Lightning greens strike fear into players’ hearts

first_imgTravellers Rest Golf GroupChristmas week in Pattaya was all about people having a good time and enjoying themselves, the sun shone and a cooling breeze kept temperatures at a comfortable level.  Peace and goodwill to all men, women and children was exuding everywhere. Everywhere that is except on the local golf courses where the drying weather turned the greens into skating rinks.  They were so fast it was unbelievable and some of the language going around was turning the air as blue as the sky.Fergus Brennan – winner at Treasure Hill. Never have I seen so many grown men almost being reduced to tears as their balls sailed merrily from one side of the green to the other and back again.  Good scores were at a premium and even very moderate scores were amongst the prizes.Monday, Dec. 23, Treasure Hill – StablefordOn Monday it was off to Treasure Hill and Fergus Brennan showed that his shanking nightmare was a thing of the past as he ended the year in style by shooting an impressive 38 points, which was good enough to take first place.  Not bad for a guy with bad eyes!  Jay Sher and Peer Brun followed Fergus home.1st Fergus Brennan (11) 38pts2nd Jay Sher (18) 36pts3rd Peer Brun (13) 33ptsTuesday, Dec. 24, Green Valley – StablefordOn Christmas Eve a large contingent headed off to do battle at Green Valley, and so large were the numbers that had to be split into two divisions.It has to be said that the winner was Green Valley itself with the field littered with broken men cursing their luck and tossing their putters into the nearest lake.  Boy, were the greens slippery!  Four and five-putts were being reported everywhere and scorecards were resembling cricket scores.  Congratulations go to Guy Fraser who was the only player to get near to playing to his handicap.Div.1 (0-13)1st Guy Fraser (11) 35pts2nd John Nicholas (8) 32pts3rd Joe Stranks (11) 29ptsDiv.2 (14+)1st Tony Pieroni (14) 33pts2nd Norman Cheetham (16) 32pts3rd Ken Brehm (19) 31ptsThursday, Dec. 26, The Emerald – StablefordBoxing Day and the debacle continued at Emerald and again there were two divisions.Tony Pieroni – Div.2 winner at Green ValleyIt took a big man to get the better of the greens here and who better than that bigger than most men, Irishman Seamus Farrell.  He romped away with the best score of the day by a country mile.Div.1 (0-13)1st Tony Pike (8) 34pts2nd John Nicholas (8) 34pts3rd Joe Stranks (11) 32ptsDiv.2 (14+)1st Seamus Farrell (29) 38pts2nd Ken Brehm (19) 32pts3rd Alun Webber (19) 32ptsGood luck to all you golfers for the coming week and if you would like to play a round of golf with the TRGG, please phone Fergus Brennan on 086 056 7019 or pop into the Ned Kelly Bar in Soi Lengkee and add your name to the weekly lists which are posted on the notice board.last_img read more

Security beefed up

first_imgBy Alana Mitchelson MOUNTAIN Road Reserve will have a heavy-duty security gate installed after several break-ins and vandalism to the…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Kieran Keane Appointed As New Connacht Head Coach

first_imgWith a lifetime of coaching experience in New Zealand, the former All Black joins Connacht from the Chiefs, where he currently works as Assistant Coach to Dave Rennie. With Keane heading up Attack, the Super Rugby side scored an impressive 76 tries in 17 games during the 2016 campaign. Connacht Rugby can today confirm that Kieran Keane will join the province as Head Coach ahead of the 2017/18 season, having signed a three-year contract. Keane, a former school teacher, also had a spell as Assistant Coach to Jamie Joseph at the Highlanders from 2011 to 2012 but it was in his role as Head Coach of the Tasman Makos that the man, more commonly known as KK, made his greatest mark.During his tenure with the Makos, Keane led the team to an ITM Cup Championship victory and promotion into the Premiership in 2013. The following year, he took them to the premiership final, which they ultimately lost to Taranaki. As well as shaping their attacking style of rugby, Keane helped promote more than 15 players to Super Rugby during his time with the province.Keane coached the New Zealand U-16 and U-17 age grade sides for seven years as well as the Marlborough and Hawkes Bay NPC sides. A centre in his youth, he played six times for the All Blacks in 1979, represented Canterbury for 10 seasons and played for New Zealand Universities.Welcoming the announcement, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said:“Following a rigorous process, we are delighted to be able to confirm the appointment of Kieran as our new Head Coach.“Kieran’s rugby CV speaks for itself and immediately highlighted to us that he was the perfect fit for Connacht Rugby in the context of the profile of coach that we were looking for.“Kieran is a highly experienced Head Coach with a winning track record and a proven ability in identifying talent and maximising the full potential of that talent. His ambitious and exciting brand of rugby is also consistent with the way Connacht Rugby and in particular our players want to continue to play the game into the future.“Kieran’s time at Tasman also highlights the connection that his teams have with the community they represent, and that is something he clearly sees in Connacht as well.“Kieran was immediately able to identify with our vision of ‘Grassroots to Green Shirts’, further highlighting to us that he was the right man for the job.“Everyone at Connacht Rugby is extremely excited about the future and Kieran’s appointment is key to helping us achieve the level of sustained and consistent success that we are all working towards. Before he starts, there is a lot of rugby to be played and I know Pat and the team are fully focused on delivering a really strong finish to the current season”.Commenting on his appointment Keane said:“During my recent trip to the West of Ireland, I had the chance to meet many people within Connacht Rugby and I was immediately taken by the genuine passion they have for the people they represent and the ambition they have to achieve so much more.“It was clear very early on in our discussions that Connacht Rugby was a good fit for me and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and to working with the players and everyone associated with the club.”print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

