North Shore Times : January 13th 2011
23 NORTH SHORE TIMES, JANUARY 13, 2011 SPORT On form: Damon Haenga in action during the North Harbour Open at Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre. Photos: PETER ELEY Volleyball's new home is a winner By FELICITY REID High five: Tournament winners Hannah Croad, left, and Melissa Ruru celebrate during the North Harbour Open. After 16 years of showcasing the sport on temporarily transformed tennis courts, premier beach volleyball has found a new Auckland home at the Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre. The North Harbour Beach Volleyball Open on January 8 and 9 doubled as the first leg of the National Beach Volley- ball Tour, which travels to four centres in the North Island this month. This is the first time the North Harbour Volleyball Association has hosted a tour event, with Auckland-based events traditionally being held at the ASB Tennis Cen- tre in Parnell. Five years ago the old Mai- rangi Bay Bowls Club was converted into the Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre, with the introduction of a large sand pit that can accommodate up to six per- manently installed full-sized beach volleyball courts. The centre was set up to cater for players of all levels with programmes for school students as well as a high performance development programme for under-19s. Tournament director Rich- ard Casutt says the venue, which is a one-of-a-kind facility in New Zealand, is perfect for hosting top-level beach volleyball tourna- ments. We had to invest some money to get a small grand- stand, and a lot of volunteer hours preparing the venue to the best quality. Casutt, an international beach volleyball referee, has attended Olympic Games in Sydney and Beijing so wanted an international level set-up for the centre court. The feedback from the players was fantastic. They absolutely loved it, and think the set-up now for four courts should remain. Unfortunately the grand- stands were hired, and we often need the six courts all operating as our numbers of participants are growing fast. Casutt says board mem- bers of Volleyball New Zea- land and other associations have also given the open their seal of approval. We will be definitely hosting an event of this nature again. Casutt says the open is a great opportunity for young talented players from the North Shore to strut their stuff. Since the centre has opened several young players have established themselves in our age group national teams. North Harbour is already a powerhouse in men s indoor volleyball and is rapidly rising in the beach volleyball ranks with young athletes Johan Timmer, Danielle Quigley and Carli Botes picked to make an impact during this year s national tour which heads to Te Rapa Beach Centre in Hamilton this weekend. The inaugural winners of the North Harbour Open in the women s category were the partnership of Hannah Croad and Melissa Ruru, while brothers Ben O Dea and Sam O Dea took the men s title. Shore pairing Taina Boyd and Jo Waller got the bronze medal in the women s. Timmer with Bede Jeffries, who was in his first compe- tition at this level, finished fifth. Botes and Quigley were upset with their final result of seventh equal. Another big score CLUB CRICKET Scores in excess of 400 are becoming the norm rather than the exception at Onewa Domain this season and once again it was a family affair for Takapuna during round four of the Hedley Howarth Trophy competition . Craig Cachopa (142) and Brad Cachopa (126 not out) flayed the Papatoetoe attack to put Takapuna well and truly in the box seat sitting on 404-9 declared heading into day two. It wasn t an auspicious start on home soil for North Shore in 2011 as they succumbed to the spin of James Nolen on day one of their clash with Suburbs New Lynn. Nolen grabbed 6-53 to play a large part in Shore making 180. Alex MacDuff (69) and Craig McGuigan (37) pro- vided some resistance for the home side but the Shore bowlers have much work to do on day two after Suburbs made their way to 103-3. The bowlers were in command at Windsor Park as 15 wickets fell in what is a finely poised game between East Coast Bays and Eden Roskill. The visitors were the first to struggle at the crease as they made their way to 148, with Bays cap- tain Matt Mimmack spear- heading the attack with a three-wicket bag. The home side then made hard work of getting almost halfway to their total by losing five wickets to be 71-5 at stumps. In the minor champion- ship, Birkenhead City are being dominated by run- away leaders Parnell. Starting with an impres- sive display with the ball, Parnell s James Walsh (6-27) and Bruce Martin (4-17) claimed all of Bir- kenhead s wickets for just 91. Parnell then piled on the runs to the tune of 300-4 declared. At the close of play Bir- kenhead were still 158 runs behind with eight wickets in hand heading into day two. Great to win against Adelaide Rimming in: Breakers American import Gary Wilkinson was the top scorer in his side's first win of the new year. Photo: BEN WATSON A road win against Adelaide was the perfect way for us to start 2011 and officially end the first half of the season. The Stormin Mormon Gary Wilkinson led the way with 27 points and nine rebounds as he battled it out with fellow redhead Adam Ballinger of the 36ers, who also had 27 points but in a losing effort. Adelaide is such a tough place to win so it is great to pick up two so early in the season over there knowing that others will struggle, and with the likes of Cairns and Perth hot on our tails it maintains the pressure at the top of the table. With exactly half our games accounted for we are obviously very happy to be on the top of the table but also aware that the job is only half done and the most important part of the season lies ahead. The next month will give us a great chance to make further inroads on the table and separate ourselves at the top with two clashes with second-placed Cairns Taipans coming up in the next two weeks as well as a re-match with the 36ers at home. Of course, our coach Andrej Lemanis will not have us looking that far ahead, one game at a time as his famous saying goes, but it as true now more than ever. Winning is a process and a habit. We did a great job last year of training hard and focusing ononegameatatimeandwe must continue to do so as we work our way through the latter part of the season. I look forward to seeing you all at the NSEC tonight for our first home game of 2011 against the Taipans. It s been a long time since we have got to play in front of our home crowd and we re all pumped to get another win. Be sure to check the website to see if any of those $10 tickets are still available, bring the family and we ll do our best to put on a great show. Watch some of the action from the final day of the North Harbour Open at www.northshoretimes. co.nz.
January 11th 2011
January 14th 2011