AFTER  a terrible start to the year that saw the Coffs Harbour Suns men's team lose their first seven games of the Waratah League season, the boys finally broke through for their first win of the season.

Playing on their home court (after playing five of their first seven matches on the road) the Suns started with gusto and raced out to a 22-11 lead.

By half time Hawkesbury reduced the margin to just three points. Whatever playing coach Blake Kelly said at half time to his players did the trick.

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The Suns scored the first 13 points of the second half then with a sniff of victory in their nostrils Coffs Harbour went on a 12-2 run at the start of the last to extend the lead to an unassailable 23 points.

Kelly led from the front with seven three-pointers in hos game high total of 30 points.

The women recorded another win and their season is building nicely.

After losing the grand final in overtime last year the Suns now sit in second position on the table with their next match a top of the table clash against Maitland at Sportz Central on June 16.


HE couldn't quite defend his title in the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles at Bells Beach but Coffs Harbour surfer Otis Carey was again one of the better performed athletes at the iconic Victorian break reaching the semi finals.

The event wrapped up today but yesterday Carey was one of the most impressive in the small waves and earned himself the Air Asia Air of the Day prize after producing a big air reverse.

Coffs Harbour surfer Otis Carey attacks a Bells Beach wave during the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles.
Coffs Harbour surfer Otis Carey attacks a Bells Beach wave during the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles. Elley Harrison/Surfing Victoria


The increase in female participation numbers in sports traditionally considered the domain of men continues.

Saturday saw two Grafton teams have their initial foray into a women's version of the code.

The Grafton Rubies (not Redmen) played their first match of women's rugby while the Tigers dipped their toe into the AFL women's world.

No longer is it a case of netball, hockey, soccer, softball and tennis with some golfers thrown in there as well will be the homes of female athletes.

There's so many options available to women today and for some sports, the increased participation numbers that comes from the introduction of women and girls playing is actually helping them remain healthy. 


SPEAKING of female golfers, Amelia Mehmet-Grohn must be mentioned in this column.

On Wednesday she shot a 69 in the final round of the Ladies Club Championships at Coffs Harbour.

Amelia is currently studying at Iowa State University after she gained a golf scholarship.

Obviously what she's doing with the Cardinals in the NCAA tournaments is working if her new course record of 5-under par around the Lakes course at Coffs Harbour is anything to go by.

There's some handy golfers at Coffs Harbour who play in the ladies comp each Wednesday but over 54 holes Mehmet-Grohn managed to win the club championship by a comfortable 32 strokes.



THERE'S one thing everyone I've spoken to about last week's alleged incident at Coramba Sportsground agrees with and that's that there's no room for racism anywhere.

Orara Valley is adamant a member of the crowd at the Axemen's home ground last week DIDN'T racially abuse South Grafton player Luke French.   Axemen president Peter Spinks said the club investigated the incident with a great deal of urgency and Spinks said there's plenty of people of people who'll swear black and blue on a stack of bibles that what French alleges what was said never was.

When I first moved to Coffs Harbour a little more than 20 years ago, Spinks was one of the first people I met.

Knowing him the way I do, if a judge had to decide on a case of one man's word against another, I'll happily vouch to the judge that they can believe what Spinks is saying. He's an honest man.

Having said that, some people (thankfully a small minority) have told me that French's reaction to what he thought heard was over the top.

Was it? If a person feels they've been racially abused can there be such a thing as over the top?

Whether it was actually said or not, there's no such thing as an acceptable level of racism. There's no room for it in society let alone football.

If what French heard wasn't exactly what was said, there's a need for a discussion between two parties. But saying a bloke overreacted means some people think there's only a certain acceptable level of reaction allowed to an unacceptable incident.

People who think that are more than welcome to return to the 70s and watch TV shows like Mind Your Language and Love Thy Neighbour.

Like those programs, racism should be a relic of the past.


HAVING supported Liverpool from the other side of the world for nearly 40 years I woke up early this morning to watch the Champions League final.

If I knew the Reds' goalkeeper Loris Karius was going to make massive blunders like he did I might've stayed in bed.

Oh well. At least I can still talk about the Istanbul miracle in 2005 and my first memory of a European Cup final which was the Bruce Grobellaar jelly legs in the penalty shootout against Roma in 1984.

A keeper’s worst nightmare.
A keeper’s worst nightmare.



THE subject of how much money Coffs Harbour City Council tips in for Rally Australia each year was raised in council chambers during the week.

I've had people tell me the amount CHCC injects each year sits somewhere in the $500,000 to $750,000. I can tell you the amount is less than those ballpark figures.

I can't say what the exact figure is but two years ago when this subject was raised in council because I was told off the record how much money it is.

What I can say about how much is being spent is not only that the amount being spent is less than what people think but that it raised the eyebrows of an international competitor.

Two years ago some councillors said that if the amount of money wasn't kept 'commercial in confidence' then Coffs Harbour opened itself up to losing the rally and the event going overseas.

At the time I spoke to Rally New Zealand chairman Peter Johnston as the Kiwis were more than keen to host our round of the World Rally Championship.

What I found interesting during that discussion with Mr Johnston was his reaction when I responded to his question about how much money we were talking about.

When I told him the amount that I'd been given a wink and a nod about his reponse was: "Is that all?"

My follow up question should've been did he think it was cheap because of the exchange rate but it did indicate to me that while Coffs Harbour City Council is injecting a significant amount toward hosting Rally Australia, internationally people think we're getting the event pretty cheap.

Some people are of the opinion that the amount of money Coffs Harbour City Council injects into Rally Australia isn't that much.
Some people are of the opinion that the amount of money Coffs Harbour City Council injects into Rally Australia isn't that much. Brad Greenshields




First Grade
Sawtell def Orara Valley 23-12
Grafton Ghosts def Coffs Harbour 30-24
South Grafton def Macksville 36-20

Ladies League Tag
Sawtell def Orara Valley 26-6
Grafton Ghosts def Coffs Harbour 28-0
South Grafton def Macksville 16-0


First Grade
Grafton def Coffs Snappers 28-21
Kempsey def Wauchope 100-3
Hastings Valley def SCU Marlins 45-28

Wauchope def Kempsey 50-0
Port Pirates def Bowraville 41-0


Division 1
Women - Coffs Harbour Suns def Wagga Wagga Blaze 77-51
Men - Coffs Harbour Suns def Hawkesbury Jets 85-59


Men's Premier League
Boambee def Coffs Coast Tigers 6-0
Urunga def Maclean 1-0
Northern Storm def Grafton United 5-0
Coffs United def Westlawn Tigers 11-0

Women's Division
Coffs United def Urunga 2 2-1
Woolgoolga 1 drew with Boambee 2 0-all
Boambee 1 def Bellingen 17-0


Sawtell/Toormina 19.15 (129) def Port Macquarie 4.10 (34)
Coffs Breakers 19.14 (128) def Grafton 8.10 (58)

Port Macquarie 4.4 (28) def Sawtell/Toormina 4.2 (26)

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