GALLERY: Sporting Year in Review - April

April 1: Laffin's Country hat-trick: Orange hockey coach Rob Laffin is announced as the coach of the Aistralian Country men's hockey side for the third straight year. Laffin and the touring party including Wanderers star Alex Said take on sides in Singapore.

April 2: Fast and furious: Orange gun Tim Eslick gears up for the toughest tournament of his short hockey career. Elsick is part of the ACT side to contest the Hockey Australia National Men's Under 21s Championship at the State Hockey Centre in Brisbane.

April 4: A win for Deans: Wallabies coach Robbie Deans recieved a warm welcome from Central West rugby fans at Orange's Endeavour Oval. Deans makes the trip west to help run a coaching clinic for mentors of rugby sides competing in the Blowes Clothing Cup and the Australian National Field Days Cup as well as watch a junior sevens carnival in Orange.

April 8: Drought is over: Orange Hawks end their four-year derby drought courtesy of an 18-10 win over Orange CYMS at Wade Park. Matched-up in the first round of the 2013 Group 10 premier league season, Hawks seal the victory with a Alofi Mataele four-pointer late in the second half after CYMS fought back from 12-nil down to be a hope at 12-10.

April 8: In the heat of the moment: The Canberra heat proves too strong in round one of the Volleyball NSW State Cup, taking out the final in straight sets against UTS. Warm favourites and defending champions of the Orange round, the Heat win the best-of-three-set final 25-18 and 25-20.

April 11: King of the court:Ryan Bushel-Keegan wins the under 13 division of the Australian Junior Squash Open at Thornleigh. Losing just the one set on his way to the win, Bushel-Keegan secured the title with a win over Toby Moore 11-4, 11-9 and 11-4.

April 13: King of the Cup: Wyong gelding Jimmy fortunes storms home to claim the $55,000 Hartford's Menswear Orange gold Cup, edging out the best field the Cup has assembled in 30 years. Run on a good three Towac Park track, just two-and-half lengths separated Jimmy Fortunes and the 12th placed Fox Solid, with Jimmy Fortunes home by a nose ahead of Natch Catch and Ward, judged a dead-heat for second.

April 13: Rookie Kerwick's on a golden run: Triathlete Lauren Kerwick brings home not one but two gold medals representing NSW at the School Sports Australia national championship at Perth. The 13-year-old takes out the 12-14 years age group individual title while also contributing a blistering 15km bike leg in thr NSW Junior A team's relay.

April 15: Lions draw first blood: Orange City kicked of its Blowes Clothing Cup premiership defence with a scrappy win over arch rivals Orange Emus at Pride Park. A spirited Emus lef 17-10 at one stage in the first half before the Lions' class eventually prevailed as a healthy round one home crowd was rewarded with a 35-22 victory.

April 15: Brilliant Ben steps up in CYMS' time of need: Ben McAlpine stars in CYMS come-from-behind 34-32 win over Mudgee at Endeavour Oval. Playing fullback, the star signing scores a try, played a hand in three others, booted five conversions, kicked a 40-20 and, with CYMS down 26-24, regathered his own short kick-off before running 30 metres to put his side on the attack.

April 15: Cooley lives up to own expectations: Without main draw card and defending champions Jason Belmonte, the 2013 Orange Audi Open is won by Sam Cooley. The Mount Warrigal product edged out Chris Thomas and former Orange resident Dave Rosser.

April 16: National honour a happy memory: Orange netball gun Charlotte Jasprizza completed a memorable 2013 National Netball Championhsp campaign with selection in the Australian under 17s national development camp squad. Jasprizza played in four games for the NSW side that won bronze, but was forced to watch on at the business end of the tournament following a heavy concussion suffered against Queensland.

April 18: Jade like Lazarus back in the game: International Jade Warrender makes her return from a second ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and a bout of Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITB) for the Hockeyroos in a trial against an under 18s boys side. The the 20-year-old progresses through the match unscathed.

April 19: Daley pleased that Jack's just a Country boy: At a time when many question the relevance of the City-Country Origin match, Jack Wighton's selection continues his meteoric rise in the sport. The CYMS and Bloomfield junior was named in the centres by coach Laurie Daley to make his Country debut in the Coffs Harbour clash.

April 23: Bone breaks in: Kinross junior Edwina Bone plays her first full international game for the Hockeyroos after being selected in the first of four games against Korea in Perth. One of four debuntantes, Bone had previously represented the Australian women's side at the International Super Series Hockey 9s, helping the Hockeyroos win gold.

April 24: In contention: Written off as old, warn and a ground behind the times, Wade Park is ruled in contention for the hosting rights of the 2014 City versus Country clash after a dismal crowd attended the fixture at Coffs Harbour. The move is a back flip from CRL figure heads who previously labelled Wade Park's oval shape the biggest draw back to bringing high profile games to the city.

April 26: Buckley brings home saddle: Orange trainer Brian Buckley celebrates as Fusakeo wins the 2013 Soldier's Saddle at Bathurst's Tyers Park. Drawn barrier one in the $14,410 to the winner race, Fusakeo missed the start but was brilliantly guided back to the front by champion hoop Greg Ryan.

April 29: Hawks in rare air: Enjoying their best start to a premier league season since 1999, Orange Hawks bring up their third win in three games courtesy of a 52-10 mauling of the Blayney Bears. The two blues run in 11 tries to two in the Wade Park romp and sit along atop of the Group 10 ladder.

April 29: Sullivan's late call-up ends well: Orange CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan makes his return from injury in the green and golds' 40-22 victory over Cowra at Sid Kallas Oval. Having his hand forced in an early return from a hamstring issue, Sullivan's experience was vital in CYMS' road win.

April 30: Group 10 big on versatility: Orange sides dominate Group 10's first rep squad of the 2013 season, with Hawks providing four players and CYMS three for the annual clash with Group 11. Todd Barrow leads the squad while Joe Lasagavibau, Scott Rosser and Alofi Mataele are also in the 20-man squad. Ben McAlpine, Ali Beale and Kyran Bubb make up the green and gold contingent.


"The facilities were fine last time we went there. A rectangle ground is certainly not a prerequisite. Obviously it helps, but it's not necessary" - CRL chief executive officer Terry Quinn on Wade Park following Coffs Harbour's lousy turn-out for the 2013 City-Country clash.


1. Hawks hold on in scrappy derby; 2. Scrappy Lions will only improve: Gray; 3. Player sidelined for 2013-14 season; 4. Not this time: Hawks hanging tough for derby; 5. Cricketer to go upstairs for a verdict.

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