under the bidding system.

Heeney is part of the Swans Academy, as is Abe Davis, who the club may also nominate this year. Onballer Callum Mills, a 2015 prospect like Dunkley, was the best division two player at last year’s under-16 championships.

Dunkley said he had no intention of telling the Swans he didn’t want to go there, and he would be grateful to play for them or any other AFL team if he got the chance.

“If I could get into the Sydney system, it’s a pretty great system and I’d definitely love to go there,” he said. “But having said that, I’d love to go anywhere: Melbourne, Brisbane, wherever.

“I’m just doing everything I can think of to get drafted, and anywhere that takes me would be good.”

Dunkley was impressive playing through the midfield for Vic Country in its come-from-behind win over Vic Metro in Sunday’s opening under-18 championships game.

The 17-year-old’s 13 possessions included six clearances and three inside-50s, and he laid seven tackles playing around the midfield. He is working hard at increasing his fitness and being able to cover more ground.

“I haven’t spoken to the Swans too much so far, but I met some of the recruiting people over in New Zealand and they said they were happy to just let me play and that we’d see how things go,” said Dunkley, a Sydney supporter.

“I’m not sure where that story came from – I just remember going to school one day and everyone saying, ‘What’s going on, don’t you like the Swans?’ – but it’s something I haven’t really thought about. I just have to do everything I can to be my best and if any club wants to have me then I’d be happy with that.”

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Schoolgirl protester draws praise and criticism

26/06/2018 // by admin

Lord mayor Robert Doyle has blasted the actions of a 15-year-old schoolgirl at the centre of a rowdy Melbourne student protest, but she has drawn praise from her supporters.
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University students furious at the Abbott government’s planned changes to higher education burnt a copy of the budget and staged a sit-in protest outside Victoria’s Parliament House, bringing the city to a standstill on Wednesday.

About 20 students who refused to leave the Spring Street tram tracks formed a ring around a schoolgirl who had joined them.

The girl, who identified herself as Tallulah, was dressed in her Camberwell High School uniform and was carried off the tracks by police.

“She made it quite clear she didn’t want to get up,” said Sam Castro, co-founder of a WikiLeaks support group, who had been sitting in the same ring of protesters.

Cr Doyle said the girl should not have been involved in such a disruption.

“I never like it when I see children protesting in that way,” he told Fairfax’s Radio 3AW on Thursday.

“Who likes seeing a schoolgirl being dragged away from a protest by police officers?” he said.

But the teenager attracted support from a school alumnus, who stated he was “proud” of her actions.

“The age of the ‘aging [sic] generation’ overpowering the ideals, education, and needs of the modern generation is upon us,” Camberwell alumnus Ben Howe wrote on the high school’s Facebook page. “Once again, very proud.”

The National Union of Students, which organised the protest, also expressed support.

“We are more than happy to see high school students getting involved,” said union president Deanna Taylor.

The teenage girl returned to the classroom on Thursday morning and has so far escaped school punishment for her actions, said Camberwell High School assistant principal Maureen Salter.

“We didn’t have permission for her to be absent, so obviously we’ll talk with her parents and get further information from them,” she said.

Ms Salter said the school had concerns for the girl’s wellbeing. It was not known if she was accompanied by a parent or guardian, she said.

“They’re under our care during the school day,” she said.

“As far as I’m aware, she went down there because she wanted to express her own opinion.”

Another teenage girl, who appeared to be dressed in a uniform for the Star of the Sea College Brighton, was dragged away by police.

The school had no comment when contacted on Thursday.

Leading Senior Constable Paul Turner, a spokesman for Victoria Police, said officers were “surprised” to see the protesters were so young.

“In fact, one protesters’ parents turned up and took her home,” he said.

A total of 20 people, including three teenage girls, had been arrested at the protest.

All of them are expected to be charged on summons for obstructing a roadway or footpath.

University students and their supporters vowed to organise more protests in the coming months.

With Jane Lee and Rania Spooner

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Speed the key for Heathcote District: Collins

26/06/2018 // by admin

HDFL captain Tim Hill.
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HEATHCOTE District Football League coach Murray Collins believes speed will be the key to a victory over Horsham District on Saturday.

For the second time in three years it will be the battle of the HDFL’s when Heathcote District and Horsham District meet at the Horsham City Oval on Saturday.

“Every one of those 23 boys selected are all very keen to represent the league and all of them are in good form, and have gelled well together as a group,” Collins said on Thursday.

“The side we’ve picked has plenty of run and pace and is highly-skilled, but there’s also some key talls in there that we will be able to play through.

“But there’s no doubt the key for us will be our pace and we’ll try to run them off their legs with plenty of midfield rotations.”