2 Galwegians make history by swimming the English Channel

first_imgFergal started just before midnight on Friday night from just outside Dover in the UK and touched land on French soil in Normandy 16 hours and 46 minutes later on Saturday afternoon. Fergal’s dad Tommy was a renowned athlete and member of the famed Derrydonnell Athletics Club.Dee, who is a member of the Irish Defence Forces, started out late on Saturday night and completed her Channel crossing in 14 hours and 54 minutes when she landed in Wissant, France. So far this year, just four Irish people have swum the English Channel solo, and two of them are from Galway! Picture: Fergal Madden, Alice Flood and Dee Newell, the 3 Galwegians to have swum the English Channel. History was made at the weekend when Fergal Madden from Derrydonnell and Dee Newell from Corrandulla became just the second and third Galwegians to ever swim the English Channel solo. Both are members of the Atlantic Masters Swimming Club and they join an elite group that also includes Alice Flood, to have swum the channel. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Man City star denies role in Messi spat

first_imgIt was reported in Spain late on Tuesday night that an unknown City player had provoked Messi in the tunnel at the Etihad Stadium after Barcelona were beaten 3-1 by Pep Guardiola’s side.City striker Sergio Aguero was supposed to have acted as peacemaker as Messi angrily made his way towards the home dressing room, according to the reports, although Aguero himself insisted “it was nothing serious. I heard something but I don’t know what happened”.On Wednesday afternoon it was claimed in Globo Esporte that Fernandinho was the instigator of the alleged fracas, but the Brazilian wasted little time in tweeting his version of events.“I don’t know where the rumours and discussion about my role in the provocation of Messi came from,” he said.“I just want to say that the rumours that are circulating in the media are absurd: I didn’t even have contact with any Barcelona players or technical staff after the game.“Instigating and provoking are not in my nature, bearing in mind that I put a lot of importance on showing respect both on and off the pitch, regardless of the opposition or player in question.”last_img read more

Thiem tames Monfils to advance into last eight in Paris

first_imgLast year’s runner-up Dominic Thiem made light work of Gael Monfils as he ended French presence in the singles draw with a no-nonsense 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Monday.The Austrian fourth seed, widely regarded as the man standing between a final showdown between world number one Novak Djokovic and 11-times champion Rafael Nadal, wiped 14th seed Monfils off Court Philippe Chatrier in expeditious fashion.He will next face either Russian Karen Khachanov or Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro for a place in the last four, where he could meet Serbian Djokovic.“It was my best match of the tournament so far, some great rallies; it’s always fun to play Gael,” said Thiem, who advanced in straight sets for the first time this year.Thiem took full advantage of Monfils misfiring early on to move 4-0 ahead.It was a necessary cushion as the Frenchman, finally hitting his stride, won four of the five following games. Thiem served for the set at 5-4 and Monfils could offer no resistance.There was more of a contest in the second set which went on serve until the ninth game, when Monfils hit long to hand his opponent a decisive break.The Frenchman had no choice but to applaud his opponent after the Austrian hit a winner with a between-the-legs shot after a quick exchange at the net.Thiem broke for 2-1 but wasted another opportunity in the fifth game. It did not prove costly, however, as Monfils had long lost the thread.No French woman reached the third round at Roland Garros this year and, in the men’s draw, Monfils’s defeat followed that of Benoit Paire, who lost focus in a five-set match against Kei Nishikori earlier on Monday.last_img read more

