GALLERY: Sporting Year in Review - January

January 3: Time to step up: Trent Colley plans on keeping things simple when he makes his debut for the NSW Bush Blues at the Australian Country Championship in Bundaberg. Colley is one of two Western Zone players in the squad alongside Pat Rosser, while former Orange City quick Josh Bennett, now with Newcastle, is also in the Blues attack.

January 4: Shot in the arm: Katie MacKenzie, Aleacia McIntyre and Adam Slattery experience an NPIRE Experience tour of the West Coast of the USA, a trip organised by Olympic silver medallist and Opal Natalie Porter. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the trio take on Amercian schools and learn from a host of former NBA stars.

January 7: Mudgee miracle: Orange produces the great escape, with James Ryan plundering his maiden under 21s century to steer his side to victory against Mudgee. Ryan hit a match-winning 121 in the second round of the Mitchell Cricket Council's colts premiership, with Orange chasing down the home side's 6-228 with just one wicket left in the shed.

January 8: Sullivan tests the boundaries: Gladstone opener Mick Sullivan smashes 142 not out in his side's 78-run Twenty20 win over Metro Force. Playing in the ODCA's lower grade Twenty20 competition, Sullivan's feats with the bat are good enough to steer Gladstone to the final, winning the crown with a 37-run victory against CYMS at Wade Park.

January 9: Of national importance: Mick Tory's bid for Cycling Australia Road National Championship redemption begins. Tory was left shattered at last year's event having been forced to withdraw just two-and-half laps into the first men's time trial with a severe bout of asthma.

January 9: Bennett's starring role for NSW Country: Josh Bennett's worth in the NSW Country side continues to rise following a stunning start to the 2013 Australian Country Cricket Championship in Bundaberg. Already taking 5-44 against the ACT in round one, Bennett snares 7-86 off 28 overs against Queensland to continue his rise as the competition's leading wicket taker.

January 10: Fitness first: Clubs competing in the upcoming Group 10 competition will have to put renewed focus on fitness after the CRL handed down a ruling late in 2012 to restrict all first grade sides to 12 interchanges and four reserves on team benches. In the past, all grades have operated with up to six reserves and unlimited interchange.

January 10: Pride comes after for Faul: Monique Faul and her NSW Firestars teammates fall short of defending their 2013 Edebone-Weber Shield title, going down to the Western Australia Flames in the competition's semi-final. Pitching for the Firestars, Faul and the Firestars fall 4-3 in the semi-final.

January 14: Bennett is a country star: Josh Bennett caps off a whirlwind week of cricket with selection in the Australian Country XI and an Australian Country Cricket Championship win. Bennett stars in Bundaberg to lead all wicket-takers with 21 at an average of 12.2 as NSW Country wraps up the championship crown.

January 15: Cats back out: Blackheath abondones its bid to be part of the Group 10 premier league competition, instead opting to contest just the group's first division and under 18s premeirships. The move leaves the game's president Linore Zamparini little choice but to implemement a bye in the first grade competition.

January 16: Futsal fanatics: Matt Savaro and Sam Fuda join in on the futsal craze, determined to bring the indoor sport to Orange. The pair, with the backing of NSW Futsal Association, set up their own futsal competition in Orange called Ultimate Futsal.

January 19: Same name but different era for Hawks: Tim Mortimer is announced as the new captain-coach of Orange Hawks, following in the coaching foot steps of his famous father Peter. Mortimer senior mentored the tow blues in 1993 and in the form of son Tim, Hawks begin what appears to be a strong tilt at the 2013 Group 10 premier league competition.

January 21: Heads to roll: Orange colts co-coach Steve Ryan slams his side's batting following an embarrasing loss to Lithgow in the final round of the MCC's under 21s competition. Orange loses its final five wickets for 22 runs chasing 139 for victory.

January 21: Lee's in line for state gong: Lee Stinson is nominated for the Bowls NSW 2012 most improved bowled of the year award. The Orange City Bowling Club star helped his club to the number four state pennant title while also guiding Zone Five to second in the state fours and earned a Country jumper.

January 23: Facebook post under scrutiny: Orange CYMS batsman Luke Clarke faces the Orange District Cricket Association judiciary charged with engaging in conduct that has brought the game into disripute. The charge stems from an allegded incident during his club's Royal Hotel Cup clash with Centrals, with Clarke later posting a derogatory comment on Facebook about an umpire's decision and the umpire. Clarke is later found guilty but free to play.

January 26: Tower of strength: On the back of unveiling Tim Mortimer as captain-coach for the 2013 Group 10 season, Hawks swoop on two of the best props in bush football, signing Terawhiti Cooper and Arty Shead. Both will add plenty of firepower up front as the two blues embark on the upcoming season.

January 28: Coaches' award: Orange City co-coaches Steve Hamson and Michael Gray are awarded the Australia Day Sports Awards sports perdonality gong. Hamson and Gray helped devise the plan to take the Lions to the 2012 Blowes Clothing Cup premiership undefeated. The Orange District Junior Cricket Association (sporting organisation) and Waratahs Sports Club (business support) also clean up.

January 28: Waratahs win in shoot-out: Orange Waratahs hold on to win consecutive Austrralia Day Football Cups, coming from behind to defeat the Deaf Football Australia outfit in a penalty shoot-out thriller. Waratahs win the shoot-out 3-nil after scores were locked at 1-all at the end of regular and extra time.

January 30: Juniors on the straight and arrow: A host of cubs lead the charge for the Orange and District Bowhunters Club at their annual Walkabout Shoot at Lewis Ponds. Competing in the Australia Bowhunters Association paper round, Zac McKinnon-Braid took the honours, Matt Kearney won the cub boys freestyle event while Ryan Schick managed third.

January 30: Jack's dream result: Cumnock product Jack McCalman feels previalged to have wornt he green and gold for Australia at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney. McCalman won a silver medal.

January 31: Emus find their three wise men: Orange Emus president Toby Tancred says the club has found their men, with Andrew Logan, Graydon Staniforth and Mal Nutt to lead the Greens in 2013. The trio brings a wealth of rugby experience to the club.

January 31: Bridging gap net gain from squad proposal: The Orange Netball Association verges on implementing a state-first proposal set to propel the central west's premier netball competition to even greater heights. The proposal will see clubs' division one and division two sides compbined into a single squad of 20 players.

THEY SAID IT: 

"Dad's coached at Hawks before, he'll have a big influence on how I coach and I'm sure he'll be willing to help out" - Tim Mortimer looking ahead to his role as captain-coach with Orange Hawks in 2013.

THE FIVE MOST READ SPORT STORIES ON THE CENTRAL WESTERN DAILY WEBSITE IN JANUARY, 2013:

1. Emus find their three wise men; 2. Facebook post under scrutiny; 3. Same name but different era for Hawks; 4. Race to the finish line; 5. Orange City coaches share sports award.

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