Collins expects to use upto a dozen players through the midfield rotation, including Stacy Fiske, Jarrod Findlay, Marcus Angove, Carl Thiesz, Linton Jacobs, Jye Keath, Ryan Alford, Gavin Bowles, Jake Truefeldt, Ryan Hocking, Brad Perry and Koe Ngawati.

As well as plenty of players to run through the midfield, the defence also stands out with Matt Riordan, Matthew Jefferies, former LBU coach Kahl Oliver, Chris Black and captain Tim Hill.

Hill has been awarded the HDFL captaincy in what’s his first season in the competition at Mount Pleasant.

“Hilly is very experienced and leads by example,” Collins said.

“He’s not one to rant and rave, he’ll set the standards for the rest of the boys to follow.”

Oliver and Keath are vice-captains of the team.

When the two leagues last met in 2011, Heathcote defeated Horsham by 27 points, 16.16 (112) to 12.13 (85).

Fiske was best for Heathcote that game, with only he and Bowles members of that winning team that will play on Saturday.

“Fiskey has been a really good player for us over the past couple of years, so he’s one we will be looking to give us leadership in the middle,” Collins said.

Heathcote lost to Nepean by 33 points last year, while Horsham was a 30-point winner over Loddon Valley in 2013.



B: RyanAlford Matt Riordan Jye Keath

Hb: Tim Hill Kahl Oliver MatthewJefferies

C: Marcus Angove Carl ThieszLinton Jacobs

Hf: Jake Truefeldt Hadleigh Sirett Ryan Hocking

F: Caillum Brady Matt McEvoyTrent Bacon

Foll: Lochlan Sirrett Stacy FiskeJarrod Findlay

Inter: Gavin Bowles Chris BlackJoel Helman Koe Ngawati Brad Perry


B: Chris Oliver Josh Mebus Scott Heath

Hb: Scott Carey Michael Phelan Deek Roberts

C: Daniel Esson Brent Christie Jason Kerr

Hf: Brent Forsyth Anthony Close Sam Jasper

F: Shannon Argall Tim Wade Callum Hobbs

Foll: Aaron Chavasse Tim Friend Sam Winfield

Interchange: Ash Pekin, Oliver Braithweight, Damon Folkes, Sam McClure, Bernard Keily, Shaun Gilbert

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Shop local success

26/06/2018 // by admin

PERFECT autumn weather provided the ideal backdrop to yesterday’s Shop local and save retail promotion.
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SUCCESS: Runway Clothing & Accessories owner Gemma Franklin was busy in her shop on Thursday.

JOHN STREET: John Street was festooned with balloons yesterday as local retailers got into the swing of Shop Local and save day. Among the businesses to support the day was Redbournberry Clothing Co. Owner Rebecca Clark was very happy with the overall results in particular the swift trade in Ugg boots and slippers.People must be expecting some cold weather some day soon. Rebecca will be going on maternity leave in early June. Michelle Richards will be working full-time until she returns and Michelle will be ably assisted by Melissa Miller who will be working on a casual basis.

YUMMY: Gourmet Delights was busy yesterday with Lisa and Kelsie Dunn serving customers Monique Chalker, Ashlyn Chalker, Tiari Kelly and Jenny Oldham.

John Street and nearby malls were alive with activity as shoppers went in search of bargains and the opportunity to enter the lucky shopper $50 gift voucher from each of the eleven participating stores.

Proving its better to be active and promote your business rather than sit back and feel glum about the current economic situation retail owners told The Singleton Argus the day had been a success with extra shoppers in town.

The winners of the 11 gift vouchers will be contacted today by The Argus .

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Highlands faces tough competition

26/06/2018 // by admin

IT was another weekend of tough competition for Highlands Football Club (HFC) teams.
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The under-12 team had a 3-3 draw with Bulli A. Goals were scored by Austin Cribbin-Blencowe (two) and Adam Cox (one).

Under-13s played top of table Lake Heights.The score was locked at 0-0 up until the last 10 minutes when Lake Heights scored two late goals and got the three points.

In the under-14 match, HFC played the Newbury Bulls in the second round of the State Cup today at Marayong Oval.In the first half Highlands had some good chances with three opportunities to score but the score at half time remained 0-0.

The Highlands broke the deadlock in the second half with a Ben Walker free kick outside the 18 yard box forcing the keeper to save.

The keeper got a nasty bounce and the ball kicked between his hands and into the back of the net. Highlands continued to press and Nick Wilson chipped the keeper from an impossible angle and watched the ball sail into the side netting on the far side of the goal.

At 2-0 the Highlands boys started to relax and dominated the game although Newbury still posed a threat on the break. The third Highlands goal came from some tidy passing through the midfield which found Tom Richmond in space at the top of the box.

His finish was clinical and HFC won the game 3-0.The under-15s played Port Kembla and put 11 unanswered goals past them. HFC under-16 beat Figtree 1-0 at Figtree.

It wasn’t the Highlands most polished display, but it did enough to come away with the points.

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