CDB donates US$4.1M to poverty assessment programme

first_imgIn an effort to alleviate poverty in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) launched a Country Poverty Assessment Programme designed to address the prevailing challenges, and “improve the way its 19 Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) assess poverty and gain access to data from these assessments”. To this end, the CDB has committed an investment of US.1 million to the project which will be conducted over the next five years.At the programme’s launch in Castries, St Lucia on Tuesday, Division Chief of the CDB’s Social Sector Division, Deidre Clarendon noted that more evidence-based policy decisions were needed to end poverty in the Caribbean.“The Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment Programme launched today responds to the pressing need for high-quality data on poverty. Understanding the causes of poverty, who it affects and how it affects them is at the core of making informed, evidence-based policy decisions and helping Caribbean countries make meaningful, measurable progress in reducing and ending poverty,” Clarendon observed.The CDB noted that the programme will enhance the capacity of the BMCs to conduct multidimensional poverty assessments.“Multidimensional poverty measurement considers how poor people experience poverty which goes beyond income considerations, and takes into account other deprivations – of education, health, housing, empowerment, personal security, and more; through the programme, some countries will either adopt multidimensional poverty measurement as stand-alone studies or integrate it into existing national surveys,” the Bank stated.“Across the Caribbean, policymakers rely heavily on the availability of timely, accurate and reliable poverty data to support national and regional development initiatives. Despite making considerable progress on how they measure poverty, many countries in the Region do not frequently update or report on key poverty indicators, and are not able to assess the non-income dimensions of poverty and human development,” CDB added.It was pointed out that CDB’s Country Poverty Assessment Programme will support Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.Established in 1970, the Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution for the purpose of “contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of regional borrowing member countries.” Apart from its 19 regional borrowing member countries, there are four regional non-borrowing member countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. Non-regional, non-borrowing members are Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.last_img read more

Guardiola exits Barca with CL flop bitterness

first_img0Shares0000MADRID, Spain, May 25 – Pep Guardiola brings the curtain down on his Barcelona reign on Friday, admitting that he is still bitter over his failure to take the Spanish giants to the Champions League final.Guardiola, who has coached Barca for four years, will take charge of his team for the last time in Friday’s King’s Cup final against Athletic Bilbao before being replaced by his assistant Tito Vilanova. The 41-year-old Guardiola led Barcelona to three Spanish leagues, two Champions Leagues, two FIFA Club World Cups, two UEFA Supercups, three Spanish Supercups and, so far, one Spanish King’s Cup during his spell.But his team were knocked out of this season’s Champions League in the semi-finals by Chelsea, who went on to defeat Bayern Munich in last Saturday’s final.“My only regret is not getting to Munich this year. Even today, I still feel bitter over that,” said Guardiola on Thursday.“But I want to also congratulate Chelsea. I believe that they have a generation of footballers who deserve this title.”Guardiola also took the opportunity to dismiss rumours that he had been against the appointment of Vilanova as his successor.“In November, we had dinner with (Andoni) Zubizarreta (the club’s sporting director) during which I was asked what I thought of Tito if I decided to leave,” said Guardiola.“I told him that it was a very good idea. On the day of the Chelsea game, it was me who went to see Tito and I said to him: ‘I believe your time has come’.“We have known each other since we were 13…”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Under pressure Burkina face Gabon in CAN

first_img0Shares0000BATA, January 16 – Africa Cup of Nations hosts Equatorial Guinea will be pressed to get off to a winning start when they face Congo Brazzaville in the tournament’s opening game in Group A on Saturday. The curtain-raiser to the competition in the country’s largest city Bata will be followed later in the day by a meeting of the group’s other two sides, Burkina Faso and Gabon, who clash again after doing battle in qualifying.Equatorial Guinea rescued this year’s tournament by agreeing to act as hosts after the late withdrawal of Morocco due to Ebola fears, and their fans will now expect Nzalang Nacional to match the exploits of three years ago, when they beat all the odds to reach the last eight of the same competition on home soil.Nevertheless, they were initially disqualified from the competition for fielding an ineligible player, and their build-up has been somewhat chaotic, with Argentine Esteban Becker only named as the country’s new coach last week in place of Andoni Goikoetxea, whose contract expired recently and was not renewed.“We want to surprise a few people. We will take things one game at a time and try to do well for the people of the country who are all behind us,” Becker said in an interview with Spanish Radio Marca.“We have a new, young squad of players who play in the lower leagues in Spain. I called up hungry young players and I hope they do well.”Survivors from the 2012 campaign include Javier Balboa, Sipo and Juvenal Edjogo, and they will again be expected to inspire the oil-rich country far beyond most expectations.Meanwhile, Congo Brazzaville’s veteran coach Claude Le Roy has put the host nation under extra pressure after he openly dismissed as “catastrophic” his team’s hotel in Bata, where the tournament final will be staged on Sunday, February 8.The Red Devils have returned to the top table of African football in style after a long absence from a tournament they won in 1972.They upstaged defending champions Nigeria to reach Equatorial Guinea 2015 and with the class and goals of Spain-based forward Thievy Bifouma and the towering Fode Dore, they will not be a team to be taken lightly.Later, Burkina Faso square up against Gabon after both teams first clashed in qualifying last year.In October, Gabon beat Burkina Faso 2-0 in Libreville courtesy of a brace by skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, before they forced the west Africans to a 1-1 draw in Ouagadougou four days later.Controversial Belgian coach Paul Put, who guided Burkina Faso on an historic run to the Nations Cup final in 2013 in South Africa, is still in charge of the Stallions.Jonathan Pitriopa, who was named the best player of the 2013 competition, will be complemented upfront by the unmistakable Aristide Bance as well as the Traore brothers, Alain and Bertrand.They remain solid at the back with Lyon’s Bakary Kone, who has won over 40 caps for his country, a pillar of power in the heart of the defence.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Orange Line heads toward overcapacity

first_imgWith the Orange Line nearly surpassing its 15-year ridership goals in just seven months, transit experts say the MTA should consider expanding the line and even adopting a light-rail system – sooner rather than later – to meet soaring passenger demand. Spurred by rising gas prices and a surprisingly strong appetite for public transit, thousands more passengers than anticipated are boarding the 14-mile, $330 million busway each day. And while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it can handle the load, transport experts say a capacity problem looms. “The system was underbuilt and underfunded,” said Nate Brogin, a former chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s transportation committee. “What we need is to go back and rebuild the system, the correct way – not the cheapest.” Agency officials who spent $270,000 in May to promote “Free yourself, Go Metro” – a bus-over-car campaign – largely pin the jump to gas prices. “These ridership rates won’t go down because the cost of driving is going to continue to go up with the direct cost that commuters pay (in gas) and in time,” said Hasan Ikhrata, director of planning and policy for the Southern California Associations of Governments. “We should have thought about this last year. You are providing good and needed services but you need a much higher level of frequency than you have today.” Ikhrata says buses should be running every 20 seconds rather than every three minutes as they do now. Others take a harder line, calling for a long-term rail project, a notion long dismissed as being too costly. “Clearly there is a demand here,” said Richard Katz, a mayoral appointee to the MTA board and former Assembly member who sat on the transportation committee for more than a decade. “We have to look at what we can do to meet the needs of the riders. I don’t want to see people turned off because the buses are too crowded. “In the long term, we need to look at if we need to switch to light-rail buses.” For much of the 1980s and 1990s, officials and transit advocates wrestled over how to supply the sprawling Valley’s growing commuter class with an effective transportation system. But NIMBY-ism and opposing views that ranged from a monorail over the Ventura Freeway to a subway, forced officials to settle on a much less ambitious busway system that could be built for less money. Considered the Cadillac of the MTA system, the busway boasts its own landscaping, right-of-way and a bike path. The 57-seat, train-like buses see more riders than the $898 million Gold Line that runs from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. Early surveys of the line showed that 20 percent of the riders were new to public transportation. “It’s a no-brainer,” said Richard Petty of North Hollywood, a public transportation convert. “I asked myself, Do I really need to drive to work?” For three months, the former car commuter has been loyal to the Orange Line. But over that time he’s seen an uptick in passengers and now says he avoids the packed buses at the 5 p.m. commuting hour. An early advocate of the line, MTA board member Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the agency should hold off at least 18 months to determine whether ridership will remain steady or plunge if gas prices fall. But, he adds, the Orange Line’s unique pathway allows it to expand with more buses or even into light rail. Already, he said, the MTA is speaking with bus manufacturers about higher-capacity vehicles. “This is a good problem to have because it’s really not a problem. It’s a capacity management issue,” said Yaroslavsky, an MTA board member and longtime advocate for the Orange Line. “There is no practical limit to what the Orange Line can handle. It should be encouraging the MTA to promote this approach to public transit elsewhere in the county and in the Valley.” Staff Writer Angie Valencia contributed to this story. (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2A longtime advocate of above- or below-ground transportation, including rail and subterranean busways, he and others say the bus line could reach capacity sooner than the MTA thinks. But MTA officials say with buses running every three minutes, ridership would have to soar – from close to 22,000 now to 30,000 to 40,000 – before it hit capacity. “We are not anywhere near (exceeding) capacity of the line,” said Gary Spivac, an MTA manager in charge of the San Fernando Valley. Yet, with gas prices hovering around $3.40 a gallon, the demand could come sooner than the MTA plans, experts warn. Ridership along the busway has followed a steady climb upward, rising 31 percent since opening. The agency has already had to add four buses along the route. Across the county, the MTA has logged a surge in riders, with rail ridership climbing 18 percent over last year. MTA bus ridership has increased 10 percent in the past 12 months. last_img read more